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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2016, 06:48 
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The other day a buddy of mine uploaded our match where I finally got over, after some time, and beat him. Instead of watching in delight, I was more horrified in watching my play.

I stand too upright and don't move my feet enough. They look like they're set in stone. The strange thing is I'm still athletic. But my footwork stinks. I'm starting to think that athleticism & good footwork are not mutually exclusive. I am of the hope that footwork, much like a lot of other TT things is a skill and can be learned & improved upon.

Anyways, determined to improve on this, Monday I worked on some drills in my basement. one where I shuffle stepped touching the table just by the net back & forth. i don't know of the name of this drill but I'm sure you've seen it.

Then I hit against the robot and deliberately tried to widen my stance and bend my knees more. Steps in the right direction right?

Well I am finding out why table tennis is a young man's game. I'm 37 and the last two days I can tell my knees are tender & a little beat up. I won't lie it's rough.

Has anybody else experienced this? Does it get better? Can one be middle aged and still have good footwork? I want to get there but I worry I can't do it without injuring myself. Something I'm prone to having. I had a tendentious issue in my right knee years ago that has since gone away since wearing a compression sleeve every time I play.

I watched this video the other day because I like He Zhi Wen.



What do you guys think about He Zhi Wen's stance? I think I could pull that off. Admittedly, his feet are a little wider apart than where I keep mine and he's good about alternating on his feet to try to keep them light. Something I don't do. But I wouldn't say he drastically bends his knees. They're bent but also relatively straight.

But as for Lars, he's really good about playing low and bending his knees. Almost at 90 degree angles at times. I fear there's no way my knees would ever let me play that low consistently without straining something.

What do you guys think? Have any of your had this problem? Feel free to share footwork thoughts in general.

PS - If you don't record your matches, I highly recommend it. 1 - You can see what you need to work on. 2 - You can also build a mental database of where your opponents are weak.

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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2016, 15:09 
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Count Darkula
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37 and weaks knees? Welcome to my world Suds :lol: I'm 51 and I've had an arthritic knee since I was 37. I've been back at TT for about 10 years solid now and I can tell you it doesn't get any better. Bad knees will keep you from moving much, especially if you are prone to really hurting one if you move in just a certain way. I have no PCL (it snapped when I was 20). So my knee will give way without notice on certain movement, and the pain is very unpleasant. And knowing this, I have trained my mind NOT to move too much. As a youngster I can recall doing things like diving horizontally to the floor to reach a TT ball before it landed, so my mindset never used to be not to move. But now, I try to keep my movement down to little foot turns and shuffles just to get into the right position to play the ball. I also improvise shots when I feel I can't get into position in time. I will often muck up a big FH smash because I lose power through the knee in the push of my leg into the shot. And my opponents know only too well that they can catch me out wide on the FH because I can't move out there too fast (although sometimes I surprise them though :devil: )

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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2016, 19:56 
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If you've only just started doing it suds79, it's not really surprising it cause you some aches... you need to build it up slowly. I'm sure you're not too old to make significant improvements in your footwork... just cut down the session times and don't overdo it.
Another worthwhile thing is to do is some gym work... building up muscles is a great help to protect the joints and reduce the chance of injury. People have been telling me this for years and I never did anything about it... then I started doing gym for fitnes and overall health, and I have no more knee or elbow trouble. :oops:

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