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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2017, 19:48 
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I always plan to make notes on my opponents in my regular competition, even though I never seem to get around to it.

Do you makes notes on your opponents, so that when you play them again you reminds yourself what worked or didn't work? What do you note down?

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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2017, 20:56 
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003 Style Master
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Are these opponents you play several times a year or just those you play occasionally and might forget their weaknesses?

Further to this, is there perhaps a mental checklist we should have, of things to test against opponents to establish what to actually note. ie short backspin serve to forehand, long wide serve to backhand, slow spinny loop etc

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2017, 00:12 
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At most, I note what rubbers and blade my opponent uses. Based on the spin-reaction, serve types, rally hits and misses. I don't know if it is a sure bet that any opponent will succumb to the same weaknesses especially if they are expecting you to attack them on it. Can be dangerous if they cover their weakness better than you can cover your own problems.

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2017, 01:01 
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I had a team-mate who recorded all his match results to great effect. I did see his notebook but unfortunately it was in Chinese so I can't say what he wrote down. :lol:

Frome what I gather he recorded each score and made notes as to what tactics worked and what didn't.


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2017, 15:27 
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haggisv wrote:
I always plan to make notes on my opponents in my regular competition, even though I never seem to get around to it.

Do you makes notes on your opponents, so that when you play them again you reminds yourself what worked or didn't work? What do you note down?

I'm a tactician so I really study my competition opponents & mentally make sure I remember their strengths & weaknesses. :?: :?: But I don't put anything down in hardcopy. |( |(

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Last edited by Gollum on 21 Jan 2018, 12:10, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2018, 00:01 
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I used too, noting especially their weaknesses, weak side etc..... but not so much now!!!!!

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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2018, 00:52 
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I knew of two players who did this - both low level, and very defensive (one a chopper / lobber / one hap LP).

I think you are better off focusing on your game, how you want to play, and adapting. I have general tactics to use against types of players, but generally it's about dominating them with my game. Many thing could have changed about your opponent between you playing them (they might have made notes on you!)......but you are better long term. especially if entering tournaments where you can play players for first time, being able to think on your feet and analyse and work out how to win during games. Top players would use recent video footage and analysis which is useful - but the older historic evidence gets the less useful it becomes.

May be worth while while you are learning tactics / match play as new player...

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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2018, 01:35 
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I agree that focusing on your game is important, but I have a different take on note-taking. I think that it actually causes one to focus on their games, by forcing you to think about what makes opponents difficult, and what they did that bothered you. Therefore you can have a plan for when you do train, to work on those difficulties.

It then makes me more conscious of what MY deficiencies are, and what my strengths are, and because my coaching and training is less often than most, I can make sure it's focused and meaningful.
For example:
Style? BH oriented looper.
What did I have trouble with? Spinny flicks to my elbow.
What did I do wrong? My footwork didn't put me in a better position to loop that. I better train against that.
Basement swipe serve to my forehand. Show coach video to work against that.

Style? SP Hitter.
What bothered me? Flat hits.
What bothered them? Spinny loops to the pips. Better work with my coach on that.

Style? Lobber
What bothered me? High side spin lobs especially to my backhand. I whiffed many.
What did I do wrong? I didn't run around enough to use my forehand, and I didn't account for the sidespin so I missed the ball completely.

See what I mean?
I think only focusing on your game can sometimes pigeon-hole you towards being effective against conventional players. Then you play a lobber and you lose 0-3.

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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2018, 01:53 
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Yes - all useful - although a video of you playing would be much better than notes - often a player thinks they are executing a shot perfectly and they are not!

I think general notes are useful, reflecting after a game - struggled with x, as you say, so you work on it - I was referring more to keeping notes on a specified opponent(s). I don't think you should adapt your game too much in this way - make them adapt to your strong game!

***also, do take notes on what you did well!!!!***

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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2018, 22:07 
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I used to keep a detailed table tennis journal. Tons of notes on equipment, form cues, effective strategies against various opponents and styles...

But somewhere along the line, I got away from it. I was reading one over recently and it was quite the goldmine. I highly recommend the practice and perhaps this thread is the virtual "kick in the pants" I need to take up the practice again.

Keep the journal in your training bag and jot down thoughts in between games and matches. It's really quite easy to do.

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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2018, 18:41 
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My current database of opponents reads 171 Opponents and 211 Matches.
During the league matches I make notes, while my team members are playing and some notes after my own match.
The day after, I store these notes in the Pingskills Vault (a free service from Pingskills!), where you can store a profile of your opponent and additionally also store the matchresult with specific match notes. As you understand, I highly recommend this database platform.

General format of my opponent profile:
- left/right handed
- playing style (looper/defensive attacker etc)
- strong points
- weak points
- type of service(s)
- type of service return (strong/weak against which serve)
- Effective tactics

Like mentioned above in this topic, most value comes from developing a better understanding of your own game; most valuable opponent in the database is a guy with my name......Actually it's a profile of my own game. Like Larry Hodges use to say; you should be able to write a book about your own game.
Secondly by doing this often, it helps to develop a better feel for tactics, up to a level that I'm able to recognize patterns during the match and as such able to adjust my tactics during the game.
At last, it gives some advantage to read the profile before playing an opponent, but it is mostly limited to certain types of services that this person dislikes and the type of service return against this opponent that works efficient.

Furthermore I totally agree that above process should be combined with video recording and analysis of your own game. I did this a few times about two years ago and it proofed to be extremely beneficial (NOT seeing all of the things, I thought I did..... :D ). I even developed an analysis sheet in Excel with many pivot tables showing all kind of info on service, service return, FH/BH domination etc. Only problem is that this whole process was extremely time consuming and unfortunately I do lack time to do this consistently.

At last, I also have a simple excel in which I store notes (predominantly technical but also some tactics) about key aspects that I learn/observe during training sessions or matches or learn from a forum/youtube topic. It's basically an ID number / observation / category (eg FH loop/ BH counter / FH push etc). I read it from time to time and like mentioned above, it's very valuable because in my busy life I tend to "forget" a lot of lessons learned, so by this notes my precious training time is not gone to waste.


Final thoughts; I'm kind of an analytic person, so I enjoy doing the stuff above. In the end table tennis is just for fun and everybody has his own joy/approach, so relax and enjoy the ride!

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 04:10 
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If I can remember:
What equipment they use
What serves didn't work for me
What serves they use

That's pretty much all I need. If I know I'm going to play someone and I have video...then I will indeed study it.


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 06:51 
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I created a TT Playerbase/diary template a while back coaching 6th,7th, and 8th graders. I barely use it but at the time the students I was teaching really enjoyed this process, and told me it was very helpful to their development. Not sure if they were just being nice and trying to get on the starting rotation or not, either way I thought I'd share it with you all :)

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 10:37 
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hopper wrote:

Final thoughts; I'm kind of an analytic person, so I enjoy doing the stuff above. In the end table tennis is just for fun and everybody has his own joy/approach, so relax and enjoy the ride!


"Hooper" I am very similar, I'm a tactician, read the game, don't play to your opponents strengths & I love winning but if I don't thank you for the game :clap: But bring on our next encounter. :lol: 8)

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 11:18 
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I used to keep notes on my own game and a couple of notes on opponents. To be honest though, it became too much like hard work so I stopped. Now I make mental notes during games which I share with team mates or I may on occasion record how each point is won during a game and share those with a team mate at the turn round eg opponent won 3 points with their forehand but you won 7 points from your opponents errors from their forehand side so forget the winner that wizzed past you and focus on exploiting their forehand weakness.

Players can also improve over time so a weakness at the start of the season may become a strength when you next play them. If I do scout players for team mates, it's usually done on the day when their opponents are playing other players so the information is fresh and relevant.

Ultimately, when the team I played for got promoted to the premier div, I found I had more success at the start of matches, by game 2 they were used to me and by game 3 they had worked me out and destroyed me. Good players are able to do that, they don't need notes, they work people out quickly during the game and probably they enjoy the challenge of doing that.


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