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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 11:47 
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Try watching the point at 1:12 in slow mo. While my opponent is making the push, I am already starting to move to the left and even backswinging a bit. And only after that the ball hits the net. If I was just hoping to miss I would not bother moving at all before the ball cleared the net.

There is one more thing with staying low. Because go for spinny loops, I often push up with my legs and get straight as the result This crap has been with me for years and I see no way of fixing it.

I did not think about technique during the match or even the whole event. My focus was wholly on serving well, making a spinny loop afterwards and looping my opponent's serves whenever possible. That was all I was thinking of.

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Last edited by fastmover on 10 Jun 2019, 11:58, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 11:54 
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I used to believe watching the ball was the way to go, but recently my understanding has been shifting (for the worse or not, I can't say for sure, but it feels better) towards watching the opponent. Seeing how the opponent swings, how he contacts the ball has probably been the best for my anticipation this year.

The problem I had with watching the ball was that I could see where the ball was going quite well, but I misjudge the amount of spin, which also causes issues with judging depth. This caused me to miss a lot of balls I felt like I should have been able to return.

Watching the opponent also helps with more visual cues. That allows me to react quicker to where the ball is going.

I feel like this might depend a lot on the person as there are many people who strongly believe that watching the ball is the way to go. But for me, when I started to watch the opponent more, everything just started to improve.

I still watch the ball of course, but my main focus is on what the opponent does first, followed by the flight of the ball.

Doing random multiball really made me realize the importance of visual cues even 0.1 seconds earlier than I would otherwise see.


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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:04 
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mickd wrote:
I used to believe watching the ball was the way to go, but recently my understanding has been shifting (for the worse or not, I can't say for sure, but it feels better) towards watching the opponent. Seeing how the opponent swings, how he contacts the ball has probably been the best for my anticipation this year.

The problem I had with watching the ball was that I could see where the ball was going quite well, but I misjudge the amount of spin, which also causes issues with judging depth. This caused me to miss a lot of balls I felt like I should have been able to return.

Watching the opponent also helps with more visual cues. That allows me to react quicker to where the ball is going.

I feel like this might depend a lot on the person as there are many people who strongly believe that watching the ball is the way to go. But for me, when I started to watch the opponent more, everything just started to improve.

I still watch the ball of course, but my main focus is on what the opponent does first, followed by the flight of the ball.

Doing random multiball really made me realize the importance of visual cues even 0.1 seconds earlier than I would otherwise see.


Watching the opponent has advantages and disadvantages too. If your anticipation is bad, then some watching of the opponent should do you good. I'm pretty sure I developed an app to cover this side of things.

Next time you watch a cheetah successfully chase down a gazelle, interview the cheetah and ask him where his attention was. Was his attention on his own running and tripping technique, or was it on the hind legs of the gazelle? Or was it more instinctive than both of these 2 options? Perhaps his was just desperately trying to catch lunch.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:12 
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I bet the cheetah was focused on tactics.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:15 
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Elite table tennis players use the word "hunting" quite a lot. Just before a match starts, it's not unusual for a coach to instruct a player to "hunt" or "fight" for every ball. I once heard an elite player, who you all probably know of, refer to himself as a hunter. He said, "I'm a hunter, that's my game".

Just before a match, I've never told a player to watch the opponent. 20 years ago, I told players to watch the ball, but I wouldn't do that today. I'm hoping to tap into something more primitive.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:16 
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fastmover wrote:
I bet the cheetah was focused on tactics.


Yeah, he's seen that gazelle run before and knows that it is weak to the left!

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Last edited by Brett Clarke on 10 Jun 2019, 12:21, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:18 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
I bet the cheetah was focused on tactics.


Yeah, he's seen that gazelle run before and knows that it is weak to the left!

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:35 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
I bet the cheetah was focused on tactics.


Yeah, he's seen that gazelle run before and knows that it is weak to the left!


The cheetah probably saw it on YouTube.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:44 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
Elite table tennis players use the word "hunting" quite a lot. Just before a match starts, it's not unusual for a coach to instruct a player to "hunt" or "fight" for every ball. I once heard an elite player, who you all probably know of, refer to himself as a hunter. He said, "I'm a hunter, that's my game".

Just before a match, I've never told a player to watch the opponent. 20 years ago, I told players to watch the ball, but I wouldn't do that today. I'm hoping to tap into something more primitive.


Do you think this changes when dealing with amateur players? Most players don't do this in a match because they aren't good at creating variation, but say during practice, if my partner on purposely varies the spin on the push (heavy and no spin), I find watching the ball will still have me miss quite a few of the balls. The moment I watch their racket and how heavily they push, if they're just tapping the ball over or not, everything works out. I feel this is similar to watching how the opponent contacts during serves, if they're putting side spin on the ball during a rally, and anything really. I never need to think about what they're doing, but watching the opponent seems to make my brain subconsciously adjust better. This could also just be a lack of experience on my part. My anticipation might just be that bad ha.

I think "hunting" or "fighting" for every ball is akin to getting into the zone for me. When I'm in the zone, I don't really think about watching the ball, the opponent, or technique much at all. I just think tactics and what I misjudged after every point. Everything else just works.


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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:52 
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Not to change the subject but I want to try to look at fastmover's game from my compromised amateur perspective

I don't know the level of fastmover's opponent but I suspect these guys would compete relatively well against him. Are these guys staying low enough?

https://youtu.be/LJBAv140uT4

I am currently on a flight to see a sick relative in Europe so my participation may be sporadic.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 12:56 
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mickd wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
Elite table tennis players use the word "hunting" quite a lot. Just before a match starts, it's not unusual for a coach to instruct a player to "hunt" or "fight" for every ball. I once heard an elite player, who you all probably know of, refer to himself as a hunter. He said, "I'm a hunter, that's my game".

Just before a match, I've never told a player to watch the opponent. 20 years ago, I told players to watch the ball, but I wouldn't do that today. I'm hoping to tap into something more primitive.


Do you think this changes when dealing with amateur players? Most players don't do this in a match because they aren't good at creating variation, but say during practice, if my partner on purposely varies the spin on the push (heavy and no spin), I find watching the ball will still have me miss quite a few of the balls. The moment I watch their racket and how heavily they push, if they're just tapping the ball over or not, everything works out. I feel this is similar to watching how the opponent contacts during serves, if they're putting side spin on the ball during a rally, and anything really. I never need to think about what they're doing, but watching the opponent seems to make my brain subconsciously adjust better. This could also just be a lack of experience on my part. My anticipation might just be that bad ha.

I think "hunting" or "fighting" for every ball is akin to getting into the zone for me. When I'm in the zone, I don't really think about watching the ball, the opponent, or technique much at all. I just think tactics and what I misjudged after every point. Everything else just works.


Training can be very different. If you are training against backspin and nospin, then you should be trying to watch for differences etc. If someone is doing fast multiball, it's proabably good to watch the racket and get information about the direction. If they are doing slow multiball, you can think about your technique for sure.

In a match, your attention needs to be oriented more towards fighting. It's not a crime to try to work things out during a game, especially at lower levels.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 13:00 
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mickd wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
Elite table tennis players use the word "hunting" quite a lot. Just before a match starts, it's not unusual for a coach to instruct a player to "hunt" or "fight" for every ball. I once heard an elite player, who you all probably know of, refer to himself as a hunter. He said, "I'm a hunter, that's my game".

Just before a match, I've never told a player to watch the opponent. 20 years ago, I told players to watch the ball, but I wouldn't do that today. I'm hoping to tap into something more primitive.


Do you think this changes when dealing with amateur players? Most players don't do this in a match because they aren't good at creating variation, but say during practice, if my partner on purposely varies the spin on the push (heavy and no spin), I find watching the ball will still have me miss quite a few of the balls. The moment I watch their racket and how heavily they push, if they're just tapping the ball over or not, everything works out. I feel this is similar to watching how the opponent contacts during serves, if they're putting side spin on the ball during a rally, and anything really. I never need to think about what they're doing, but watching the opponent seems to make my brain subconsciously adjust better. This could also just be a lack of experience on my part. My anticipation might just be that bad ha.

I think "hunting" or "fighting" for every ball is akin to getting into the zone for me. When I'm in the zone, I don't really think about watching the ball, the opponent, or technique much at all. I just think tactics and what I misjudged after every point. Everything else just works.


There is a zen poem that Baal likes to quote whose subject is attention. I am not in a position to find it now, but basically attention is not something you focus on any one thing or part of your body, but is a gestalt or holistic thing. When you focus it on one thing at the expense of others something suffers. So you are really just trying to play as if you are in focus but not focusing on anything in particular.

Don't bother yourself with what you think you are focusing on because if you are playing well, your body is working well, but the idea you are focused on something is just the story you tell yourself and not really what is happening.

In the video I posted above and in my multiball before that, I compared my mental image of myself and my shadow strokes with reality. And reality was that I always think I am lower than I am, I am actually lower than I would be if I stood straight, but that the video ever looks as good as I think it should. But I am happy I make some good shots.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 13:12 
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NextLevel wrote:
mickd wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
Elite table tennis players use the word "hunting" quite a lot. Just before a match starts, it's not unusual for a coach to instruct a player to "hunt" or "fight" for every ball. I once heard an elite player, who you all probably know of, refer to himself as a hunter. He said, "I'm a hunter, that's my game".

Just before a match, I've never told a player to watch the opponent. 20 years ago, I told players to watch the ball, but I wouldn't do that today. I'm hoping to tap into something more primitive.


Do you think this changes when dealing with amateur players? Most players don't do this in a match because they aren't good at creating variation, but say during practice, if my partner on purposely varies the spin on the push (heavy and no spin), I find watching the ball will still have me miss quite a few of the balls. The moment I watch their racket and how heavily they push, if they're just tapping the ball over or not, everything works out. I feel this is similar to watching how the opponent contacts during serves, if they're putting side spin on the ball during a rally, and anything really. I never need to think about what they're doing, but watching the opponent seems to make my brain subconsciously adjust better. This could also just be a lack of experience on my part. My anticipation might just be that bad ha.

I think "hunting" or "fighting" for every ball is akin to getting into the zone for me. When I'm in the zone, I don't really think about watching the ball, the opponent, or technique much at all. I just think tactics and what I misjudged after every point. Everything else just works.


There is a zen poem that Baal likes to quote whose subjects attention. I am not in a position to find it now, but basically attention is not something you focus on any one thing, but is a gestalt or holistic thing. When you focus it on one thing at the expense of others something suffers. So you are really just trying to play as if you are on focus but not focusing on anything in particular.

Don't bother yourself with what you think you are focusing on because if you are playing well, your body is working well, but the idea you are focused on something is just the story you tell yourself and not really what is happening.

In the video I posted above and in my multiball before that, I contracted my mental image of myself and my shadow strokes with reality. And reality was that I always think I am lower than I am, I am actually lower than I would be if I stood straight, but that the video ever looks as good as I think it should. But I am happy I make some good shots.


I think your post is right re focus.

Henzell would tell you that you aren't low enough and I don't care quite as much about it. I care more about the body assisting the arm and that's infinitely more complex than just "staying low". Telling someone to stay low also has a downside and it's important to understand.

Remember at the camp when I told ziv that he was too low and bent over because he had nowhere to go? How can you squat or fold into a backswing if you are already in a full squat and bent over position? To understand this conversation, you need to understand how each individual shot works.

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 13:22 
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fastmover wrote:
Try watching the point at 1:12 in slow mo. While my opponent is making the push, I am already starting to move to the left and even backswinging a bit. And only after that the ball hits the net. If I was just hoping to miss I would not bother moving at all before the ball cleared the net.

There is one more thing with staying low. Because go for spinny loops, I often push up with my legs and get straight as the result This crap has been with me for years and I see no way of fixing it.

I did not think about technique during the match or even the whole event. My focus was wholly on serving well, making a spinny loop afterwards and looping my opponent's serves whenever possible. That was all I was thinking of.


When I said you need to fix your technique (and "need"is relative), I really mean you can get good spin without coming up so much if you spin your body better and less upward. It will keep the ball lower and you will get smashed on much less. You will also be able adjust to the ext ball better since you won't be coming out of your crouch such and your loop against the next ball will be faster and feel more similar to this fix. What you are doing right now can be changed if you open your mind to changing it. You will probably be taking the ball much earlier in its flight path as well. Right now to keep the ball low you need to swing shallow because you don't come forward over the ball enough. So maybe the instruction should be to loop with spin but keep the ball lower!

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PostPosted: 10 Jun 2019, 14:45 
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Well yeah looks like I need to get that video going.

Let's look at this point:

https://youtu.be/TIVd0Fb09Mg?t=112

Image

For some reason your right foot ends up in front of your left foot right after the serve. You are ready for a backhand or a forehand here? Which side of the theater do you like?

After a small amount of time we do end up in a good position, or so it seems.
Image

But it appears you are either late or ?

Image

You are now falling over trying to hit a forehand.

Image

Well, you get the idea. That was the perfect return for that serve. Click the last picture (really!) 0 torso rotation, ready to fall backwards, arm behind your shoulder. There is 0 chance you'd be able to play another ball after that one.

Maybe if you just had your right foot a little behind your left (or a lot, we'll talk about that soon) after the serve and maybe got back a little more so you had time to launch a forehand where you weren't trying to fall down.

/savage critique


Last edited by wilkinru on 10 Jun 2019, 14:59, edited 4 times in total.

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