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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 01:08 
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mickd wrote:




Forehand looks fine. Lots of good stuff there. Paddle comes back, knees torso and body seem coordinated to me!

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You are 'sitting down' as you hit the backspin with your backhand while your arm is coming up. Need to be done 'sitting' when the ball is hitting your side of the table and coming up before you strike the ball so your arm and body are doing the same thing. I may be wrong about the exact timing here but when I tell people to 'sit down' as the ball touches their side they tend to get it. I'd isolate the backhand vs backspin in a simpler drill until the timing is better. Also go lower with sitting.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 01:13 
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I went to D.C. yesterday and played in a Sun league in a local club. I don't know whether or not this became obvious during the camp, but my usual problem is that during tournaments, I can do very good during a pre-tournament warm-up, then play a couple matches fine, but after that I start losing focus, missing my BH shots, and my game starts to fall apart in general. So in the league yesterday, I played first 2 or 3 matches pretty well, but then that happened, leaving me unhappy about the rest of the matches.

Am I trying too hard and hence getting tired too soon? How do I address the issue of not being able to keep my game up during the entire tournament?


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 01:20 
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BRS wrote:
Fastmover, that's what I was trying to say when I pissed you off by calling you too big and slow to play an all fh game (not my exact words, and this is why I don't try to coach people very often, something about my approach rubs them the wrong way).


As far as I remember it was NextLevel saying it.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 01:21 
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I think Russ's comments on Mick's videos are spot-on. Nothing to add. Fixing backhand timing can be the second rung of hell. But you(mick) are waving touch at the ball with your hand, you need to prepare the stroke with your body first and power the stroke with it. It probably feels better than it looks which is usually a sign that it could be better if the gap between perception and reality is bridged.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 01:35 
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ziv wrote:
I went to D.C. yesterday and played in a Sun league in a local club. I don't know whether or not this became obvious during the camp, but my usual problem is that during tournaments, I can do very good during a pre-tournament warm-up, then play a couple matches fine, but after that I start losing focus, missing my BH shots, and my game starts to fall apart in general. So in the league yesterday, I played first 2 or 3 matches pretty well, but then that happened, leaving me unhappy about the rest of the matches.

Am I trying too hard and hence getting tired too soon? How do I address the issue of not being able to keep my game up during the entire tournament?


Do you take towel breaks every 6 points? Do you take the full minute between games? Do you control the tempo of points at a pace you are not rushed? Do you use your time out when your down 0-1 and 2-4?

Many of these things players at the 1000-2000 level just don't do. I don't think I would ever tell you to not work so hard during points...but give yourself a break between points and regroup. It helps me a lot. We did none of it at the camp and it's fine to just push physically too when training. Well I had to towel break so I didn't lose the paddle :)

Also...I do all of these things too when I get tired. I can feel it happening when I don't pace myself. I think the true first sign is me not moving my feet much, which causes pushing and missing balls. Then my serve goes. Desire to win points off the serve goes up 100x.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 02:00 
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fastmover wrote:
BRS wrote:
Fastmover, that's what I was trying to say when I pissed you off by calling you too big and slow to play an all fh game (not my exact words, and this is why I don't try to coach people very often, something about my approach rubs them the wrong way).


As far as I remember it was NextLevel saying it.


Ben said it more directly than I did. I didn't understand why you focused so much on pivot when I felt you had a good backhand and that most tall players played balanced games. You brought up Wang Liqin and I simply gave up.

I have accepted that everyone's game develops unevenly. And I wish you had come to camp. I don't know anyone who doesn't work on their backhand to reduce their footwork demands. But I do know one person who acts like being asked to use his backhand to reduce his footwork demands is an insult.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 02:08 
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ziv wrote:
I went to D.C. yesterday and played in a Sun league in a local club. I don't know whether or not this became obvious during the camp, but my usual problem is that during tournaments, I can do very good during a pre-tournament warm-up, then play a couple matches fine, but after that I start losing focus, missing my BH shots, and my game starts to fall apart in general. So in the league yesterday, I played first 2 or 3 matches pretty well, but then that happened, leaving me unhappy about the rest of the matches.

Am I trying too hard and hence getting tired too soon? How do I address the issue of not being able to keep my game up during the entire tournament?


I don't know how that league works, but could it be that you are playing stronger players later on (would definitely be true for tournaments, as you are getting into SE stages after 2-3 matches)? At least in our league if I'm doing well early on, I'll get stronger opponents later.

It could be indeed as you are getting tired your BH punch/smash/... goes first. I keep hearing that SP shots are tricky and require precision. Perhaps opponents start to figure you out too. But yeah, mental attitude and focus can be an issue - in my experience I tend to go downhill as league night progresses, getting angrier about missed shots etc. I try to remind myself that "it does not matter", but my lizard brain disagrees.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 02:13 
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ziv wrote:
I went to D.C. yesterday and played in a Sun league in a local club. I don't know whether or not this became obvious during the camp, but my usual problem is that during tournaments, I can do very good during a pre-tournament warm-up, then play a couple matches fine, but after that I start losing focus, missing my BH shots, and my game starts to fall apart in general. So in the league yesterday, I played first 2 or 3 matches pretty well, but then that happened, leaving me unhappy about the rest of the matches.

Am I trying too hard and hence getting tired too soon? How do I address the issue of not being able to keep my game up during the entire tournament?


You need to figure out what causes your technique to suffer and whether you can do something to reduce your margin of error. It could be any or many of a variety of things. Maybe you don't use your body as well or your timing goes off. It could be you are tired but knowing what being tired affects is key. But it could just be that nothing is happening.

This is why when you get serious about this sport, your coach needs to watch you or you need to record your matches.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 02:49 
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ziv wrote:
I went to D.C. yesterday and played in a Sun league in a local club. I don't know whether or not this became obvious during the camp, but my usual problem is that during tournaments, I can do very good during a pre-tournament warm-up, then play a couple matches fine, but after that I start losing focus, missing my BH shots, and my game starts to fall apart in general. So in the league yesterday, I played first 2 or 3 matches pretty well, but then that happened, leaving me unhappy about the rest of the matches.

Am I trying too hard and hence getting tired too soon? How do I address the issue of not being able to keep my game up during the entire tournament?


Are you physically tired and your body reduces the level of attention bc close attention takes a lot of energy? That's fitness and pretty straightforward to improve.

If you feel physically good but mentally can't concentrate the options are different. You could play fewer matches per day. Or forfeit one match in between so you have a longer break. Or you could try a lot of the stuff Russ suggested to keep your focus every point. Taking more yime between points and having a pre-point routine for both serving and receiving might help. It takes a lot of discipline to execute those routines, anf people may get mad bc you play slow, even if it is three seconds per point.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 08:55 
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wilkinru wrote:
Forehand looks fine. Lots of good stuff there. Paddle comes back, knees torso and body seem coordinated to me!

You are 'sitting down' as you hit the backspin with your backhand while your arm is coming up. Need to be done 'sitting' when the ball is hitting your side of the table and coming up before you strike the ball so your arm and body are doing the same thing. I may be wrong about the exact timing here but when I tell people to 'sit down' as the ball touches their side they tend to get it. I'd isolate the backhand vs backspin in a simpler drill until the timing is better. Also go lower with sitting.


Thanks! I've been putting so much more emphasis on my backhand over the last 2-3 years because I felt like my forehand was at a much higher level.

I know what you mean, very easy to understand. I had some coaching last week after a 1.5 month break due to work and we spent a little time on just the backhand against underspin. I'm planning to go this week too, so I can definitely practice that a little more then. I think isolated I squat a little better, but during free play, I mostly just stay in my usual ready position.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 08:58 
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ziv wrote:
I went to D.C. yesterday and played in a Sun league in a local club. I don't know whether or not this became obvious during the camp, but my usual problem is that during tournaments, I can do very good during a pre-tournament warm-up, then play a couple matches fine, but after that I start losing focus, missing my BH shots, and my game starts to fall apart in general. So in the league yesterday, I played first 2 or 3 matches pretty well, but then that happened, leaving me unhappy about the rest of the matches.

Am I trying too hard and hence getting tired too soon? How do I address the issue of not being able to keep my game up during the entire tournament?


Do you feel like you're getting physically or mentally tired towards the end? If the opponents aren't stronger towards the end, I would also suggest getting quality rest between games and matches and don't rush your serves!


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 09:14 
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NextLevel wrote:
I think Russ's comments on Mick's videos are spot-on. Nothing to add. Fixing backhand timing can be the second rung of hell. But you(mick) are waving touch at the ball with your hand, you need to prepare the stroke with your body first and power the stroke with it. It probably feels better than it looks which is usually a sign that it could be better if the gap between perception and reality is bridged.


Thanks NL. I think some of my biggest improvements over the last 2 years has been from improving my backhand. Tho it still has a long way to go. Timing has improved a lot, but I still reach for the ball or play it too far out in front of myself to generate power from the body. I'm not sure if there's a name for it, but these soft backhands I'm doing I feel is a great step in improving my backhand. I used to have nothing but a block, now I have this short, mostly wrist, a little bit of body stroke that I can use to put most balls on the table. Now that I'm starting to get that down, I feel like the next step will be to add more power by coordinating the arm better with the body.


Any comments about the serve? One of my goals is to get the contact closer to my body, but that really throws my timing off, so I'll need practice. I also need to get my upper arm further behind my body if I'm to contact the ball closer to my body, which just feels like an awkward position to be in. More whip will get more spin, so that's something I can keep working on.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 09:40 
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Let me tell you an interesting story...

I was coaching a Pacific island nation for a few months and I attended their national sporting championships where tt was one of the sports. The event is made up of approximately 8 small islands communities, which make up the entire national. The island communities compete against each other in all sports and they get points for each medal won across sports.

In the 1/4 final of the tt men's singles there was a match between 2 players of roughly the same standard. Player 1 was leading 2-0 and 5-0 in the 3rd (best of 5 match). Then player 2 made a comeback and won the match 3-2.

Over the course of the following week I witnessed something interesting. The home island community of player 1 was accusing the home island of player 2 of cheating. Players 2 and his island community were accused of "black magic / voodoo". I was informed about this situation by everyone including people from the National TT Association.

No one believed it was possible for a player to come back from 2-0 and 5-0 down. Furthermore, a tourist spectator supposedly reported that someone in the audience was rubbing their hands together and blowing magic towards the match at exactly 5-0 in the 3rd game. The guy who was rubbing his hands together was a renowned master of voodoo and he had come in from players 2's outer island to influence match results.

When I was confronted with this allegation of cheating, I performed a little Marcus Aurelius and asked "what is it in itself"? What am I really looking at here? How can people truly believe that it's impossible to come back in tt and how do they believe in black magic / voodoo?

My conclusion was that these people hadn't been involved in many tt tournaments, so their sample size of results wasn't sufficient enough to understand possible outcomes in matches. If you've only seen a couple of tournaments, it must seem like magic when someone comes back from 2-0 and 5-0 down. When people truly don't understand something, they look for answers. It's human nature to want to take the mystery out of the unknown and they'll grasp on to anything that resembles a half rational explanation.

Variance in sport isn't a mystery, unless you are inexperienced.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 10:03 
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mickd wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
I think Russ's comments on Mick's videos are spot-on. Nothing to add. Fixing backhand timing can be the second rung of hell. But you(mick) are waving touch at the ball with your hand, you need to prepare the stroke with your body first and power the stroke with it. It probably feels better than it looks which is usually a sign that it could be better if the gap between perception and reality is bridged.


Thanks NL. I think some of my biggest improvements over the last 2 years has been from improving my backhand. Tho it still has a long way to go. Timing has improved a lot, but I still reach for the ball or play it too far out in front of myself to generate power from the body. I'm not sure if there's a name for it, but these soft backhands I'm doing I feel is a great step in improving my backhand. I used to have nothing but a block, now I have this short, mostly wrist, a little bit of body stroke that I can use to put most balls on the table. Now that I'm starting to get that down, I feel like the next step will be to add more power by coordinating the arm better with the body.


Any comments about the serve? One of my goals is to get the contact closer to my body, but that really throws my timing off, so I'll need practice. I also need to get my upper arm further behind my body if I'm to contact the ball closer to my body, which just feels like an awkward position to be in. More whip will get more spin, so that's something I can keep working on.


Can one of you coaches please explain to mickd that he is starting his backswing too early on the serve? Please tell him how it causes a pause and kills whip. Please don't totally destroy his confidence in the process because he's the nicest guy in this thread.

This thread is reaching new levels of value, imo. The advice from NextLevel, BRS and wilkinru is becoming very precise. People should start posting video and "enjoy" the free coaching. The only problem is, the coaching can be pretty brutal and unforgiving. For example, wilkinru is super accurate however he may give your ego a bit of a hammering if you post something.

Who's game?

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2019, 10:30 
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Brett Clarke wrote:

This thread is reaching new levels of value, imo. The advice from NextLevel, BRS and wilkinru is becoming very precise. People should start posting video and "enjoy" the free coaching. The only problem is, the coaching can be pretty brutal and unforgiving. For example, wilkinru is super accurate however he may give your ego a bit of a hammering if you post something.

Who's game?


I only do .25 speed screen shots when I think they can take it... :devil:


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