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 Post subject: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 10:42 
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Let's say a guy is 30 and is just starting in table tennis. He is very motivated and trains 15+ hours a week always giving his best at every session. Do you think he would be able to reach top 10 in his country (assuming it isn't China ;) ). How long would it take for him to achieve? I'm curious of your opinions because I'm more or less like that haha


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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 11:04 
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Probably won't reach Top 10 (too late), but will likely enjoy TT a lot nevertheless.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 11:05 
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Possible yet unlikely. Even if trained from age 5 there would be no guarantee of top 10. At that level I think that physical makeup, intuition, feel and other factors would come into play. Some of which you are born with. For you I'm sure you can play at a very high level but top will be tough as it would for anyone.

Give it a go for a couple of years and reassess, you'll have a lot of fun and take a lot of wins on your way. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 11:58 
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Thanks for the answers. I'm a few years younger than that, I started 4 months ago. I beat most 5th division, some 4th division local league and put good fights against better opponents. My goal from the beginning was to get to the highest level as I can. Good to know it's all possible even starting very late


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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 13:17 
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I'm a lot older than you, but also train hard, and aim high. My goal was be in the top division in local league within four years, which I achieved. In my first season I lost every match 3-0. It's a tough road. You'll find that people in the mid-divisions are very hard to beat - they've played for a very long time, often have unorthodox styles, funny bats, illegal servers, engage in pschological warfare, and are good tactically.

I don't in any way feel that I've peaked. I'm not so focussed on a specific goal now, as smaller milestones, and process goals rather than outcome goals. However, I continue to train and I continue to improve.

If you're aiming to the do the same I am sure you can. I'd offer you the follwing advice from my own mistakes:

- Changing equipment will slow your growth. It's very tempting when you've had a bad loss, or you're in a bit of a rut, or you had a go on your team mate's bat, to make changes. Usually all this does is impose a temporary stalling of your development, while your brain gets used to how this bat performs. You might get a motivation burst, but in general, it's not worth it. Pick a reliable setup, good quality, change the rubbers every 3-6 months, and be done with it. Avoid very fast blades.

- Changing coaches can be confusing. There are many coaches, and many different approaches. Bear in mind the game has changed a lot in even 20 years, so you may find your 'club coach' still thinks and trains and last updated their knowledge in the 1990s. Get some advice from other players, who play at a genuinely high level, and try to find a coach you get on with, who has proven results, a modern outlook, and is prepared to commit to helping you. Then be careful because everyone and their dog will have advice for you. Just smile and say thank you, and then ask your coach what he/she thinks of the advice. By all means go on camps, training days etc with other coaches, and take on board suggestions, but check with your coach to make sure you've not picked something up that goes against their philosophy or plan for your development.

- Don't try to win too soon. This can lead to bad habits which are very very hard to break. Treat local league as training. You have an opportunity to try out the things you've learned. There's a big differnce between being able to play an excellent fh topspin against push when the push is fed to you in a multiball session, at the right place, with a carefully considered level of spin, and a ball coming at you in a match, with an unknown amount of spin, probably with some side on it, possibly from a very strange trajectory, and where you're miles out of position and off balance. In a matcj you'll be tempted to chicken out and pay a safe shot, or a half shot, rather than play the shot you trained. This is a mistake. Your long term goal is not to win in division 4, and in 5 years time nobody is going to pore over local league results and laugh that you lost to Charlie Chiseler the 72 yr old from Arseville. As an example, I *still* have a very bad habit of shuffling and returning serve on my fh with my bh because in a match it feels safer, and is often very effective. But in terms of my longer development it's a big problem - it's usually not a great thing to do overall for a number of reasons, but more importantly, it means I'm not testing my fh touch/flick/push under pressure. You will come up against similar issues - be brave and push through them. At this stage play to learn. Trust your training and technique. Wins will follow.

That's probably enough for now.

Can you get to top 10? Very very unlikely. Can you get to a very decent standard, where you're competing in national level competitions, winning competitions, and playing a very accomplished game? Yes. Certainly. But beware the fangs of the goal - it can be a cruel master....

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 19:04 
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Wow that is very motivating. Thanks so much for the advice. I do almost all of these things wrong. It's a relief I can finally stop wasting money on useless rubbers :rofl: . I've been trying to adapt a chopper style, got a bad habit of receiving everything with my long pimples too, will try to be more balanced. Why exactly is it a bad thing to do though?


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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2018, 13:49 
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Because, at the lower levels, just returning the balls with long pimples means you don't need to learn to read the spin very well. This makes you lazy as you're not forced to learn to read the spin.
At the higher level, just returning the ball (with long pimples) is not enough, you need to pick the right shot depending on the spin (and placement). So at this level you DO need to read the spin well, because if you don't, your opponent will attack your return hard, giving you an immediate disadvantage, and this would stop you from reaching the top level.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2018, 16:15 
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The difference between short term improvement (getting balls back without knowing or caring what spin is on the ball) and long term improvement (dealing with players who can handle your "short term" returns, so you have to know what spin is on the ball).

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2018, 18:15 
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I agree with what Haggisv and Retriever said -- it's an often-cited fallacy that you don't need to read or handle spin if you use LP. Yes, you can sometimes get away with a generic shot that gets the ball back on the table, and not have to worry about the spin as much as with an inverted rubber, but if you want to progress that's never going to be enough, and your development will be stalled if you don't learn to read and respond to the spin.

However, when I shuffle over, I am reading the spin, and am trying to do something non-passive, but it's just a bad move -- it puts me in the wrong place, with the wrong body position and the wrong balance. It leaves me vulnerable to a quick ball to my backhand side, and also makes it very difficult for me to follow up the next shot with a fh.

It also limits my options. With inverted on the fh I have more options in service return - I can touch short, push to a number of places, or flick. I can also twiddle and use LP on my FH for more variation. Both of these are better long term bets, but psychologically feel more difficult, so under pressure I revert to the old habit of shuffle and BH LP. If I don't break the habit I won't get the opportunity to hone those better alternative shots under pressure, and so I won't get to a stage where I can rely on them and use them, so my development will be held up. I know this and am working on it, but the point I am making is that this habit was born several years ago, when I was not such a skilled player, and so my FH service return was even weaker, and I was even more reluctant to use it, because it would often lose points. If I'd followed the advice I'm giving now, and made my aim in matches to get a number of FH service returns on the table, with pressure, rather than worrying about the actual result, I would have improved more quickly, and wouldn't still be trying to break this habit.

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 14:33 
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If you are close to hitting 30, you are close to being eligible to play veterans table tennis, starts at over 30's (well in Australia anyways)
A more realistic and achievable goal may be to reach top 10 in your age group, still would be super tough to achieve though.
And if you keep your health and fitness might become a slightly easier goal as the years go by. :)

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 17:35 
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Top 10? Probably not. Breaking 2000 or even 2200? Certainly. Assuming you are fast enough and have the ability. On the other hand a lot of people are stuck around 1300-1400 for decades... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 30 y.o. improvement
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2018, 06:21 
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I often attack short backspin serves with long pips because people usually don't expect it so it causes easy points. I know with higher level players it makes me vulnerable to attack, I'll probably have to readjust my technique as my level goes higher but from what I've seen Chen Weixing was very succesfull with his side swipe returns so maybe it isn't that bad of a play.


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