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PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 07:33 
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Hi all (?) and welcome to the inverted retriever sub topic. This is your friendly moderator speaking. I see from the other new Technique sub topics that there is some traffic already, with threads such as philosophy & tactics etc. Hopefully we rare inverted retrievers will be able to share our experiences here.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 09:37 
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Good on you for volunteering as a moderator! I have to ask.....what is a retriever? Do you lob?

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 09:51 
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Yeah, I've been wondering about this, too. Please explain. :up:

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 10:54 
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When I saw the description, I assumed primarily fishing with some lobbing, chopping and distant counter looping thrown into the mix...


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 12:23 
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THE GAMEr wrote:
Good on you for volunteering as a moderator! I have to ask.....what is a retriever? Do you lob?

throw a stick and findout :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 13:04 
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Hi everyone,

As far as I am concerned, the gentle art of retrieving consists of, well, retrieving every shot played against you ... or die trying. What this means is where you have some sort of control of the situation, doing so in a way that the opponent's next shot is not an unreturnable put away. Where you are really scrambling to return the ball it is sometimes just forcing the opponent to have to play one more shot, no matter what shot you have to play to do so.

Some of this applies to some extent to other styles, in particular pushblocking.

My particular style can include lobbing, fishing, chopping, a very small amount of counter looping, most of these shots with some sort of side spin on them, whatever it takes to get the ball back. Often opponents place me in the same box as choppers, hence the title of my blog, "Retrieving not chopping".

My mottoes include:
"It's not how much spin is on the ball but how much spin the opponent thinks is on the ball"
"Don't let the opponent get into a rhythm"
"Don't return the ball the same way twice in a row if you can help it"
"Vary, vary, vary"

Against lower level opponents, it is often enough just to continue to get the ball back.

Against slightly higher level opponents, a lot of side spin and back spin will usually do the trick.

Against higher level opponents again, varying the amount of spin on various shots seems to do the trick.

It is amazing the number of people that have problems putting very high long placed balls away so that they cannot be retrieved.

High enough level opponents can rush me so I don't get the opportunity to use enough variation, loop me till I put the ball way too high or out, or use the angles put the ball out of reach.

Anticipation and footwork must both be good to be a retriever. I remember one ex State level player playing me and being amazed that I got my bat on almost every shot, even though they may not have gone back in, and lost to him.

Other players, often with better looking or "classical" style have accused me of "not playing table tennis", I think meaning that I did not try to win in the usual way. Don't worry, I am trying to win. Roadrunner has accused me of being a player who thinks most about the game. I think he means that I will try to vary my approach if it is not working.

To Rodderz - if you give me some stick in a match you may well find out too :)

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 13:31 
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From what I gather from your description it really is a subtle change in attitude to 'normally' retrieving or returning the ball. Would you say that even if you have an opportunity to be more aggressive with your stroke you'd still prefer just to get the ball back over with a level of strategy, be that spin, placement or height (or combinations of these)?

Would you also say that retrievers aren't necessarily those who run around the court like their pants are on fire?

I have a team member who, although he has the aggressive strokes, prefers instead (and quite automatically) to take a few steps back when the game begins and just loves returning any ball from about 2, 3 even 4 metres away. Then there are those players that play a close-to-the-table game and pretty much block, block, block ... and add small variations to their blocking.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 13:34 
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Would you say someone like Jun Mizutani was a sort of quasi-inverted retriever?
He seems to naturally give ground and wear down the opponent by keeping the ball in play, before trying to counter attack.


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 15:44 
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Oskar said:From what I gather from your description it really is a subtle change in attitude to 'normally' retrieving or returning the ball. Would you say that even if you have an opportunity to be more aggressive with your stroke you'd still prefer just to get the ball back over with a level of strategy, be that spin, placement or height (or combinations of these)?

Would you also say that retrievers aren't necessarily those who run around the court like their pants are on fire?

I have a team member who, although he has the aggressive strokes, prefers instead (and quite automatically) to take a few steps back when the game begins and just loves returning any ball from about 2, 3 even 4 metres away. Then there are those players that play a close-to-the-table game and pretty much block, block, block ... and add small variations to their blocking.


If the ball is "just right" then I may attack, but mostly it is wearing the opponent down through attrition; when you are in a rally where the opponent is smashing and the retriever is retrieving with different spins, it is instructive that the attacker may be dreading having to hit each successive smash.

I try not to have to run all over the court, but it does happen when the opponent can use the angles. I do try to anticipate what is going to happen, but cannot do this all the time. It is easiest with "orthodox" trained players.

What you describe in your team mate may just be a preference for playing at the mid to long range distance from the table, giving him time to play his shots. People often have a preference for particular shots, or a perception of being bad at other shots. Others as you say have a strength of blocking. These players I typically give nothing to block.

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 15:47 
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Quote:
poor_knight said: Would you say someone like Jun Mizutani was a sort of quasi-inverted retriever?
He seems to naturally give ground and wear down the opponent by keeping the ball in play, before trying to counter attack.


I can't say. When you get to that level, I am pretty sure you need some sort of attack - attack before you get attacked. I don't know that anyone in the top 100 men are retrievers, but I am happy to be corrected :)

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 15:56 
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How far from the table do you play on average?

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 15:58 
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Oskar wrote:
Yeah, I've been wondering about this, too. Please explain. :up:

Gee... And I thought I was the only one who did not know :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 15:59 
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Retriever wrote:
Quote:
poor_knight said: Would you say someone like Jun Mizutani was a sort of quasi-inverted retriever?
He seems to naturally give ground and wear down the opponent by keeping the ball in play, before trying to counter attack.


I can't say. When you get to that level, I am pretty sure you need some sort of attack - attack before you get attacked. I don't know that anyone in the top 100 men are retrievers, but I am happy to be corrected :)


Is Mikael Appelgren a retriever?

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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 16:09 
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Def-attack wrote:
Retriever wrote:
Quote:
poor_knight said: Would you say someone like Jun Mizutani was a sort of quasi-inverted retriever?
He seems to naturally give ground and wear down the opponent by keeping the ball in play, before trying to counter attack.


I can't say. When you get to that level, I am pretty sure you need some sort of attack - attack before you get attacked. I don't know that anyone in the top 100 men are retrievers, but I am happy to be corrected :)


Is Mikael Appelgren a retriever?


Yeah, that's a better example.
From what I've seen of Appelgren I would personally classify him as such.


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2013, 16:14 
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Even back in the days I was a double inverted player, I always enjoyed falling back and playing defensively from mid-court while looking for a chance to counter-attack.

My most used shot was the fishing shot.
For a local club-level player, the fishing shot is surprisingly effective.
I'd sometimes be playing a "normal" at-the-table game against someone who has strong and consistent backhand and forehand attacks who was wiping me off the court - and then I'd drop back and start fishing and he'd just miss a lot of "easy" attacks and lose the match. I think partly because it is not a common shot you see, and he wasn't used to it...but also because the effect of topspin becomes more pronounced the further you are from the table (as in the arc and dip of the ball, plus the kick off the table). Especially if the opponent is hitting heavy spin to you, you can return back a lot of that spin with even an abbreivated fishing stroke.


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