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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2017, 23:50 
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I had one win against him, probably two months ago. I also had numerous 1-3 and 2-3 losses where things went well for a while but I couldn't seal it. The point about being tense at the end is a good one indeed. What I felt during the match is that at some point my serve quality went down a lot and I could not recover it. That is what happens when you tense up.


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 00:08 
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fastmover wrote:
I had one win against him, probably two months ago. I also had numerous 1-3 and 2-3 losses where things went well for a while but I couldn't seal it. The point about being tense at the end is a good one indeed. What I felt during the match is that at some point my serve quality went down a lot and I could not recover it. That is what happens when you tense up.


Ah okay, so you are beating him already. The thing in table tennis is that there is nothing you can do about the score. You can only play each point by getting yourself ready to play it.

It is pretty obvious that you currently cannot just loop him off the table. I suspect that your improvement is making him a better blocker too. But you have to raise the spin level. . You have to make your forehand technique more similar across the points. You seem to get excited and rush into high balls when those are usually the shots you have the most time to observe and place.

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 00:29 
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fast mover,

There is a good blocker,hitter at my club and the way I succeed destroy his game was to play him with fast push, good placement then loop the high ball in the opposite corner. I send him no spin ball also. «i call it playing him under the radar so he can't hit high ball, can't block low push effectively. It take just a bit of patience to wait for the good ball as they are the kind of guy who want to use your loop or top spin by blocking it and send it back in your teeth. Like that he got frustrated try hitting low ball, start missing and guess what, start to get crispy. Also high arc loop ball with different tempo also give hard time has they try to pick your ball at the rebound and this is very difficult with high arc loop. He never beat me again since 3 years.


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 01:30 
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If I saw it right on my phone you missed two serves in the 4th and another in the 5th. Those two in the 4th were killers. He wasn't attacking your serves so you didn't really need to try to crank it up.

Your fh beats his block, that's clear. At first he was giving you easy fhs and coming back to it letting you hit 2-3 in a row. After a while he started playing more short or half long, and feeding your bh a lot more. He got in on your elbow a few times and also started testing your fh-bh transition.

This is definitely a beatable opponent for you now, and will probably be left far behind in your rear view six months from now. You just need a little more consistency, especially on the bh.


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 01:39 
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Yes, I did miss those serves. I didn't try to go full on those. I just noticed that he missed a few of my reverse serves wide into his FH. So I decided to give them a try again, but unexpectedly they had way more sidespin than I thought and went off the side of the table :(


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 01:50 
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Trying to win with a higher quality serve based on extra precision is a dangerous strategy especially if you practice serves. In my experience you should only serve the serves you have practiced during pressure points. It's easy to simply miss a serve because you are trying to consciously do something that you usually do subconsciously. That is the most common reason I miss serves these days. If I go for more with a technical variation that o have practiced, I am usually fine. If I go for more by trying to do something special that just came to mind, I tend to miss the ball outright. At least you hit it on the table so I give you credit. It just didn't hit the other side which isn't good.

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 04:30 
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Alex Polyakov wrote about this in The Next Step. He said it's common to try to win a point on serve to close out a tense game or match, and in his opinion a really bad idea. He was mainly thinking of serving long and fast, but consciously trying to draw a receive error has the same problem. Just play your normal game and trust it to finish.

That book doesn't get as much love as Breaking 2000, but it's just as good or better, I thought.


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 04:45 
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Really good point about the serves. I need to go to a less spin serve for those final serves or something that the opponent had trouble with, finish with a quality loop.

You guys have a lot of really good points today about close matches and the mental struggles. Technique drops when that high ball comes and I am up 10-9 in the close out game.

Also about the idea of struggling with a new skill against players at your level...this is real. My forehand flick is pretty terrible and just gets torn up against players who can counter hit cross court with quality (most players right?). There is very few places after the flick where the ball can go and it's actually good for me. The flick is too weak and the recovery is too slow.

Now with that said, 2 months ago I had no flick or 80% of them went into the net when I tried. I think the forehand flick is worth developing even with these struggles.


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 04:54 
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BRS wrote:
Alex Polyakov wrote about this in The Next Step. He said it's common to try to win a point on serve to close out a tense game or match, and in his opinion a really bad idea. He was mainly thinking of serving long and fast, but consciously trying to draw a receive error has the same problem. Just play your normal game and trust it to finish.

That book doesn't get as much love as Breaking 2000, but it's just as good or better, I thought.



I probably need to re-read it: couple of years ago it did not draw me in as much 'Breaking 2000' did, but perhaps I can better get the message now.

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 07:20 
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I've just realized that I have some very vivid memories of serves that I missed on game/match points.


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2017, 07:37 
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I think I do have to use my reverse serve in tight situations, otherwise it won't be reliable and effective. My reverse is not a "trick serve" to pull out once in a while. It is a "workhorse" serve that I count upon very much.


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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2017, 00:34 
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fastmover wrote:
I think I do have to use my reverse serve in tight situations, otherwise it won't be reliable and effective. My reverse is not a "trick serve" to pull out once in a while. It is a "workhorse" serve that I count upon very much.


No argument with using all your serves. It was the way you said he had missed a few wide to his fh. Suggests you were thinking about making a serve he would miss. That leads to trouble.


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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2017, 07:00 
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So I suck at the forehand flick.

It's improved from not going on the table to going on the table but not much power. I was playing with the robot and I noticed I do considerably better with a tighter grip than I am usually playing with (it's quite loose) . It's mostly a consistency thing as timing seems to be extremely difficult to execute.

Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2017, 02:29 
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I have started to regularly practice topspin/no spin variants of my serves as my opponents caught up and adopted to my backspin serves so I am at a stage where I really need variety in order to get a chance for easy points, here is my pendulum topspin attempt:

Front view:
https://youtu.be/Q2d8SV6az9E

Side view:
https://youtu.be/uWiwBjlYAkY

In my mind I am just trying to hit the ball with the upper part of the rubber but I am unsure if I am actually getting it right and if such serve has any real topspin, I rarely get significant popups so a bit uncertain if I am on the right track, thank you for all the help.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2017, 07:33 
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fastmover wrote:
Was leading 2:1 in games, had a comfortable lead in the fourth, screwed it up and then the whole fifth game as well.



I really like the way you are playing and I think you'll continue to improve. The heavy topspin from the forehand looks good and your backhand is pretty solid. Make sure you don't start reaching for backhands in rallies and use the 2 step approach from ETT43 and other videos.

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