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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 09:40 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
ETTS42 and DTT24 are now available on ttEDGE.com

ETTS42 is a review of BRS' backhand topspin.

DTT24 is a drill I use occasionally with competent players. It good for core strength and rotation and I think it can make you a better player.

The recent discussion regarding your game vs tactics has made us think about possible new directions for ttEDGE. I'm contemplating a series on building your game strategy and it may include some general ideas on playing against various playing styles. For example, if someone has an amazing backhand banana flick, how should you combat it. Or if someone is backhand oriented, what minor adjustments should you make. What should the series be named?

I may also interview some elite players on my sofa. Whilst feeding him multiball, I questioned Australia's highest ranked male on how much time he gives to tactics. I think his response is worth hearing, so it gave me the idea of interviewing a bunch of players. You guys can contribute to the questions, if you like? I'll get Henzell in December too and grill him pretty hard. I'll probably just cut it to the most interesting parts.


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 11:13 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
ETTS42 and DTT24 are now available on ttEDGE.com

ETTS42 is a review of BRS' backhand topspin.

DTT24 is a drill I use occasionally with competent players. It good for core strength and rotation and I think it can make you a better player.

The recent discussion regarding your game vs tactics has made us think about possible new directions for ttEDGE. I'm contemplating a series on building your game strategy and it may include some general ideas on playing against various playing styles. For example, if someone has an amazing backhand banana flick, how should you combat it. Or if someone is backhand oriented, what minor adjustments should you make. What should the series be named?

I may also interview some elite players on my sofa. Whilst feeding him multiball, I questioned Australia's highest ranked male on how much time he gives to tactics. I think his response is worth hearing, so it gave me the idea of interviewing a bunch of players. You guys can contribute to the questions, if you like? I'll get Henzell in December too and grill him pretty hard. I'll probably just cut it to the most interesting parts.


TTgasm

I'm very excited about the whole question/answer part and even some basic tactical ideas.

STTS = Strategic table tennis series.


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 13:55 
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wilkinru wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Suppose I accidentally give my opponent a long push (okay, a half-long, I really didn't want to do that) and see him preparing for an attack. Then I decide to run back and counterloop. How should one approach this situation? Should I step backwards as soon as I see that my opponent is going to attack or I should wait until the ball leaves his racket? What kind of footwork should I use? Or it is better to imagine myself being Ma Long and counterloop off the bounce wihtout stepping back? I can play counterlooping rallies as an exercise, but have no idea how to make this transition.


For me I end up blocking that 3rd ball attack close to the table and then may get a chance to get back and do a counter after the block. Trying to counterloop a loop off of backspin has to be one of the toughest shots to pull off. Counterlooping off of a block that hopefully wasn't too easy seems like a better plan. I'm rarely counterlooping anyway at my level.


I have the same mindset, but whenever I go to a tourney, there will be always some 1300-rated kids that counterloop really hard against whatever lands in their forehand half. It is often the only thing they can do well, but still. So it should be doable.


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 19:20 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
ETTS42 and DTT24 are now available on ttEDGE.com

ETTS42 is a review of BRS' backhand topspin.

DTT24 is a drill I use occasionally with competent players. It good for core strength and rotation and I think it can make you a better player.

The recent discussion regarding your game vs tactics has made us think about possible new directions for ttEDGE. I'm contemplating a series on building your game strategy and it may include some general ideas on playing against various playing styles. For example, if someone has an amazing backhand banana flick, how should you combat it. Or if someone is backhand oriented, what minor adjustments should you make. What should the series be named?


Tactical Edge perhaps?

Btw, I am never really sure when to use term strategy and when tactic is more appropriate term, had to google it and according to wikipedia:

"The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that govern tactical execution."

So, I guess if we are dealing with practicalities of where to serve, push etc then tactics is the better term.

Semantics aside, really looking forward to the new series and interviews, sounds awesome already :up:


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PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 08:49 
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fastmover wrote:
Suppose I accidentally give my opponent a long push (okay, a half-long, I really didn't want to do that) and see him preparing for an attack. Then I decide to run back and counterloop. How should one approach this situation? Should I step backwards as soon as I see that my opponent is going to attack or I should wait until the ball leaves his racket? What kind of footwork should I use? Or it is better to imagine myself being Ma Long and counterloop off the bounce wihtout stepping back? I can play counterlooping rallies as an exercise, but have no idea how to make this transition.


This is a really complicated question to answer because it assumes that you have a lot of time in TT. When you push long and someone makes a loop, there normally isn't a lot of time for conscious decision making.

If your question is simply should I practice staying close or moving back, my answer is you can do either.

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PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 09:01 
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fastmover wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Am I using legs on the reverse serve properly? Especially when placing it down the line.



Your right hip isn't spinning into the ball to initiate your forward swing.


Should I try to push off the ground hard like on the forehand? I feel like for the reverse serve the right movement is very similar to LTT80.


Think of it like spinning your body into the ball. Play the shot with your right hip.

Your serve is already pretty good.

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PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 09:31 
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David Powell has agreed to do the first interview. He is currently ranked 303 in world.

I'm going to try to make it more like the type of chat we'd have when no one else is listening, if that makes sense. Rather than just asking a bunch of questions, I'll talk quite a bit as well.

If you have some topics you'd like to hear about, you can post them here.

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PostPosted: 07 Nov 2017, 22:52 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Suppose I accidentally give my opponent a long push (okay, a half-long, I really didn't want to do that) and see him preparing for an attack. Then I decide to run back and counterloop. How should one approach this situation? Should I step backwards as soon as I see that my opponent is going to attack or I should wait until the ball leaves his racket? What kind of footwork should I use? Or it is better to imagine myself being Ma Long and counterloop off the bounce wihtout stepping back? I can play counterlooping rallies as an exercise, but have no idea how to make this transition.


This is a really complicated question to answer because it assumes that you have a lot of time in TT. When you push long and someone makes a loop, there normally isn't a lot of time for conscious decision making.

If your question is simply should I practice staying close or moving back, my answer is you can do either.


I was coached to hop back a couple of inches as soon as the play goes long. The logic was that your preferred distance in an open rally is a bit further off than if you expect a short ball. Once one shot has gone long the chances of a short ball are almost nil, so get back. So that's one vote for step back as soon as you see your push went half-long, don't even wait to see if he attacks it.

Needless to say I don't actually do this, just what I was told.


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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 01:22 
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My question is actually more about transition between close to the table game and far (like really, really far) from the table. For example, I almost never lob/fish in matches. That is because I don't know when is the right moment to run back. The only situation when it happens is when I'm driven at a very wide angle, and I am already far. If somebody is attacking hard at me, I try to block close to the table even when there is obviously no chance of it happening. Some players have really good intuition that their chances of winning close to the table are slim, and it is better to run away and defend, and maybe look for a long range counterloop opportunity. The result is that sometimes they win points in dire situations. I usually lose such points unless a miraclous block happens. I would like to add this far from the table play to my game, but don't know how. Of course, my perception of how all this happens could be wrong.


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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 01:46 
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I almost never back off the table because I don't feel comfortable moving. But I have tried playing at different distances and often so in matches when the adrenaline is flowing and I am playing someone with enough power that I feel I need more time to see the ball and respond to them.

The first thing you need to do is practice hitting the ball at different distances from the table in all your looping drills. It will give you an idea of the quality and type of shot you can generate from those distances. Most of the practice though should be spent at the distance where you expect to play most of the time. At this distance you should feel comfortable playing forehand and backhand rally shots with some power even if the opponent loop a the ball at you so that you don't feel as if you are stuck just blocking. Faster opponents may make you back up more as their pace may require you to need more time. Slower opponents will often require you to play closer to the table. This is general as faster opponents sometimes need to be rushed and slower opponents sometimes need to be bothered with balls coming in from longer distances. But it is just an idea of what is possible.

Usually I find that the best drill to figure out your playing distance is the X and H drill where one player is looping or blocking cross court and the other player is looping or blocking down the line. Since you are playing backhand and forehands in the same drill and transitioning between both, you get an idea of what distance you should be playing from the table or what strokes you need to improve to maintain your playing distance.

If you push the ball long you will usually need to read where the ball is going to stay in the point. Backing up to your preferred tally distance once you know your opponent is going to send the next ball long happens instinctively.

What Brett means is that the question of what your preferred playing distance should be is really an open one and depends in your strengths. The lower you can stay, the more likely yourboptinal distance will be closer to the table. The taller you are, the more likely it will be further back to give you time to defend your elbow and take advantage of your reach. Anticipation also plays a huge role. And sometimes, uou just play that way foe a while to see what it feels like - I can spend a week playing lower rated players in my club as a fishing junkballer of sorts with occasional pick hits just to see where my range and control is.

When actually just experiment with a new distance for a week, you will have a better idea of how likely it is to win points at that distance vs various opponents. Just as you may need to experiment more with playing further back a But, some players need to experiment more with playing closer to the table. I remember one guy who was stuck at 1700 for a while and one day forgot his training shoes and had to play in his work shoes. He couldn't move but he beat all his opponents with his close to the table game. The next time I saw him he was 1900 and playing close to the table and I asked him what happened and he told me that story. As someone who had my way with him when he used to back off, I wish he hasn't had that experience :rofl: .

Playing further back gives you more time but makes you more susceptible to angled shots. If you can move decently you should probably spend most of your time about 3 feet behind the table and just be looping off both sides.

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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 04:21 
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fastmover wrote:
My question is actually more about transition between close to the table game and far (like really, really far) from the table. For example, I almost never lob/fish in matches. That is because I don't know when is the right moment to run back. The only situation when it happens is when I'm driven at a very wide angle, and I am already far. If somebody is attacking hard at me, I try to block close to the table even when there is obviously no chance of it happening. Some players have really good intuition that their chances of winning close to the table are slim, and it is better to run away and defend, and maybe look for a long range counterloop opportunity. The result is that sometimes they win points in dire situations. I usually lose such points unless a miraclous block happens. I would like to add this far from the table play to my game, but don't know how. Of course, my perception of how all this happens could be wrong.



I often play these guys who get back off the table and can lob/fish/attack from a distance. I know the more times they return the ball the less odds of me winning the point. The very best chance at me winning the point is the 3rd ball attack because they are still close to the table and need to move back to start returning the incoming loops.

I just mention this because that looks to be the defender/retrievers challenge - getting back after the serve. It's also why putting the ball short or giving tons of top spin with little speed is useful too - makes the retriever move in and out.

You know there are lots on this forum who play with more defense than us. Might be a good question to put into a new thread.

I agree with NL - loop from 3 feet away and if at some point you get good enough to get into counter looping rallys come back and tell us how it feels.


Last edited by wilkinru on 08 Nov 2017, 04:25, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 04:23 
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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 04:35 
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wilkinru wrote:
fastmover wrote:
My question is actually more about transition between close to the table game and far (like really, really far) from the table. For example, I almost never lob/fish in matches. That is because I don't know when is the right moment to run back. The only situation when it happens is when I'm driven at a very wide angle, and I am already far. If somebody is attacking hard at me, I try to block close to the table even when there is obviously no chance of it happening. Some players have really good intuition that their chances of winning close to the table are slim, and it is better to run away and defend, and maybe look for a long range counterloop opportunity. The result is that sometimes they win points in dire situations. I usually lose such points unless a miraclous block happens. I would like to add this far from the table play to my game, but don't know how. Of course, my perception of how all this happens could be wrong.



I often play these guys who get back off the table and can lob/fish/attack from a distance. I know the more times they return the ball the less odds of me winning the point. The very best chance at me winning the point is the 3rd ball attack because they are still close to the table and need to move back to start returning the incoming loops.

I just mention this because that looks to be the defender/retrievers challenge - getting back after the serve. It's also why putting the ball short or giving tons of top spin with little speed is useful too - makes the retriever move in and out.

You know there are lots on this forum who play with more defense than us. Might be a good question to put into a new thread.

I agree with NL - loop from 3 feet away and if at some point you get good enough to get into counter looping rallys come back and tell us how it feels.


I am pretty happy with my current playing distance to the table. Except maybe I'd prefer to play backhands a bit closer to the table. But I feel like sometimes it is worth to run back when things go downhill. I also don't know how to find out if I am good enough to play counterlooping rallies... BTW, I am more likely to counterloop with my BH than with FH. Maybe because it is easier to do close to the table. It is still rare, though. Happens in a match once a week or two, while a conterloop with FH happens no more than once a month :D

NL's respons is very helpful.


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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 04:39 
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IMO it's never the right moment to run back. Lobbing and fishing is not your game. Do you have enough practice reps to take away from your core strokes to build up your lobbing to a 1900 level? The time might be better spent feeding someone easy balls and trying to block their loopkills.


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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2017, 07:20 
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BRS wrote:
IMO it's never the right moment to run back. Lobbing and fishing is not your game. Do you have enough practice reps to take away from your core strokes to build up your lobbing to a 1900 level? The time might be better spent feeding someone easy balls and trying to block their loopkills.



How do You know this without practice? He is a tall guy and he might play much better if he is allowed to run around and just use his reach.

I am 95% sure that I would not be a predominantly close to the table player if I didn't have joint issues. I loop hard enough to play at mid distance but I don't move well enough. I look at some of my friends who play at mid distance and they are more mobile but not obviously more athletic or powerful.

The other thing is that your feeling for the ball improves when you practice at more distances. You can loop more powerfully with spin a bit a way from the table as you have more room to arc the ball.

No one should be absolutely dissuaded from messing around with some reps in table tennis. I remember practicing my distance backhand loop and wondering whether it would ever be useful in a match. Then one day I am playing people whose serves I cannot return and whose backhand attacks I could not return close to the table after I popped up their serve. So I stepped back, fish looped the ball back onto the table with my backhand and proceeded to abuse them with my mid distance power as their power at the table could nor compare. These were the 1900-2000 days when I could still move around.

But I used to practice that backhand mid distance against a lady in her 60s who enjoyed hitting the ball and watching me scramble to hit it back to her with my backhand.

Should he play close to the table, yes. Should he mess around with some play from distance, absolutely. Everyone needs to build out their feeling for the game. I tell my student the opposite as he is always looping from Mid distance and then wonders why he cannot counter heavy topspin close to the table.

Counterlooping is not hard, moving around and counterlooping against someone who is giving you his best counterloop is if you are not in match mode. I used to counterloop even when I had a crappy forehand. Close to the table was a different story since all I ever looped close to the table was underspin. But if I had known about building out my experience and countering topspin when I was lower rated, I would not have the issues with topspin that I have today.

That's why whenever anyone says something is only or advanced players from a technical perspective ( not a practical perspective), I feel for them because of you wait until you are advanced to do anything, it will always lag behind the rest of your game. If your loops are at a 1600 level, practice all parts of the game.

And I might not be giving myself credit - when we are amateurs our game develops in different sequences. So maybe I just learned defence and blocking before topspin offence and counter-offence.

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