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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2018, 23:36 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Pickelman, here is a good youtube channel that explains more: https://www.youtube.com/user/G309

There's a lot to go through there. Here's a good place to start.



Great video, thanks. I took notes. Right now I'm the world's most accomplished 1000 rated beginner haha. Is that a title to have or what?

That's basically how I play right now, but I can tighten up my game to make fewer mistakes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty much a defensive player? Blocks, pushes, and sometimes a terrible smash.


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2018, 23:44 
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pgpg wrote:
pickelman wrote:
mynamenotbob wrote:
Get long pips on your backhand and you'll be quickly destroying those pushers. That is guaranteed and it's especially a good system if your mobility isn't the best. Another piece of advice is the Mazunov blade isn't good for your level. It's very heavy and too fast. If you need any more help or advice about this style of appropriate equipment, this forum is the best resource in the world.

I have never done forums, my friends do, but I have to tell you guys that I am so grateful for your advice and kindness. I really thought about quitting after my last two experiences. I've never taken a break since about the 10th grade, and I've played on and on and on. Basement Club Champ the Pickelman! Haha. I like to smash, but I'm not too consistent with it and my thumb grip. When the ball goes high and middle, I hit the Pickel Smasher (wrap my hand around the blade and come straight down on it with all my power, and I weight about 230 haha). I like to come straight up with the top of my paddle pointed down for a flat kill shot; hit and lift up, driving the ball straight. Does it get spin? I have no idea, but it is fast and hard to return. mynamenotbob yes, the Maz is very, very fast and heavy. I do a push backspin servie and it is a tough one, unless I play those 1600 guys, they just laugh and say that is a weak serve. One guy counter hit all day, and was a tough smasher. My footwork is awful. I really wish one of you guys could coach me, of course I know that cannot happen. I would like to get to 1500; I could really tear up the basement club then. Win me another title. mynameisnotbob, this will sound really dumb, but I've been embarrassed so much lately in ping pong, what is long pimples? I know what anti is, because one of our younger players uses it and he is tough with it. He's got a strong forehand smash too. Nobody in the basement league loops, or really plays any spin on the ball. One guy tries big loops but he misses all the time hahaha. Sorry for the long reply.


Welcome to the forum, 'pickelman'!

You do have an interesting dilemma: stay a relatively big fish in your small pond, or venture out to the club and lose for a very long time with a hope of becoming a better player. I was in a similar situation several years ago (although I have to say that I did not play for 26 years with the grip like yours, which is likely to be a problem for you - more on that below).

I still think it's worth a try to play in the better club - but I would suggest playing people closer to your level - 1600 ones are too tough for you right now (just like 2300 ones are for me - very different game). Most clubs have a decent range of skilled players (mine does) - aim for folks like yourself, kids who are just starting out, senior citizens etc.

Long pips (LP) are a type of rubber that has pips on the outside (smooth rubber has them facing the sponge, that's why it's called inverted - originally everyone used pips (till 1950s?) - and these pips are longer (duh!), compared to short ones. One can do a lot of weird things to the ball with these, especially if your opponent puts a lot of spin on their shots, that's why folks here suggested them for you. Also, a lot of long pip shots are pushes and blocks, and these can be easily done with your current grip, which is extremely backhand (BH) oriented, which probably would help. Note, LP probably won't help much against your current crowd, since I suspect no one there uses spin that much, but it might be very handy against these pesky 1600 players in a better club, especially if they don't play against pips much.

The reason your grip is is a problem: it is good for BH pushes and blocks, perhaps, but awful for forehand (both for pushes and attacks), which is essential to be a better player. I have no idea if you can change - 26 years is a lot. Try a couple of lessons if you can and see if you can develop a forehand with proper grip - it will pay off in the end.

By the way - the guy in your club who is trying big loops and missing for now: once he starts landing them, all of you are toast :) .

Thank you for the warm welcome. You are right about my grip. I wonder why it is so bad for forehand shots? Also, it does allow me some good serves. Let's say I switch to the Seemiller grip, is this possible? Would I get better? It may end up being better if I stay in the basement club. That way I'm looked at as the man, and people brag on me instead of saying I'm no good, I'm a beginner, and so on. The more I think about it, the better it sounds. I win at the basement, get beat like a drum in big clubs. And some of the egos of these higher rated players can be downright rude. Guess it boils down to feeling good or bad about yourself? I'm never gonna be any good in the big league. A guy from the big club texted me today and said if I sandbag and get in the 900s, I might place in some tournaments.


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2018, 23:52 
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Should I use long pips or anti? Some people at the basement use backspin and block. a few have trick serves.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 00:10 
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pickelman wrote:
Should I use long pips or anti? Some people at the basement use backspin and block. a few have trick serves.


It can help, especially with serve receive. But it might bring another set of issues (at least in the club setting) - if you want to read more, my blog is here:

viewtopic.php?t=27372

I would give it a shot - you can get really cheap LP setup from colestt.com or zeropong.com (assuming you are in the US).

As far as your other decision on whether to play in big club or not - really your call, it's your hobby, so no need to do something you don't enjoy. And you will lose a lot there. Player attitudes can be an issue too - I guess I'm lucky that we don't have many of these.

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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 12:42 
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You can see what Seemiller does with it, so theoretically you could do that too. Alternatively you could switch to a normal shakehands grip which allows for better wrist flexibility on the backhand. You'll probably lose games for a while as you get used to it but in the end you'll play better. Mind you, there ARE people who play at the 1500-1600 level using a thumb-behind grip, though probably not with the thumb rigidly pressing against the back of the blade, like I've seen the frat boys do it.

Don't let losing games at a big club bother you - rather, take it as a compliment that players who play better than you (for the moment) WILL play with you. The opposite is a great deal worse - there are players who will refuse to play against those who don't play as well as they do, because they don't find it fun. And in truth, if someone IS a great deal inferior, it isn't that much fun for either player unless both go into it with the right attitude - rather than play straight games, play set pieces so both can practice specific shots. He might, for instance, serve backspin so you can push to his backhand, and then he can practice his backhand loop. And then he can serve long topspin to your forehand so you can try driving the ball. If you both go at it with tricky serves then neither will be able to practice anything other than trying to figure out the serves (which is also useful, but not all the time).

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 13:31 
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iskandar taib wrote:
You can see what Seemiller does with it, so theoretically you could do that too. Alternatively you could switch to a normal shakehands grip which allows for better wrist flexibility on the backhand. You'll probably lose games for a while as you get used to it but in the end you'll play better. Mind you, there ARE people who play at the 1500-1600 level using a thumb-behind grip, though probably not with the thumb rigidly pressing against the back of the blade, like I've seen the frat boys do it.

Don't let losing games at a big club bother you - rather, take it as a compliment that players who play better than you (for the moment) WILL play with you. The opposite is a great deal worse - there are players who will refuse to play against those who don't play as well as they do, because they don't find it fun. And in truth, if someone IS a great deal inferior, it isn't that much fun for either player unless both go into it with the right attitude - rather than play straight games, play set pieces so both can practice specific shots. He might, for instance, serve backspin so you can push to his backhand, and then he can practice his backhand loop. And then he can serve long topspin to your forehand so you can try driving the ball. If you both go at it with tricky serves then neither will be able to practice anything other than trying to figure out the serves (which is also useful, but not all the time).

Iskandar


Hi guys. Iskandar, we had our basement club play tonight. I went 12-2 in matches played. We play best 2 out of 3 games.
I noticed that I didn't play well. I had a friend keep track of my smashes, and my percentage was: 3/26. That's 11 percent if you are wondering. I turn my paddle down, with my thumb pressed against it and go for a big flat hit smash. Even worse in doubles, but I didn't keep count. If I had played in the city league I'd have lost almost every game. Blah, I don't need that haha. I must say that I see why I'm 1000. I didn't push as much, and I sure missed a lot more. Very, very, very frustrating. City league is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from me anyway. They have a big tournament there by age and asked me to attend. I said, "why would I waste $50 on your tournament when I know I don't have any chance of winning?" Is that crazy or what? Anyways, I am thinking about becoming a total defensive player. No more of my terrible smashes. I just don't think I can do shakehands grip. I'd drop to 500 or worse I'd say. Any advice guys? I see that your ratings are awesome. Funny how I go to the city league and they make fun of me and tell me I'm no good, but at the basement people ask me how did you get so good?


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 13:54 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Get long pips on your backhand and you'll be quickly destroying those pushers. That is guaranteed and it's especially a good system if your mobility isn't the best. Another piece of advice is the Mazunov blade isn't good for your level. It's very heavy and too fast. If you need any more help or advice about this style of appropriate equipment, this forum is the best resource in the world.


Hi mynamenotbob. I played at my basement club, didn't do well, but won. I am thinking about becoming a defensive player. I only hit 11% of my smashes tonight. Awful. You were talking about long pips. I just use one side of my paddle with my thumb on the back. What if I put long pips on one side and anti on the other haha. Thanks.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 14:11 
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pickelman wrote:

Hi mynamenotbob. I played at my basement club, didn't do well, but won. I am thinking about becoming a defensive player. I only hit 11% of my smashes tonight. Awful. You were talking about long pips. I just use one side of my paddle with my thumb on the back. What if I put long pips on one side and anti on the other haha. Thanks.


Normally I wouldn't suggest a beginner use long pips or anti, at least until they've learned the basic strokes on forehand and backhand and decide to adopt long pips/anti out of an understanding of how they'd like to play. In your case, however, since you only use one side of the racket you can then put long pips or anti on the other side. To bring it into play you can either 1) twiddle (i.e. flip the racket over) or 2) turn your wrist around (much easier on the backhand side than on the forehand). You could actually do both, as the situation warrants. DO be aware that LEARNING to use long pips or anti is a long process by itself - you have to practice it. In the beginning (and for a long time) you'll pop balls up, push them long or hit balls into the net. You don't want to use the long pips or anti ALL of the time, but part of the time. You give up a lot of attacking power when you use them.

pickelman wrote:
Hi guys. Iskandar, we had our basement club play tonight. I went 12-2 in matches played. We play best 2 out of 3 games.
I noticed that I didn't play well. I had a friend keep track of my smashes, and my percentage was: 3/26. That's 11 percent if you are wondering. I turn my paddle down, with my thumb pressed against it and go for a big flat hit smash. Even worse in doubles, but I didn't keep count. If I had played in the city league I'd have lost almost every game. Blah, I don't need that haha. I must say that I see why I'm 1000. I didn't push as much, and I sure missed a lot more. Very, very, very frustrating. City league is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from me anyway. They have a big tournament there by age and asked me to attend. I said, "why would I waste $50 on your tournament when I know I don't have any chance of winning?" Is that crazy or what? Anyways, I am thinking about becoming a total defensive player. No more of my terrible smashes. I just don't think I can do shakehands grip. I'd drop to 500 or worse I'd say. Any advice guys? I see that your ratings are awesome. Funny how I go to the city league and they make fun of me and tell me I'm no good, but at the basement people ask me how did you get so good?


Doesn't sound like a USATT tournament where they have ratings classes. If they have ratings classes you'd enter the U-1000 (there's even a U-900 or U-800 in some cases) and you'd probably have a good chance of winning there. Or if you find a club that has a ladder or league, they'd have different levels there as well. But I was talking earlier not about tournaments or leagues, I was talking about open club play.

As for your smashes - try putting more topspin on them. By the way, being a "defensive player" doesn't mean no attacking - in fact, you NEED to have an ability to attack to be a good defensive player. What you REALLY need to do is practice the shots you miss. Don't play so many games, find someone else who wants to practice. Might not be able to do that at the basement club, but you should be able to at a regular club.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 15:03 
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iskandar taib wrote:
pickelman wrote:

Hi mynamenotbob. I played at my basement club, didn't do well, but won. I am thinking about becoming a defensive player. I only hit 11% of my smashes tonight. Awful. You were talking about long pips. I just use one side of my paddle with my thumb on the back. What if I put long pips on one side and anti on the other haha. Thanks.


Normally I wouldn't suggest a beginner use long pips or anti, at least until they've learned the basic strokes on forehand and backhand and decide to adopt long pips/anti out of an understanding of how they'd like to play. In your case, however, since you only use one side of the racket you can then put long pips or anti on the other side. To bring it into play you can either 1) twiddle (i.e. flip the racket over) or 2) turn your wrist around (much easier on the backhand side than on the forehand). You could actually do both, as the situation warrants. DO be aware that LEARNING to use long pips or anti is a long process by itself - you have to practice it. In the beginning (and for a long time) you'll pop balls up, push them long or hit balls into the net. You don't want to use the long pips or anti ALL of the time, but part of the time. You give up a lot of attacking power when you use them.

pickelman wrote:
Hi guys. Iskandar, we had our basement club play tonight. I went 12-2 in matches played. We play best 2 out of 3 games.
I noticed that I didn't play well. I had a friend keep track of my smashes, and my percentage was: 3/26. That's 11 percent if you are wondering. I turn my paddle down, with my thumb pressed against it and go for a big flat hit smash. Even worse in doubles, but I didn't keep count. If I had played in the city league I'd have lost almost every game. Blah, I don't need that haha. I must say that I see why I'm 1000. I didn't push as much, and I sure missed a lot more. Very, very, very frustrating. City league is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from me anyway. They have a big tournament there by age and asked me to attend. I said, "why would I waste $50 on your tournament when I know I don't have any chance of winning?" Is that crazy or what? Anyways, I am thinking about becoming a total defensive player. No more of my terrible smashes. I just don't think I can do shakehands grip. I'd drop to 500 or worse I'd say. Any advice guys? I see that your ratings are awesome. Funny how I go to the city league and they make fun of me and tell me I'm no good, but at the basement people ask me how did you get so good?


Doesn't sound like a USATT tournament where they have ratings classes. If they have ratings classes you'd enter the U-1000 (there's even a U-900 or U-800 in some cases) and you'd probably have a good chance of winning there. Or if you find a club that has a ladder or league, they'd have different levels there as well. But I was talking earlier not about tournaments or leagues, I was talking about open club play.

As for your smashes - try putting more topspin on them. By the way, being a "defensive player" doesn't mean no attacking - in fact, you NEED to have an ability to attack to be a good defensive player. What you REALLY need to do is practice the shots you miss. Don't play so many games, find someone else who wants to practice. Might not be able to do that at the basement club, but you should be able to at a regular club.

Iskandar



Probably almost be better if I started from scratch. I am very inconsistent with my offense. Worse than 50/50. That's good advice. I never practice. Warm up, but I don't practice at all. Everything I do is from memory-or reaction. The tournament isn't USATT, but I'm in the US. It's a tournament based on age brackets. For the "big time" players. I doubt anyone is in it that isn't 1500 or up. They are really a big clique. They do like you to come so they can get your $50.


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 16:37 
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One thing I've learned about table tennis. Differences between even adjacent levels can be stark. A difference of 200 ratings points means the person ahead will likely win 85% or more of the time. But there's always the possibility of getting better, it's a matter of practice (and coaching, so you can practice correctly). But the difference between even players at your level and the general public is also stark - hand the random person on the street a racket, they won't be able to return simple topspin shots.

Everyone starts out where you are, being inconsistent. Even 1500-1600 players are inconsistent as heck. But you get better IF you put the effort in. That means DELIBERATELY practicing those shots you miss and learning new shots. Find someone of about your level who also wants to practice, go early to your club before other people arrive and accuse you of hogging the table, and spend the time actually practicing. You can play games afterwards. When you DO play games, don't just push, even if that's how you usually win, you know you can do that already, deliberately use the shots you currently miss. Every time you miss, try and figure out why you miss. And then do it again. Don't care if you end up losing, it's the price for improving. Eventually you'll get better at it.

These days we're lucky in that there are numerous training videos on YouTube. Watch some of those.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 20:13 
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Here’s the lowdown on long pips on a combination bat (long pips on one side, conventional rubber on the other).

1. You can return tricky serves a lot easier.
2. You can attack pushes with a punch shot.
3. You can make toxic blocks against topspin shots
4. Your overall control is better.

There are players who got to 2000+ rating doing just that. No loops or smashes at all.

Plus you can flip the racket in your hand to the inverted side and still have spinny serves, push, hit and loop in you want to.

After some dedication and practice, you can take down those 1600s if you play a smart game.

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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 21:53 
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pickelman wrote:
iskandar taib wrote:
You can see what Seemiller does with it, so theoretically you could do that too. Alternatively you could switch to a normal shakehands grip which allows for better wrist flexibility on the backhand. You'll probably lose games for a while as you get used to it but in the end you'll play better. Mind you, there ARE people who play at the 1500-1600 level using a thumb-behind grip, though probably not with the thumb rigidly pressing against the back of the blade, like I've seen the frat boys do it.

Don't let losing games at a big club bother you - rather, take it as a compliment that players who play better than you (for the moment) WILL play with you. The opposite is a great deal worse - there are players who will refuse to play against those who don't play as well as they do, because they don't find it fun. And in truth, if someone IS a great deal inferior, it isn't that much fun for either player unless both go into it with the right attitude - rather than play straight games, play set pieces so both can practice specific shots. He might, for instance, serve backspin so you can push to his backhand, and then he can practice his backhand loop. And then he can serve long topspin to your forehand so you can try driving the ball. If you both go at it with tricky serves then neither will be able to practice anything other than trying to figure out the serves (which is also useful, but not all the time).

Iskandar


Hi guys. Iskandar, we had our basement club play tonight. I went 12-2 in matches played. We play best 2 out of 3 games.
I noticed that I didn't play well. I had a friend keep track of my smashes, and my percentage was: 3/26. That's 11 percent if you are wondering. I turn my paddle down, with my thumb pressed against it and go for a big flat hit smash. Even worse in doubles, but I didn't keep count. If I had played in the city league I'd have lost almost every game. Blah, I don't need that haha. I must say that I see why I'm 1000. I didn't push as much, and I sure missed a lot more. Very, very, very frustrating. City league is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from me anyway. They have a big tournament there by age and asked me to attend. I said, "why would I waste $50 on your tournament when I know I don't have any chance of winning?" Is that crazy or what? Anyways, I am thinking about becoming a total defensive player. No more of my terrible smashes. I just don't think I can do shakehands grip. I'd drop to 500 or worse I'd say. Any advice guys? I see that your ratings are awesome. Funny how I go to the city league and they make fun of me and tell me I'm no good, but at the basement people ask me how did you get so good ?


It sounds like you enjoy winning matches against your buddies (nothing wrong with that) and going through the prolonged stretch of losing in the better club is not something you'd be interested in. That's the impression I'm getting, more or less.

May be then you do want to try LP - your current grip should be OK and it might add another degree of confusion for your opponents (you still might lose more matches at first as LP plays very differently from inverted and you'll need time to adjust).

Beyond that - I'm not sure what else to suggest, not a lot of experience here with specifics of your grip and basement game in particular. Videos might be somewhat helpful to see what you can do better in general and against specific opponents, but not sure if you want to go through the trouble of making and posting them.

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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 22:44 
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There’s a woman named Ann Alvarez who uses long pimples on both sides with a basement grip. Her highest rating was 2116. Even now at 75+ years of age she’s rated 1911. There used to be some video of her playing online, but I couldn’t find any today.

Here’s a photo of her grip. Just showing you what is possible if you went the long pip route with a basement grip. It will take hard work.


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annalvarez.JPG [ 39.66 KiB | Viewed 232 times ]

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PostPosted: 06 Jul 2018, 23:00 
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There's a guy in my local club who plays with your grip, thumb on the back. It gives him a pretty lethal bh but no fh at all. He basically plays bh all over the table, which is not ideal.

If you are going to make major changes to your grip and equipment, you might want to consider changing to penhold (jpen) with short pips on one side, and no rubber on the other. That would let you push, block and smash. It would take a lot of getting used to, but there is effectively no ceiling (none that you will reach) to that style.

Making any of these changes is virtually certain to lower your level at first. You will lose matches at your basement clubs to people you beat easily now. From your replies to other suggestions it sounds like that will make you unhappy and you may not stick with the new equipment and style. So you sort of need to decide if you are willing to put up with that temporary heartbreak of losing. IMO, it is much more fun to play table tennis when you learn more different skills and the game becomes more tactical. But it is a lot of time and effort to learn new skills, and most people.don't want to invest so much in TT.

One idea if you do try something new -- go to your local club and play at first with your old setup. Win all the matches so you feel good that you can still beat everyone. Then play the rest of the night with the new setup, and don't worry about winning or losing, just try to learn as much as you can as fast as you can. When you start winning enough matches with the new setup/style, stop using the old one at all.


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2018, 01:22 
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Here’s the lowdown on long pips on a combination bat (long pips on one side, conventional rubber on the other).

1. You can return tricky serves a lot easier.
2. You can attack pushes with a punch shot.
3. You can make toxic blocks against topspin shots
4. Your overall control is better.

There are players who got to 2000+ rating doing just that. No loops or smashes at all.

Plus you can flip the racket in your hand to the inverted side and still have spinny serves, push, hit and loop in you want to.

After some dedication and practice, you can take down those 1600s if you play a smart game.

I like the above, a lot and I'm also interested in the short pips J penhold idea. I've decided I'm gonna work at this and get better. A friend just offered to let me use his Robo Pong 2050 as long as I want. I have no idea how to use it haha. I've plyed so long that I owe it to myself to get better. Like I've said before, growing up and as an adult, never had access to a coach, or high rated players like you guys. I appreciate you all taking the interest to help a plug amateur like myself. The picture of the lady using the basement grip has inspired me...that is really amazing. My thumb lays to the right on the back of the paddle, and I have been extending my index finger to the right, sort of hooking around the edge of the paddle with it. Honestly, it does feel better with just the thumb. What notbob says appeals to me a lot, but also what brs (hope I get your username right off of memory) does too. If you guys don't mind helping me, I'd like to try this. If I can get to 1800 or better, that would be more than I could dream of. I'm a pretty good punch blocker, always done it. But as I've tried to play more Seemiller style, I've quit just using the thumb and now use index, which seems to make the punch block not as good. I figure at my age it is better to take what I have and make it better than starting over; I believe that would take a lot longer and I would lose all that I know from that-if that makes any sense. Thanks guys. I guess I need to pick between what notbob says and brs said. I've never tried penhold, but I do hold my paddle upside down or to the side with my pickelman thumb grip haha. Can this robot help me? Naturally, I want to improve fast. Thanks Oh yeah, I ordered an instructional dvd set my Seemiller and some other guy. Now, I'm not sure if that grip is for me. I'm sorry for so much indecision...just trying to figure out what to do going forward so I can get better and work on the right grip and play.


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