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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2018, 15:06 
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fastmover wrote:
I think the biggest problem of prison inmates was that they were playing against each other all the time. If they were consistently exposed to better players, they would have a much better chance to take their game to the next level. It is actually a common problem for many club players. How many TTEedge subscribers live in TT deserts? And from my own experience, I would never underestimate what a tournament-tough "garage" is capable of.

I am not saying technique is not important. I just think that concentrating 100% on the technical side creates a very lopsided view of the game.

P.S. I started reading "Winning ugly."


95% of club players can't coordinate a backhand and they don't live in a desert. Randy learned a perfectly coordinated backhand in a few weeks in his garage. But I'm not exactly sure what your point is.

Winning Ugly is a fun read. I don't think I took much away from it though besides letting your opponent serve first in tennis and make sure your bag has lots of spare equipment.

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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2018, 13:02 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
... make sure your bag has lots of spare equipment.


Heh... That's the best EJ excuse I've been given so far :devil: . Let me go and check on my 'spares' in the gym bag and bookcase to make sure I have enough...

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2018, 02:52 
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I am thinking now more about the following. Suppose that you have sound technique of the forehand loop and the backhand counterhit. Then how should you use these shots in a competition to win? What is the optimal strategy at a particular level? The most general answer is probably to loop as soon as possible with a lot of spin. This could be the optimal strategy at 2700-level, but maybe not at 1600-level.

For example, suppose that I play someone who can't attack a reasonable push from the backhand corner. What I notice often is that if don't attack immediately, but make a few pushes there and attack only afterwards, I am more likely to win the point outright. The reason is probably because if I attack immediately, they will know that a loop is coming, and be ready. When they don't know when exactly the attack is coming, it is more surprising and difficult to defend. I can also generate a better shot because I have more time and the ball has less residual junk-side-who-the-hell-knows-what spin from the serve or serve return. I don't know if it is a good strategy in general (probably not), but it can be effective against a particular opponent. This is just a random observation how smarter usage of the available tools can be the difference between beating myself using my own strengths and winning the point.

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Last edited by fastmover on 14 Nov 2018, 07:24, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2018, 07:18 
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I think a great example of how the outcome of a match can be decided by these factors is the Euro 2018 women's finals between Li Qian (defender) and Pesotska (attacker). From my perspective every point there was lost or won due to those micro-decisions: which ball to attack and how. For example, the match changed massively after the expedite rule, which affects exactly this aspect: the server got forced to attack, and it turned the tables completely. Before the expedite, Pesotska led 2:0, then lost 2:4. You may argue that Pesotska's forehand against chop was meh, which is true, but I doubt any of the TTEdge's members in this threads are (or ever will be) close to Pesotska's overall technical level, she is probably USATT 2600 at least.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2018, 11:30 
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You'd expect the defender to be at a disadvantage once the match goes to expedite, but here we have the opposite. Does this mean the defender should have attacked more right from the beginning?

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2018, 13:59 
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iskandar taib wrote:
You'd expect the defender to be at a disadvantage once the match goes to expedite, but here we have the opposite. Does this mean the defender should have attacked more right from the beginning?

Iskandar


I don't know, my impression was that Pesotska lost the opportunity to attack only when she was comfortable to and could not keep up with her opponent. This tactical cat and mouse play is the reason why this particular match settled in my memory. For this particular reasons I enjoy watching the women's defenders matches: unless they face CNT, the attacker cannot simply overpower the chopper with sheer brute force and have to find other ways to win.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2018, 15:10 
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Do you have a link to this video? Sounds like it'd be worth watching. I did search YouTube, could not find it.

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 00:29 
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It is on laola: https://www.laola1.tv/en-de/video/ws-pe ... an-pol-len

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 04:06 
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At 1600 level and below the optimsl strategy is almost always to push and block and let your opponent miss. At 18-1900 or higher usualky it's optimal to topspin asap, unless the ball is funky or you are out of position for some reason.

We have all played guys who are 2500+ in the warmup, and then can't play points. There are also people who have crazy looking strokes, but their game all fits together. I think Brett's point is true that there is only a very small range of technique variation that can get you to 2300 or higher. But realistically no adult learners ever make even 2200. There was a thread on mytt and nobody knew of a single person who did.

So while technique is everything, it also may not matter that much.


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 04:49 
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BRS wrote:
So while technique is everything, it also may not matter that much.


We are in a technique limbo.

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 06:45 
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Brett Clarke wrote:

In my younger days, I'd occasionally go to prison to coach the inmates. The Australian Govt is big on prisoner rehabilitation and they often get "experts" to teach various skills within the prisons.

What's interesting is that these inmates would sometimes be training more pros and they were very good at what they did, but it was all the wrong stuff. It was the sort of technique used in the garage. Without understanding something about technique, it's very difficult to play better than 1500, no matter how much you train.


This is very interesting. Reminds me of when I played some guys who were 'very serious' into table tennis and they couldn't return anything backspin. Silo players. Always important to worry about the silo you are playing in and if you can progress with this group of players.

My situation right now is that I beat everyone at my usual lunch club, who I'm sure no one is over 1600 (and far better than the group above). There are a couple of players that give me a challenge. I've improved and beat them through technique and tactics at the same time I can't seem to 'shake them off'. I'm not dominating them 11-2 every game. In fact I still lose games in the sets. My theory is that it's really hard to be the best in a silo and get a lot better from there.

It's hard to be objective and say you played poorly when you just won a game 11-9 (you just won the last 2 points). It's much easier when you lose 9-11. I've never been mad at myself for not winning 11-5 or better.

Also where is my TTedge.com shirt order form!?!


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 08:15 
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fastmover wrote:
I am thinking now more about the following. Suppose that you have sound technique of the forehand loop and the backhand counterhit. Then how should you use these shots in a competition to win?


There are actually a lot more choices once you add the service in the mixture. Suppose you have a reasonable pendulum and backhand services, and a forehand loop. You know that the opponent is can probably misread 20% of your serves, the rest he will return somehow in a way that cannot be killed outright. Now you are standing at the table, what are you going to do, what is the game plan? Serve to forehand, to middle, to backhand? Long or short?

My personal approach is that I have a few fixed game patterns that I can execute somehow well because I practice them regularly. The pattern usually consists from a serve and a follow-up. Then in a match I try to see if a particular pattern works against the opponent. If it does, I try to "mine" as many points as possible out of the pattern until it stops working. For example, the very first thing I do in a match is to serve pendulum sidespin crosscourt long and wide, and see if gets attacked. If it does not, then it means I can freely use my forehand loop afterwards. If this pattern does not work for some reason (the serve is attacked, or the return is too awkward), I use something else from the library. For example, I may try to serve the same pendulum sidespin cross-court, but short and then try to loop with backhand (they will mostly push to BH) down the line.

I know that other people play differently and just try to create as much chaos as possible with service and return. Just throw as much randomness at your opponent in a hope to bamboozle them. They often tell me that I have to add more variation to my service. When I do that what often happens is that it messes up my third ball.

What is the right approach? I wonder how Brett approached his game plan when he was actually competing. Do high-level players have the preset library of sequences they are trying to get into, or they create them on the fly?

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 08:33 
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BRS wrote:
At 1600 level and below the optimsl strategy is almost always to push and block and let your opponent miss. At 18-1900 or higher usualky it's optimal to topspin asap, unless the ball is funky or you are out of position for some reason.

We have all played guys who are 2500+ in the warmup, and then can't play points. There are also people who have crazy looking strokes, but their game all fits together. I think Brett's point is true that there is only a very small range of technique variation that can get you to 2300 or higher. But realistically no adult learners ever make even 2200. There was a thread on mytt and nobody knew of a single person who did.

So while technique is everything, it also may not matter that much.


I forgot to tell William Henzell that Australian players can't make the top 100 in the world. It had never really been done before, so he had no right to do so. :rofl:

All jokes aside, this is a very interesting conversation and I'll get to it soon. I spent a fair bit of time typing up a response yesterday, then I lost it after the internet crashed as I pushed the submit button. :headbang:

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 09:59 
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I don't know what 2200 really represents but there are loads upon loads of Veterans in Europe who started as adults and play very high level table tennis. Can take sets off professional and compete with semi professional players level. They've been playing for 20+ years or more though so perhaps they aren't who you meant?


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 11:20 
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FruitLoop wrote:
I don't know what 2200 really represents but there are loads upon loads of Veterans in Europe who started as adults and play very high level table tennis. Can take sets off professional and compete with semi professional players level. They've been playing for 20+ years or more though so perhaps they aren't who you meant?


'2200' mentioned above is USATT 2200, which is around 1800-1900 TTR (German rating system) - perhaps it's a better reference point.

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