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PostPosted: 28 Sep 2022, 04:08 
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Re elbow niggles,ice pack after playing and next day seems to help.
All the best for the new season :Defense:

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PostPosted: 28 Sep 2022, 20:12 
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I did have a chance to pop into wednesday morning practice. Was fun and worthwhile. I'd say the standard is pretty uniform - all mid-tier local league players. I played half a dozen best of 3 matches and some doubles. Didn't lose any sets, and was playing within myself, but still had to concentrate. Elbow was a bit less sore today, and again I mostly focussed on placement and control rather than power. I remember being blown away by the control and clever placement my coach would use when I watched him play matches. Obviously not as his level, but I am able to think and play the same sort of way against lower level players, because I have quite a lot of time. More often than not at this level I can win points by just watching their balance and stance, and placing the ball somewhere where they will need to play a compromise shot.

Looking forward to tomorrow's match now, as I'm feeling like I've had enough table time to not be going straight into a match cold.

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PostPosted: 30 Sep 2022, 07:58 
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So the season begins! Premier Division, match one, against one of the weaker sides in the division. We fielded a weaker side, and won 7-3. I got 3/3, dropping only one set. Pretty pleased with how I played, but I did miss quite a few easy hits, and I held my nerve in some tight sets. The first person I beat was the first time I'd beaten them, so I was extra pleased with that. The other was a revenge match, as I lost to him a couple of seasons ago, when he got literally 11 nets in a row! Overall I was mentally good, and everyone had fun. There were some cracking matches! Next match on Monday.

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PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 02:55 
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Monday night was the first match of the season in my other team - the new team, starting in the bottom division of the league. Our opponents were also a new team, including two players who had never played league before. The third was my old friend and sometime team mate PH, about whom much has been said in this very blog. Now, PH is a volatile character, with a terrible temper, and is a very bad loser. Notwithstanding that I am fond of him - he's a sweet man, but can be hard work. He'd already started grumbling when he saw I was in the team, saying I was much too strong! Last time I played PH I gave him a 6 point handicap, then adding one for each one I won - I won 5-0... so, yeah, I am much stronger than him. My team consisted of myself, JG (another former team mate) and a new player, SH. My first match was against one of the new players. I found it hard - he was a useful player, but I played at like 25% - I didn't want to blow him off the table on his first league match. I won 3-0, but tried to give him some chances. My second was against PH. Now, I know he could have a complete meltdown, and I thought that would be horrible for the new players to experience, so I planned to make it a bit of fun and have PH relax, so I messed around quite a lot, did a lot of fishing, and basically didn't take the game seriously. Got to 2-2, as planned, and 5-3 up at changeover... then a few lucky shots, a few bad shots from me, and a few good shots from him, and suddenly I was 10-8 down, and when I needed to turn it on I couldn't, and I missed a critical shot and lost 11-8!

I didn't mind really - it was just a bit of fun, and it made PH's night, and prevented a meltdown, and the team won 9-1 over all, but I found when I played in the doubles my confidence was way lower, and I missed a lot. By the end of the day and all next day I was feeling real regret - I felt like I was disrespectful to PH, and to the team, and I felt I'd harmed my own play, mentality, and confidence.

I went to Tuesday practice, and still wasn't playing well, and it wasn't until I had a few good games with new team mate JC, and another decent player, that I felt a bit better.

My reflection is that I need to go out and play my best, whatever happens. People can complain if they want. Good readers: what are your thoughts? If you're playing against much weaker players (and in this case I have opted to play in a much weaker team to help them), how do you approach this? Obviously I want to win, but I don't want to crush people's spirits, but equally it's not a good habit to play weakly, and not try your best. What do you think?

Got a tough match tomorrow, against one of the contenders for the title in the other league (premier). Not sure who they'll field, but their strongest side would all be at home in Senior British League C division, where I played last year, so a good test.

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PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 04:32 
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I try not to play less than 100% because it serves no benefit to anyone. However, being fat, unfit and lazy, I subconsciously ease off against players I know I can beat. I don't think that's disrespectful, it's just natural. NB: I would never, ever take the piss or be intentionally disrespectful to an opponent.

However... if my opponent wins an end, and looks like they're starting to do well in another end, I'll "snap in". I do this by consciously moving my feet more. I feel like I'm putting more effort into getting to the right position - that's all. I then play better, more aggressive strokes, and that's usually enough for me to get back to playing at 100%.

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PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 21:09 
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Thanks Dunc... that's really helpful. Yeah, some sort of trigger that snaps me back to serious play would help.

I hope I haven't misrepresented myself - I certainly wasn't *intentionally* taking the piss or being disrespectful, and I played softly (much too softly) with the best of intentions, it's just that on reflection I realised that it was a very bad choice, and it could have *seemed* like I was taking the piss or being disrespectful, and that as I result I won't do it again.

I should add that PH is probably literally the only person I would have done that with, so in some respects he was the worst possible person for me to face, although given the lesson learned, maybe he was the best? :)

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PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 22:31 
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It's a bit like the old "should I 11-0 this player?" conundrum... :)

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PostPosted: 07 Oct 2022, 07:48 
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Well, a cracking match. They didn't field quite as strong a team as they could but it was still very strong: their #1 played, RW, and another good player, AT, who had beaten one of my British League team mates the night before, and RJ, with whom I regularly play on a Tuesday.

I played AT first and won 3-0 - I played very well. RJ I haven't lost to in about 4 years, and I always beat him 3-0 in practice, and I beat him 3-0 last season... today he played really well, and was extremely well coached by RW. He gave me absolutely nothing, took almost no risks, wouldn't attack me, and just gave me short and mixed up nothing shots, and after I missed a few flicks and a few hits, my confidence suffered.

I managed to pull it back to 8-4 up in the 5th, but let it slip away, and he won 3-2. A very well-deserved victory, and an excellent match.

Final match against RW I played very well - lost the first 11-9, won the second 11-8, lost the 3rd 16-14 and the 4th 12-10, including serving 3 faults! Overall very happy with how I played, and definitely feel like he's beatable.

I didn't play in the doubles... and overall the team drew 5-5, which against the 2nd strongest team is a great result.

Really enjoyable evening, great matches, and I'm happy with how I played.

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2022, 07:13 
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2nd div 4 match today... against an old rival MI, and two people I'd never plaid before.

MI played well, and like RJ on Thu gave me very little to work with, but I was able to make it hard enough for him, and I prevailed 3-0

My second match I won the first 11-2 but I managed to pull a muscle in that game, and was in a lot of pain next game. Lost that one 11-9, but gritted my teeth, and just defended to win the next two for a 3-1.

Final match my shoulder was still hurting, but again I was able to just defend, and won 3-0.

I played in the doubles as our other team mate had left, and again, just got the ball back, and we won that too.

8-2 on the night, and JM my 84 yr old team mate plate out of his skin, winning 1/3 but having match points in two 5 set matches in the other two.

No other matches this week, so I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

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PostPosted: 12 Oct 2022, 21:28 
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Well, I didn't play yesterday, as I wanted to rest my sore shoulder - no pain all day, and felt fine. I pondered going this morning, and again, woke this morning, and all felt fine. Then I picked up something in the garden and felt horrible pain in my shoulder/upper arm again, and it's been hurting all day, with various ever day motions. Not sure what I've done, but it doesn't feel nice!

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PostPosted: 12 Oct 2022, 22:38 
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LordCope wrote:
- 1 x 729 Geospin Tacky 2.0mm (red)
- 1 x CK531A unsure width-of-sponge (red)
- 1 x Sanwei Code OX (black)
- 1 x Sword Scylla 0.5mm (black)


I have been considering buying Geospin. I use LKT Pro XT now
Do you know which is better ? More spinnier ?

I heard that some Pro players use CK531A . Is that true ? It has to be good then ?

Is Sanwei Code a block type rubber ?

Sorry if I ask too many questions


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PostPosted: 12 Oct 2022, 22:51 
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Ping Ponger wrote:
I have been considering buying Geospin. I use LKT Pro XT now
Do you know which is better ? More spinnier ?


It's been a long time since I used Geospin Tacky, but I recall it being very spinny - of the spinniest rubbers I've used. But both are good, and iirc Friendship/729 make the LKT stuff too.

Quote:
I heard that some Pro players use CK531A . Is that true ? It has to be good then ?


I don't know of any pro players using it, but at the high national level, sure, it's used. It's a very reliable rubber.

Quote:
Is Sanwei Code a block type rubber ?


Golly, I honestly can't remember... but I would say yes, more so than a defending away from the table kind of rubber. I think it was pretty good for blocking.

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2022, 18:06 
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LordCope wrote:
Well, I didn't play yesterday, as I wanted to rest my sore shoulder - no pain all day, and felt fine. I pondered going this morning, and again, woke this morning, and all felt fine. Then I picked up something in the garden and felt horrible pain in my shoulder/upper arm again, and it's been hurting all day, with various ever day motions. Not sure what I've done, but it doesn't feel nice!


I swear if I posted this in my blog nobody would notice the difference. :lol:

I am always in the same boat if I play 3 days in a row. But I can rip something in a day when I first started back playing again.

The only thing I can say is it is worth not playing even though you can and want to. The quality of the game is better with a fresh bod and in the long run improvement, overall performance and pleasure of playing.

---

comment reply to rubber question:

I went through a phase of using geo spin tacky because they were so tacky lonnnnnnnnnnnggggg ago. Sadly they didn't seem to keep it so well (if I remember correctly) Seemed like the spinniest rubber on Earth back then... maybe still. Cheap and easy spin on serves in particular.

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2022, 08:11 
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Do you do any weight training or bodyweight exercises that help balance out the muscles around the shoulder?

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PostPosted: 17 Oct 2022, 23:15 
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Hi NL!

I haven't done for a long time, but I think I do need to. I also didn't warm up before the last match, as I was running late, which I am sure made a difference.

The good news is that the shoulder pain went away on Saturday, and I have a match tonight.

I did niggle a different muscle today, again just picking something up. Basically I think I need to be doing more stretching / moving / training during the week. I guess the older we get the more we need it.

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