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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 11:53 
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Just describing my experience here, but any advise is of course very very welcome and appreciated.

I am beginner in TT, coming from big tennis, due to my persisting TE.

It appears that my playing style in TT is developing in the same fashion as big tennis,
which is attacking with topspin looping on both sides.

I have mastered playing with pre-mades pretty well over the last year or so.
My pre-made was Donic, wooden racket with lots of control, non tacky, low speed rubber.

I decided to take a plunge into big scary world of custom blades and rubbers.
Done a little bit of research, as time allowed, and bought myself Donic Defplay and few sheets of 729 Super FX of various sponge thickness to experiment with.
Guided by concepts of "racket determines 80%", 729 was cheapest rubber to experiment with, and chasing more control oriented gear,
same as I have in big tennis, where I do all the work myself.

As much as I enjoyed the awesome spin capability of 729... I thought I would be the king of the block with that weapon.
Reality turned out to be very different.
I started losing, game after game after game, for the last 2-3 months, to ALL the opponents I've been beating before.

I would win the points far from the table, provided I have properly returned the serve, properly pushed, properly flicked, over the table and close to the table.
I couldn't maintain proper control doing the latter things.
The ball would pop up or go long.
I could not control my 729 Super FX.

The Defplay also turned out not to be the smartest choice.
It's big head covered with rubber makes it bloody heavy, 20g heavier than anything I have.
And head heavy at that, the worst kind of heavy.

I got very disheartened with my experience.
Gave up a big rant about Defplay and 729, etc mostly due to bitter disappointment with myself.

Went back to my Donic pre-made and started winning again.
Yes, that's right. That is how bad my opponents really are.

Lasted 2 days, not happy again, as pre-made Donic is a dead end.

Moved back to 729 and planning to test other rubbers.
My god, how steep up that 729 throws the ball... at least half a meter high, whatever I do.

cannot hit through the ball...only from 2m behind the table... something is badly wrong...

BTW, where we play, there is only 2m behind the table, so I am hitting the wall with my hand...
and developing this jerky, wristy, arm bent at the elbow, shots... to brush the ball rather than hit through
not enjoying what I see...

Cheers... gotta run


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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 12:12 
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Going from pre-made to custom setup is a double edged sword: on one hand you can impart more spin, so your serves are better, pushes are heavier, loops have more spin etc.

However, you are now more sensitive to incoming spin as well, so all mistakes in your strokes and spin reading are amplified as well.

I think you'll adjust with time.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 12:18 
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Coaching and practice. Can you get some paid coaching, or even "pointers" from better players? Can you drill against the shots that cause you trouble, rather than just playing games all the time. Even if you are just playing games all the time, you can choose not to try to win, but set up the other player to play the shots that you find problematic so you can try to find the way to handle them.

Allow yourself to get used to a particular combination, as you got used to your pre-made. Rome wasn't built in a day. Don't turn into an EJ (Equipment Junky). There is no perfect rubber and blade combination out there that will turn you into the world champion.

Persist. Having spinnier rubber is a two-edged sword. As well as being able to put more spin on the ball, your rubber is more affected by the spin already on the ball. You probably didn't have to worry about that as much (at all?) with the pre-made.

You may want to (somehow) find a place to play with more room behind the table. Also if there is a height restriction, higher ceilings.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 13:09 
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pgpg wrote:
...
However, you are now more sensitive to incoming spin as well, so all mistakes in your strokes and spin reading are amplified as well.
....


Absolutely.


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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 13:37 
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Retriever wrote:
Coaching and practice. Can you get some paid coaching, or even "pointers" from better players? Can you drill against the shots that cause you trouble, rather than just playing games all the time. Even if you are just playing games all the time, you can choose not to try to win, but set up the other player to play the shots that you find problematic so you can try to find the way to handle them.
Allow yourself to get used to a particular combination, as you got used to your pre-made. Rome wasn't built in a day. Don't turn into an EJ (Equipment Junky). There is no perfect rubber and blade combination out there that will turn you into the world champion.
Persist. Having spinnier rubber is a two-edged sword. As well as being able to put more spin on the ball, your rubber is more affected by the spin already on the ball. You probably didn't have to worry about that as much (at all?) with the pre-made.
You may want to (somehow) find a place to play with more room behind the table. Also if there is a height restriction, higher ceilings.


All good points, started doing few of those, like taking easy on losses.
I am indeed a bit pre-disposed to EJing, took me 7 iterations and 5 years to settle on the big stick.
But then I didn't change it for the last 5, so there is a hope :)
I might need to move to a bigger town for paid coaching and higher ceilings :(
Cheers


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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 17:39 
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Given the absence of clubs and coaching in your area I'd suggest watching videos on YouTube. Start with the very basic stuff like YangYang's channel:



Also watch Brett Clarke's videos:



This one's actually a playlist. Click on the "YouTube" icon once the video starts playing to see the playlist.



Iskandar


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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 21:27 
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Thanks
I am not that clueless to pick up much from YangYang video.

I never face the balls shown in the video, those would not be a problem.
The opponents I am having trouble against are playing this style
- back slice on both FH and BH.
FH back slice is particularly vicious.
Many years of playing, very skillful.
- lots of side and/or back spin on serves, also low and long
- flat smash on anything high enough
very skillful at that too.
Not many folks here can play topspin drives.


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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 21:47 
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Yes, relaxed, whip, acceleration, legs power, body rotation... it's just mimicking big tennis concepts I am well familiar.
However in the big tennis I rip through the ball, and given correct racket face and racket head speed, spin brings it in.
Don't really care much what spin was on the ball before I rip the cover off.... slight adjustment in approach angle, that's all.

That's the difference. The current spin on the ball seems to matter a lot.
729 throws the ball as high as low string tension on granny's racket.
Bloody disgusting. :)


Last edited by Zverev on 24 May 2019, 22:55, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 22:03 
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Yes, you have to learn to read and deal with spin. This is the essence of table tennis.. a very basic skill that sets it apart from other racket sports. And you have to learn to generate spin, lots of it.

Still, these pushes - they're pretty long, no? If they are long and don't bounce on the table twice, you should be able to attack them. Don't discount Yangyang. Look for her video on attacking backspin.

Maybe it's time to try the long pips.. :lol: Mind you, learning to play with the stuff isn't easy (it's as weird to play with as it is to play against it), but it'll confuse the heck out of them. And you gain the ability to "bump attack" those pushes. Then again, you might be accused of using "funny rubber" and they'll ban you. :lol:

Another way to get ahead is learn some good serves. What gives low level players fits is when you can make topspin serves look exactly like backspin serves. Better players can tell the difference most of the time but lower level players can't so their returns end up in the net or sailing over your head. And it drives them up the wall.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 24 May 2019, 23:07 
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Yes, those backspin drives tend to be long.
And I am trying to play by the book - every long ball must be attacked - not enough skills though...
that drives me up the wall :)
I mean sometimes I can, the percentage is low though... 15-20% at most.
BH topspin drive is much worse... I mean on low backspin ball... on high ball not so bad
Funny, the boys used to keep the ball away from my BH, was considered deadly... what it was however just a flat drive, nothing else... just pretty fast and accurate.

Yes, I suspect I will try LP one day, not now I think
I am also pretty sure that 729 FX was the wrong rubber to start with, and those recommendations for first blade/rubber in this forum are good, e.g mark v, sriver, so on
something not too sensitive to spin
729 FX - a step too big...
Cheers
thanks for sharing those videos.


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PostPosted: 25 May 2019, 04:29 
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Zverev wrote:
Yes, those backspin drives tend to be long.
And I am trying to play by the book - every long ball must be attacked - not enough skills though...
that drives me up the wall :)
I mean sometimes I can, the percentage is low though... 15-20% at most.
BH topspin drive is much worse... I mean on low backspin ball... on high ball not so bad
Funny, the boys used to keep the ball away from my BH, was considered deadly... what it was however just a flat drive, nothing else... just pretty fast and accurate.


OK, I can see a problem already. Pushing isn't necessarily bad. And it's not necessarily passive, either. If you insist on attacking every backspin ball, given your level of skill at the moment, you're going to lose a lot of games, and you won't be developing a necessary skill. Don't be afraid to push - at the lower levels, push rallies are a big part of the game. Push until you get a loose ball and can open up with your forehand. Remember your can generate a lot more backspin than they can, and you can vary the spin. You can even mix in heavy topspin, no spin and even slight topspin/sidespin, making all the shots look similar. Don't just push to the middle - do what they do. Make fast, long, low, spinny pushes into the corners (particularly into their forehand). These players aren't good enough to loop long pushes, so long pushes are safe to do for the most part, just make sure you don't pop them up. Which takes practice, but you won't get practice unless you do it.

At this level of the game, most people go by "if someone pushes, push back with an open racket. If it's topspin, return with a closed racket." And it does work for the most part. You'll eventually get to the point where you can loop backspin, but it takes a LOT OF PRACTICE to do. You'll have to do drills rather than play games to learn to do it, it's not an easy thing to learn.

See if you can learn the side-backspin/topspin serve (where you disguise the back/topspin). Serve/return is just as big a factor as it is in lawn tennis, except it isn't speed and placement that matter as much - it's spin and the variation thereof.

I'm afraid changing your rubber to something else really isn't going to help much - 729 Super FX ISN'T a particularly spinny or fast rubber. No more so than Sriver or Mark V. Or even Flextra. You'll have just as much trouble with just about any inverted rubber, since there really isn't an intermediate step below 729 Super FX. You COULD move to pips out, but that's another set of problems.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 25 May 2019, 23:56 
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Thanks for great points.
Had a reasonable success today, took 6 out of 10 games against very skillful player.
he's got variety of spins, good touch, deadly BH.
I did have variable success returning his tomahawk serves to forehand, both long and short.
Today, a break through of sorts, I was able to apply pressure immediately on his long serves to my FH...
I would say, success rate was around 80%

Lesser luck on BH.
BH topspin loop remains bigger challenge as I don't have any muscle memory to fall on, playing double handed BH in big tennis.

I would have to say, that hitting shots with closed racket face is one of the main differences from lawn tennis,
as there is simply no such shot in lawn tennis. Racket face must perpendicular to the ground on all topspin shots.
You can close it only on smashes.

And when things have to happen fast, I think I fall on that concept. That is possibly why balls fly long.
Today I forced myself to keep an eye on that, and it worked.

Thanks for the hints.

Would definitely benefit from some drills, but boys think it's stupid to push balls around without keeping score.
They see no fun in that. :)


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PostPosted: 26 May 2019, 04:42 
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Backhand loops - particularly against backspin - are several times as hard as forehand loops against backspin. And, you've noticed, you can't do simple flat returns against backspin on the backhand. (Well, you CAN, it's called a "flick" or "flip", but it's not easy either.) So probably more on the backhand than on the forehand, attack only high balls. Low balls with topspin can be blocked or driven back, if you get low backspin balls on the backhand, push (and don't do it passively, either - change corners frequently, use short ones if your opponent is out of position or fast long ones if he is not). If you want to develop a backhand topspin attack, then you really do need to hit the videos (even Yangyang's). Brett has some good ones for the backhand attack. And you have to practice. Find a proper practice partner and a box of 100 balls. Don't expect quick progress, either - it'll take several months to a year of concentrated practice I think.

Drills can take the form of set-piece points - decide what you want to practice. Say you're practicing forehand loops against backspin. So the server will, by agreement, serve long moderate backspin to your forehand, you loop it back, then he blocks it back and then you play out the point. Pushing practice would be the same - serve long to a pre-agreed corner, you push it back long (you're allowed to choose the target), and then it goes from there - either player is allowed to open up given the opportunity. Take turns - serve twice, then the other person serves twice. Don't keep score, but each player is trying to win each point.

Just out of curiosity - are you still playing to 21 points? :lol: A surprising number of people do. When I joined the current group I play with, they were playing to 21 points and we didn't switch until maybe six months later. This was only 3-4 years ago.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 26 May 2019, 12:23 
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Yes... I wonder what is wrong with 21 points...same as 11... still tennis


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PostPosted: 26 May 2019, 13:42 
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Nothing really, just being 20 years out of touch... :lol: There are still people (here on this forum) who look back at it with nostalgia... they liked, for instance, having five serves in a row.

Iskandar


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