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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 02:01 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
I highly recommend just flying around the world and finding new people to play against.


+100.

This is actually the single most amazing thing about table tennis, imo. Anyone who has the resources and curiosity should take Brett's probably-not-serious remark to heart. Playing a globally popular sport is an open invitation to make friends all over the world. Having Brett visit, doing the camps in Denmark, and two weeks living in a club in Portugal, have been some of the best experiences of my life because of the people I met. Maybe I'm biased, but I really like most people who love table tennis.

One of my main motivations to improve is to be able to roll up to the club in any town in the world and have lots of people be happy to play with me. As Brett said earlier, it's kind of level-dependent.


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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 02:33 
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Apparently every house in Nigeria has a table according to my Nigerian buddy.


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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 02:37 
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I've played in Japan, Australia, UK so far.

The UK one ended up being a bit of a disaster competitive wise as I entered what the USA would call a 4 star tourney, jet lagged and ran into some buzzsaws. Still made lots of friends and I did win one match at least.

Brett, thanks for all of this new content. You seem to have found a passion for training again. It's awesome to see and inspiring. I still think you should write a book, some day.


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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 08:02 
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FruitLoop wrote:
Apparently every house in Nigeria has a table according to my Nigerian buddy.


Not quite true but I get the gist of the claim.

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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 08:05 
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NextLevel wrote:
FruitLoop wrote:
Apparently every house in Nigeria has a table according to my Nigerian buddy.


Not quite true but I get the gist of the claim.


Definitely tongue in cheek exaggeration but with a basis in reality.


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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 10:33 
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BRS wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
I highly recommend just flying around the world and finding new people to play against.


+100.

This is actually the single most amazing thing about table tennis, imo. Anyone who has the resources and curiosity should take Brett's probably-not-serious remark to heart. Playing a globally popular sport is an open invitation to make friends all over the world. Having Brett visit, doing the camps in Denmark, and two weeks living in a club in Portugal, have been some of the best experiences of my life because of the people I met. Maybe I'm biased, but I really like most people who love table tennis.

One of my main motivations to improve is to be able to roll up to the club in any town in the world and have lots of people be happy to play with me. As Brett said earlier, it's kind of level-dependent.


You're right BRS - I clearly wasn't 100% serious, however, it could be a good idea for some to at least consider their options.

For example, if you live in the US, how much would it cost to travel to Latin America and play for a few weeks or months? If you live in Australia, how much would it cost to play in Asia for a while? If you're creative enough, you might even be able to pay coaches and training partners using the concept of Geographic Arbitrage (aka relatively cheap prices). In the process, you could actually enhance the life of a local by making them relatively wealthy for a short period of time.

Not everyone is in BRS' position. Everyone is obviously bound by their own individual circumstances and they can't just leave for a month. Not everyone likes travel and putting themselves in weird positions where they feel uncomfortable. Ironically, I'm not a huge fan of travel and I dislike feeling uncomfortable. I've been to approximately 50 countries and most of them multiple times. I've lost count of how many times I've been to Sweden and England etc. I've been out of Australia approximately half of my adult life. I've been to Malaysia more than 20 times!!!

If one of your motivations is "be able to roll up to the club in any town in the world and have lots of people be happy to play with me", then we share something similar. When I started training again and considered playing some competition, I stated my goal. My goal is to have good players invite me to dinner after the competition. I want to be competitive enough so that top players in the Philippines etc actually want to know me and spend some time. Don't worry...I'll pay for everyone's dinner too.

For me, this is table tennis. Playing for points, trophies and even money has no interest to me now. Hilariously, if I played any tournament in Australia, I'd be no.1 seed as I have retained the highest Rating Central points by a long way. I have over 2700 points which would be equivalent to USATT 3000 or something. Clearly I'm not even in that ball park, so I can just laugh at points and enjoy playing.

BRS has a solid point. TT is a global sport and you can't literally play in every city in the world. TT presents you with a rare opportunity to travel and actually have something to do. It is a little level-dependent meaning the better you play, the easier it is to integrate. There's your motivation for getting better right there. Also, you can pay some money to get training. I've now finished my 5th paid session in my life and I feel completely satisfied. It really works.

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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 11:06 
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wilkinru wrote:
I've played in Japan, Australia, UK so far.

The UK one ended up being a bit of a disaster competitive wise as I entered what the USA would call a 4 star tourney, jet lagged and ran into some buzzsaws. Still made lots of friends and I did win one match at least.

Brett, thanks for all of this new content. You seem to have found a passion for training again. It's awesome to see and inspiring. I still think you should write a book, some day.


I've never really liked the idea of writing a book. Quite frankly, I've never thought of myself as good enough at playing. Guys like Agassi are good enough to write books to keep people interested. It's just the way I feel.

I like coaching and playing equally. The problem has always been that I can't do both at the same time. Because coaching is more lucrative for me, I normally choose coaching over playing. I lose interest in playing when I'm focused on coaching other people.

For the last 6 months I've been talking to a country about becoming their National Coach. The country is an emerging table tennis powerhouse and the work would have been fascinating. When they failed to deliver a contract after we had agreed on everything, I looked at my options. Training myself was put on the table and somehow won the contest. It has been a lot of fun, but it's still very early.

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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 12:23 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
wilkinru wrote:
For the last 6 months I've been talking to a country about becoming their National Coach. The country is an emerging table tennis powerhouse and the work would have been fascinating. When they failed to deliver a contract after we had agreed on everything, I looked at my options. Training myself was put on the table and somehow won the contest. It has been a lot of fun, but it's still very early.


Can't wait to see you vs Langers and Griffiths at the Aussie Vets :-) Those boys need somebody to shut that Banter game down (apart from Sharad)

:-)

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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 13:26 
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FruitLoop wrote:
Apparently every house in Nigeria has a table according to my Nigerian buddy.
Well this is undoubtedly true. Every single house in Nigeria. Every one.

*facepalm*


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PostPosted: 04 Dec 2018, 18:28 
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SuperHappyFunSlider wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
wilkinru wrote:
For the last 6 months I've been talking to a country about becoming their National Coach. The country is an emerging table tennis powerhouse and the work would have been fascinating. When they failed to deliver a contract after we had agreed on everything, I looked at my options. Training myself was put on the table and somehow won the contest. It has been a lot of fun, but it's still very early.


Can't wait to see you vs Langers and Griffiths at the Aussie Vets :-) Those boys need somebody to shut that Banter game down (apart from Sharad)

:-)


I won't be playing TT in Australia at all. Also, I will never play Vets in any country. I think the Vets movement is absolutely wonderful, but it's just not for me.

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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2018, 13:41 
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Interesting club night tonight. I got there early and invited a guy to play first match. He's a chopper, around my same level. He is also a guy who starts the warmup on tilt. He is cursing half under his breath about net balls that don't even count.

So it's a good test of mental toughness dealing with him. I failed it tonight, mirroring his tiltedness and getting frustrated with myself. But the interesting part was, at a critical moment, he said, nominally to himself but loud enough, "All he's got is his serves. Just return the goddamn serve. That's all he's got."

How should I feel about this?

It's clearly some gamesmanship on his part. But objectively it was also true, I was winning maybe five points a set off missed receives. And he could receive with LP all over the table, he's a chopper.

So maybe I should feel great? I have always considered my serve a weakness. It would be really good if the disguise and spin/depth variation has improved that much.

But I lost most of the rallies. I couldn't see the spin well enough to respond properly, and my first attacks didn't win enough. Also my bh wasn't a weapon, just passive blocking. He was right, I had nothing else working except serves. So maybe I should feel terrible?


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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2018, 13:55 
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BRS wrote:
Interesting club night tonight. I got there early and invited a guy to play first match. He's a chopper, around my same level. He is also a guy who starts the warmup on tilt. He is cursing half under his breath about net balls that don't even count.

So it's a good test of mental toughness dealing with him. I failed it tonight, mirroring his tiltedness and getting frustrated with myself. But the interesting part was, at a critical moment, he said, nominally to himself but loud enough, "All he's got is his serves. Just return the goddamn serve. That's all he's got."

How should I feel about this?

It's clearly some gamesmanship on his part. But objectively it was also true, I was winning maybe five points a set off missed receives. And he could receive with LP all over the table, he's a chopper.

So maybe I should feel great? I have always considered my serve a weakness. If the disguise and spin/depth variation has improved, that' a big deal.

But I lost most of the rallies. I couldn't see the spin well enough to respond properly, and my first attacks didn't win enough. Also my bh wasn't a weapon, just passive blocking. All of that stinks. So should I feel terrible? Normally when my fh is ineffective I feel terrible.


It's truly amazing that a grown man can say something like that in a match. Even if a serve really is all you have, why would somebody say such a thing? It's clearly frustration.

It's hard to feel great when you are tilted. If you are missing your best shot - your forehand - it's also hard to feel great about the match. If you rarely play against a chopper, it's generally uncomfortable because it's practically a different sport. Playing chop is all about exposure.

I think it's liberating to understand that you won't always feel good about a match. If you expect to feel great about every match, you are in for a bad time. But if you understand that you're going to feel like crap after a decent percentage of matches, your expectations are set to a realistic level. This isn't just static to TT.

Play the guy some more matches tomorrow night. You need him...

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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2018, 14:06 
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BRS wrote:
Interesting club night tonight. I got there early and invited a guy to play first match. He's a chopper, around my same level. He is also a guy who starts the warmup on tilt. He is cursing half under his breath about net balls that don't even count.

So it's a good test of mental toughness dealing with him. I failed it tonight, mirroring his tiltedness and getting frustrated with myself. But the interesting part was, at a critical moment, he said, nominally to himself but loud enough, "All he's got is his serves. Just return the goddamn serve. That's all he's got."

How should I feel about this?

It's clearly some gamesmanship on his part. But objectively it was also true, I was winning maybe five points a set off missed receives. And he could receive with LP all over the table, he's a chopper.

So maybe I should feel great? I have always considered my serve a weakness. It would be really good if the disguise and spin/depth variation has improved that much.

But I lost most of the rallies. I couldn't see the spin well enough to respond properly, and my first attacks didn't win enough. Also my bh wasn't a weapon, just passive blocking. He was right, I had nothing else working except serves. So maybe I should feel terrible?



You have to figure out a way to talk to yourself against these type of opponents. If he said something like that to me in my head I would start laughing. I would be thinking stuff like o wait till u c my spinny bh or I would serve no spin hoping he would pop it and then smash the heck out of the ball.

So let me explain this in a more concise and a way that will stick.
Figure out a way to lie/speak to yourself such that your confidence is always high. If you watch other sports like nba or nfl you will c players trash talking all the time. There are 2 good ways to respond to this and they depend on the kind of person u are.

1) if u think you can elevate your level by trashing them back than do that.

Or

2) you can just say to yourself “ I will let my game do the talking for me”

So experiment with this stuff and let us know what happens.


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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2018, 14:13 
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I won a lot of games today, but none of them felt very good. I was passive in serve return against many serves.

I guess even when you win you don't always feel good about it. At least my 3rd ball loop against half long balls is a massive success. I've gone from losing 60% to winning 80%.


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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2018, 22:05 
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BRS wrote:
Interesting club night tonight. ... I failed it tonight, mirroring his tiltedness and getting frustrated with myself. But the interesting part was, at a critical moment, he said, nominally to himself but loud enough, "All he's got is his serves. Just return the goddamn serve. That's all he's got."

How should I feel about this?


I've come across this just once. It was in a summer league match against a much higher rated and much younger opponent. These matches are handicapped, and played to 21. The opponent was in the top division of the local league, and I was in the bottom division. He should beat me easily under normal circumstances. However, he did not find it easy to win points. At one missed opportunity, he said quite loudly in frustration "All you have to do is move him around, he can't move". I took heart from that. He was clearly upset that I could play him and win points, but he was talking himself into playing not his normal game. So in my mind I was thinking "All I have to do is keep playing", which I did, and I did win. One set was quite easy for me, in another he was 1 point behind after his serves at 18-17. Although normally he would be expected to take those 4 points, I felt that I had that game at that point, because I knew he was not returning my serves very well, and was really worried about losing to such a low ranked player. So it transpired.

The fact that he had to vocalise in the manner he did suggested that he was not in control mentally. The same with your guy. He was telling you that he was having trouble with your serves, which is a strange tactic.

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