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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 08:54 
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If you have the physical fitness, work on your quads (inner and outer) as well. You tend to straighten up more when your quads become exhausted so you can't get wide or low and move.

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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 09:19 
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NextLevel wrote:
If you have the physical fitness, work on your quads (inner and outer) as well. You tend to straighten up more when your quads become exhausted so you can't get wide or low and move.


Definitely doing this in general but don't think it's a physical issue as I can squat 1.5× BW below parallel.


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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 10:30 
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FruitLoop wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
If you have the physical fitness, work on your quads (inner and outer) as well. You tend to straighten up more when your quads become exhausted so you can't get wide or low and move.


Definitely doing this in general but don't think it's a physical issue as I can squat 1.5× BW below parallel.


Good stuff. Hopefully the workout is built for stamina as well as strength.

Since you have that box checked, then becoming obsessed with staying low to the point of compulsion is the next step. You can tape yourself, ask opponents on practice matches, ask people who watch you to coach you and tell you whether you were low etc At the very least commit to staying low during the first 4 shots of a point. If you play disciplined TT, those are the most important points to stay low ( serve and third ball, receive and fourth ball). Most points don't go beyond that and if they do, staying low is important but won't be as destructive to your overall level unless you get really good. And by that point, you will probably be doing it all the time.

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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 10:36 
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I used to have this problem when all I did was play matches. I think it might be a footwork issue, or it was part of the problem for me. But not because I couldn't move well, it was because I didn't know or understand how I should be moving. What happens if you try a drill like forehand wide forehand middle? Or forehand all over the table.

If you do footwork drills I find they force you to keep your low ready position as it's very hard to do the drill if you stay up after every shot. Most importantly, they teach you how to be efficient which I think is the key. You could try a simple footwork drill while keeping in mind to hit every shot with good technique + finding the low position that suits you so you can move quickly and efficiently to where the next ball is. You could do these drills close to the table or slightly further away too to practice form follows function. Record yourself during the drills and see if you're doing it right.

But you don't want to go overboard with staying low either. I used to obsess about this staying low business, and for a while was probably staying too low with a too wide stance and it just made me more tired quickly and made me move worse. Additionally it made me loop many balls off the table as I was coming up too much (which likely also ruined my ready position).I've always found this advice of "staying low" to be a little confusing. Because how low are we talking? One guy once told me that my eyes should be the same level as the net.. which I think is pretty extreme. Surely it also depends on how tall someone is. I'm pretty short, so if I bend my knees too and go much lower than I already am naturally it's difficult for me to be efficient.. and leads to the problem of coming up on the ball too much.

Some sort of balance has to be found, probably like you found in that game where you won comfortably.


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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 11:04 
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NextLevel wrote:
FruitLoop wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
If you have the physical fitness, work on your quads (inner and outer) as well. You tend to straighten up more when your quads become exhausted so you can't get wide or low and move.


Definitely doing this in general but don't think it's a physical issue as I can squat 1.5× BW below parallel.


Good stuff. Hopefully the workout is built for stamina as well as strength.

Since you have that box checked, then becoming obsessed with staying low to the point of compulsion is the next step. You can tape yourself, ask opponents on practice matches, ask people who watch you to coach you and tell you whether you were low etc At the very least commit to staying low during the first 4 shots of a point. If you play disciplined TT, those are the most important points to stay low ( serve and third ball, receive and fourth ball). Most points don't go beyond that and if they do, staying low is important but won't be as destructive to your overall level unless you get really good. And by that point, you will probably be doing it all the time.


Yeah this is good advice.

I was about to say in my previous post I watched a bit of your match and it's impressive how well one can play with straight legs. It looks to me like you're very efficient with your body and movement given your physical limitation. You get good power and spin despite it. If there's one thing you've certainly nailed it's whip mechanics. So it's possible to play very well without "staying low" but becomes more difficult to move better and play more efficiently. It's one part of the big TT puzzle. I bet there are a bunch of players who are less efficient than you despite not having to struggle with the physical limitations you have.


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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 11:37 
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Good discussion on staying low.

For most adults learning TT, bending the knees is really foreign. So is leaning forward at the right moments during strokes. Watch 2 random guys playing in the garage and don't bend their knees at all. Watch FZD and his knees are always bent.

I suggest lots of shadow play and recording training. As NL said, leg strength can be a factor too.

I still struggle to stay low enough myself. The taller you are, the harder it is. When I'm not gyming, I have weak legs and it's more comfortable to stand up straight. I missed hundreds of balls because of straight legs, but it's more comfortable.

On the backhand, leaning forward on the backswing is super important. It's amazing how many balls sail long if you don't make the first forward lean.

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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 11:56 
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BRS wrote:
So much power on both sides. If I were you I'd play mid-distance almost with wheelchair tactics. Practice to always pound the ball at the opponent's elbow, and only go wide to end a point. That way you don't give them angles to exploit your mobility, even with you playing 6 feet back.

Sorry to talk about tactics, but I have nothing to contribute to NL's technique.


I agree that you shouldn't talk too much about NL's technique. I don't have much to contribute either.

I think you touched on general strategy rather than specific opponent tactics. It's a bit like telling someone to serve short and make the first loop. It's a general strategy that everyone should do all the time.

Telling someone to push long to the opponent's forehand is a bad strategy, although it may be a specific tactic for playing against an opponent. Generally speaking, the more you apply opponent specific tactics, the further you drift from your own strategy.

Speaking of strategy/tactics, I'm back working on PTTP. I really want to get 50 videos in the series.

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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2019, 17:57 
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Richfs wrote:
I used to have this problem when all I did was play matches. I think it might be a footwork issue, or it was part of the problem for me. But not because I couldn't move well, it was because I didn't know or understand how I should be moving. What happens if you try a drill like forehand wide forehand middle? Or forehand all over the table.

If you do footwork drills I find they force you to keep your low ready position as it's very hard to do the drill if you stay up after every shot. Most importantly, they teach you how to be efficient which I think is the key. You could try a simple footwork drill while keeping in mind to hit every shot with good technique + finding the low position that suits you so you can move quickly and efficiently to where the next ball is. You could do these drills close to the table or slightly further away too to practice form follows function. Record yourself during the drills and see if you're doing it right.

But you don't want to go overboard with staying low either. I used to obsess about this staying low business, and for a while was probably staying too low with a too wide stance and it just made me more tired quickly and made me move worse. Additionally it made me loop many balls off the table as I was coming up too much (which likely also ruined my ready position).I've always found this advice of "staying low" to be a little confusing. Because how low are we talking? One guy once told me that my eyes should be the same level as the net.. which I think is pretty extreme. Surely it also depends on how tall someone is. I'm pretty short, so if I bend my knees too and go much lower than I already am naturally it's difficult for me to be efficient.. and leads to the problem of coming up on the ball too much.

Some sort of balance has to be found, probably like you found in that game where you won comfortably.


Thanks for comments. I think the forward leaning is as important as the staying low aspect if not even more so as sometimes I am legs bent but vertical torso weight on heels for forehands and it's awful. It's the combination.

I do footwork drills and I am bad at them, it's definitely something to help me become automatic with body position.


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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 00:20 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
Speaking of strategy/tactics, I'm back working on PTTP. I really want to get 50 videos in the series.


I'd like to see a video about the aggressive pivot from LTT29. Playing points without the proper technique is a waste of time!

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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 03:43 
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Thanks for the kind words, guys. Going to the middle is something I have never learned so I do it absolutely by accident. It is definitely something I want to get better at.

I learned to play TT from a coach who never asked me to bend my knees because he didn't. He was an adult learner with a good eye for technique and a lot of love for the game. So he just basically worked on the problems that you had as they showed up in games. He wouldn't argue that you can play high level TT standing straight he would argue it places limits on your game. But he also felt that if you know how to hit the ball, then people still have to respond and if you didn't, all your fancy footwork and posture didn't matter.

His best student officially got to USATT 2300 at the age of 16 and still mostly did not bend his knees. The kid is trying to play basketball (not so successfully) now. TT is like that. He was still doing well in the weekly league he played in and actually did well against 2500+ opposition but declined to go to the national camp for training.

I wish I had started working with him from day 1 as the core of his approach was aggressive serve return and playing with spin. I unfortunately had a chopper as my first coach which helped with some things but hurt much more. The chopper wasn't very concerned with making his students better players. Instincts die hard in this game and I basically chopped and pushed too many serves starting put and wasn't trained sufficient to read and return them. Bad habits die hard so try to get serve return training as derpy as possible so you can build good spin reading habits.

Understanding what good technique was truly about started with TTEdge. Most of my approach to the ball is based either on whips or circles. Some day when I can handle heavy topspin consistently with a counterloop stroke, I will ride off into the sunset.

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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 09:35 
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Had a training session earlier with a player who's much stronger than anyone else where I play and for that reason it's rare I get to train with him. The couple of times I have I try to make the most of it but it's hard when you're not used to the quality balls he can create compared to myself and others I train with.

One reason he was good to train with was that I got pushed hard and had to put 100% into every drill which I love doing. Unfortunately training with most of the others isn't as serious as I want it to be. But training with this guy the problem is that he's too good.

I don't feel like I can keep up with him. He hits the ball so hard on both wings with consistency. I'm keeping in mind to bow a little on the block but it's just going too fast and I can't block as well as him. Overall I didn't feel consistent today. I'm trying to rotate my torso more forward so my weight ends up on my right foot but I felt my arm tensing up and couldn't use my body like I wanted to. I don't think it's my legs that are slow, it's my body that doesn't know what it's doing when the ball is coming at me faster.

I sound spoilt and realize there are few who have perfect practice partners. I just wish I could make the most out of the practice with this guy but I'm not good enough yet. I wonder if it's even good for me to train with him..but since I rarely get the chance it's fun to try it out when I can.


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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 09:38 
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Richfs wrote:
Had a training session earlier with a player who's much stronger than anyone else where I play and for that reason it's rare I get to train with him. The couple of times I have I try to make the most of it but it's hard when you're not used to the quality balls he can create compared to myself and others I train with.

One reason he was good to train with was that I got pushed hard and had to put 100% into every drill which I love doing. Unfortunately training with most of the others isn't as serious as I want it to be. But training with this guy the problem is that he's too good.

I don't feel like I can keep up with him. He hits the ball so hard on both wings with consistency. I'm keeping in mind to bow a little on the block but it's just going too fast and I can't block as well as him. Overall I didn't feel consistent today. I'm trying to rotate my torso more forward so my weight ends up on my right foot but I felt my arm tensing up and couldn't use my body like I wanted to. I don't think it's my legs that are slow, it's my body that doesn't know what it's doing when the ball is coming at me faster.

I sound spoilt and realize there are few who have perfect practice partners. I just wish I could make the most out of the practice with this guy but I'm not good enough yet. I wonder if it's even good for me to train with him..but since I rarely get the chance it's fun to try it out when I can.


Does he give you tips to control his ball better? Do you ask for tips?

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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 10:32 
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NextLevel wrote:

Does he give you tips to control his ball better? Do you ask for tips?


I have asked for tips but he says it's difficult for him to see from where he stands. It has just sort of been some general tips like you're using too much arm on FH or something like that. Difficult to ask too much as he wants to train, not sure how much I could get out of him. I don't know how much it bothers him that I miss some blocks as there's not really anyone here (including me) who can block that well for him but I'd like to do a better job.

Not much to do than record next time and try to figure it out I suppose. I have some footage from September when I trained with him last. Can't remember if I'd joined ttedge by then but I certainly wasn't bowing on my blocks then and I'm not sure I was today.


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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 10:33 
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I'm at a league now and in my first match had the most complete loss of focus collapse in a long time. I won a close first set and was up 7-1 and then 9-2 in the second. The opponent is an old guy who is a legend here, roughly 2100. I've played him twice before, losing in five and three.

Anyway up a set and a shitload, I started enjoying the win, writing the post in my head, completely out of the match. Nine points later it was 1-1. You can picture the rest.

It's on video, so I'll post it tomorrow so you can see the full horror of it.

He also started playing better, and found plays that worked. But not going up 2-0 was 100% on me.

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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2019, 10:42 
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BRS wrote:
I'm at a league now and in my first match had the most complete loss of focus collapse in a long time. I won a close first set and was up 7-1 and then 9-2 in the second. The opponent is an old guy who is a legend here, roughly 2100. I've played him twice before, losing in five and three.

Anyway up a set and a shitload, I started enjoying the win, writing the post in my head, completely out of the match. Nine points later it was 1-1. You can picture the rest.

It's on video, so I'll post it tomorrow so you can see the full horror of it.

He also started playing better, and found plays that worked. But not going up 2-0 was 100% on me.


Unlucky BRS, I guess we've all been there. In my second last match in the league matches as I was about to win the last set I had the thought at the back of my head "remember it's recording". Luckily I wasn't affected by it then but I can easily see how it might influence me in future matches.

Look forward to seeing the video.


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