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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2016, 17:55 
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At 8-8 I used to try changing things or playing more aggressive and often I'd make stupid errors.

Now I use breathing exercises to relax, remind myself to 'keep working the equation', as that's what got me here.
I think of a serve that gives me an expected return and prepare to follow up as usual.
If I'm returning serve, I make sure I set up to return the expected serve with my best quality return.
And if they have more than one expected serve from their serve set up, I mentally prepare for each of the likely returns, so that I'm not surprised.

Then I clear my mind, relax and let myself play the point.

Some days I do this better than others. :D

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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2016, 12:19 
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In that situation I try not to beat myself. Next Level had a lot of things that are similar to how I think about it. Especially getting that first topspin in.

I concentrate really hard on making a good serve return. I serve safe and low and short and often to forehand. Nothing fancy. Nothing new for the match.

Against some people I often move a little more to the left to cover more table with my attacking forehand. This is to bait people into trying to attack my forehand corner, which in a tense moment they may overplay and miss (and I am tall and I move well in that direction so I am confident I can cover it). I may try to play lots of balls at the opponents body because in tense moments moving short distances can be harder than moving longer ones. Also it tends to be safe.

I take a lot of time between most points but may unexpectedly take very little time once.

In rallies I concentrate on not hitting long off the table and not dropping my hands. When I am tense my tendency is to loop or drive long. Knowing this I really make sure to hit the top of the ball.

And if they are better and win, well no surprise. But I need them to beat me by making good shots.

Of course part of this whole thi is based on what makes them better.

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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2017, 01:42 
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If you are serving, you need to use the serve that you have had success with - you should have used it previously a few times. Even if it means giving a ball that can be flipped and then attacking that flip - having knowledge on how the opponent handles that serve is pretty much the key. You have to go after that 3rd ball then, time to execute.
You really want to be up 10-8 by the time they are serving, so each point you need to bring your best.

If returning...get the ball on the table, be aggressive if you get the chance and put the ball to the weaker side or the side that had more errors. Your goal is likely to make it 9-9 when you serve.


I had these exact situations last night multiple times against quality competition...and every time I had a chance to win points but often failed to execute. Ugh!

Edit: NL nailed it and said it better than me I think.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2017, 06:19 
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At 9-9 in the fifth against a better player:

Step 1) make an agreement with your opponent that the winner buys the first round of drinks at the pub after the match.
Step 2) serve into the net twice.

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