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PostPosted: 22 Dec 2015, 20:14 
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A.D.D.I.C.T.T.
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really important to play against better players, yeah. it's the only way you'll ever improve. playing against U1300s you might reach ~1400 or even ~1500 level but you certainly won't hit ~1800.

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[Other gear I've used]
Blades: Butterfly Defence 3, Butterfly Defence Pro, Butterfly Innerforce ZLC, Butterfly Innershield, Butterfly Joo Saehyuk, DHS Power G7, Stiga Offensive Classic Carbon
SPs: Friendship 802 (1.5), TSP Spectol (1.3, 2.1), TSP Spectol Speed (1.3), TSP Super Spinpips Chop Sponge 2 (0.5, 1.3)
LPs: Butterfly Feint Long II (1), Butterfly Feint Long III (0.5, 1.3), Tibhar Grass D.TecS (OX), TSP Curl P1-R (0.5, 1, 1.3), TSP Curl P4 (1.3)
Full list (PM me for price): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xNLwjz5uZq_FcCowBgZ4zk1NwU83xVyCRoo0zhphu3w/edit?usp=sharing
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My blog: "Learning to play: as a modern defender": http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=22254
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PostPosted: 22 Dec 2015, 22:56 
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It's the quickest way and its technically necessary, but its not the only way. Another way is to increasingly dominate the people around you and develop a high level of consistency. It's just very hard to do it that way without feeling a competitive need.

Finding a driven practice partner can also start the process. If both of you are trying really hard to beat each other while learning new techniques and practicing new strokes, you can both push each other to much higher levels.

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PostPosted: 23 Dec 2015, 00:35 
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A.D.D.I.C.T.T.
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NextLevel wrote:
It's the quickest way and its technically necessary, but its not the only way. Another way is to increasingly dominate the people around you and develop a high level of consistency. It's just very hard to do it that way without feeling a competitive need.

I disagree. it isn't just the psychological effect - a U1300 player won't have a game that is anywhere near as developed as U1800. they might be able to loop, but they won't be able to loop everything. they might be able to push, but can they loop against the push? how do they serve/return? it's almost a totally different game.

it's also very hard to learn how to anticipate in TT if you're playing against someone who doesn't always know themselves where they're going to hit the ball

nb though, maybe this is my perspective as a defensive player. playing against someone who can't loop/kill vs. backspin is a totally different proposition to playing someone who can. I guess against a lower player I can hone my offensive skills, so it's not so bad for an offensive player, but it's an absolute killer when you're trying to learn how to defend well

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[Other gear I've used]
Blades: Butterfly Defence 3, Butterfly Defence Pro, Butterfly Innerforce ZLC, Butterfly Innershield, Butterfly Joo Saehyuk, DHS Power G7, Stiga Offensive Classic Carbon
SPs: Friendship 802 (1.5), TSP Spectol (1.3, 2.1), TSP Spectol Speed (1.3), TSP Super Spinpips Chop Sponge 2 (0.5, 1.3)
LPs: Butterfly Feint Long II (1), Butterfly Feint Long III (0.5, 1.3), Tibhar Grass D.TecS (OX), TSP Curl P1-R (0.5, 1, 1.3), TSP Curl P4 (1.3)
Full list (PM me for price): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xNLwjz5uZq_FcCowBgZ4zk1NwU83xVyCRoo0zhphu3w/edit?usp=sharing
==================================================================================================================================================
My blog: "Learning to play: as a modern defender": http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=22254
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtazeX ... oICGS9bqNg


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PostPosted: 23 Dec 2015, 01:24 
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dunc wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
It's the quickest way and its technically necessary, but its not the only way. Another way is to increasingly dominate the people around you and develop a high level of consistency. It's just very hard to do it that way without feeling a competitive need.

I disagree. it isn't just the psychological effect - a U1300 player won't have a game that is anywhere near as developed as U1800. they might be able to loop, but they won't be able to loop everything. they might be able to push, but can they loop against the push? how do they serve/return? it's almost a totally different game.

it's also very hard to learn how to anticipate in TT if you're playing against someone who doesn't always know themselves where they're going to hit the ball

nb though, maybe this is my perspective as a defensive player. playing against someone who can't loop/kill vs. backspin is a totally different proposition to playing someone who can. I guess against a lower player I can hone my offensive skills, so it's not so bad for an offensive player, but it's an absolute killer when you're trying to learn how to defend well


You are right the more I think about it. I agree with your post when it comes to defense. The incoming ball is key to how you play. You can't chop high topspin if you don't face high topspin.

On offense, it is true, but your consistency always matters and you can focuse on serve, return and the first three balls. Maybe 1800 may be too far but being able to consistently dominate 1300 players does place you a level above them (1500 - 1600) and you can do it within the regular framework. What you may need more of is practice against better serves and serve return to get to the next level.

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PostPosted: 23 Dec 2015, 02:24 
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What works when serving - the first 3-5 ball attack at 1300 seems to work just about as well at 1800. The 3rd or 5th ball may come back, but the general idea of being ahead in the point continues here. Still errors can occur (1 more shot) and will reflect on the score.

On the receiving side it also can end up being a problem - but you'd be surprised how good some 1300s can serve. However the 3rd ball is always much better from the 1800.

The longer the rally goes the worse it goes for me vs the 1800s. They create spin and speed and placement I'm not used to.

In the end there is value to both. I am going to work to REALLY dominate the lower rated players (11-0 challenge?) and move my schedule around to play more 1600+.


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PostPosted: 15 Jan 2016, 09:52 
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So I was hoping to just update this blog after the new ratings came out but it's been nearly a month and nothing...so life moves on.
I posted some videos at the bottom of this blog.

Right now I'm pretty frustrated with my game. I think this is my default. I always feel like something needs to be improved and I have holes in my game - even if I'm making strides.

I learned a few things at Nationals but one thing that I reflected on much later: how people were returning my serves. They would return everything like it was backspin - I serve a lot of topspin tho! Every ball I got back from multiple players was backspin. Thankfully many serves went long or wide and much of the time pretty high. My serves were the most effective part of my game BUT I need to really be prepared to hit that super spinny slow high ball. I missed some, I made some. I know I can make more than I did. Seems like a pretty odd shot that I need to practice, but there it is. High ball with lots of backspin and little acceleration. It needs to be an automatic winner.

Current happenings/thoughts:
I expect my next tourney to be in early April of 2016. Quick drive to Cali, win my rating bracket and then back home :)
Continue to pin down my stroke technique with the help of this forum.
Reduced match quantity: no matches on Tuesday or Thursday but I am doing two sessions on Wednesday now. Also trying to mix in a couple of hours on Sunday - more practice then matches.
Increasing my physical training on tue/thu.

I have one big weakness which not everyone exploits - a short non-backspin serve to my forehand. I can push it back, but a top spin or dead ball gets real messy. I can even imagine one of these points. A dead ball comes in, I don't move my legs and I lean in to tap it back. Since I didn't move my feet I end up tapping it back as low as possible down the line. The next shot comes to my deep backhand. I'm quick to recover but only counter this shot cross court with one of my weaker efforts with my backhand. The 5th ball comes back and I make an error as my balance is all over the place. These points are exhausting and often do not go my way.

Thus...my next big effort is to start working on a forehand flip. For the next week or so I plan to shadow stroke this shot, hopefully gaining some muscle in the required areas. Finally I'll experiment with using my ball machine somehow. I will also attempt to get others to feed me some balls to flick or just do it in matches when I get a chance. It'll take time but I think there are points to be gained against many players here.

On a side note, I think I've moved up in competition at the local club. I'm now what I'd call a middle tweener tier player. I'm still fodder for the best players but I'm being matched up against them now. At the same time I'm beating many of the middle tier players pretty consistently. Now there is a pretty big gap at this club. I know these middle tier players are around 1300-1500 USATT rating and the high level players are 1800-1950. I suspect there is one or two 1600 players, but not much in between. In truth I'm still a little worse than these 1600 players, but at least I'm playing up sometimes!

Lastly my return of serve has really improved in one area. The deeper side-top spin pendulum type serve really isn't a great idea against me anymore. I still make mistakes but I've turned a hopeless situation into a winner maybe half of the time. Against certain players this means 2-4 more points a game! I'm still struggling with identifying spin against better servers - but if I can read the spin I'm having some pretty strong success - a rate which should just go up, using an aggressive (perhaps even too aggressive!) spin shot is still new to me on the return.


Here are some videos that I've been using with Brett Clarke to help with my form.
Serving:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxRrlSB3YvU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv8Ie6WRxMQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clZazqNNryw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-8mKMLT1Ew
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPIzC3n5anE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZIyB69_t0o

Robot training:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II8Lkw5ux7Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmlopEBi4Zw


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PostPosted: 15 Jan 2016, 11:18 
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wilkinru wrote:
...

On a side note, I think I've moved up in competition at the local club. I'm now what I'd call a middle tweener tier player. I'm still fodder for the best players but I'm being matched up against them now. At the same time I'm beating many of the middle tier players pretty consistently. Now there is a pretty big gap at this club. I know these middle tier players are around 1300-1500 USATT rating and the high level players are 1800-1950. I suspect there is one or two 1600 players, but not much in between. In truth I'm still a little worse than these 1600 players, but at least I'm playing up sometimes!

...



That's always a good sign when you start consistently beating folks you used to have trouble with - I view it as a reliable indicator that your level indeed went up.

This also has a nice side benefit of getting more chances to play up (as long as you can take inevitable increase in losses in stride). I kind of got used to this situation as well - despite decent improvement in the last year I still find myself next to the bottom of the weekly league (rating wise), since bottom end of player population thinned up. Builds character too - not as much afraid to lose in the league or tournament as a result :).

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2016, 05:04 
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So ratings are up and I'm now 1347. I'm pretty happy with that, considering the highest rated event I played was U1400. Many of the players I lost to ended up with much higher ratings. I still think there is another easy 100-150 points or so to gain but the rest will be the result of hard work and it might not come right away.

It's exciting because I feel like I'm a better player only a month later.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2016, 10:46 
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wilkinru wrote:
So ratings are up and I'm now 1347. I'm pretty happy with that, considering the highest rated event I played was U1400. Many of the players I lost to ended up with much higher ratings. I still think there is another easy 100-150 points or so to gain but the rest will be the result of hard work and it might not come right away.

It's exciting because I feel like I'm a better player only a month later.


Take the most recent posted ratings with a sizable grain of salt - especially if you played anyone unrated. Lots of known problems in the new system.

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PostPosted: 23 Jan 2016, 05:56 
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So it seems my rating is 1340 now. I lost 7 points :) It's fine I can enter in U1400 tourneys. That's all that really matters, in terms of rating down this low.

Had some good fun against a 1850 player. Won 1 game out of 8. However last time we played in Nov I was only getting 3-5 points a game. This time I was getting 7-9 and I was able to loop his pushes much better. I don't even think about the spin of the ball much anymore after the serve, I just 'feel' it now.

He was pushing me wide to my backhand and I was off balance trying to loop - didn't work out too well. I need to practice moving that way and readying myself.


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2016, 15:59 
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Brett's whip action discussion along with slightly later timing has my backhand improving even more. Chops from long pips can now be looped with really impressive power. I'm actually amazed at it. There is probably still more to be found.

I would say the forehand also but I have trouble keeping the thing on the table. So much power can be generated when I have enough time to get a full whip action. Less up motion and more forward motion will be required.

People at my club(s) are starting to take notice...looks like I've made some actual strides in progress but I feel like I'm just now really understanding what Brett is giving us.

Video this weekend coming!


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2016, 22:57 
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Less power, Scotty. More spin.

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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2016, 00:16 
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BRS wrote:
Less power, Scotty. More spin.



Yeah, but it's hard to critique meaningfully without videotape. But you are 100% right. Spin wins.

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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2016, 02:06 
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Yep with faster racket head speed I need to brush the ball a little more. I am also thinking about dropping down to a Mark V rubber on the forehand while I work on this.

With the forehand loop, from the video I showed before I was hooking the ball. So then I practiced and hooked a little less. Then I got my wrist to be flat after a few days. Now I feel like I can use a little loose wrist into the shot - finally I'm ready for video review from others.

It's one heck of a process to video myself. Camera must be charged, gotta find the tripod, gotta get the mom and kid in the other room, gotta then upload the video to my wife's computer because mine for some reason cannot see it. Finally gotta edit it(still learning this part) and upload to youtube over night. Yeesh.

Camera of myself playing? Have to worry about people stealing it where I normally play :( I literally have my backpack right next to the table when I play, I wouldn't even trust it to be at the corner of the playing area - not the best part of town.


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2016, 11:43 
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From another thread...also will be on the first post.

Image
Me and Adam Bobrow

What do you do?
Software Engineer

Where do you live?
Las Vegas , Nevada in the USA (lots of desert, no rain)

Where are you from originally?
Oregon, USA (lots of trees, lots of rain)

Other hobbies?
Working on my Subaru(s).

Image

Favorite food?
Tacos

Married/Children?
Married with a two year old (as of 2016)
Image

What kind of music do you listen to?
90s Alternative

Who is your hero?
Roger Federer

Biggest fear?
Failing as a parent.

Proudest accomplishment?
I'll list a few randomly
1. Thus far being a much better parent than I ever thought I could be.
2. Winning best of show car for my 1999 Subaru Impreza
3. Getting though college
4. Holding a good job for 8+ years


Thing you are best at?
Fixing stuff - problem solving. It's what I do.

Because on internet - my generic kitty:
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