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PostPosted: 18 May 2009, 03:36 
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Adham wrote:
Please do not say anything if it makes you feel uncomfortable. I am sorry I suggested it to you. Massimo Costantini is a very good friend and we know each other from my playing days when he was a junior. I always speak in Italian to him and he appreciates it. What I asked you to say is: "Hello Massimo, how are you, your friend Adham says hello". He will be very happy to hear it in Italian and will appreciate your effort. You will not be a fool, you will be his friend. I am very surprised that Smartguy has objected, shame on him. By the way, I will see Massimo on the 25th in Scotland and I will ask him about this. I'm sure he will love to hear you say a few words in Italian. Go for it ! But if you feel uneasy, then don't.


Unfortunately the Indian coaches had to cancel the training session this afternoon so I've just got back from taking the equipment down with the two Jim's. However, I did go with Jim Clegg to the Hotel to say goodbye to both of the Indian coaches. This gave me the opportunity to try out the Italian Adham gave me.

Was I nervous, yes. Did Costantini think I was an idiot. No, I don't think so. He was surprised, certainly. Mind you, if I was in his position and an Italian man from a local league who I'd only spoken to on a couple of occasions came up to me trying to speak to me in English saying he had a message from Adham Sharara I'd be a bit taken back too. :shock: Did he smile. Of course he did. That seems to be his way. Did he appreciate me trying to speak Italian - even in a Lancashire accent. I think so. I explained to him how I came to pass this message on and he thanked me. So no I definitely didn't feel a fool, just a little nervous.

Whether or not the Indian team really enjoyed their stay in Preston and found the facilities, hospitality and venue good, well I'll let Mr Costantini answer that in private when he speaks to Adham. For my part, this was the first time our league had put something on of this magnitude. There will always be things you think might have gone better or that could have been done differently - it's this attitude which drives us on to improve off the table as well as on it. But in all honesty, I've been proud to be a part of this last four days. I think everyone involved helped put on a really good show. And best of all, the feedback I continue to get is that the general public enjoyed what they saw too. Excellent job Jim - but you've set a high benchmark now!

Adham, thanks for posting on this thread. Everyone's input and constructive comments are welcome but to see you posting outside your own thread is great. I would really appreciate some feedback if you can get it please from Mr Costantini (private pm preferably) as we are always looking at ways on how we can improve and encourage the development of table tennis in our area, be it organising table tennis events, hosting teams or coaching youngsters.

No one involved is looking back, we're all now looking to the future and how we can build on what we've done either in partnership with others or by ourselves. But not just yet. Now it's time to get some sleep.

Thanks for your support on this forum too, when it gets hard work constructive comments and encouragement can make a huge difference.

The end.... of the beginning :wink:

Smartguy, thank you for clarifying your original comment.


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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 10:12 
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Skull wrote:
great write up mate. would be nice to see some clips of this practice. Also i'll be looking out for any write-ups for the event, probbly will be in the broasheet if anything, but will still be wortn looking for. Just a shame these tests couldnt of been televised

For anyone who is interested in what the Indian National Teams practice session was like I've now loaded some videos on YouTube.

India's mens team are ranked 31 in the world and won the silver team medal in the Commonwealth Championships a couple of weeks later. The women's team is ranked 36 in the world and won the bronze medal. India also won a few individual medals.

This is a link to the play list - another 1 or 2 to add yet.

http://www.youtube.com/user/PathfinderP ... FD558EBC68

The order the videos appear in the play list is the order in which the India practice session developed. There's no commentary but in other sections in this forum people have asked about training drills and multiball so it might be interesting from a view point of what and how international players practice. The England women's team included Joanna Parker who is a defender and chops the ball a lot. This probably explains why the multiball sessions for the Indian women involved a lot of practice attacking chopped and floated returns.

Big thanks to the Indian coaches for agreeing to me filming their practice session.


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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 12:53 
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Great vids Debater, I like the drill where they do Forehand middle ,forehand left then repeated then forehand right
then free play ... It just seemed more realalistic to a game situation

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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 16:27 
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That's very useful Debater! Very good to see some of the training drills they run.

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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 17:19 
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rodderz wrote:
Great vids Debater, I like the drill where they do Forehand middle ,forehand left then repeated then forehand right
then free play ... It just seemed more realalistic to a game situation

Thanks. They built up the "open play" element as the session progressed. Startd with warm ups, then the basic drills most club players do which are repetitive, then added the open play element so you got repetitve part followed by open play such as serve - return tight - initiate attack and finish out point and then a couple of open games. The session lasted about 2 hours. On the Friday they also practiced doubles and mixed play - there was no doubles or mixed play in the England International so this must have all been geared to warming up for the Commonwealth Championships.

Using a combination of drills then play the point out is something I've started doing myself at practice. Quite a few other players seem to enjoy this style too rather than play game after game so it's getting easier to enjoy "practice" and "point play" all rolled in to one and finish with a few full games.


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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 17:28 
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Debater wrote:
Using a combination of drills then play the point out is something I've started doing myself at practice. Quite a few other players seem to enjoy this style too rather than play game after game so it's getting easier to enjoy "practice" and "point play" all rolled in to one and finish with a few full games.


I like this better than full play as I think controlled drills with full play would bring about faster progress than completely random play-practice.

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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 19:18 
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My own game would improve out of sight, if I had a regular practice session that like...

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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 19:58 
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If only you lived in Preston haggisv we could get together and have a regular hit. Or alternatively if I lived in Adelaide! :D

This type of practice has only been a recent occurance for me and it almost sort of slipped in to my friday social session play unnoticed. No one I knock up with objects and usually they start to do the same type of thing automatically. I sometimes wonder if we are almost conditioned in to playing games because "time is precious" on a table and people want something tangible out of their time eg "I beat so and so.." - I know I was. Maybe people can be conditioned in to a "drills into open play mentality" too, especially if as you say, it'll improve their game out of sight - and I have no reason to doubt that.

Maybe we should have a pact. For one week we all refuse to play only games at practice sessions and insist on "constructive" drills to open play sessions. It would be interesting to see if that could get others interested into practicing rather than just playing. :D


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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 20:36 
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Yes I would love to have a regular practice partner...

I just enjoy playing games more than practice, but regret afterward I didn't practice more... I want to improve when I'm not playing, and play games when I am playing...

Even after a single practice session I can feel my game has lifted when I play comp...

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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009, 23:25 
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Debater wrote:
Maybe we should have a pact. For one week we all refuse to play only games at practice sessions and insist on "constructive" drills to open play sessions. It would be interesting to see if that could get others interested into practicing rather than just playing. :D


Aye, I concur. :D A little experiment it shall be.

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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009, 07:55 
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For the first time I went through a whole session without playing a game. A practiced with three different people over a 90 min period and we did different drills and practice elements with each player taking turns incorporating both routine and random elements of practice. Best of all I had more fun at the end of the night than if I'd just played games, worked harder and felt like there had been noticeable improvements in my stroke play and movement. Not only that, one of the other 3 players openly admitted he liked using this type of practice and the other two were happy to also practice like this rather than just play games. I'll not stop playing games in practice all together but this has been a good development for me.

I've read in other threads on this forum about the need to practice drills and incorporate a random element but had always assumed that most people I knew just wanted to play game after game after game. Some may, but some definitely don't. I wish now I'd had the confidence to ask other players to sometimes practice like this with me sooner :oops: :D


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009, 09:00 
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You've insprired me to try as well :wink:

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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009, 09:08 
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And the revolution continues to gather pace :lol:

I will be interested to read how it goes for you haggisv - Yuzuki too.


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009, 09:22 
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Debater wrote:
And the revolution continues to gather pace :lol:

I will be interested to read how it goes for you haggisv - Yuzuki too.


I'll definitely let you know :wink:

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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009, 09:55 
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Debater wrote:
And the revolution continues to gather pace :lol:

I will be interested to read how it goes for you haggisv - Yuzuki too.


Yesterday was not the typical day for the revolution -- players I have played/drilled with already liked to play drills. But we added the random element...(not sure if I should post it here in the India National Team thread)

First was a random loop against chop drill. The chopper does a few similarly, then starts to vary the spin from no spin to heavy, then putting some side to force the looper to move more from side to side rather than completely waiting for the ball and power looping it again. This forces good control for the chopper, getting good feel on chopping the ball. For the looper, it emphasizes good awareness (was that a strong chop or a float?) and good movement for different places on the table. Primarily forehand-to-forehand drill so that the drill becomes a bit easier.

Second was a new-to-RPB inverted penholder. We were doing a chop service, push, third-ball RPB loop, then go to some basic RPB drives so that he gets a good feel for the RPB loop as well as gaining timing and consistency for the general RPB stroke. The random element was the moving blocks on the basic drive stroke, so that the players do not stick to one place and always be prepared and well-positioned for the next ball.

Third was a lefthander sidespin services receive drill -- this one was particular for me as I am not very good at reading and planning service receives. By repeatedly performing two services in different placements, I get a good read which hopefully sticks to my mind come matchplay, play a good receive which isn't very high, not very easy to kill, and goes to the place I want it to go. The drill goes to open play after the third ball so that the common attack follow-ups (5th ball) are familiarized and countered.

My basic impression for drilling is that it doesn't incorporate game pressure and tactics. I noticed that when you put the random element in, while there isn't much game pressure (unless your partner is egging you), the tactics are now incorporated, which it in itself, is another link in the chain.

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