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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2016, 08:06 
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Def-attack wrote:
I just realised, if you chop like normal but on a serve, you are already a bit away from the table. Meaning easier to get next loop.


Yes, the problem is that when your chop doesn't have much spin on it due to the fact that the serve was no-spin or underspin, an opponent who's good at doing the kind of loop-kill shot that's being described here is going to put a lot of pace on it, and it's very hard to get it back. I'm not talking about the regular third-ball attackers. Those are easy enough to deal with for defenders. I'm talking about those few players Lorre described in the initial post in this thread who have mastered this kind of crazy third-ball loop-kill, usually involving a big forehand and boosted Chinese rubbers. I'm very familiar with the experience he describes. I play well against both attackers and defenders at my club and elsewhere, but there's this one guy who's not nearly as good as some of the players I regularly beat but who uses long fast low-spin/no-spin serves at my pips and then tries to finish the point with a loop-kill with the boosted Hurricane on his forehand. I try varying placement and spin on returns, but he moves very well and just hits through spin. (I have the most success floating long, high balls deep into his backhand corner.) If I can return this third-ball shot, I can outplay him in many of our rallies, but he still wins way too many points with this kind of third-ball loop-kill. Now, if I were Chtchetinine, I'd be able to chop those attacks back much more often than I can, but alas, Chtchetinine is Chtchetinine, and I'm me.

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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2016, 22:11 
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Yes, difficult type to play with... They use your pimples as your weakness, so the challenge is to play very sharply & with lots of variation.

I don't think option 3 is a solution, cause indeed you will lose so much control and it would take a lot of learning.

Thinking about quitting the game (option 4) because you have trouble handling a certain type of players, don't know... that would be... no, don't do that!

In addition to option 1, you could also try to place some returns with LP very short (esp. when their serves don't have much backspin or topspin), or sometimes try to attack the service. Variety could be the key to disturb them in their killing :-)

In addition to option 2, if you get a service to your backhand, you could also try to twiddle and return their service with lots of backspin from the inverted side.


Lorre wrote:
I'm having a very good season this year. I probably will rise two grades this year in my league and I'm starting to beat +-2300 USATT players in training regularly. I even train regularly against a player who plays in the second highest league in the country and I don't have difficulties keeping his topspin balls on the table, be it FH or BH (this guy has an superb touch and superb loops).

In competition I beat everyone who comes in my way (material players, loopers, chiselers...). However, I'm struggling against one kind of player: 3rd ball loopkillers. I'm finding this is a tactic used more and more by young players (+-20 years and younger). I never/rarely encounter this type of game in my age level (+-30) or older players. Not even among the higher graded player I train with.

So, what do they do? They serve (some serve normally, others serve with less spin) and cream the next ball (or wait for a later ball played long with the pips). My returns are low, long and are mostly placed in an inconvenient place (BH, crossover point or far FH). That does not seem to bother them very much. They cream it to a very inconvenient place with their hyperboosted-in-factory rubbers and if the ball comes back, they smack the return (thse balls often still contain a lot of backspin, but are short and high).

Now I'm breaking my head over these kind of players, because if you see their player's card (the card mentioning all wins and defeats of the current season), you see most of them don't even will get a higher grade next season or they'll even receive a lower one. These players are also very keen to win against me, probably because they know I'm doing so well. F****** :swear: ! :D

Anyway, I'm having four solutions to overcome these kind of players. These are:

1) Better placement: probably shorter and sometimes higher when deep to let them miss their loopkill. If they get it on the table, my return must be a lot deeper. Still it's a risky game, because I don't find any place on the table safe for these kind of players and I'm always under great pressure.

2) Learning to push backspin with my P1-R against their no-spin shots or even pushes: now I don't know if this can be done and if it can be done, will it be an effective method to prevent their loopkill? I read Joo uses a thicker sponged P1-R because he has better control in pushing shots (creating more of his own spin?) and I read a review on Noppentest of Fab (great review, btw :up: ) stating you can create moderate backspin on pushes with the thick P1-R.

3) Switching to SPs: these will cover the whole weakness, but this will be a whole new learning curve. I'm also afraid SPs can't create the heavy backspin I'm currently producing and will have (a whole lot?) less control.

4) Quitting the game: Yes, even when having the prospect of rising two levels next season, I don't find this type of TT appealing anymore. I find the current plastic ball makes this type of game a lot easier for that kind of players. With the celluloid ball you had spin to work with and unpleasant ball flights they had to deal with. These two features have diminished a whole lot since the introduction of the plastic ball.

I'm wondering how the pro's dealt with these kind of players (if they ever did). You don't see that kind of game very often, if at all, at the top level. So pro defenders have to have a solution to deal with these kind of stupid games.

Any thoughts? Oh yes, I'm a left-handed defender.

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PostPosted: 04 Feb 2016, 01:01 
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New to forum.
If you want to get slower return try to chop hard and deep with your inverted rubber or very fast and deep return with pips ,keep in mind that both can be attacked so stay far enouth to defend and close enouth to return push or initiate own attack .


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PostPosted: 08 Feb 2016, 23:34 
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Sorry for the late response. It's been a hell of a month. :(

I want to thank all you guys for the advice. :up: I've been thinking about these kind of players a bit and I realize option 2 (getting enough backspin on the ball with P1-R) isn't a viable tactic. Neither is transitioning to SPs an option and quitting the game was just to express my desperation with these kind of players and the threat they pose to my future rating (which is important for playing in a higher league next year).

Now this leaves me with three options. But first I want to quote the best defender on this forum:

leatherback wrote:
You can give a high level player the longest lowest shot with the most spin you could possibly muster and if they are ready for it, they are not going to miss.

So the only strategy here is make them not be ready. People train to be mentally ready for the ball to land in any location however you can never 100% succeed this...and your body always is either cheating to one side and if your return is good they won't have time to kill it.

So watch them and play where they aren't. I know this seems rudimentary and basic but this players train like this as much as you train your defense if not more. So even your best return (being defensive in nature) will most likely be looped efffectively, but it's that extra step or though that you make them have that will slow it enough to not kill it past you.

...

Rant over. Haha


I didn't find this a rant at all. ;) The section I highlighted, is the core for beating these kind of players. It's a mental game and you need to make them doubt (rendering their shots punchless in their mental world) or make them reckless (lowering their percentage shot below 50%). The highlighted section is IMO one of the three options to make them doubt or reckless. If you play the ball in the place where they aren't 100% ready, the ball will be a direct fault or it will be a tad slower and be returned by a good defender with enough placement and spin. Now to make them doubt/reckless there are two other options:

1) Twiddle: Creating a lot of backspin can get inside their head. Attacking with the pips on the FH can also disrupt their game plan. Twiddle when they're serving and do it out of their sight, making it a surprise with which rubber you'll be playing your next shot.
2) Variety or placement: especially low/short is hard to deal for these kind of strategies, again getting into their head.

I asked my friend (the one playing in the second highest league of the country) why he just doesn't do this strategy against defenders. He answered he used to do that, but he learned to loop the first ball because it's a lot safer option. So it's a strategy you don't encounter a lot on the highest levels because in the end it's self-defeating, this being strenghened by the fact these guys are not near the rise in grade I'm about to have.

To answers a couple of other posters:

mynamenotbob wrote:
I don't know if this is helpful or not but there are a zillion videos of Chtchetinine around now. How does he deal with it? Can't you do the same?


I'll call him tomorrow. He's playing the Challenger Series right now. :lol:
All jokes aside: good advice. (y)

vanjr wrote:
And while Chtchetinine can deal with it to some degree what is his world ranking? Point-there are some players who can eat a defender for lunch, no matter what strategy is employed!


Well, I don't believe this.

TraditionalTradesman wrote:
I'm not talking about the regular third-ball attackers. Those are easy enough to deal with for defenders. I'm talking about those few players Lorre described in the initial post in this thread who have mastered this kind of crazy third-ball loop-kill, usually involving a big forehand and boosted Chinese rubbers. I'm very familiar with the experience he describes. I play well against both attackers and defenders at my club and elsewhere, but there's this one guy who's not nearly as good as some of the players I regularly beat but who uses long fast low-spin/no-spin serves at my pips and then tries to finish the point with a loop-kill with the boosted Hurricane on his forehand. I try varying placement and spin on returns, but he moves very well and just hits through spin. (I have the most success floating long, high balls deep into his backhand corner.) If I can return this third-ball shot, I can outplay him in many of our rallies, but he still wins way too many points with this kind of third-ball loop-kill. Now, if I were Chtchetinine, I'd be able to chop those attacks back much more often than I can, but alas, Chtchetinine is Chtchetinine, and I'm me.


TTman describes exactly the guys I'm talking about. Well, these players use in-factory boosted Euro/Jap rubbers, but it's the same strategy.

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PostPosted: 09 Feb 2016, 12:04 
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Thanks for the shout out:)!

I do have a comment about the short return. Especially with pips the short side swipe return is amazing to change things up and often leads to an easy return.....however....if you intend to start a chopping rally? Short is not always the best option. Especially if these players are 3rd ball killers....that usually means they are really good with their short game as well...(incoming flip kills)

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PostPosted: 10 Feb 2016, 00:26 
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leatherback wrote:
Thanks for the shout out:)!

I do have a comment about the short return. Especially with pips the short side swipe return is amazing to change things up and often leads to an easy return.....however....if you intend to start a chopping rally? Short is not always the best option. Especially if these players are 3rd ball killers....that usually means they are really good with their short game as well...(incoming flip kills)

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You mean they can kill my side swipe shots?

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 02:27 
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No, the short side swipe is great if you intend to try to attack to start the rally, but if you intend to chop, short ball will just allow them to control the angles and you will eventually have to chop a long low spin ball which will lead you back to what you were trying to avoid.

side swipe is the way to go if you are setting up for an attack.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 03:19 
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leatherback wrote:
No, the short side swipe is great if you intend to try to attack to start the rally, but if you intend to chop, short ball will just allow them to control the angles and you will eventually have to chop a long low spin ball which will lead you back to what you were trying to avoid.

side swipe is the way to go if you are setting up for an attack.


Yeah, I see. You're right. Nevertheless it's not a bad tactic to learn. Most of the ones I encounter just use this tactic because they can't play against pips when there's spin in the game. So if I give them a side swipe to an unconfortable place on my receive, then they are the ones in defense mode and I can attack the weaker ball they'll be giving. So then they have to stop using the low spin serve/kill loop tactic, essentially forcing them to play my game.

So, if I want to start a chopping rally, I need to chop long to a place they aren't prepared for? Am I right? Can you give a real-life example?


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 04:26 
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Lorre,

Since I don't play competitively these days, the only thing that I can comment on comes from 30-40 years ago. Even though rubbers were much slower and produced less spin than nowadays, and blades were slower too (I think), I did occasionally come across table tennis players that attacked my backhand with the same style that you describe. In those days, I used anti-spin on my backhand, as indicated in my signature, so it was straightforward for my opponent to serve deep to my backhand, and then try to blast the next ball through me.

I found that the best tactic involved my placement of the serve return, mostly returning the ball very deep and fast, and in a difficult position to attack if they weren't fast. That is, I would return the ball to my opponents backyard, or very wide to their forehand. Then, after returning the serve, I would quickly move backwards to prepare for their attack. If I returned the attacking ball, all was fine. However, in contrast to nowadays, presumably because of the improvement in the equipment, table tennis players that used that tactic were often rather erratic.

I sometimes do practice drills with 2200 players at my club, in which they practice their third ball attack. With P1R I use the same approach as I describe above, and all still works fine.

Please don't ever think about quitting table tennis. I was away from our wonderful sport for 25 years. Sometimes I feel bad about that decision, but I mostly feel fortunate to have returned to table tennis, and I enjoy playing table tennis every moment.

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Last edited by birding&table.tennis on 19 Feb 2016, 04:37, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 04:27 
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First off, let me just say that Leatherback always gives the most thorough and best advice. His response to my classic D question has stuck with me ever since, so I really value and appreciate his opinion.

leatherback wrote:
You mentioned that your returns are low and long to an uncomfortable place. This is good, but it's only the first step!

You can give a high level player the longest lowest shot with the most spin you could possibly muster and if they are ready for it, they are not going to miss.

So the only strategy here is make them not be ready. People train to be mentally ready for the ball to land in any location however you can never 100% succeed this...and your body always is either cheating to one side and if your return is good they won't have time to kill it.

So watch them and play where they aren't. I know this seems rudimentary and basic but this players train like this as much as you train your defense if not more. So even your best return (being defensive in nature) will most likely be looped efffectively, but it's that extra step or though that you make them have that will slow it enough to not kill it past you.

This is basic, but not easy to do at all and something I strive for daily!!! This is why the best choppers train for placement. If you look at some of Bogey's videos, he's not just chopping for chop's sake, he's aiming for targets. I hope to be that good some day, but it's a slow process. Watching Chtchetinine, he's a master of chopping and pushing to where his opponents are not. Any training suggestions for how to make this a habit would be great!

leatherback wrote:
1. Don't ever expect a weak return from your opponent....ever. Expect the best possible power loop at all times and you will be ready for a weaker one. Continue to try to draw an error, but don't expect one. I try to apply this tactic every match no matter the skill level.

So true and something I'm terrible at remembering. I go through my ups and downs with this. One thing that happens here even when I'm dilligent is when I expect a big return but get a drop shot last second and I'm caught out of position. Grrr... :@


Quote:
3. Even pros can't spin with p1r. I know joo uses it and says he has better pushing control, but he does not mean spin. He means the feel. The "sink in and rebound long time on your racket" feel. The reason they never twiddle to receive serves with inverted is because they know that the spin does not matter. They want the control and depth and placement that long pips allow you to have over a myriad of serves your opponent provides.

Does this mean you think OX pips are viable? I'm not using OX at the moment, but I do have that setup, and play it still. (Shouldn't I know)

leatherback wrote:
2. They train hard third ball loop kills for 10hrs a day? You must train to defend hardball loop kills 11hrs a day. (I know this is ridiculous but it's making a point lol)

Brilliant! So true. We are supposed to be the masters of consistency as defenders.

leatherback wrote:
3. Don't worry about the spin on p1r. You don't need it. Use the long pips ability to control all types of spin.

The only thing I notice is something Bogeyhunter pointed out to me, is that sponged pips with the grip are easier to use in preventing 3rd ball attacks on serve returns due to the slight spin you can put on them. With OX, I find that it's too predictable for them to read the spin and too easy for them to return, unless I attack with them, which is lower percentage. It sounds like you're saying that spin isn't importantl, and that it's almost entirely about placement.

But honestly, I need a how-to on service returns vs. various balls. Vs. under, vs. top, vs. side, vs. no-spin. Also, might be nice to delineate between OX and Sponged grippy pips for those. I'm good vs. serve when my opponents are 1700 or less with OX, and about 1900 when I used sponged P-1R. Above 2000, I feel like those guys loop everything past me no matter what I do.

Last, the thing personally i struggle with the most are soft players. I love guys that blast away (up to a point). It's the soft returns I struggle with. I need pace, and can't figure out how to be comfortable against similar level guys that play with a soft touch. Hell, I even struggle with this vs. people lower than me.

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 07:28 
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Japsican wrote:
Last, the thing personally i struggle with the most are soft players. I love guys that blast away (up to a point). It's the soft returns I struggle with. I need pace, and can't figure out how to be comfortable against similar level guys that play with a soft touch. Hell, I even struggle with this vs. people lower than me.


What do you mean with soft players, Jap? Can you elaborate?

birding&table.tennis wrote:
Please don't ever think about quitting table tennis. I was away from our wonderful sport for 25 years. Sometimes I feel bad about that decision, but I mostly feel fortunate to have returned to table tennis, and I enjoy playing table tennis every moment.

Steven


Thx for the advice, Steven. I'm not thinking about quitting TT anymore. I just love the game too much. I'm also not thinking about quitting LPs anymore. They just feel so damn right for my BH.

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 07:38 
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Lorre wrote:
leatherback wrote:
No, the short side swipe is great if you intend to try to attack to start the rally, but if you intend to chop, short ball will just allow them to control the angles and you will eventually have to chop a long low spin ball which will lead you back to what you were trying to avoid.

side swipe is the way to go if you are setting up for an attack.


Yeah, I see. You're right. Nevertheless it's not a bad tactic to learn. Most of the ones I encounter just use this tactic because they can't play against pips when there's spin in the game. So if I give them a side swipe to an unconfortable place on my receive, then they are the ones in defense mode and I can attack the weaker ball they'll be giving. So then they have to stop using the low spin serve/kill loop tactic, essentially forcing them to play my game.

So, if I want to start a chopping rally, I need to chop long to a place they aren't prepared for? Am I right? Can you give a real-life example?


its difficult to give a real life example but I will try.

what is the one thing you mentioned that you felt was holding you back against this type of player.

TIME.

this is the biggest factor that someone who wants to chop needs to consider.

if someone gives you a short serve, they have immediately shortened the time that you will have on your next shot (they have shortened the distance that the ball needs to travel before it is hit by them. Therefore, if your opponent serves short, if you want to chop, you must find a way to slow his shot so you have enough time to back up and react. Fortunately with the ball being short you have lots of options (i.e. uncomfortable position, angles,hitting, pip side swipe long fast push etc.)

at a higher level you will notice that when serving to pips people NEVER serve short. They serve long or half long. This is because with pips you can ignore alot of spin that would make controlling the short game difficult and can basically do anything you want and alot of people are scared of this. Therefore if your opponent serves short, a high level strategy would be to be aggressive and push fast and hopefully attack the resulting ball. DO NOT play passive when your opponent serves short. maybe the odd short return here and there but the best strategy is fast and long and get ready for the resulting weak ball. You have given your self time.

half long serves.

here is the tricky part. half long you have a little bit more time to back up and chop, however you will still be pressed. This depends on your style. Here is where OX pips shine. if they serve half long, hit it. fast and long. pushing will give them time as well and you cant get a good angle to make them uncomfortable so you need to employ the same strategy as the one above except dropping it short and pushing fast are less viable. dropping short here is a very very bad choice. difficult. low percentage and most of the time it will end up half long for your opponent with you stuck at the table and now you are a sitting duck.

long serves.

simple. everyone does them to you and they are the best thing for you. don,t return fast because they you have shortened your time. don,t worry about hitting long serves, dont worry about trying to get them to miss. just relax. wait. and chop back a very long long ball. dont worry too much about placement. just give yourself lots of time and i dont care who is looping against you....you will have time.

some things to note. notice how i didn't mention spin? because at this point in the rally it doesn't matter, after it will. but right now all that matters is depth and height. (depth more so)

also. the worst thing you can do is return a ball half long to your opponent. it gives him angles and the ability to move forward which powers his attack. ALWAYS very long.

a good training method is to put a beach towel on the table and leave the back 10 cm of the table uncovered and push with a partner. hit the uncovered spot.


hope this helps


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 08:01 
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Japsican wrote:
First off, let me just say that Leatherback always gives the most thorough and best advice. His response to my classic D question has stuck with me ever since, so I really value and appreciate his opinion.


Thank you kind sir :)

Japsican wrote:
This is basic, but not easy to do at all and something I strive for daily!!! This is why the best choppers train for placement. If you look at some of Bogey's videos, he's not just chopping for chop's sake, he's aiming for targets. I hope to be that good some day, but it's a slow process. Watching Chtchetinine, he's a master of chopping and pushing to where his opponents are not. Any training suggestions for how to make this a habit would be great!.


watch your opponent. there is always more room on one side of the table. and if there isn't, push at their backhand, and if they have a crazy good backhand then push at their middle. anything too make them move even a step. more movement is better.


Japsican wrote:
So true and something I'm terrible at remembering. I go through my ups and downs with this. One thing that happens here even when I'm dilligent is when I expect a big return but get a drop shot last second and I'm caught out of position. Grrr... :@


don't let your body be ready for the best shot let your mind be ready. also sometimes the best shot is s drop shot :rock:

Japsican wrote:
Does this mean you think OX pips are viable? I'm not using OX at the moment, but I do have that setup, and play it still. (Shouldn't I know)


of course they are viable, they have strengths and weaknesses. Ox you have the ability to control the first few shots better then sponged pips and have an easier time initiating attack because of this control.


Japsican wrote:
The only thing I notice is something Bogeyhunter pointed out to me, is that sponged pips with the grip are easier to use in preventing 3rd ball attacks on serve returns due to the slight spin you can put on them. With OX, I find that it's too predictable for them to read the spin and too easy for them to return, unless I attack with them, which is lower percentage. It sounds like you're saying that spin isn't importantl, and that it's almost entirely about placement.


Bogey is a great player and is 100% right. if you are returning the ball long in order to push sponged pips allow you to impart your own spin a little bit so you can control the serve. this spin isnt going to bother anyone though, it just allows you the control to be ready to play as a chopper. Ox pips allow you to make fast closer table shots using the opponent spin against them and are good at setting up an attack. sponge long pips and inverted are almost used in the same way when playing as a chopper and receiving serves. OX pips are not. in the serve receive the importance goes like this 1. placement, 2. height. 3. spin. in that order always.

Japsican wrote:
But honestly, I need a how-to on service returns vs. various balls. Vs. under, vs. top, vs. side, vs. no-spin. Also, might be nice to delineate between OX and Sponged grippy pips for those. I'm good vs. serve when my opponents are 1700 or less with OX, and about 1900 when I used sponged P-1R. Above 2000, I feel like those guys loop everything past me no matter what I do.


the simplest answer to this. is chop. chop. chop. chop. chop.

the reason they are blasting it bast you is that it isn't long or low enough. you have lots of options with all of those shots. but first. be ale to chop them all long and low. sponge pips or ox pips it doesn't matter. then once you chop. get your ass back there and get ready for a loop that you have just given them.

Japsican wrote:
Last, the thing personally i struggle with the most are soft players. I love guys that blast away (up to a point). It's the soft returns I struggle with. I need pace, and can't figure out how to be comfortable against similar level guys that play with a soft touch. Hell, I even struggle with this vs. people lower than me.


if they play soft the biggest thing is just relax. its not hard to return their shots. you are just thinking that they need to miss and they wont if they are playing soft. THEY WILL. it will just take a few more on the table. and that is no problem because they arent giving you difficult ones to get.

dont try to win. just try to play a beautiful game. attackers try to win.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 18:04 
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Perhaps a bit late in the discussion, but I'll drop my bits in here anyway...

A league weekend in previous season, I saw one player doing much what you describe. Play short and he would flick hard, long and here comes the loop kill. Won every match with apparent ease. Our team's match against them was scheduled as the last in our group. My turn to face him, I experienced much the same as everyone else:
- His serves, strong, mostly the same every time, but so good that there really wasn't much I could do other than to get it safely back.
- His returns, he could smack a winner from any ball, regardless of spin, placement and speed.

First set, it was apparent from the outset that I was losing. I managed to keep it going for long enough that I could identify one kind of ball he was not able to instantly kill: fast no-spin to crossover point. He had apparently trained to handle any spin there could possibly be on the ball, but no spin was an unknown situation...

Basic tactics: Mainly serve and return deep to "the pocket", no spin. Return off the bounce whenever possible to give less time to react.

Facing this kind of play, he had to focus more on his own game, relying on his excellent footwork but generally standing slightly away from the table. (Need more time.)

Tactical development: Moving away from the table, he was not always ready for a flick. This opened the opportunity for me to vary with short serves/returns going off the sides (that is the "see where he is and play where he ain't" advice already given).

He had no trouble moving around to get to everything I sent his way, but now he was too late for the kills. Getting impatient, he tried more risky shots. Succeeded on some but failed more. And the match was mine...
leatherback wrote:
dont try to win. just try to play a beautiful game. attackers try to win.
Excactly!

That was a match where textbook strategy against defenders (play mostly long, and vary with dropshots to keep them moving back and forth), slightly modified, worked well against an all-out attacker. He is a better player than I, so had he been more patient and put his mind to the game, he would have beaten me easily. He stuck to his winning strategy when it started losing, and when he lost the match he blamed the pips and the fact that I'm a lefty. I'm not sure that he learned anything...

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2016, 23:11 
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leatherback wrote:
watch your opponent. there is always more room on one side of the table. and if there isn't, push at their backhand, and if they have a crazy good backhand then push at their middle. anything too make them move even a step. more movement is better.

Awesome, thanks. Last night I was extra dilligent in pushing/chopping to where they aren't, and to their elbow. All the while twiddling. This worked brilliantly when I was concentrating, and I was "King of the Table" for just one night. (Stayed at the winners table).
One thing I did while twiddling was that I stopped being too concerned with their ball and letting that determine which side I twiddled to (for the most part) but rather I twiddled randomly, and reacted appropriately to the spin with whatever rubber happened to be up. I think reducing one variable (thinking about where to twiddle to) helped me be more consistent. I suspect I've been making my game too complicated.

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dont try to win. just try to play a beautiful game. attackers try to win.

Another wonderful pearl of wisdom! I'm going to quote you in my signature (if that's okay) as a reminder. I'll remember this when everyone around me is trying to tell me to attack everything.

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