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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 12:01 
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I am not sure where to post this, and it is perhaps more of an observation that will eventually turn into a question.

It is no secret that the defensive style of play does not occupy the majority of the worlds top top twenty ranking status. I get that. Nonetheless, there is so little good coaching and videos, information, etc. on how to actually play this style vrs. the attack game, especially for the average player. There are tons and tons of videos, sign up coaching, coaching at local clubs, etc for the attack game, but little for defense.

Am I wrong, or is there a resource I am missing? I took lessons for a local coach for a while and it became apparent to me that while he made good suggestions, my main purpose there was to give practise to his attacking players against a defensive style! He would coach them on how to play against me, so that was frustrating!

It would be fantastic to actually see a site on not only the technique of defense, but the strategy behind it. As those of you who play this style know, there is a ton of strategy involved. No information out there to assist with that, as i can see. Let me know if I am completely wrong, but it appears this style is being overlooked for some reason. I do have to give it to Pingskills for having a video on playing as a defensive player. It was very good, but its not enough.

If there is a resource I am overlooking, please let me know. Thanks!


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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 13:53 
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Hi Bobv,

I think this site is it.

What equipment do you use? Hard bat or combination, spinny rubber, long pimples, medium pimples, short pimples, anti, frictionless anti, thickness of sponge from ox to max? Do you stay close to the table and block, mid distance or back against the barriers and chop? Classic or modern defender? Retriever? What do you find easy? What do you find difficult? Favorite player you want to emulate? How do you want to play? More information is better.

There are a lot of defensive types and some of the people here are reasonably good at some of them.

Welcome.

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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2018, 14:15 
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Thanks very much, and I appreciate it. At the moment, I play a Gambler Zen allround wood blade with Tenergy 80 fx on the forehand side, and Friendship 802 short pips on the backhand. I started with the short pips about 2 months ago after being an inverted allround player that chopped quite a bit.

What is fun for me is to serve, push, and either attack a pop up, or get back and defend and mix in attacking forehand shorts. I can put away shots up close to the table with my short pips, but I mostly push, side spin, hit dead, or bump shots with it. I have a very good forehand chop, and try to loop more. I would love to get better at lobbing.

If you have any resources, ideas, strategy, - anything, I am hungry to learn more. I have been playing quite a while, but it is very satisfying to out think an opponent. Thanks again!


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PostPosted: 24 Jun 2018, 15:16 
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Thanks for that.

I myself lob a bit, to take the pace off the ball. However I use double inverted, and try to leave the opponent guessing as to amount of and which type of or lack thereof spin on the lob. I mostly lob when I am back from the table, not when up at the table. As far as how, I think it is a matter of practice. Find someone who wants to practice smashing your lobs, or is happy to set you up to lob in return for you later helping with them practicing a particular shot, and just do it.

Just last night an attacker likened playing me like playing chess, finding weaknesses, playing "sucker balls" (balls that look eminently hittable but really aren't). He has to make me play his game, not just play his game.

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PostPosted: 25 Jun 2018, 00:57 
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I appreciate your info on lobbing, and I am going to try that. Part of the challenge at my club is finding someone who I can practice my defensive style with. Id like to topspin lob to get some of the up to the table types forced back a bit. Im going to work on it.

I played yesterday and it just went ok, so I am going back to my inverted on the backhand. I was just trying short pips for chopping, and I chop very well with inverted, so Im going back to that. Plus, the inverted adds a bit more weight to the blade giving me a bit more mass behind the shot so I can stay back and hit from there. I'll see how it goes.

With the inverted, I can chop and push and wait for a pop up and come in with the backhand, so that fun.

I think you are correct in the chess analogy to playing defensive. There is a lot going on...cat and mouse, waiting for the right ball, etc. Very interesting to watch at a high level, as well.

Do you know of any other outside resources (videos, training, etc) for defenders? I thank you for your help up to this point!


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PostPosted: 25 Jun 2018, 04:08 
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I forgot to add this video of Satoshi Adia, and he is my favorite double inverted all round player. Just amazing. He loses here, but just drives his opponent nuts for a while.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zs3LW-hYek


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PostPosted: 25 Jun 2018, 07:32 
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Bobv wrote:
Quote:
Do you know of any other outside resources (videos, training, etc) for defenders? I thank you for your help up to this point!


Have you searched this site? There are any number of pearls hidden. There is a current thread titled something like "Guys with funny accents in Alameda" which has a (admittedly short) video of an Australian Vets match featuring a lobbing point.

Have you approached "known higher level defenders" for coaching? Here (Sydney Australia) I can think of at least 2 if not 3 defensive players who coach, usually the offensive game, but I am pretty sure they can coach defensive as well.

Google something like "table tennis training for defenders" (and variations).

Multiball Falkenberg drill except pushing or chopping.

A couple of problems a lot of defensive players have is:

1. The opposition is not attacking (looping at) me - how do I get to play my game. See Zen of Chopping blog here. Quick answer - you probably either just outlast them or attack them - the latter being good if you are a modern defender

2. How to get the first loop back - almost the opposite of the first issue. You must make it tempting for the opponent to loop, but you don't want them to loop it past you. This can be a bit cat and mouse. I myself find that varying spin and placement usually means the first loop isn't as strong or well placed as it could be. On the other hand, if they pick it well then you look a little foolish.

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 01:21 
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Thank you, and those are some really good suggestions. There are not many defenders at my club, so I will search out the videos.

Do you know, or can you suggest, how to send a chop back that is dead? How do I create a chop like that with inverted? Hit near the handle? Id love to vary a heavy chop with a dead one. What fun!

I totally get the concept of the Zen of Chopping. I did have a lesson with a Chinese coach at Paddle Palace (online distributor, plus they now have a club), and we spent an full hour on forehand chopping. He was very interesting as he compared the chopping to the martial art of Akido , and that I was basically using the other person's energy against them. It was a very, very interesting lesson.

I'd like to model my game a bit on the guy I sent you, with a bit of an allround game with a slight emphasis on defending. I went back to my inverted on my backhand, which I mentioned, and it is Air defender sold at Coles Table Tennis. I really like it.

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 01:24 
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I forgot to mention that I always work on pushing and pushing with various spins. I am committed to the idea that I will try to never be out pushed by an offensive player. I should own pushing! Its my game!


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PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 07:35 
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Hi Bobv,

Which city and country are you in? You may be able to contact your country or state/province/area table tennis organization for coaching resources.

Here in the state of NSW country of Australia, the TTNSW organization has a list of accredited coaches on their web site. If I was in the market for defensive coaching and didn't know of any of the coaches beforehand I could either contact each one or contact TTNSW and ask them. As it is I know that 2 or 3 are defensive players themselves, so word of mouth may work too.

Have you looked at the rest of the OOAK forum? The Zen of Chopping blog is by a chopper in the US.

As far as varying chops between full spin and floating or dead, when chopping (or doing many strokes) I use my wrist for that extra bit of spin. To do a floater, I only go through the motions of a chop, which usually (but not always) means it is a little higher. I am not conscious of hitting the ball closer to the handle. I was doing this last night at the local club.

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PostPosted: 26 Jun 2018, 10:26 
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Retriever wrote:
Hi Bobv,

Which city and country are you in? You may be able to contact your country or state/province/area table tennis organization for coaching resources.

Here in the state of NSW country of Australia, the TTNSW organization has a list of accredited coaches on their web site. If I was in the market for defensive coaching and didn't know of any of the coaches beforehand I could either contact each one or contact TTNSW and ask them. As it is I know that 2 or 3 are defensive players themselves, so word of mouth may work too.

Have you looked at the rest of the OOAK forum? The Zen of Chopping blog is by a chopper in the US.

As far as varying chops between full spin and floating or dead, when chopping (or doing many strokes) I use my wrist for that extra bit of spin. To do a floater, I only go through the motions of a chop, which usually (but not always) means it is a little higher. I am not conscious of hitting the ball closer to the handle. I was doing this last night at the local club.


Ahem - I would not go as far as calling myself a 'chopper' these days, truth be told - yes, I put LP on my BH with the idea of chopping (because it's magical ;) ), but it kind of evolved into 'allrounder with pips on BH' somehow. Weird.

Gory details here:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=27372

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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 00:35 
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Ok, and thanks so much for the great ideas and I will look up lessons here.

One thing I do have to work on is mixing up the chops with attacking shots. However, with that said, the guys at my club that I play with just love topspin shots to return! They love them! Thats what they practice and I feel as though my goal is to find out what it is that they dont like, and then give them a lot of that! Chops, dead balls, funky little sidespin blocks all tend to throw them off their normal pace and disrupts their rhythm.

Last night my son and I beat a very good doubles team doing just that. My son is an excellent attacker, although he doesnt play that much anymore. Hes 18 and unfortunately, table tennis does not have the level of "cool" that other sports do in his eyes. None of his friends play, and he plays a lot of basketball with them. Its really too bad because he plays about once or twice a month and beats 3/4 of the members here. He had such excellent training when he was young but Gao Jun in LA, and those fundamentals are still in him. Oh well.

So last night, I chopped, pushed hard and then dead and moved back to fish and chop some more, while he stayed mid range and looped. it worked very well. Plus, he can move!!

So since I am back to both sides inverted, I am thinking I primarily need to work on the offensive game a bit so that when the opportunity presents itself, I can take advantage of it. What fun!


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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 03:36 
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Are you in the USA? This group knows the location of most of the chopping coaches in this country and probably most/many players as well. i bet you may find one near you that you didn't expect.

To me, as a defender, it's worth taking one lesson from a defensive coach once a month, than taking 5 lessons from an attacking coach and trying to glean defensive information from them. They simply don't understand the strategy and strokes. Everything is different, footwork, strokes, placement, serves...everything. Even meeting with a defensive player to get some tips is better in my experience.

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PostPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 09:44 
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Yes, I am in the US...in the Portland, Oregon area. I would appreciate the help!


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