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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 05:23 
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Reading your post more closely there is a clear suggestion that emphasizing recovery means compromising shot quality on the first attack. That would be bad.

I find on a lot of balls a shorter swing driven more from the hip than the shoulder produces a higher-quality ball than a longer swing.

Maybe the reason you as a pro didn't think about recovery and haven't mentioned it to your international players is that your/their strokes were already optimized. If I am using a longer stroke to generate equal or less spin and speed than a shorter one, emphasizing recovery is a freebie or even a bonus to shot quality.

Which takes us back to form follows function.


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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 10:46 
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BRS wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
To be clear, I was asking in the context of looping a reasonably low and spinny half-long serve. Are there any clips around of pros playing this shot? There is some relevant footage in LTT71, but I'd like to see a more realistic scenario.


There are lots of factors in every situation. Generally, it would be a short swing here and there may be very little torso rotation. It may just be a small lifting motion of the torso to send the arm up vertically. I'm sure you can find lots of examples watching Pros play.

I watched the first 20 points you played in the 5 set video you posted here. The average length of your points is 2.5 hits and that includes serve. Don't worry, it was the same in the first set between Timo Boll and Ma Long in their last match (I randomly chose this set). Average hits per rally (including serve) almost never get above 4 in match play, regardless of the player's level. A 3.3 - 3.8 average is normally about right for Pros. It's different if there is a defensive player involved of course.

If the above paragraph is even close to true, how do feel about recovery? What should one practice most? I must admit, it feels terrible when you play a shot and you aren't ready for the next one. It sticks in our memories and we feel silly. We can all vividly remember every one of them post-match. But is this really a serious problem which players are faced with in 2.5 hit rally matches?


A 2.5 shot average suggests almost 50% of points get to the 4th ball, so potentially the second attack. Lots of serve and receive errors brings the average down. Clearly everyone reading this should practice serve and receive more than we do, no argument there. But I think your statistical argument is not so strong.

Recovery is a problem for many 1800-ish players. For me, I lose a lot of sets to 2000 - 2100 players at 8 or better. If I got blocked off on 3+ points where I had the first attack, that's a serious problem. If I had better serves and receives that would probably help even more than recovery (or fh-bh transition). But what skill is realistically easier to improve?


My point is clearly that everyone should practice their serve, return and 3rd ball more. They should also practice their first counter attack more than they do (the 4th ball). I train the 4th ball a lot with elite players.

I'm in no way suggesting that you let the 5th ball go. You need to get very good at hunting down the 5th ball too and I teach people how to move to the 5th ball all the time. I just don't ask them to compromise the 3rd ball in anticipation for the less likely 5th ball. That's what I'm talking about.

I used to get blocked off by Indian National Team players. Occasionally I'd beat one of them, but mostly I got blocked off. I don't feel too bad about it now because Henzell had the same experience years later. I know the feeling well and I can quickly tune back into the ugliness even 12 year after playing the last Indian. We are all scarred from getting blocked off. Everyone who attempts to play proper table tennis has the same scars.

I spend way too much of my life doing this for players. http://web.facebook.com/hudog2103/video ... 343630682/ (or you can click the picture below and it should play) I've never once told someone to back off because they need to think about how they'd play the next ball. The bigger they play, the happier I am. Let him deal with the block when it happens.


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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 12:34 
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BRS wrote:
Reading your post more closely there is a clear suggestion that emphasizing recovery means compromising shot quality on the first attack. That would be bad.

I find on a lot of balls a shorter swing driven more from the hip than the shoulder produces a higher-quality ball than a longer swing.

Maybe the reason you as a pro didn't think about recovery and haven't mentioned it to your international players is that your/their strokes were already optimized. If I am using a longer stroke to generate equal or less spin and speed than a shorter one, emphasizing recovery is a freebie or even a bonus to shot quality.

Which takes us back to form follows function.


Every time you use the body properly, you'll get more power, regardless of the swing length. It's a fact that international players will recover faster because they are better although they have less time because of the extra pace. I'm sure there is some optimization/equilibrium going on but it's hard to quantify.

Top players are faster at everything. When someone is very competent at something, it makes them look more compact and efficient. That's why people are going around thinking that Harimoto has short shots. TV and video doesn't help either because everything is smaller on the screen. If you stand a few feet away from Harimoto in the training hall, it's a totally different experience. It's super powerful and dynamic. That's why I posted this footage earlier, to show that it's not so small and compact. https://youtu.be/1sGQz5Xp7uE?t=105

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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 12:36 
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Just when I was going to take a step back in order gain more consistency, maybe the exact opposite is true in that I need to develop a better initial attack to ensure the ball doesnt come back, no consistency issue to deal with then.

Maybe if I need to hit 3,4,5 loops then my loops are too weak or poorly placed.

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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 12:46 
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Harimoto's body rotation is of epic size indeed. In general, I try to play the biggest shots possible and try to push the boundaries all the time. It is the specific situation of the half-long serve that puzzled me a lot.


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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 12:53 
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Cobalt wrote:
Just when I was going to take a step back in order gain more consistency, maybe the exact opposite is true in that I need to develop a better initial attack to ensure the ball doesnt come back, no consistency issue to deal with then.

Maybe if I need to hit 3,4,5 loops then my loops are too weak or poorly placed.


And maybe you can do a bit of both, depending on where you are at.

I'm completely confident that it's not a waste of time to develop some strong attacking shots, providing you have an understanding of how it should be done.

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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 13:38 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
Top players are faster at everything. When someone is very competent at something, it makes them look more compact and efficient. That's why people are going around thinking that Harimoto has short shots. TV and video doesn't help either because everything is smaller on the screen. If you stand a few feet away from Harimoto in the training hall, it's a totally different experience. It's super powerful and dynamic. That's why I posted this footage earlier, to show that it's not so small and compact. https://youtu.be/1sGQz5Xp7uE?t=105

Screen shots confirm - if only it was possible to upload screenshots!

However, this doesn't help me in the slightest. I'm ancient, overweight, very tall with extremely long arms (gorilla-ish), and my muscles are overwhelmingly slow-twitch muscle fibre. I simply cannot generate enough power to hit past my opponents, even when using correct technique. Just can't hit hard, end of story. What does happen, however, is that I hit as powerfully as possible, the ball comes back, but I am out of position. Is it not better to focus on recovery? Rather than investing time and energy in trying to hit third-ball winners?


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PostPosted: 10 Aug 2018, 14:19 
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birchamboi wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
Top players are faster at everything. When someone is very competent at something, it makes them look more compact and efficient. That's why people are going around thinking that Harimoto has short shots. TV and video doesn't help either because everything is smaller on the screen. If you stand a few feet away from Harimoto in the training hall, it's a totally different experience. It's super powerful and dynamic. That's why I posted this footage earlier, to show that it's not so small and compact. https://youtu.be/1sGQz5Xp7uE?t=105

Screen shots confirm - if only it was possible to upload screenshots!

However, this doesn't help me in the slightest. I'm ancient, overweight, very tall with extremely long arms (gorilla-ish), and my muscles are overwhelmingly slow-twitch muscle fibre. I simply cannot generate enough power to hit past my opponents, even when using correct technique. Just can't hit hard, end of story. What does happen, however, is that I hit as powerfully as possible, the ball comes back, but I am out of position. Is it not better to focus on recovery? Rather than investing time and energy in trying to hit third-ball winners?


You're making a really good point. I always assume that players are in good physical condition, even though I'm not always. If I tried to play a forehand like ML today, I'd probably end up in hospital. A para athlete could ask me a similar set of questions. The game changes when someone has a significant physical disability or a bunch of restrictions. I get that.

Most of my recent responses were directed at fastmover and BRS. Both of these guys are in good shape and are capable of making aggressive play. It would however be impossible for me to comment on your game without seeing you play. If you think recovery is valuable to you, maybe that's true.

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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2018, 19:02 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
A five-gamer I should have won. Tried playing a very BH-oriented game

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4O9DYkUBp0


Thanks for editing and posting. Your strokes and technical understanding are way more advanced than your opponent but that doesn't necessarily convert in winning as you are moving up.

Here's my thoughts:
- You need to play more forehands. I have no idea why anyone would want to play a "BH-oriented game" against this guy, and many others. If you have time, play forehands.
- Develop a heavy backspin serve. Players at this level hate good serves, especially when they use this style.
- You are getting better all the time.
- Getting better is more important that receiving tips. Getting better mostly happens through more play.
- Your technique is in a range where you can continue to improve from here.
- Never forget the amount of time your opponents have been playing for. So many learning adults want to crush guys who have been playing for 30+ years. It takes time to overcome these guys, no matter how good your strokes are starting to look.


I had a chance to play three "tournament days" here, with each day having 6-12 matches against lots of unfamiliar opponents of all levels. I feel like I massively lack in two things:

1) Service receive, especially against heavy sidespin. Usually, I don't play against people who are able to serve heavy sidespin with topspin, so that it massively kicks off the table to the side. Here a lot of people have these serves, and I struggle a lot. Even if I see the spin clearly, I am still likely to miss or make a weak return.

2) Third ball attack -- too weak and inconsistent. I feel like my 3rd ball massively undermines the effectiveness of my serve. Because there is no point in making a high quality (and riskier) service return when I am likely to make a mistake on the third ball or just make a weak attack.

These two things are probably not obvious in the match I posted, but they are evident against higher quality opposition. I noticed that I can play well against only one kind of service return: a slow or moderately fast long push that I can loop. If the push is fast and quick, I will be late to the ball. If I get an empty push, I will overlift it off the table. If the service gets flipped, even with low quality, I will be late and miss. I guess I just practiced too much against the "standard" ball and didn't play enough of these serve & attack kind of drills. I guess I have to spend up to 3/4 of practice time doing those until I somehow catch up.


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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2018, 22:09 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
Retriever wrote:
birchamboi wrote:
Quote:
For the record, I'd love to hear what Brett Clarke has to say on the whole body rotation thing, but I'm starting to wonder if he's disappeared from the forum.


I'm practicing my coaching, if that makes sense? I want to be sharp for my next job and there's no better way than working in a club full of endless kids. I've always enjoyed the feeling that comes with coaching for free too. If you aren't getting paid, you know why you are there.


We all know that the greatest challenge in coaching is to work with some very enthusiastic learning adults...


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 17:15 
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fastmover wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
A five-gamer I should have won. Tried playing a very BH-oriented game

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4O9DYkUBp0


Thanks for editing and posting. Your strokes and technical understanding are way more advanced than your opponent but that doesn't necessarily convert in winning as you are moving up.

Here's my thoughts:
- You need to play more forehands. I have no idea why anyone would want to play a "BH-oriented game" against this guy, and many others. If you have time, play forehands.
- Develop a heavy backspin serve. Players at this level hate good serves, especially when they use this style.
- You are getting better all the time.
- Getting better is more important that receiving tips. Getting better mostly happens through more play.
- Your technique is in a range where you can continue to improve from here.
- Never forget the amount of time your opponents have been playing for. So many learning adults want to crush guys who have been playing for 30+ years. It takes time to overcome these guys, no matter how good your strokes are starting to look.


I had a chance to play three "tournament days" here, with each day having 6-12 matches against lots of unfamiliar opponents of all levels. I feel like I massively lack in two things:

1) Service receive, especially against heavy sidespin. Usually, I don't play against people who are able to serve heavy sidespin with topspin, so that it massively kicks off the table to the side. Here a lot of people have these serves, and I struggle a lot. Even if I see the spin clearly, I am still likely to miss or make a weak return.

2) Third ball attack -- too weak and inconsistent. I feel like my 3rd ball massively undermines the effectiveness of my serve. Because there is no point in making a high quality (and riskier) service return when I am likely to make a mistake on the third ball or just make a weak attack.

These two things are probably not obvious in the match I posted, but they are evident against higher quality opposition. I noticed that I can play well against only one kind of service return: a slow or moderately fast long push that I can loop. If the push is fast and quick, I will be late to the ball. If I get an empty push, I will overlift it off the table. If the service gets flipped, even with low quality, I will be late and miss. I guess I just practiced too much against the "standard" ball and didn't play enough of these serve & attack kind of drills. I guess I have to spend up to 3/4 of practice time doing those until I somehow catch up.


Everyone who reads your post is going to empathize with you. Returning serve is the achilles-heel of everyone who plays this sport, regardless of their level.

The Chinese return serve the best and I believe there are 2 reasons. The first is hard Hurricane rubber on the forehand. Hurricane rubber feels very dead against serves as opposed to Tenergy or German types that have a lot of spring. In other words, the ball doesn't jump off your racket as much with Chinese rubber and it gives you a returning edge.

The second reason is there is always some guy standing around who can serve to you for 4 hours a day in China. This is the real key. Exposure is everything when it comes to returning serve. People tend to practice all the wrong stuff because it's so much more convenient to do so. Think about how hard it would be get someone with good serves to serve to you every day. Perhaps a TT robot is a good asset to at least give you some hours of returning. It's not perfect, but what is?

A lot of my coaching involves serving to players and doing the things which I believe matter in matches. The problem is this type of training is difficult to find. You need willing and able people who can competently feed balls. A lot of the exercises I use are in the Drilling Table Tennis Series.

In relation to your 3rd ball dilemma, keep playing a lot of matches. You need to learn to deal with all the subtle variations that come off your opponent's racket. There are no words which will help.

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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 17:23 
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fastmover wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:

I'm practicing my coaching, if that makes sense? I want to be sharp for my next job and there's no better way than working in a club full of endless kids. I've always enjoyed the feeling that comes with coaching for free too. If you aren't getting paid, you know why you are there.


We all know that the greatest challenge in coaching is to work with some very enthusiastic learning adults...


Working with enthusiastic adults isn't so hard. Working with unenthusiastic children is a nightmare.

Is this a good time to write about parents pushing their disinterested children and the long term consequences? Probably not. OOAK might need to upgrade their servers if I get started.

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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 17:31 
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When to use a short and compact swing. Form Follows Function.

Click picture below.


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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2018, 23:19 
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[Brett said: Returning serve is the achilles-heel of everyone who plays this sport, regardless of their level.

Exposure is everything when it comes to returning serve. People tend to practice all the wrong stuff because it's so much more convenient to do so. Think about how hard it would be get someone with good serves to serve to you every day. ]

This is why the only private coaching I had this year was 2 or 3 times getting a left-handed 2150 kid from Broward to serve randomly at me for an hour. It's totally worth $35 for that. Much better than multiball or drills.

But that is still only one person's serves. Match play with 50 different good-serving opponents would be tons better, but it's not on offer so lessons is the next best thing.


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PostPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 07:41 
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Here is my best match (still a loss, didn't have any good wins) from my first tournament with the P700/fastarc g1/moristo sp 'poor Mima Ito' setup. I can't afford her ACI the way I destroy bats.
https://youtu.be/ZLJFP2GfWQ8

My nearly year slump continues, but now I have an excuse in adaptation to SP BH. Unfortunately it was missed FHs, crap balance/movement, and inability to serve short on demand that let me down, same as always.

In an earlier 3-0 beatdown by a lower-rated player I did move pretty well for one point. And that is important if I want to play four consecutive passive shots and have any chance. Too bad it was only the one point.

https://youtu.be/strUBwyo8-o


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