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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 13:45 
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I thought it was about time I started a blog here as well, and as my season has just started, it's a good time to kick it off! ;) I felt the name of the blog is appropriate, as my game looks far from pretty, as I've had virtually no coaching, and my footwork is poor and my game unorthodox. So a few bungles and stumbles are not uncommon, but as long as I enjoy it and it keeps me in the game, who cares! 8) :lol:

As some of you know, I play in 'state league' in Adelaide, which consists of 4 member teams, where I play as a No 3.
State league got it's name from having the 'state level' players, but since the number of players at this level has diminished over the years ;( ;( ;( the name is not really that relevant anymore, as only most of the No 1 players would probably fit that tag. Each club nominates 1 (or more) teams for each grade (there are 8 grades this season, S/L and divisions 1 to 7), and all teams play against each other, and the venues is swapped around between the different clubs.

The 4 member team format is setup so that the No 1 player only plays number 1,2 & 3, which I guess is a good thing, as the difference between No 1 and No 4 is usually quite high, so that there would not be much of a match-up. Similarly No 2 only plays 1,2 & 4, No 3 plays 1,3 & 4 and No 4 plays 2,3 & 4. This means generally that matches get tougher when you play the higher position, which helps resolve the big differences in levels within the grade somewhat.
So overall we all play 3 singles and 1 doubles, making it 14 matches for the night... a fairly long night when it's played on 1 table + a shared table. :o I've started this season as a No 3, whereas I played No 4 the last few years. This is great as I get the opportunity to play some of the No 1 players, which I'm really looking forwards to! :rock:

The main area I feel I've improved in during the last year, is in blocking and attacking the balls in close with the pimples. Against some of the better loopers in the grade, I often felt like a sitting duck, as I was simply not quick enough to get to a lot of the balls when away from the table... they're just too quick and loop too fast. So I felt I should concentrate on trying to stop them from looping, or at least from a powerful loop by taking the ball early and forcing weaker returns that I might be able to attack. I can still go back and chop when this fails. Where my game has probably slipped a little is in transition between attack and defense... I'm not always quick enough to swap between the two, so I can find myself in no-man's land at times. :( :lol:

I feel it's worthwhile for me to start a blog, as I often lose track of how I'm going throughout the season, and have a habit of slipping down during the season after a good start, and being uncertain why. A blog should help me focus and keep me on track, and at times a few tips and words of encouragement can go a long ways. So comments and feedback / tips are most welcome! :up:

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 13:50 
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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 14:36 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Welcome to the blogosphere!


+100

I think it's a great way to document thoughts and feelings about the matches you're currently involved in. I don't think we should underestimate the value of sitting down to record this stuff, because, I truly believe, it can assist in getting things clearer about how things went and how things might go. I suppose it's a way to look at this game of ours from a higher ground. It can be too easy to just walk away from a night and learn nothing from it.

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 14:55 
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It will be interesting to see your posts throughout the season being that I am playing in the same competition. Remember to post any weaknesses you find against players in the grade ;) (I need all the help that I can get :lol: )

I'm not sure whether to look forward to playing you in a few weeks or not :P Hopefully it's not too embarrassing :rofl:

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 15:06 
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Thanks guys! :up:

Dan2105 wrote:
It will be interesting to see your posts throughout the season being that I am playing in the same competition. Remember to post any weaknesses you find against players in the grade ;) (I need all the help that I can get :lol: )

I guess you'd like me to include any weaknesses in my own game too? 8) :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have been thinking about posting specific weaknesses in players, but I'm not sure if it's such a good idea, as you never know who's reading this, and it may well come back to bite me next time I play them. :o

Dan2105 wrote:
I'm not sure whether to look forward to playing you in a few weeks or not :P Hopefully it's not too embarrassing :rofl:

Yes that goes for both of us! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Are you going to keep your blog up to date too?

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 15:15 
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haggisv wrote:
I guess you'd like me to include any weaknesses in my own game too? 8) :lol: :lol: :lol:


How are people going to give you tips if you don't post your weaknesses? :devil:

haggisv wrote:
Are you going to keep your blog up to date too?


I was also thinking with the start of the season I would start mine up again, definitely have some things I need ironed out in my game, and the more input the better I guess. Just need to find the time to write it up.

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 15:24 
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Well....all I can say is....its about bloody time!! :P :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 16:09 
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After those encouraging words, I'll start off...

My first night of Winter pennant, our main season! :rock: :rock: :rock: I was excited but a little nervous. I had not played this competition for a whole year, since I was sick for most of the season last year, so I expected to be a little rusty, as I don't get nearly enough practice against the higher players apart from this competition. :(

The team we were up against were probably not considered one of the top teams, so we expected we had a decent chance of winning this night. The big unknown was their no 3 players, a young players from France, who was here for about 6 months and had been put into the team without knowing his level.
When we watched this player play our No 1 player, it was clear he was going to be big threat, as he was clearly No 1 material, and probably one of the better players among the No 1s! He beat our No1 in 4 sets... our No 1 put up a good fight against him, but he was just a little too consistent. We also lost our other 2 matches, so we were down 3-0 before I even played my first match :o

I started off against their No 4, who I was obviously expected to beat. My opponent is a friend, but I've never actually played him before. His big weapon is his serve, a fast and kicking serve with his Jpen bat. He's also got LP (OX) on the other side, but he hardly uses it and it's not the easiest to control on his fast blade. We both started off scrappy...making quite a few easy mistakes. I was highly impressed with his serves...they were a fast combination of top / side, and I don't remember seeing that much kick on the table from anyway... very impressive! I struggled with them initially, but when I decided to take a step back from the table and just chop or guide them back, they didn't trouble me that much anymore. I won the first match 11-9, and things got a little easier in the next 2 games as he was no longer winning free points on his serves, and he struggled a bit with the spin on my loops. He also had trouble with my serves with the pips. I can't remember the scores but I won the match in straight sets. Since we're friends, we had a good chat afterwards about the game and his equipment, and I think he'll continue to improve and give me a tougher game next time. :oops:

We won the next doubles and singles too, so we were back at 3-3 :up: My next game was against their No 1 player...who I've played before on quite a few occasions, and although I've beaten him a few times, my record against him is not good, probably only winning about 1 in 4. He's a good looper on both FH and BH, and takes the ball very early and aggressively... he also hits very hard and has very spinny serves... not easy and not the type of style I like to play against. I knew I need to attack whatever balls I could and play aggressively, coz once he got looping he was very hard to win point from. If I could throw off his timing with the pimples I could beat him.
I started off well, returning his serves aggressively and throwing his timing off. Although I won quite a few points off my loops, I won more points off his mistakes, for which I can take some credit, as I was really mixing it up especially with the pips. I remember that I always had trouble with one of his serves... not so much returning it, but returning it well enough to stop an aggressive attack. I was ready and prepapred for them, but for some reason he did not use this serve at all? :o I won the first two sets, but then got a little behind in the next one, which spurred on his confidence, and he started ripping his loops past me again. I lost that set, and knew I had to focus hard on the next one, or he could well run away with it. It's not the first time I had lost to him in 5 after winning the first 2. :( I focussed hard again, and got a good start. He got some good loops on which forced me back, but I chopped them with the pips, and the returns were very heavy and he put most in the net. This gave me more confidence again and some of my FH attacks started to pay off too, so I won the next set to win the match! :rock:

We played our next doubles, and my partner and I did well to win that one, which evened out some of the singles losses we suffered. The teams continued to exchange wins and losses... it was going to tight!

After my doubles I felt a little drained and weak and even light-headed... not quite sure why? I might have been de-hydrated or perhaps I'm not used to the fierce competition anymore, or might be just a little too unfit. It might even have been the few chocolats I had just before our doubles? I don't know!
I tried to rest to shake off the feeling and have a good rest, but was called upon to umpire even though I had to play next. :( I umpired the next match and felt a little better afterwards. I closed my eye for a few mins afterwards, and cooled off a little more with some water on my face, and I felt a little better, so I started my next game against their No 3. After seeing him beat both our No 1 and 2, I did not expect to win this, but I thought I'd give it good go regardless, as I had nothing to lose. I did lose the match in straight sets, but I felt I played quite well against this player. I gave him plenty of trouble with the pips, and he struggled with my slower and spinny loops, although he adjusted and got better. I certainly had my chances in both the first 2 sets, but I could not quite finish them off. I forced him back from the table quite a few times, but loops which are normally winners came back, which I wasn't always ready for. obviously I need more practice against good players... that the best way to stop yourself from not anticipating a return. I discovered that one thing I need to work on is the in and out movement when I'm chopping away from the table. This player varied the depth of his loops well, and I wasn't moving well enough to get to them in good position, so I will work on that.

The night ended with the matches tied at 7:7... unfortunately when we counted games we came up only 1 game short! :envy: :envy: :envy:

All in all I felt I had a pretty good first night. I was really happy with my forehand and my movement, but also that I managed a block a lot of loops with the pips, which I have been working on in practice, but had struggled to put it into competition. I've also been trying to attack a lot more with the pips (as per leatherback's advice :up: ) and this was starting to pay dividents as well, but I must continue to practice this, as I feel there's more potential there.

How well the night goes for me often depends on good a night's sleep I get, which tend to be 50/50 for me as I struggle with sleeping. If I do geta good night sleep, I tend to trouble most players, but with a poor night sleep I feel like a zombie at times, and could lose all my matches. :( :( :( I think as long as I sleep relatively well, I should do OK this season... lets hope that continues.

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 17:05 
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Sounds like a good night for you personally, but an unlucky one for the team. We have best of 11 matches, so there can't be as close a result as that, but even a 6-5 feels hard done by a lot of the time. Not a terrible start to the season though. ;) Should have you top of the second half of teams.

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 17:58 
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great read - out of interest, using DtecS 0x?


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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 20:22 
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PRW wrote:
great read - out of interest, using DtecS 0x?

Yep, you got it! ;)

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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2012, 00:00 
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Like a story teller, good reading. :up:

I have played matches with a bunch of loopers in our club, the only way to stop them was to serve short and returning short, hit flat with invert but even better yet, attack with your LP. Disturbing their timing and no long balls are the only strategies against these loopers.

May be it is time for you to improve your LP attacking skills. ;)


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PostPosted: 19 May 2012, 20:47 
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As I probably expected myself, I've not managed to find the time to keep this blog up to date, even though I really want to keep a weekly update of my matches... I'll keep trying for the following weeks.

I've managed to find some time for some practice, and I feel I'm making some progress with being more active and agressive with the pips, as well as some improvements in my footwork. I've always had a bad habit of getting into a backhand footwork when I start blocking with the pips, leaving my forehand wide open. I seem to have finally convinced my brain that a neutral stance is better, so I'm able to block loops to my FH a lot better, and it's actually becoming quite a weapon, which is a bonus.

Apart from practicing TT, I've been busy in the background of moving my old tt reviews website to a much more organised site, as well as adding new reviews and articles. I'm resurrecting and updating some of the old reviews, and also updating all the articles as I'm moving them across, as I've learned more over time, so I can add more comments. I started the original site over 10 years ago (I think) and I still love building the site and collecting reviews and information, but it has to be organised and easy to find. Obviously there's only a fraction of the stuff there so far, but I've got plenty of time and just build it in the background.
The new site is here, see what you think? :oops: :oops: :oops:
http://tabletennis-reviews.com

I also like the site to be a bit of a announcement section for anything new relating to the forum as well as the shop, so that if either site is ever down, I can provide updates on what's happening there. Of course it will help promote the forum and shop as well, which is a bonus.

BTW Any feedback much appreciated! :up: :up: :up: Or if you'd like to contribute something there yourself, even better! :oops:

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PostPosted: 19 May 2012, 21:50 
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Wow, an original and unique name fur die Blog.

You have heard of my recent nickname, Mr. Tarlack (Eliminated), so DeHaggis, you will certainly overcome your stated title soon.

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PostPosted: 19 May 2012, 22:47 
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Der_Echte wrote:
You have heard of my recent nickname, Mr. Tarlack (Eliminated), so DeHaggis, you will certainly overcome your stated title soon.

I have no idea what that means :( :oops:

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