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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2017, 08:13 
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Short version: The coaching is first-rate, Portugal is amazing, and the price is unbelievably good. Go there and see for yourself. This is not a limited time camp. It's a club that is open 52 weeks a year for training. Their website is http://www.ttpor.pt/en/. Email is [email protected]

Long version: I tried to cover everything below. If you have a question PM me or post here.

I just spent two weeks training at TTPor between 4 and 15 December 2017. This was my third two-week training camp. I went to MDTTC in Maryland in 2014, and B75 in Denmark in July 2017. The biggest difference at TTPor is the personal attention. It was consistently only one or two players during the first two sessions, with one or even two coaches. In the evenings there are anywhere from 8 - 20 club members training depending on the day. I can't guarantee that this is the case year-round, but I was thrilled with the amount of direct coaching time I received these two weeks.

Comparing the three camps, I would put MDTTC out of the running immediately. It was all kids except for me, which is fine, but the bad part was it was mainly a summer day camp, and the coaching was pretty minimal. It was usually eight students to one coach for multiball, and a lot of time doing partner drills without any real coaching happening. I got to hit a lot of balls, which is good, but I didn't learn anything new in particular. I was yelled at to "Relax!!" a lot of times, and I'm sure that was good advice, but I couldn't do anything with it.

The B75 by contrast was more intensively coached, and I did learn a lot. However at the time I thought that the lack of any English proficiency by one coach (or equally my total lack of Chinese) didn't matter because she could demonstrate. But after getting what I believe she meant from TTPor in English, I was immediately able to execute my forehand loop differently. The change was essential to reduce my recovery time which will allow me to play a series of shots at my preferred distance from the table. So it's kind of important. B75 was a blast, and improved my TT, and I would recommend it as an amazing experience to anyone who loves TT, but I think TTPor was better. I never would have believed that before I went, but it was.

It's going to take me at least a year of hard work to integrate all the coaching I received into my game. Two weeks was enough time for a pretty comprehensive overhaul of my play. I have essentially an all-new forehand, backhand, and footwork. Also my fh flick has changed, and some serves, and my tactics in quite a few game situations. I took a small notebook full of notes, including drills, diagrams, tactics, and technique. So I have a lot of work to do. But having seen the changes in my play and even my results over only two weeks, roughly 60 hours of table time, I know what a difference these changes will make once I can execute them in match play *under pressure.* My results against repeat opponents improved a lot just during the two weeks, but those were not pressure situations for me.

Obviously I've just gotten back so I can't say with authority yet that what I learned at TTPor has raised my level. And the risk with any intensive camp is not being able to get enough quality training at home afterwards to make use of the new information. But considering that it cost me less to live there for two weeks, even counting the cost of all the daily training, than it does to live my normal life at home, there is no risk. Plus I had a great time and made a lot of friends. The Diniz family, who run the small business that is TTPor, are the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and Portugal is an amazing country full of beautiful places, amazing sights, and delicious food and drink. So if you have the chance to train in Europe there is nowhere better than TTPor.

That's my long form review. I put some more general information that might be useful below. As I said, I'll be happy to answer any questions.

Basic facts: TTPor is a 9 table club open five days a week in Setubal, a suburb of Lisbon. It's easily accessible from Lisbon as commuter trains run hourly weekends, more often on weekdays. The club is a family business run by father and son Domingo and David Diniz. David is the main coach. They both have both ITTF and PTT coaching certifications.

Cost: Training costs €20/day. Housing in the club dorm is €10/day, and three meals weekdays also €10. If staying more than one week you can sleep in the dorm over the weekend for no extra charge, but have to get your own food. The accommodations and meals aren't luxury style, but for €20 you can't argue with the value. I was very happy with my decision to live in.

If you prefer to eat and sleep separately there are plenty of nice hotels and restaurants in Setubal and prices are very good by US standards. Space in the dorm is limited, so plan a little bit ahead if you do want to stay there.

Training: There are three sessions a day. Morning runs for about 90 - 120 minutes roughly between 10:30 and 12:30 or 1:00. Then lunch together if you are eating in. Afternoon session starts between 3 - 4, and runs until about 8, with a short break if you want one between individual training and the arrival of the regular club members between around 5:30 - 6:30. It's a varying group of club members, both kids and adults. The coaches will match you with some of them to do some drills and play a few matches after. I trained for around six hours most days. The club members' playing standard ranges from usatt 1000 or so (small kids) to well over 2000. I'm rated 1900 and there were plenty of partners above my level. I trained mostly with adults but also quite a bit with teenagers. It's a club with teams in the Portuguese leagues for both adults and juniors (and wheelchair, although I didn't hit with them) so everyone takes their TT seriously, including the kids.

Miscellaneous: I met one person in two weeks who really had no english. The Diniz speak excellent english, as do most of the club members, and the general population of Portugal if Lisbon and Setubal are anything to go by. However naturally a lot of Portuguese is spoken in the club. I learned the words for fh and bh, the numbers 1-11, and some other useful stuff for TT. You will lose nothing from the training if you have zero portuguese, but you should expect to have a lot of non-TT conversations go over your head.

Setubal is a pretty seaside town of about 100,000 people. The club is inside the football (soccer) stadium in the center of town. Everything you could possibly need is walkable within 500 meters. The beach and more bars/restaurants are about a kilometer. Google maps is your friend here if you are curious.

Online coaching: David also offers an online coaching service where he will review your match video for the only-in-Portugal price of 5 euros a set, minimum three sets. I will post a separate thread about this for people who can't travel to Portugal, but wanted to mention it here.


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PostPosted: 27 Dec 2017, 23:30 
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Thanks for detailed review - out of curiosity, how much vacation time do you have? 3 weeks in B75 camp in the summer, and now 2 more weeks in Setubal?! Somewhat jealous...

Also - any of the coaches specializing in chopping/modern defense?

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PostPosted: 27 Dec 2017, 23:56 
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Just to clarify about B75, a week there is five days, with a day off between. So three weeks at B75 is 17 days. But I do have a generous vacation allowance and used every bit of it for TT this year.

The coaches at TTPor don't specialize in defense. David did compete with LP on his backhand for a while, so I expect he could coach defense up to a pretty high level. Since I play a standard looping game I didn't ask much beyond that.If you want to know more you should email him.

At B75 there was one chopper coach and a very few defensive players. The two I saw were in the higher groups. I imagine most of the coaches there could help with modern defense, but it definitely wasn't the mainstream. It's a shame WSA went under because they had specialized short courses. If the choice is between B75 and TTPor I'd say TTPor is the better choice, because David did compete with LP, and because the instruction is so much more customized to your requirements. Being in a group of 1 to 3 just allows that more than being 1 of 8 students. If your level is seriously high already, like usatt 2200 or above, then B75 becomes more of an option.


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PostPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 00:42 
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I went back to my B75 stuff and found the chopper coach. His name is Peng Gao. Here's a video they shot of him goofing around with another coach after hours.
[youtube]http://youtu.be/RJaxSZwF_eM[/youtube]

It was fun to watch the coaches get to play after training us all day. They are good.

The other coaches in the higher groups besides Peng could definitely feed multiball and organize drills for choppers, despite not being defenders themselves. I saw that happening. In the lower groups (B75 background: 7 groups of 16 players, three coaches to a group, I was in group 6 at usatt 1800) it was harder because the skill level spread could be >400 usatt points. In groups 1-4 there were huge level disparities but all the players had mastered basic essential skills.


Last edited by BRS on 28 Dec 2017, 00:47, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 28 Dec 2017, 00:46 
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BRS wrote:
I went back to my B75 stuff and found the chopper coach. His name is Peng Gao. Here's a video they shot of him goofing around with another coach after hours.


It was fun to watch the coaches get to play after training us all day. They are good.

The other coaches in the higher groups besides Peng could definitely feed multiball and organize drills for choppers, despite not being defenders themselves. I saw that happening. In the lower groups (B75 background: 7 groups of 16 players, three coaches to a group, I was in group 6 at usatt 1800) it was harder because the skill level spread could be >400 usatt points. In groups 1-4 there were huge level disparities but all the players had mastered basic essential skills.


Cool, thanks for the clip (fixed embedding).

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 19:54 
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Thanks for the review, I'm actually hoping to attend one of the european camps during April/May.
For the TTPor camp, do you know if it is usually busier than that? Do you play mostly with coaches or other players and if with players when is the best time to go to ensure a high standard (I'm not in the US but at a guess I'd be USATT 2200-2300)?
How was getting to Setubal? Did you fly to Lisbon and get a train/taxi?

The other camps I'm looking at are in Hennebont, France and Dusseldorf, Germany. Anyone have any experience of these?


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2018, 05:59 
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I also trained in Setubal, and recommend it highly.

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PostPosted: 29 Oct 2018, 03:04 
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LordCope wrote:
I also trained in Setubal, and recommend it highly.


Did you also stay in the dormitory or rented something nearby? If so, how was it - like did you have access to a washer/dryer, how's wi-fi situation etc.

Considering a week-long trip there before the end of the year. :P

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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2018, 05:54 
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I had the pleasure of staying at TTPOR and training for over 2 months earlier this summer after the recommendation from BRS (sorry if some of this was posted in BRS' post). I couldn't recommend it more. For the cost of training and location you can't beat it. And David and his family took me in like family and they treat anyone from outside to train there REALLY well. The hospitality is amazing. I work online and so my main concern was how the WIFI would be. I never had any issues with the WIFI as I worked all around the building whenever needed.

Setubal is a beautiful medium sized city. There is delicious, cheap food all over the place. The sea is a 15 minute walk from the club and there is a park right next to the club as well if you want to chill out and relax. The club is actually inside a soccer stadium which is pretty interesting. There are amazing beaches about a 15 minute car or bus ride away or you could take a bike trip for 30-45 minutes. I was there from May-July and it was sunny and 20-30 degrees celsius almost the whole time. It barely rained. There were times when it was pretty hot in the club but nothing unbearable. The people are extremely friendly and welcoming at the club. Most of them speak English. Portuguese people in general are very social and friendly and so there is just a nice vibe in the city. I would learn a little Portuguese just to show them you are trying but it often happened that when I would speak my broken Portuguese to someone they would respond in English with a laugh.

I made trips to popular spots Lisbon, Sintra, Alentejo, and Algarve. Lisbon is a short walk and 45 minute train away. A great city to explore. The scenery everywhere you go is amazing. The coastal views are stunning. Things are more expensive in the tourist areas but everything in Setubal is very affordable even if you're coming from the US with the currency exchange to the Euro.

The dorm setting is perfectly adequate. It is a small twin bunk bed which is plenty comfortable. The shower has hot water and was fine as well. If you're used to staying in nice hotels then you might want to stay outside of the club at an AirBNB or hotel. But for the price it is a great setup. The food provided for your breakfast, lunch and dinner is very nutritious and healthy and they feed you well! And when I wanted to go out to restaurants to eat out it was no problem. I just told them not to order meals for me that day.

Training was very flexible. Because I had to work periodically throughout the day, David worked around my schedule. We typically would have a session from 10:30am-12:30pm or so and then break for lunch and then go from 3-5pm. And then there is free play after 6pm usually which gives time for more drilling and possible matches.

David runs the club with his father Domingo and David would be your main coach. He is probably close to a 2400 player and at the time I was there was chopping with long pips and has since switched back to being a two winged looper. So he can coach any type of style. He has really, really good serves as well if need help with that.

The training was heavily focused on multi ball and drilling. On Tuesdays and Thursday mornings we would work in groups. In the afternoons it was often solo coaching sessions with multi ball. If no one else is staying there then you will get personal coaching time. If there are other people staying there you would work in groups or switch out for private one on one time with David. You can also request to have structured private coaching by yourself if there are other players there. When a group of French players came toward the end of my stay I requested some time for private coaching and was happy to pay extra. As I said the cost to train there is incredibly cheap compared to say if you were to get private coaching in the US.

I'm a 1900 USATT player and I was put typically with the top junior players. My main training partners were probably 1900-2200. I don't get to play people over my level here in the US so this was quite the treat and exactly what I was looking. Depending on your level you will be placed with similar level players and often players a level above to push you. So many times David would check on me and make sure I was getting good training.

There is no need to feel intimidated about training in this environment if you're a lower level player. I saw sub 1000 players come in and they were treated just the same and given good training. Any level of player would thrive here. I watched them working with the kids as they have a large junior contingent and they are really good at developing players. They will give you the experience that you want and need. I love pushing myself in training and so David would push me to my limits. If you're a more casual player and just want a fun experience then that works too.

As for my improvement, I saw a great improvement in my techniques especially my footwork and power. I had studied under Brett Clarke and TTedge.com the previous few years so I already had a good technical base. This meant we didn't have to spend time on an overhaul of anything. It was mostly little tweaks like shortening strokes and then learning more advanced techniques like banana and forehand flicks. With that said it was tough for me to integrate everything and my level did not necessarily go right up now that I'm back in the states. Part of that is due to my mental mindset and me finding it difficult to put it all together. The thing about TT is it takes time for most of us. I would say I could see it really benefiting players who have pretty good technique who are in the 1600-1900 range. I know most people can't stay for an extended period like me but I think even a week there would help a lot. As an English player who roomed with me for a week said, coming to Setubal to train for a week was cheaper than the same amount of hour of coaching at home.

I highly recommend TTPor and learning from David. I think it's a guaranteed positive experience and you'll have a lot of fun and get the experience you're looking for.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 13:07 
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Thanks again for everyone's input :clap: - I'm heading to Setubal in early December, so will add my impressions here later.

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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2018, 01:15 
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Hello everyone
Thank you all for your kind words.
I am very happy that you are leaving here satisfied.
My commitment is the same for everyone.
Hope to see you all again :)
Best regards for everyone

David Diniz


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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2018, 04:01 
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Hello everyone!

I like to pitch in my review of TTPor of whom I read about from BRS who went there last year in 2017. I am from the USA and went to Portugal for about 4 to 5 days. I trained for 3 days at the club with David and Domingues Diniz. David will be the main coach to oversee your training. I was with two Finnish players who like me were intermediate level(USATT 1500 to 1600) and we trained with David morning sessions and also evening sessions with other club players who David matched us up to practice and play from what we learned from the morning sessions. The sessions were great with David and I learned many appropriate technique tips and drills we would cover in the morning sessions that also build to the next session. David is very observant and you can also ask for help on any areas of your game and he will accommodate your training based on that too. The local players are nice and easy going so its not hard to hit with anyone since most of them are passionate about table tennis, its really cool! After the morning session, you can request lunch with David and Domingues which they serve in the club. It is good food and very simple that it does not make you sleepy. After lunch, we get a 2 hour break until 4:00 or later and have a group session or play with other members of the club. David's English is very good as well as Domingues so you don't have to worry about communication. They have great stories and conversations during lunchtime about table tennis and life so please try to arrange lunch with them. Also, they give good tips to go visit downtown Setubal and the local restaurant where they get lunch from. The restaurant was very good which I highly recommend from myself and from my Finnish friends and also downtown Setubal has good restaurants too if ask around or use the Yelp app. Only regret I had was not spending more time to train but I hope to visit again next year. Also, there are good hotels if you do not stay at the club like Hotel Melia(serves free breakfast and 5 min walk to TTPOR) or David may have other recommendations. Uber is the best choice to get around since taxi's are bit of a ripoff. Even my Finnish fellow trainees rented a car to travel about Portugal so I don't think its too hard to get around. So, I hope my insight from my trip in October will encourage those traveling abroad to visit their club for great TT training as well as great people to be around. Best wishes!


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2018, 21:49 
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It was very fun and usefull to be 5 days in TTPor. We practised 2 times in a day and those were good practises. David is very good coach and he really knows how to deal with different level players. We were 2 backhand pimple players there in october 2018 and he taught us new skills.
There were 3 of us in morning practise and you get very individual teaching then. In the evening we also have private sessions and after that we practised with club members.Atmosphere is very nice and family like

Setubal is nice place (good food,wine and not expencive)and quite nice beaches near the town. The whole camp we had was quite cheap if you compare other camps in Europe.Living in Setubal is also cheap.

Ill say this TTPor is very good place to practise. No matter what level player you are they will teach you. Im going there again in February 2019.


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2018, 06:48 
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I've submitted TTPor info to TripAdvisor and it's now available for everyone to review here:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... ntejo.html

If you want to share your feedback with other travelers, you can leave reviews/upload photos etc. at the link above.

Full disclosure: I work at TripAdvisor, and thought it's a pity we did not have listing for them till now - after all quite a few people here went to Setubal just because of TTPor, so it definitely qualifies as 'Attraction' :)

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