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 Post subject: Road to Bordeaux 2021
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2019, 02:23 
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Next year I can finally play International Veteran Tournaments and what better way to debut than in the world championships? So I registered for the championships in Bordeaux and starting this thread to track my progress and hopefully get some feedback from the forum.

A bit about me: I'm playing modern defensive style in Norway 1st division (2nd league in Norway). Here is a highlights video for my team from the first league round this season.



My main improvement last season was figuring out what was causing poor consistency in the backhand chop. Last summer at a training session a good Polish defender gave me some tips. Seeing his consistent and effortless chops I asked about chopping technique and specifically how he used the wrist. The answer was he didn't use it! Or more exactly he wasn't using it actively. The wrist was relaxed and any motion was just as a whip effect at the end of the chop. This may be obvious to some but I haven't seen it mentioned much. Previously I had been cocking the wrist at the beginning of the chop leading to inconsistency as the bat wasn't moving straight in one plane. I had to hit the ball at exactly the right time in the chop. Too early or too late and the bat angle would be wrong. By not actively using the wrist the same angle is maintained throughout the chop and the time period when the ball can be hit and still land on the table is longer.

Just this change made the chop a lot more consistent, but its still lacking in quality to trouble better players. It should land deeper on the table and with more speed and spin. I need to rotate the upper body more at the beginning of the chop. Pulling the non playing arm backwards helps. By doing this the bat starts further back allowing more time to accelerate before hitting the ball. It also leads to a more forward stroke resulting in greater speed and depth on the table. When focusing on this during the warm-up it becomes automatic for the rest of the session.

Other areas I'm working on:

Forehand Chop:
Inspired a bit by Daniel Kleinert ("The Chopper" on youtube) I'm twiddling more often and chopping with pimples on the forehand. This works great on spinny topspins that otherwise would require a perfectly timed, Joo Sae Huyk like chop with inverted.

When chopping with inverted remember to start the shot higher so that there is enough time to accelerate the bat and also adjust the timing of when the ball is hit depending on spin.

Forehand Topspin
Rotation, rotation, rotation! I've been trying and failing to rotate the upper body more when topspinning. Often when focused on this I forget footwork and my game is worse off. Any advice on how to work on this would be appreciated.

Backhand Topspin
Start using it. The rare times I do opponents are surprised. Using it more should improve consistency.

Serve
Need to work on fast long serves as a variation, currently can't consistently place it near the end-line. Several opponents are standing close to the table anticipating short or half long serve.

Also need to work on footwork after the serve. I often get a push return that I could have attacked with forehand if I had been in a better position. Get into ready position as part of the serve footwork.

Serve return
Too passive sometimes not putting enough pressure on opponent. Particularly when facing serves I'm not used too I need to be braver and use a full motion.

In general relax more in matches. My best matches last season was done when not caring too much about the result.

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Blade: Victas Yuto Muramatsu
Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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Last edited by magnuseffect on 07 Apr 2020, 20:20, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2019, 18:26 
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New league match coming up tonight and my main racket just broke. That should teach me to stop overdoing the hook loops. Hooked straight into the legs of a folded up table near the wall and the handle broke clean off. Here is the result (warning graphic content): https://imgur.com/ri1zY3S

Continued the session with my backup Victas Muramatsu. But it has a slight crack and feels more flexible than it should, the sound is also different. For today's match I've glued up my old VKMO blade. It feels heavier than the Muramatsu though.

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Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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PostPosted: 03 Nov 2019, 05:51 
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Wednesdays match was disappointing. We lost 2-8 in a match that was 50-50. Can't really blame the blade change, but the VMKO feels head heavy and I'm thinking of getting a lighter blade like the Stiga Defensive Pro to replace my broken Yuto Muramutsu

One of my main issues this match was low quality chops on high spin slow loops to my backhand. Not sure how to deal with those.

Here are some highlights from the match


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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2019, 07:36 
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Last weekend I played in the second Norway Cup tournament of the season. My game ranged from poor to pretty good. All in all it was a decent performance given my limited training the last month.

A few clips from the matches:


Discarding all those bad points while editing made me think I should rather be making clips with things to improve. Maybe next time. One thing I haven't noticed before is that I'm often leaning back during the serve causing bad balance in the next few steps. Worked on it at today's training and will see how it works out at tomorrows league matches.

The new Stiga Defensive Pro blade is pretty good once I'm warmed up. It feels stiffer and more unforgiving than the Yuto Muramatsu though on low speed shots. Looping with it and chopping with good brush action feels great.

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Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

My blog


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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2019, 08:35 
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Just back home from vacation. Managed to find a good club to get some tt training done also. Thanks Lorenzo! I can recommend club Firgon if you are in Gran Canaria. If you are going to one of the Islands and would like to play tt have a look here for contact details to Clubs participating in the league: http://resultados.rfetm.es/view.php?lig ... a=0&sexo=M

Just before my vacation we played another league round. Lost all my matches this time against players I should have a decent change against. My level varies too much. Playing well some sets and horrible others. Anyway my team managed an important 6-4 win in one of the matches and lost the other 3-7 so an okay result overall. The matches also gave me ideas on things to work on. As usual I'm struggling with slow and high bouncing top spins to my backhand. Chop often goes too high, but this time I tried counterlooping more of them and found it a bit hit and miss, but very effective when it goes in. Will work more on that.

Some clips from the matches:

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Blade: Victas Yuto Muramatsu
Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2020, 01:15 
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Sometime after my last post I decided to go back to the Yutu Muramatsu blade. I can probably play just as well with the Defense Pro, but Its something with the sound of that blade I don't like. Also the handle of the Muramatsu has a smoother finish. This time Table Tennis Japan had a sale so I got two blades in one go, ready for the next accident.

Played Norway Cup 3 in December. Didn't make it out of the group stage this time after coming third in a three way draw. Still fairly happy with my play. Particularly my match against Ingi from Iceland. Played him twice in Octobers Norway Cup tournament and with this last win I'm up 2-1 in matches. Guess his medium hard looping game suits me (and most defenders).

Highlights from me and teammates matches


Been training table tennis almost every day in the Christmas break and think I'm starting to see some progress. At least muscles are not aching as much with daily training anymore. Also played a small tournament. Not much video, except for this matchpoint.


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Blade: Victas Yuto Muramatsu
Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 15:34 
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Wow.

It takes so much effort to kill your ball and force you to commit mistake in your defense. It is very exhausting for the attacker. I too have plans ( and hopefully will not remain a plan ) to play in the world veterans.

Nice post Magnus.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2020, 17:47 
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Red_lion wrote:
Wow.

It takes so much effort to kill your ball and force you to commit mistake in your defense. It is very exhausting for the attacker. I too have plans ( and hopefully will not remain a plan ) to play in the world veterans.

Nice post Magnus.


Thanks for the comment! I'm working on reducing mistakes in the serve and return game so I can get to the rallying stage more often. And very much looking forward to the world veterans, hope you make it there!

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2020, 01:35 
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Maybe we'll meet there, there are only 5,000 or so entries! I'm going as a volunteer, which is probably less fun than it sounds, but I am really looking forward to it. Official T-shirt and everything.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2020, 01:46 
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darucla wrote:
Maybe we'll meet there, there are only 5,000 or so entries! I'm going as a volunteer, which is probably less fun than it sounds, but I am really looking forward to it. Official T-shirt and everything.


Yeah and there is even 600-700 or so on the waiting list! I would be happy to meet up with you and other members of the forum. Volunteering can be fun, in 2007 I was helping out at Norway Open where I got to drive some of the young players, including Ruwen Filus, to the Hotel. Another experience was umpiring at a para tournament, where one of the wheelchair players did several unreturnable high backspin balls that came back over the net.

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PostPosted: 04 Feb 2020, 08:45 
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My experiment with training more often has continued in January. Its been 5-6 days a week most weeks. The added training sessions are at the national tt centre with good sparring partners.

I was worried that playing almost every day would take the fun out of training in the same way it did when I was younger. But surprisingly I've been looking forward to most of the training sessions. A few days its been a chore, but overall very positive..

I'm starting to see the results of training more often. Its not just that you get more training time. There are other effects. For example the time it takes to warm up the chop has been reduced, before it wouldn't feel right until 10 or 20 minutes of chopping. Now I often only need a few minutes to get to the relaxed chopping feeling. It may also have helped that I started stretching more including the wrist.

Playing new and good opponents has helped my receive game. A coach said I'm too far away from the ball when receiving short serves. So I've been experimenting with standing closer to the table and trying to get as close to the net as possible for the short serves. This works well against opponents that like to serve short to the forehand and don't serve much long serves. Of course if opponents have good surprise fast serves I need to stand further back or step backwards before receiving.

Another aspect of receiving serve is fast serves to the middle. A common tactic versus defenders. There is a lot to learn from watching for example Gionis receive these. I'm trying to start moving sideways as soon as possible and receive spin into the body (pendulum serve) with backhand chop and away from the body with forehand loop.

Tournament and League matches have been up and down as usual. Played ok at small tournament in January and also pretty good in the league games a week ago. Still struggling chopping slow spinny loops, but counterlooping them is going a bit better. I still need to improve my fast serve, its not long or fast enough.

Here are some clips from the league matches:




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Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2020, 10:26 
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Hi MagnusEffect,

First good luck at the world veterans, I am sure you will enjoy it, I managed to play in a world vets in New Zealand a few years back, really great experience.

Regarding your play and videos, I have by no means watched all of them. What I have observed especially in the last one is that you take your forehand topspin very late and far back from the table and it travels to your opponent with good topspin but pretty slow, and so is not that much different to your forehand chop apart from the spin of course. What might be more effective is to make your forehand topspin into more of a contrast, hit faster and closer to the table, to surprise your opponents put them more on the back foot, when they do a weaker return (higher/less spin), you could move in quickly and fast topspin drive right at them. Something you could practise perhaps. You obviously enjoy the long rallies but winning points with some selected aggressive shots could maybe win you more matches.

kind regards

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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2020, 05:29 
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Thanks! Its great to have something to look forward to when turning 40 :) I would like to hear some of the experiences of other forum members that played in the worlds or other big tournaments. Just hope I get some matches. I guess at least you are guaranteed one match after the group stage in single and double.

Thanks for the tip about forehand. I agree. Both when counterlooping and looping pushes I want to be able to get "easy" points. It would also put opponents under pressure knowing they cant just keep it on the table. My forehand is safest with the slow loops, but I am working on it. Good point that taking the ball earlier can help. I'm also working on backhand loops when people push to my backhand. This has worked well in training, surprising opponents and I probably hit harder with backhand than forhand.

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Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2020, 18:27 
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Played another league game last week on home court. In November we lost 3-7 against them and this time they had an even stronger team with their fourth player higher ranked than our first. The match started badly, I was up 2-0 in sets an 10-4 before doing a Lin Gaoyuan, losing the set and eventually the match 10-12 in the decider. We were trailing the match 1-3 before somehow doing a miraculous comeback, winning both the doubles and all the remaining singles except one. The match ended 6-4 securing two points and fourth spot in the league with four matches remaining!

Highlights


The last league round is already this weekend followed by nationals next week so its time to find top form. Not making any big changes but a training partner complained about a low toss once in a match so that made me experiment with a slightly higher toss, and I found that it was easier to serve long fast backhand serves. Just need to work a bit on the short serve with the same toss.

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Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2020, 09:01 
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Its been a week since my last tt practice, started getting mild flu symptoms and have been working from home since then. All organized sports closed down on Thursday and it looks like it will be weeks or months until we can open again. The focus now is staying healthy and in shape physically.

Lets see if I have to change the title of the blog. So far the world veterans organizer say the current restrictions is only until April 15th and that the tournament is still planned for June. I have some doubts though, thousands of Veteran players indoors is far from ideal.

In February we played the last league round of the season with pretty good results and our team ended fourth out of eight. Played some of my best tt winning or playing close matches with several higher rated players. Highlight video from one of the matches here, more clips to come.


The national championships was also held end of February, more about that in a follow up post.

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Forehand: Tenergy 05 2.1
Backhand: Curl P1-R 1mm

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