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PostPosted: 25 Jul 2020, 22:17 
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Brett Clarke wrote:

I expected you to show up!

I'm sure if Kev reads those 150 pages, his rating will go through the roof.


After participating in the aforementioned discussion, I started giggling whenever anyone brought up the topic of tactics (in basically any context). My life is not the same anymore.

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PostPosted: 25 Jul 2020, 22:45 
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Joo Se Kev wrote:
You describe yourself as a "tactics skeptic" sometimes. Can you elaborate more on what you mean by that?


Brett has very little interest in tactics so to him (and Dr. P) they are trivially unimportant. People who have little interest in the minutiae of technique tend to believe making microscopic alterations to the finish position of your bh is unimportant, and to us something like tactics matters more. Or in your own area of expertise, fitness. In reality it all matters.

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PostPosted: 25 Jul 2020, 22:54 
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wilkinru wrote:
I've decided that the Backhand Shove Topspin 2020 03 video is really good but it isn't quite accurate for what Harimoto is doing. I would say it's more of a stepping stone to what Harimoto is doing.

The main difference is the wrist on the backswing. Harimoto (and lots of other top players) have decided to have a fast aggressive backswing (end of paddle going towards the body) with a loose wrist and an earlier finish, keeping the arm actually bent at the end of the stroke more often. This creates tremendous bat speed that allows the ball to get heaps of spin and speed without extending the arm fully and I think the result is the ball being able to be taken later while maintaining the spin and power. They basically moved the swing back as much as possible. It has more to do with a flick than a traditional backhand that ends pointed towards the side wall.

The 03 video lacks this whip action on the backswing and the result is more about pushing forward instead of snapping into the ball at an angle. The body position and body usage are the same - which is why I think it's a stepping stone.

I was going over my own swing and I've decided that I to finish earlier and possibly even contact slightly later. The snap isn't Harimoto speed at all but I feel what he's doing finally. I've got videos on my backhand progress over the last 4 months and it's slowly wandering towards Harimoto's style.



I immediately think of all of the exceptions and suddenly everything seems grey and I feel like a beginner coach again. I think of FZD doing this https://youtu.be/gj_xW373nCE?t=25 without whip and then I think of the other times he is using a lot of whip, especially when he's away from the table.. And then this great whip backhand by Harmeet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0TnM5wkUeo

I really prefer to look at each shot in an individual way to avoid headaches, though guidelines are absolutely essential. I really like your backhand Russ, though the first that stood out to me was the dropping of the racket below the table, resulting in the inevitable top edges and mistimings. I spent a life time doing this too, so join the club. Harmeet never really drops the racket below the table and I don't ever recall him hitting a top edge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0TnM5wkUeo

The use of your body on the backhand is perfect from my perspective. There are other ways of using the body too, though your way looks great to me. The shot is looking really good.

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PostPosted: 25 Jul 2020, 23:32 
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Dr.Pivot wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:

I expected you to show up!

I'm sure if Kev reads those 150 pages, his rating will go through the roof.


After participating in the aforementioned discussion, I started giggling whenever anyone brought up the topic of tactics (in basically any context). My life is not the same anymore.


I must admit that I giggled too at Kev's question when I imagined all the inevitable responses. I thought about you immediately and the fun you'd be having there.

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PostPosted: 25 Jul 2020, 23:57 
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I've written about this before but I'm starting to get very curious about my progress as a tt player in lock down.

I haven't hit many balls for the last year. I probably played for less than 3 hours whilst coaching India which must be bad for my already highly diminished level.

But since the lock down started, I've been quite diligent with physical training, shadow swinging, using the Table Tennis Edge app in various ways and merging with matches online. Sometimes I even wake in the middle of the night to do unplanned visualization sessions in a half dream state. I've added a chrome extension which allows me to instantly flip all online matches horizontally so everyone plays left handed from my end so I can merge with the play. I've seriously attempted to bring my lower body to life after blissfully ignoring it for decades. I'm twisting my legs and creating super high racket speed against a ball that never leaves the 2D computer screen. I'm training against unrealistic high speed virtual balls with random direction.

This training is like 2-3 hours per day which is probably more than I ever trained on the table in my life. I was the worse trainer in the history of international table tennis and now I've gone all psycho digital in my late 40s. The inner athlete in me has finally come to life about 35 years too late!!!

Clearly lockdown in India has sent me batty, but what does months of this soft skill training actually do to a player's level. What happens when I finally hit a few balls and play a match? It will be super interesting to see.

I imagine that I will struggle with striking the ball for the first few days of playing in reality. I also think that dealing with spin will be an issue because that type of exposure is impossible to get in the virtual world/lounge room. I also assume that my first few matches will be horrible, but I'm not 100% sure.

This is the single most interesting experiment I've ever run on myself. I've request to start training on a real table with a real ball next week. I'm waiting for permission.

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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 00:14 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
wilkinru wrote:
I've decided that the Backhand Shove Topspin 2020 03 video is really good but it isn't quite accurate for what Harimoto is doing. I would say it's more of a stepping stone to what Harimoto is doing.


I immediately think of all of the exceptions and suddenly everything seems grey and I feel like a beginner coach again. I think of FZD doing this https://youtu.be/gj_xW373nCE?t=25 without whip and then I think of the other times he is using a lot of whip, especially when he's away from the table.. And then this great whip backhand by Harmeet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0TnM5wkUeo

I really prefer to look at each shot in an individual way to avoid headaches, though guidelines are absolutely essential. I really like your backhand Russ, though the first that stood out to me was the dropping of the racket below the table, resulting in the inevitable top edges and mistimings. I spent a life time doing this too, so join the club. Harmeet never really drops the racket below the table and I don't ever recall him hitting a top edge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0TnM5wkUeo

The use of your body on the backhand is perfect from my perspective. There are other ways of using the body too, though your way looks great to me. The shot is looking really good.


Harmeet's backhand is close to Harimoto's. It's not as whippy because Harimoto closes the racket and then opens up with more racket speed. The racket is more closed for Harimoto (but more open than me!) . I would argue Harimoto's backhand is harder to master but one is rewarded with a better quality ball also.

My backhand isn't there yet - this is just where it's morphed to. After making that video last night I also saw the edges and watched very closely at Harimoto's bat angle at contact (and where the ball is touching the blade). It's very quick but he opens up the racket considerably just before contact. His body movement and whip is so quick and small. Mine is far bigger and more brushing and too closed of an angle. The body and backswing seem good enough but there is a lot to change. I woke up and did 200 balls with a more open angle before I did nearly anything else this morning. Less edge shanking is possible.


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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 01:04 
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Dr.Pivot wrote:
I think there are not that many folks who "achieve something" in such individual sport. There are only 100 spots in Top 100, there are even fewer Olympic and World Champions. No matter how many kids you put into training programs or move them through struggles, most of them will statistically not achieve anything because there are thousands of other kids training as hard, the Olympics is held every four years, and there are only a handful of medals.


I'm talking about making 2650, or something like that. 2650 is really a great achievement, imo. It generally takes at least 10 years and a fair few struggles.

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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 01:53 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
I've written about this before but I'm starting to get very curious about my progress as a tt player in lock down.

I haven't hit many balls for the last year. I probably played for less than 3 hours whilst coaching India which must be bad for my already highly diminished level.

But since the lock down started, I've been quite diligent with physical training, shadow swinging, using the Table Tennis Edge app in various ways and merging with matches online. Sometimes I even wake in the middle of the night to do unplanned visualization sessions in a half dream state. I've added a chrome extension which allows me to instantly flip all online matches horizontally so everyone plays left handed from my end so I can merge with the play. I've seriously attempted to bring my lower body to life after blissfully ignoring it for decades. I'm twisting my legs and creating super high racket speed against a ball that never leaves the 2D computer screen. I'm training against unrealistic high speed virtual balls with random direction.

This training is like 2-3 hours per day which is probably more than I ever trained on the table in my life. I was the worse trainer in the history of international table tennis and now I've gone all psycho digital in my late 40s. The inner athlete in me has finally come to life about 35 years too late!!!

Clearly lockdown in India has sent me batty, but what does months of this soft skill training actually do to a player's level. What happens when I finally hit a few balls and play a match? It will be super interesting to see.

I imagine that I will struggle with striking the ball for the first few days of playing in reality. I also think that dealing with spin will be an issue because that type of exposure is impossible to get in the virtual world/lounge room. I also assume that my first few matches will be horrible, but I'm not 100% sure.

This is the single most interesting experiment I've ever run on myself. I've request to start training on a real table with a real ball next week. I'm waiting for permission.


My guess is after one or two days with a real ball you will adjust to spin and play better than before the layoff.

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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 02:17 
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BRS wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
I've written about this before but I'm starting to get very curious about my progress as a tt player in lock down.

I haven't hit many balls for the last year. I probably played for less than 3 hours whilst coaching India which must be bad for my already highly diminished level.

But since the lock down started, I've been quite diligent with physical training, shadow swinging, using the Table Tennis Edge app in various ways and merging with matches online. Sometimes I even wake in the middle of the night to do unplanned visualization sessions in a half dream state. I've added a chrome extension which allows me to instantly flip all online matches horizontally so everyone plays left handed from my end so I can merge with the play. I've seriously attempted to bring my lower body to life after blissfully ignoring it for decades. I'm twisting my legs and creating super high racket speed against a ball that never leaves the 2D computer screen. I'm training against unrealistic high speed virtual balls with random direction.

This training is like 2-3 hours per day which is probably more than I ever trained on the table in my life. I was the worse trainer in the history of international table tennis and now I've gone all psycho digital in my late 40s. The inner athlete in me has finally come to life about 35 years too late!!!

Clearly lockdown in India has sent me batty, but what does months of this soft skill training actually do to a player's level. What happens when I finally hit a few balls and play a match? It will be super interesting to see.

I imagine that I will struggle with striking the ball for the first few days of playing in reality. I also think that dealing with spin will be an issue because that type of exposure is impossible to get in the virtual world/lounge room. I also assume that my first few matches will be horrible, but I'm not 100% sure.

This is the single most interesting experiment I've ever run on myself. I've request to start training on a real table with a real ball next week. I'm waiting for permission.


My guess is after one or two days with a real ball you will adjust to spin and play better than before the layoff.


Hmm, it will be interesting.

I actually don't care about myself per se because my career is clearly well over. I do, however, care about the results of the experiment as this may impact my approach to coaching etc. If the results are excellent, I will have to continue the training and play some pressure match to stress test.

Maybe just the fitness and strength adaptations will allow me to hit the ball better...or maybe I'll just suck. If I completely suck, I will throw all of my training aids in the trash and we shall never speak of this again.

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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 03:50 
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You should just come to vegas and hit some balls with me (brs too since I get tired quickly).


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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 09:49 
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I am the worst ttedge app player ever. I can't beat anything without tons of effort and a little luck.

I've been playing lots of doubles and this one guy is amazing at pushing into difficult locations quickly. Today I read where the push was going like I was playing the app. This is a first for me. I crushed those pushes. Amazing when you don't react to the ball and anticipate instead.

Worst player ever.


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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 11:56 
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wilkinru wrote:
I am the worst ttedge app player ever. I can't beat anything without tons of effort and a little luck.

I've been playing lots of doubles and this one guy is amazing at pushing into difficult locations quickly. Today I read where the push was going like I was playing the app. This is a first for me. I crushed those pushes. Amazing when you don't react to the ball and anticipate instead.

Worst player ever.


You are clearly technically focused and that has downsides too. Whilst you are busy learning how to twist etc, you may miss the other 50% of the game which is the opponent's play. This will all be amplified if you train a lot against a robot.

I feel I played my career completely opposite. I was so focused on the ball and opponent that I never learned the mechanics of how to hit the ball with good technique. This sucks a lot. I knew I had very serious problems, but I never found anyone capable of teaching me correct mechanics. In all fairness, it was harder back then as the game was nowhere near solved. When I grew up, this was one of the best backhands in the world https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klZaJQV2YsU I didn't even have access to videos of this level and clearly this wasn't a solved stroke.

I think back to the stuff I believed and it's both funny and sad. I honestly believed that training your individual shots was a complete waste of time because it has nothing to do with a match. Only matches improve your match level! A silly part of me still believes this but I've now added that all your shots need to be "perfect" and then only matches help. I'm still wrong.

Being "the worst ttedge app player ever" is something I'd think about. Some of this may be problems with the swiping technique being foreign or it may be that you are inexperienced at anticipation. I'm guessing it's a bit of both. And perhaps you don't really care about all of this and you just want to hit the ball well for the pure sake of it. People may have a problem with that idea but they also won't be winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics or signing a pro contract, so I wouldn't worry about that. Others will be doing their thing like trying to break 2000 etc and that's a worthy goal too. Everyone should play for their own reasons and I have no idea why people get offended by other's goals and approaches. Who care what someone else is doing to enjoy the sport?

Maybe the app doesn't really help one's tt. There would need to be a long term study done though I think that's impossible because of all the other variables. Does multiball help one's tt? Prove it! Show me the study that comprehensively proves that multiball has a positive impact on a player's game? What about isolated serve training? It's impossible to prove anything in tt.

Watching Samsonov play live is quite an experience. His technique isn't the best out there but his anticipation is off the charts and he is making tt look so easily. As a spectator, you know that playing tt at world level is very difficult, yet Samsonov is standing around and the ball seems to stop for him. He makes it look easy because of all the extra time he has. This time is probably created by his brain calculating where the ball is going before the ball is even hit by the opponent. This is what anticipation really is. His brain is also able to track the ball at high speed and quickly anticipate where it will be in relation to him.

Anticipation and spin reading are probably the most important parts of the game. If you have good technique and your opponent reads the play really well, they are probably going to beat you pretty often.

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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 12:12 
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wilkinru wrote:
You should just come to vegas and hit some balls with me (brs too since I get tired quickly).


Ben is the only player I've ever seen that doesn't get tired in training. If he started playing tt when he was 6 years old, he would have become World Champion.

That tiredness mutation gene thing he's got going on should be extracted and used to genetically modify future tt players.

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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 12:52 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
Being "the worst ttedge app player ever" is something I'd think about.



This is a little embarrassing to admit but I find the matches even on the easy level fairly challenging. Almost like there should be an easier level. Sometimes I play for 3 minutes, get down 0-5 or some crap and just quit the game. Clearly during my development I missed out on some low level learning in anticipation as I just dusted the lower level players with technique alone. I hope when I get a little higher level I can read the players a bit better as they may have more standard technique.

I have a theory that you 11-0 winners get absolutely nothing out of the game while me struggling in the bronze leagues am getting loads of benefits. I literally scored 6 points in a doubles match (3 games where I had to deal with this return) due to this. That's far far beyond .001%. Getting that technique used is really huge for me. My anticipation is 600 rating 3 month old toddler. Maybe today it's 601.


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PostPosted: 26 Jul 2020, 13:12 
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I actually play the game for the joy of it. There actually have been plane rides where I’ve spent the entire time just ttedging!

The concept is quite a unique one imo.

The 11 0 excercise that I went through was torturing. I literally was at it for over 2 hours. The concentration level needed for me is quite hard to achieve.

The way I approach the game is figure out what shots are bothering me the most. If it’s Williams loops than I would choose the fh loop multiball drill until I can get 90% correct at level 4. In the drill I do like to focus a lot on picking up queues that the players will give. For Example Trevor opens his wrist a lot when he goes down the line on his fh loops.

As we speak I’m currently 2 hours in trying to Beat Trevor 11 0 the best I’ve done so far is 8 0.

I do believe the game is rigged a little because a lot of Trevors shots land near the white line which imo is cheating (I do realize I sound petty but hey I’m a gamer it’s my job to complain) lol


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