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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 05:22 
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pgpg wrote:
One of the most successful mental hacks I've ever deployed was "play like it does not matter" mind trick - saved me a match where I was down 0:2 and something like 3:8 in the 3rd. Somehow I'm never smart enough to do it at the start of the match though, I guess it needs some pent up frustration to work.

Perhaps your opponent is doing the same :) .

Yes, I've also heard about this trick but was never able or willing to develop it.

I think that's exactly what he's doing, and for some reason it pisses me off. It's clearly some mental or psychological issue here that I need to overcome...


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 05:35 
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Sorry to skip most of your post - but it didn't go in vain.

NextLevel wrote:
In the end, your goal is to play the ball and not the player. My second coach placed a strong emphasis on this when working with the mental game of his students. It doesn't matter whether he is Timo Boll or Lala Land, if he hits the ball and you read the spin and the placement, you should be able to return it properly and if you know the structure of the game, good placement and shot quality will always give your opponents fits.

That's a very important mindset, thanks! I'll try reminding myself about that during every match.

NextLevel wrote:
And finally, anyone who can beat you, no matter how lazy or careless they look while doing it, is really a problem to be solved.

That's exactly what I'm trying to do here - to solve a problem with a class of players (and with one player in particular). Unfortunately, that won't be enough to start beating the ton of other players I'm currently losing to...


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 11:04 
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Really interesting discussion. I especially like NextLevel's posts, but all of them are great.

In an ideal world, you'd just bring your best to every match and ignore your opponent's behaviors. In reality though, their behavior directly impacts you. If someone is screaming/cho-ing after every point, your emotional level (See LTT51) will go up. This can really mess you up if you rely a lot on serve and return because you need to have a lower emotional level to perform smaller, more accurate shots. And, as being discussed, if your opponent isn't trying it can drag you down and do all sorts of things to you emotionally. It's even possible to be "low" and angry at the exact same time. I play really poorly when I'm low on the LTT51 chart and angry at the same time.

Think about what you want to do between points in the LTT57 way. BRS is big on solving problems. LTT57 and Ben's solving problems approach can essentially be combined. For those of you who don't have access, it means that you should be visualizing desired outcomes between points combined with determining the best way to beat your opponent, hopefully in the context of your own strategy and capabilities.

Lastly, don't hate yourself because of losing through mental instability. The mental side of the game is no less important than the physical side. Don't hate yourself for missing a backhand and don't hate yourself for losing because of a mental factor. Ideally, see both backhand and mental stuff as obstacles to overcome.

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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 11:41 
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wilkinru wrote:
ziv wrote:
I doubt USA can be called "an emerging table tennis powerhouse" :)


Don't look at the current situation, look down the road 5 years and you can see the USA has a real chance to be top 10 in the world. I suspect many coaches would love to be there for it.

Besides then Brett can coach us mericans :D


There is some exciting stuff coming out of the USA and I really hope that the trend continues.

Most of the best countries in the world have massive government resources to support players. These countries also have huge player pools. To sustain a very high world ranking, a nation generally needs 300K+ players. Sweden were amazingly able to stay at the top with incredibly small numbers. Sweden has a great structure and support.

Countries like China, Japan, Germany, Korea and France have the numbers and the government support. Over a long period of time, these countries are tough to beat. You'd need a country that has similar numbers and resources.

In the short term, you can have a wave of players. USA are going through this stage right now. They have some individuals who are playing in Europe and doing very well. These players will inspire the next generation and hopefully that leads to great things. The challenge for countries like the USA and Australia is already outlined in this post. Neither country has massive numbers or significant government support. Both countries rely on individuals like Jha, Wu and Henzell to improve the overall level. The problem is, individuals come and go, so you'll always potentially have long periods of nothing. It's unlikely that you'll ever see a Tsunami of players coming out of the USA or Australia.

There are other interesting aspects such as the impact of Chinese migration. This isn't the right spot to talk about it.

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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 14:57 
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Speaking about mental toughness, sometimes I get really distracted by excessive celebrations of my opponent. So far I developed two strategies to deal with choing.

1) When my opponent is yelling at my face, I just turn 180 degrees and look at the wall. It works if I am well prepared and anticipate that they will try to get under my skin to get an edge. I also try to anticipate the most obnoxious celebrations. If I was smashing and missed, I know that certain players will yell while trying to look into my eyes. If I was smashing and they counterlooped for a winner, they will yell so hard that window glasses will be shaking. The advantage of this strategy is that I can keep my cool, but sometimes it does not work.

2) If I am in critical situation and it gets tough, I start directly mocking them by parodying their choing trying to show my opponent that he looks like a complete idiot. Usually it shuts them for some time, but it raises my emotional level too much, so I use it with caution and only in extreme cases.

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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 15:06 
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fastmover wrote:
Speaking about mental toughness, sometimes I get really distracted by excessive celebrations of my opponent. So far I developed two strategies to deal with choing.

1) When my opponent is yelling at my face, I just turn 180 degrees and look at the wall. It works if I am well prepared and anticipate that they will try to get under my skin to get an edge. I also try to anticipate the most obnoxious celebrations. If I was smashing and missed, I know that certain players will yell while trying to look into my eyes. If I was smashing and they counterlooped for a winner, they will yell so hard that window glasses will be shaking. The advantage of this strategy is that I can keep my cool, but sometimes it does not work.

2) If I am in critical situation and it gets tough, I start directly mocking them by parodying their choing trying to show my opponent that he looks like a complete idiot. Usually it shuts them for some time, but it raises my emotional level too much, so I use it with caution and only in extreme cases.


Strategy 3 could be positively preparing yourself for the next point, as I described above.

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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2018, 01:00 
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Last night I played a small but good-quality league. Five players -- 2056, 2023, 1973, me at 1946, and a guy around 1900. I had two straight matches like ziv has been describing. First I was the don't-care player, then my next opponent was.

My first match was 2056. He is a new friend I met during this trip and we have trained together twice, the only non-match time for me since August. He had also gone up a level in front of my eyes. We were about even, now not so much. I lost 3-0 at 9 (after I pushed two receives from 9-9), 8, 6. The last two sets I focused on making winning attacks, and getting the first attack in general. After berating myself for the two pushes to end set one, I accepted that I was the weaker player and would probably lose. I just wanted to lose in a way I coulf be happy with, and learn something.

After the match he told me some rhings he has changed, and some advice for me.

My second match was vs 1900. I have played him twice recently and won both, last time very easily. I was still mentally working out the last match, so I decided to use this one to work on the bh 3rd ball pattern I posted about not long ago. I served all fh sidespin every time. We went to five, and spectators could see I didn't care about winning. One of them asked me about it after. Not that I didn't try, it was just obviously a practice to me. But my opponent was not aware, it didn't affect him. He was heavily into the match, talking to himself, talking to me, and he was pumped to get the win. He went on to play strong in his next match.

My third match was vs 2023. She is a very strong blocker, a real test of consistency and footwork. I have won one or two out of maybe a dozen matches. I was competing very seriously in this match, and won it 3-1. But in the third set it was apparent that she wasn't 100% there. Maybe she was preoccupied, or getting sick or just tired. The focus was lacking. This distracted me for a few points because I was thinking about it. I let a 4-0 lead get to 4-4 before I got my head back in the game. I guess that is what happens to ziv.

What worked for me is recognizing I was thinking about her performance and affect, instead of playing. When you recognize that you have to force your attention back in the game.


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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2018, 01:07 
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And I won my last match vs 1973, at a very easy 3-1. For no apparent reason I was able to play short and take away his attacks, what good players always do to me.

And this was after my match vs the distracted person. So based on my result, and Mr 1900 going to a tight five sets with 2056, you should try to use those matches where the opponent doesn't care as confidence builders for yourself, instead of letting it bring you down. Like I knew I won the 2023 match because she played below her usual level. I didn't play especially well. But I still felt great after winning, it was a confidence boost. And then in my next match I actually did play better than normal.

Very small sample I know, but that's what I observed at the club last night.


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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 00:32 
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Here is a mental challenge I have. I mostly play people at or below my level. Partly this is because I have limited club time, and in a winner stays setup, I would lose two-thirds of my table time if I waited on the better tables. The other part is the universal problem that stronger players don't want to play me, they want to play each other. So if I win, it's usually a string of weaker players waiting on my table.

So that is all background. The problem is that I get the psychic reward of winning a point most of the time, even when I make the wrong or capped play. I am thinking mostly of using long push receives, but it applies to lots of situations where I choose a lower-quality shot. Against most of the players I face those things work. When I play someone 100 points or more above me they fail. It's cspping my overall level. So how do I suppress that positive feeling when I win a point with a wrong play? I already consciously tell myself "that ball was crap," but subconsciously winning still feels good.

It's a problem.


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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 14:05 
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PTTP06 is now available on ttEDGE.com

ttEDGE.com has received a bit of an upgrade. You can now see videos by category in the Platinum Videos page, as per the pic below. So, for example, if you wanted to see videos just related to Forehand Topspin, you could click Forehand Topspin in the "watch by category" section.

Attachment:
ttEDGE Platinum page.JPG
ttEDGE Platinum page.JPG [ 128.51 KiB | Viewed 137 times ]

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 14:09 
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PTTP06 is great. Playing away from the table topspinners is one of my worst nightmares. I find it very difficult to hit winners against these balls because whenever I try to make a gigantic swing against them, I totally mess up the contact and miss. The problem is that those balls have a lot of topspin (sometimes with sidespin), which requires quite precise timing which I don't have. So I have to resort to half-ass loops hoping to put the opponent out of position.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 14:21 
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fastmover wrote:
PTTP06 is great. Playing away from the table topspinners is one of my worst nightmares. I find it very difficult to hit winners against these balls because whenever I try to make a gigantic swing against them, I totally mess up the contact and miss. The problem is that those balls have a lot of topspin (sometimes with sidespin), which requires quite precise timing which I don't have. So I have to resort to half-ass loops hoping to put the opponent out of position.


Yep, it's hard when the ball is jumping at you. It's really bad to try to use the backhand in those situations.

I've said it before, but there's a difference between a huge swing and good torso rotation. They aren't necessarily the same thing.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 14:26 
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We have a guy who plays soccer most of the time, but sometimes comes to the club and casually fishes/lobs everybody down. I should have recorded one of our matches, but I will have opportunities early next year. Not sure if it is worth posting one here as it is way too embarrassing.

Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
PTTP06 is great. Playing away from the table topspinners is one of my worst nightmares. I find it very difficult to hit winners against these balls because whenever I try to make a gigantic swing against them, I totally mess up the contact and miss. The problem is that those balls have a lot of topspin (sometimes with sidespin), which requires quite precise timing which I don't have. So I have to resort to half-ass loops hoping to put the opponent out of position.


Yep, it's hard when the ball is jumping at you. It's really bad to try to use the backhand in those situations.



Indeed. The situation at 2:01-2:05 is typical... You seemingly made a good shot, than the ball kicks at you with topspin and everything is off.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2018, 22:35 
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BRS wrote:
Here is a mental challenge I have. I mostly play people at or below my level. Partly this is because I have limited club time, and in a winner stays setup, I would lose two-thirds of my table time if I waited on the better tables. The other part is the universal problem that stronger players don't want to play me, they want to play each other. So if I win, it's usually a string of weaker players waiting on my table.

So that is all background. The problem is that I get the psychic reward of winning a point most of the time, even when I make the wrong or capped play. I am thinking mostly of using long push receives, but it applies to lots of situations where I choose a lower-quality shot. Against most of the players I face those things work. When I play someone 100 points or more above me they fail. It's cspping my overall level. So how do I suppress that positive feeling when I win a point with a wrong play? I already consciously tell myself "that ball was crap," but subconsciously winning still feels good.

It's a problem.


It's good that you fully understand the issue. A lot of people don't understand that their game is being capped by their limiting strategy and/or desire to protect themselves from making mistakes.

If you continue to push serves long to 2000+ players, they'll be pretty happy with that. It's especially true if you are push back long serves because that gives them a lot of time to have a look at the ball.

I think you are on the edge of making the shift. You fully realize that your bad stuff has no future, even though you enjoy taking the easy wins. Keep improving your serve return and make sure you are only pushing 25% long.

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PostPosted: 11 Dec 2018, 00:39 
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In the video below, I'm pushing short no matter what spin is on the ball. I might use some of the footage to make an instructional video.


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