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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2012, 09:47 
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I am an allround offensive 50 + year old player looking for the quickest way to move up 300 points.
What 1, 2 or 3 things I could concentrate on to improve quickly?

thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2012, 10:28 
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depends on what you find troubling when playing agaisnt people and show us a clip of you playing

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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2012, 11:09 
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#1) Get a coach.

#2) Work on serves and serve return. You will need someone that is very good at serving to show you some basics. Pay them if needed. You can practice serving 10,000,000 balls and it will do you no good if you do not know what you are "trying" to do. Find the best player and beg him, pay him,,,, that will get you 300 points faster than anything else.

Great serves do two things, either prevents them from attacking or can win you the point outright. Understanding how to make good serves tells you how to read serves also. :)


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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2012, 12:47 
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enter higher grades and get lucky

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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2012, 13:47 
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Hookshot's point on serving is totally correct, but you can learn to serve better using the resources of the forum and youtube if you can't get hold of someone to coach you. Particularly, Coach McAfee posted a very good 2-part vid here on serving which is very valuable. Look for it in the video section and study it carefully. Scour the net (ie. youtube) for other TT videos as well - use all you can find through the forum first though, as it will be easier and give greater context around the video via the forum discussion on it.

Serving is not the only thing you need though. Obviously, getting a good coach is the ultimate plan of attack. If something is preventing this, then there are other things you can do. If you can video your strokes, either via robot or in practice (you can control camera angle as to whether you show your face or not) and post on the forum, you will get some good advice here. Unless you can find a good standard practice partner, a robot is probably going to be preferable for this...if you have access to one. Buying one, if necessary, if you are serious about developing in the game maybe a good investment.

Seeking out and playing against higher standard players than yourself will always help too. Of course that has to be something that is available to you, both in location and their willingness.

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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2012, 16:13 
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Serve/attack sequence and receive of service/attack return sequence.

Not a whole lot of rallying at USATT 1500 level, so 1st player landing a good attack usually wins point.

Not a lot of ones who can return a good 3rd ball attack at 1500 level,especially if it is loaded with spin or well placed.

Not a lot of 1500 level who can sucessfully attack a fast deep push into their body or can attack a short ball, so control of receive is near the top of list.

Another idea is to push to their elbow, slow enough to entice them to attack, then watch them step around and spray the ball everywhere. You can often tell where they are going and do not have a 2200 level powerloop, so if you stay at the table and block, usually wide, you will see a 1500 level player struggle to keep the attack going and likely miss next shot. If the 1500 level player could manage this, he/she is likely very under-rated.

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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2012, 23:21 
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To add more to what hookshot and Der are saying.

Serve and return game are key. For the return game at 1500 you only need to know 1 way to return each serve as long as you can execute.

I would also say if you become a great at the short game (pushes mostly at that level, placement and spin <heavy and also no spin>) and have a solid block on both sides (meaning you can block the ball twice)
You should hit 1500 fast.

People at that level pay too much attention to trying to loop or smash and not enough attention to the short game.... I'm kinda lacking in the push and block game right now which is locking me out of the 2000 level. So I figure yes you should always improve your serve and return and third ball attack because it is the quickest way to improve, but when you get there you will be looking for something else and most likely your short game will be the one next to fix...

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2012, 01:57 
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Many players under 1500 rating can have practice strokes that look 2000, but some thing(s) is/are keeping their game performance from being close to their practice strokes.

There can be a lot of reasons for this. I list some of them, they overlap a lot of what is said already. I see a ton of players here in Korea on the rise who can bang FH to FH all day long and not miss, but come game time, it is a different story. I have asked some new players at our club with some good looking FH drives to play doubles, only for the coach to advise against it as their game is not game-ready yet. Of course not every 1500, 1600, 2000, 2200 level player is the same or does the same stuff, but some general things apply to most.

A few reasons why players do not crack 1500. A lot of what I write applies even to some 2000 level players, but they are obviously further along the path to correcting the deficiencies. Last post, I kept it simple, here, I expound a little bit.

Some reasons why TT players do not reach 1500, 1800, 2000 levels.

1) Cannot properly read spin
2) Cannot be in position for shots
3) Strike the ball out of their optimal strike zone
4) Cannot receive serve
5) Have little spin variation on serve or it is too obvious
6) Do not control depth of serve, nor the height, nor the break, not the location of bounce on serve
7) Make a nice attack, but are unprepared to continue the attack. One block by opponent wins the point.
8..Try for too much power by lifting their elbow or bending backwards, that creates an attack that might land, but player is way off balance to do anything afterwards.
9) Poor balance, stance, and play too upright
10) Try to make power shots (without max spin) when ball has dropped below table
11) Reach for balls
12) Do not step in on serves that are short
13) Do not have courage to step in and flick, even if they know how to flick
14) Make poor decisions on which balls to attack
15) Do not make quality pushes - their push is attacked easily for a point
16) Do not make passing shots that carry light topspin, clear net low, and are difficult to attack and setup an attack for the next shot
17) Do not stay calm in match, easily distracted or upset, bothered by every noise
18) Do not construct points, have no plan how to setup their strong shots
19) Do not take advantage of the serve as a means to create an immediate offensive advantage
20) Grip the bat way too tight in a close point or juncture in a match
21) Use a grip that is difficult to transition form FH to BH and back to FH
22) Move too early before opponents hit the ball, open themselves to a ball hit by where they just were
23) Commit to a FH or BH return by moving arm and blade before opponent strikes ball, which gives away easy point
24) Do not stay close to the table to block to take advantage of time pressure and angles
25) Do not block off the bounce, reach for the block, do not adjust bat angles, do not block to difficult spot, do not know how to block soft, hard, or active
26) Do not have good depth on offensive shots, lands too shallow and allows opponent to easily counter attack
27) Do not generate heavy spin, spin they make is too weak and easy to counter or block
28) Do not know how to vary the spin on attacks and do not attack at different speeds
29) Land attacks, but not at a high enough percentage, inconsistant, lose too many points attacking balls that should be high percentage
30) Attack the "wrong" balls, make poor decisions on which stroke to use
31) Do not have a trained sequence of combinations to attack or block. One block from player's attack or one continued attack from players block is the end of the road - no further plan on how to continue.
32) Do not use enough wrist in loops, lose too much spin. Do not use the whole body. Often raise playing elbow our scrunch shoulder instead of lowering waist and exploding throught the strike zone.
33) Do not know which serves will get which kind of likely return.
34) Do not adapt as match goes on. Try to win using the same tactic or shot, even if opponent has proved he can handle it.
35) Does not have a dependable BH loop opener or BH power shot (shakehand players)
36) Move too far from table to counter
37) Do not move in to hit balls that do not kick towards players, such as a slow, very light underspin or a no-spin ball
38) Too scared to attack, even when presented with a good attacking chance, push balls they shoul loop, then find themselves defending a strong attack.
39) Do not learn what troubles an opponent or what shots give the player a better ball to attack
40) Do not stay crouched in point, do not make a good first step
41) Do not use 2 step or crossover footwork with balance, cannot move to the wide FH to attack, then bounce back towards nuetral position to cope with the return
42) Get scared when they see opponent use heavy topspin, instead of using it as an opportunity to block or counter to disrupt his timing
43) Do not seek to play vs a variety of styles. Ex, can play OK vs a similar attacking topspinner, but fail vs Short Pips BH or LP players
44) Very indecisive or overdecisive
45) Frequently move the hitting elbow forward before impact, reduces power, spin, landing % - that uses mostly shoulder which is too weak compared to using whole body
46) Do not observe strengths/weaknesses of opponents beofre match
47) Do not have an understanding of where to strike the ball (back of ball, top of ball, slightly under the ball) for diffenent incoming balls
48) Backswing pusts racket way too low for an incoming topspin ball, causes player to swing upwards and often long/out
49) Can open vs underspin with an upwards lifting stroke, then use the very same stroke to attack the block, which is usally a light topspin. Result is fail
50) Use the wrist wrong. Use too much slap, (the part of wrist motion that can have a 90 degree range instead of wrist pivot (the part of wrist that has a 30 degree range in each direction
51) Try to wrap around the ball, instead of simply using a consistant swing plane and explode through the ball.

I'll stop at 51 beofre any of you throw a frypan at me.

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2012, 02:07 
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What is solution for any/all of this?

Of course, the solution is awareness, a willingness to discover what is wrong, how to fix it, and effective continued actions to correct them. Not doing this usually causes a player not to improve once they reach a certain point.

This usually involves a good coach and some practice partners, then applied in matchplay with feedback and continued evaluation and adjustment. That doesn't happen in every USA locale, so we have to deal with it the best we can and that very situation prevents us from correcting a lot of this and many USA players can play the sport for years and not progress past 1500, even if they might be able to reach say 2000.

Usaully coaching or a full time club is either too far away or way too expensive. If you live 300+ KM from a full time club, you will have a tough time improving. If you find a club, it is likely you either have to play a match or leave the table. This situation in USA is improving, but we will need another 1000 full time clubs spread evenly accross our land just to be able to have to travel less than an hour to get any TT done.

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2012, 10:03 
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Wow. Der_Echte has been watching me play. :D

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012, 06:46 
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Great outline for a book... ;)

Or perhaps a new sub-section of Technique with one thread for each point in the list where each of these points can be discussed in detail.

I could visualize MANY of these errors in my own technique and need to work on the most important ones and work my way down. Whew! I stink more than I thought! :rofl:

 

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2012, 07:52 
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CC, the few years I have been here in Korea actually in a decent situation to train and improve have brought about a LOT of improvement, likely 400 USATT rating points of improvement, yet with each advance, I realize more and more how ate up as a TT athlete I am each time. I never thought I was this bad, but the truth is, the better you get, the more aware you become of your deficiencies, or even better yet, the more your moar and moar superior opponents will let you know.

Many, if not all these 51 items I listed apply to me to a large or minor degree.

Just this weekend, I got an invite to an eleite 2 player tourney of Single/Single/Double format with 5 team groups, then the crossovers single elimination tourney. I was able to impose my will in offense to a large degree and it was indeed flashy and effective, but even with that, there were offensive issues and worse, defensive issues that prolly kept me from winning some matches. I was up 2-0 and 10-9 on a superior player prolly 100-150 USATT points better than I and ended up losing. The two biggest things that contributed to this was he served short in game 3 and beyond after I was BH looping everything long real heavy. I know how to BH flick and I have a very good BH flick and a bananna flick, yet, the way he served, I was effectively parylized in not moving in. The balls looked like they would go long, so I never moved in, yet, they were clearly short and I ended up pushing those, allowing him to open heavy, and I stayed close to table blocking, trying to outlast him, which I did, but only at a 30-40% rate, not enough. I ended up playing just a little too upright after game 2 and it bit me bad.

Just two aspects, if I did even a fraction better would have led me to victory in a few of those qualifying and the single elimination match I lost at 2-0 10-9. it burns still, I even took a timeout at 9-9 to ensure I was calm and had an offensive plan to win the next two points. I did, and actually executed the first one the way I wanted, but was unlucky with a passing shot that would have setup the finish to the match. What a bad break and I hope these kind of experiences make me eventually the player who either is the one on hte other end coming back, or the player who wins without placing himself in that kind of situation.

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PostPosted: 29 May 2012, 18:02 
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Der_Echte wrote:
...
Some reasons why TT players do not reach 1500, 1800, 2000 levels.

...

I'll stop at 51 beofre any of you throw a frypan at me.

I fetched that skillet, if only to bang my own head for making such obvious mistakes.

Ruined it, so no eggs and bacon for me today...
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PostPosted: 29 May 2012, 18:08 
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Like this

1200

FrenchFrog wrote:
I am an allround offensive 50 + year old player looking for the quickest way to move up 300 points.
What 1, 2 or 3 things I could concentrate on to improve quickly?

thanks in advance.


1500

FrenchFrog wrote:
I am an allround 50 + year old player looking for the quickest way to move up 300 points.
What 1, 2 or 3 things I could concentrate on to improve quickly?

thanks in advance.


Be the man with the highest control setup, with the last ball on the table and you will beat every 1500 level player. Of course 1 day worth of coaching to show you an effective serve with spin variation and a couple months and few thousand balls practice would get you there too

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