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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2022, 09:32 
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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2022, 07:21 
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Went to practice this evening again - very good session. Lost very closely to AP, but was playing well. Came out on top against everyone else. Which is probably in line with ranking - I was probably no2 or no3 there. But no weak players, and very competitive.

Main thing was half way through thanks to some encouragement from another player, I stopped giving myself a hard time when I made a mistake, and I found I concentrated better, and was calmer, and generally played better. Probably worth 1-2 points a game, on average.

Important match tomorrow night, so hopefully will continue playing well, and keep that approach in mind.

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2022, 07:31 
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Good match tonight against the strongest team in the league. We fielded our strongest side, and won 9-1.

The opposition were worthy - good players, and we all had to play well.

I won 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, but had two deuce games, but stayed calm and converted.

Very pleased with how I played, and especially with my mental game - I stayed focussed, and didn't get rattled if I fell behind, and didn't get flustered by misses and mistakes.

Our team is now top and undefeated!

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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2022, 02:28 
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LordCope wrote:
Good match tonight against the strongest team in the league. We fielded our strongest side, and won 9-1.

The opposition were worthy - good players, and we all had to play well.

I won 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, but had two deuce games, but stayed calm and converted.

Very pleased with how I played, and especially with my mental game - I stayed focussed, and didn't get rattled if I fell behind, and didn't get flustered by misses and mistakes.

Our team is now top and undefeated!


Sounds like your team is a bunch of sandbaggers if they beat "the strongest team in the league" 9-1? :devil:

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PostPosted: 16 Nov 2022, 18:58 
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Well... nobody in the team we faced had lost a game yet this season. But our team is stronger. I've only lost one - the stupid one in the first match of the season. DH has only played two matches, and got 6/6 - in fact across all competitions he's only lost twice this season (once to me!) - but he isn't very available, and JB has I think only lost 2 so far.

So when I say the strongest in the league, I mean apart from us...

We *should* win the league and be promoted, but our weaker players are .... not super strong, so if one or two of our top three can't make a match, it's not straightforward.

So yeah, our team is notionally "too strong" for this division, but it's the rules that a new team starts in the bottom division, and both our team and the other "strong" team are new, and comparatively stronger than the rest of the division.

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2022, 19:15 
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Last weekend our local league organised a sponsored 24 hour table tennis marathon. It was a lot of fun - I went from 1930 and stayed until 0400! Lots of play and banter, and a good community feel, and we raised about 7000 pounds.

It wasn't a very serious affair, but I did get to play with some of my old rivals from the top flight and some of my British League friends and rivals. It was interesting to note that the very strongest players just had a little bit of extra class in their serves and open ups, which makes quite a difference - I lost 3-0 to the two strongest players, but the first 11-9 12-10 11-8, and the second 12-10 11-8 11-5, so I wasn't disappointed.

However, disaster struck! During a rally I bashed the end of my bat on the end of the table and did what seemed to be quite a bit of damage, and it didn't quite feel right. Thankfully I'd already ordered a spare blade of the same sort, so when I got home I got it out. Applying the frequency test, it sounds a 5th higher, which is quite a difference, so I was a bit nervous about it. The DG was also ripped a bit from the collision, so I ordered a new sheet and some edge tape.

I wasn't expecting to have any matches this week, but then I got a call on Wed night, and I realised I'd misread the schedule, and I did have a match on Thursday. What with postal strikes etc the replacement rubber hadn't arrived, so I was torn between playing with a bat that I was pretty sure was not quite sound, and throwing together a spare. I didn't really want to not use the standard setup - I'm really trying to resist the temptation to fiddle, but in my head I felt sure the blade was a bit buzzy and wobbly.

I didn't want to use the YSE which I already knew was a bit fast, so using my data sheet, I opted for the LKT 5, and slapped a sheet of 651 on it. The main area where I need to improve right now is in attacking short/half-long floaty balls, and for this reason I had been advised by my coach to use 0.5mm sponge rather than OX, so I put the 0.5mm dtecs on the BH.

We had a bit of time to warm up before the match, and I got the replacement out - it felt ok on the FH - slightly faster, and I miss the over-size head, but it was within acceptable tolerance. But the BH felt much too fast, and I didn't feel I had control on chops, so I went back to the old bat, which felt absolutely fine.

Very good match - this time I faced GM (again), IW and CB. IW I have a 50/50 record against, and was a bit worried about facing, but I played very well. My tactics of serving short to his BH and then pushing/bumping into his deep BH/crossover and then attacking into his FH worked well. Service return was tight too, and well-placed. It was a close match - I won 3-0, but the last 2 games were 12-10 11-9. The good thing was I remained entirely calm, and kept concentrating. I managed to continue my approach of not commenting on or reacting to misses or mistakes, which definitely helps keep me in the zone.

After that match GM told me she was impressed by how my mental side had improved (she knows me well, and we used to play in the same team a number of years ago), which mattered a lot to me.

Next match was against GM - I'd beaten her 3-1 at the start of the season, and this time I beat her 3-0. I played well, and again got through a tight 2nd set, coming back from behind to win 12-10. Tactics were good again - I played to the middle, and to her body, as she is good wide. A fairly comfortable win, and good psychologically, as I have to play her again on Monday!

Last match against CB - a classic hardbat defender. Again, good tactics. I served fast long float serves into his fh and bh, and he made some mistakes, and then attacked the third ball. Quite often the third ball was enough to win, if not the 5th was - I was pleased. When he served I concsciously attacked anything short or half long with the LP - flicking to crossover - this is risky as it's hard to get the timing right, and it's not something I have practiced. And it was exactly this that I wanted the bit of sponge for, but I had a better than 50% success rate, and I feel like with practice I can do this with the DG. I won 3-0 - pretty comfortably.

Our team won 8-2, and we stay second in the premier.

I've entered the tradition ratings tournament between xmas and new year - I think I'll probably only play in the vets. I'm trying to go into it with low expectations - just an opportunity to have some fun, and practice against good players that I don't usually play.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2022, 20:49 
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Went to practice last night, despite being very tired. Only three other people there, so I am glad I did go. In terms of strength, one slightly better than me, one very close to me, and one a bit weaker, so a good range. I started off well, beating the weaker and similar strength players, and lost closely to the stronger player. I feel like I'm now starting to ingrain a "non-reactive" habit - if I miss shots, or go a few points down, I stay calm, and think, knowing I can easily win a few points in a row, and the game can change. As the evening wore on, I started making a few mistakes and my concentration was waning, so I called it a day after a couple of hours, but a very enjoyable and worthwhile session.

I think I will enter a weekend tournament that is on next weekend - will be the first for a year, but I'm feeling in the mood - I am playing well, and it's a good test of my psychological/mental development - if I can keep up the non-reactive model for a whole day, under competition conditions, that will be a huge win. So that will be my focus - the results can take care of themselves - it's just practice, especially practice for mental approach.

Tonight's match has been cancelled, so I might go and train at my old club (which I am going to re-join, as I have some good friends there, and for nights when there isn't a match and I fancy a practice, it's a good bet).

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2022, 02:01 
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Tuesday practice was very worthwhile today. I committed to attacking float and light backspin balls with LP, and had some good successes. I also did some practice on specifically that with RW, and am starting to get a feel for the shot. It really is a much less energetic shot than you think - I feel like it's a 30% shot, but with the right timing, it's very effective.

FH was really controlled today too - I'm really feeling the benefit of sticking with the rubber/blade combo - I am confident I know how it will behave / perform.

I have been getting a little worried as pretty much all the UK and TT11 shops seem to be out of stock of 651, so I ordered 4 sheets from AliExpress to stock up. Of course, knowing my luck, when the LARC comes out in January, 651 will drop off, and I'll be looking for a replacement, but until then, it has pride of place!

I also think sticking with DG on the BH is rewarding me - as I'm starting to add attacking BH shots, I am getting the hang of it. Other rubbers are much easier to use for this, but persevering and learning the foibles of one rubber does seem to have its advantages.

I have entered the weekend tournament, so watch this space - should be good fun.

I have a match on Thursday, and will probably rest tomorrow.

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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2022, 06:14 
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What stroke are you using to attack with the [long] pips? My recollection is that Joo favored a shot that looked like an inverted backhand with a stiff wrist (and obviously a very open racket angle), while CWX favored the sideswipe. Both of them would have been using sponged P1r most of the time if I'm not mistaken, though Joo also used sponged Grass D.tecs for a while if memory serves.

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2022, 18:23 
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What stroke are you using to attack with the [long] pips?


The shot I am working on is a kind of flick, not unlike a banana flick with inverted, but perhaps with less back-coil, and, as you say, a fairly open angle. This would be against half-long or short balls.

I'm also trying to attack slightly higher balls - this seems to work best with an inverted backhand with a stiff wrist, like you say.

I have other attacking shots already in my arsenal - the side-swipe, and a punchy shot with a straight bat.

All these shots are *much* easier to do with a bit of sponge, but I'm determined not to change BH rubber this season - so I will try to develop the strokes with OX, and in the summer can experiment with something else.

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2022, 18:33 
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Very good match last night. Our team faced a team of improving youngsters. One of them was being recorded as a part of her PE coursework, and I think she was a bit nervous. The other two were pretty good, and I felt they were unusual for their age in that they were pretty patient and had good control. One of the two also has some "weird" shots - he played more like an aggressive retriever than your standard 2 wing attacker - was interesting to see these haven't (yet) been coached out of him.

I won all three of my matches 3-0, but I had to play well to not drop a set.

Our #2 won one easily, and scraped through a second 3-2 and lost the third 3-1. Both of his opponents played really well.

Our #3 won one, after paying attention to my coaching, and lost one very closely, and was well beaten in the other.

The doubles was an amazing match. Their top two (left hander and right hander) combined very well, and hit some superb shots. Our #2 and I have played a lot together, and very rarely lose even against much stronger opponents than we faced last night, but we went 2-0 down, and were 10-4 down in the third. However, sheer determination and a knowledge that we had the game to beat the youngsters shone through, and we managed to take the third 16-14!. The fourth was painfully close too, we won 13-11. We finally wore them down in the fifth and won that one comfortably.

My reflection was that even though I (we) felt under pressure, I didn't make any squeaking noises or gesticulations or comments when I made a mistake. I simply let it go and concentrated on the next shot. This made such a big difference. I am sure the me of even a few months ago would have started grumbling and emoting after missing at key moments, and I'd have lost concentration and tensed up, and I am sure we'd have lost that match.

So a good 7-3 win, and we stay stop of the league.

Tournament on Sunday - again the aim is to carry this non-reactive mental model into a tougher environment against stronger players. I will report back!

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2022, 19:52 
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LordCope wrote:

The shot I am working on is a kind of flick, not unlike a banana flick with inverted, but perhaps with less back-coil, and, as you say, a fairly open angle. This would be against half-long or short balls.

...

All these shots are *much* easier to do with a bit of sponge, but I'm determined not to change BH rubber this season - so I will try to develop the strokes with OX, and in the summer can experiment with something else.
If you can find some video of Carl Prean , he does that backflip shot a lot. You've probably seen him before of course. It is a good stroke if you can manage it with some pace, to surprise the opponents. I find that I can do it fairly comfortably in practice, but not so much in a match.

I had a couple of sessions with Carl and Hannah Hicks a few years ago, and they both said that a bit of sponge was needed. I use 0.5mm, and it works. My real problem is finding someone who will feed my BH to practice with. Problem with starting table tennis at 66 as well.

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2022, 21:54 
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Thanks for reminding me of this - I have the DVD of it - and I'd completely forgotten I had it!

Yeah I went to a couple of Hannah and Carl's sessions a few years ago - Carl is an amazing LP attacker.

I'm pretty sure that a move to 0.5mm sponge is on the cards, to facilitate some more active options. I too am able to do this in practice, but it's really hard to do in a match situation where you feel aware of the risk. I'm much more likely to go for a safe block / pushblock.

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PostPosted: 05 Dec 2022, 06:48 
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Very enjoyable tournament this weekend. The format was effectively banded into 4 bands, with two groups of 5 each. This was followed by a further 8 groups of 5, and then knock out.

I was in band 3, and won my group on count back with 3/4. I was very happy with how I played, and my mentality was excellent. I played three people I've played before. I have decent records against them all, but they've all been playing national competitions, while this is the first I've played in a year. The one I lost was close, and there was a fair amount of luck involved, but my opponent played well, and deserved the win. The final match to see who would come first was tight, and I came back from 10-6 down in the fifth to win 12-10.

The next group of 5 was always going to be tough. There was a very good, under-ranked player, probably good enough for band 2. Two very experienced LP players that I've played many times, and another person I've played a few times - a bit stronger than the LP players, and a good attacker.

I had a bit of an interruption during my first match again LP player 1, when my friend told me I had left my lights on in my car, so I dashed out to check, and had a flat battery, which was a bit of a pain. I think this somewhat damaged my concentration, but not much. My opponent played well - got a lot back. I was a bit lazy - I think I was expecting to win points more easily, but he's improved a lot since we last played, and he made me play extra shots, and I probably needed to be prepared to push one every so often. I lost 3-0, but I feel like I could have had the 2nd.

My match against player 2 was similar. My opponent was just a bit sharper and I made a few mistakes, and lost closely. Again, I should've really picked up at least one, but 3-0 was the final result.

The very positive side is that these are two players against whom I have in the past become agitated, and my mentality was spot on. No reacting, very calm.

I played the attacker next, and we had a very good match. I was pleased with how I played, and I was able to use my LP attacks against his serves with some effectiveness. Again, the first was very close... I feel like I could've won the second, but lost it 12-10, and played pretty well in the third for another 3-0 loss. However, good mentally again, and my opponent deserved the win.

I played the top player last - again, I made him work for his points, but he was just a bit sharper. Nevertheless, I won some excellent points, and although the final score was 3-0 again, I think the score was 11-9 12-10 11-7, so a decent performance.

Overall I am really pleased with my performance, and with my mental game. For a first tournament back I think I did very well, and I had a lot of fun.

I will probably enter the next one, and there's plenty of space for recording, so I should be able to get some footage too.

I have a double match tomorrow (playing over 2 tables for 2 teams), so hopefully I will be feeling fresh enough!

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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2022, 08:35 
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Played in a double match tonight - for my regular team (the new team in the bottom division) and also played "up" for a different team with my prem team mates JC and AB in a div 2 match against a team that comprised two of the players I played in the last prem match, and my prem team mate CC. Both these teams were in the top flight last year but they shrunk the size of the divisions from 12 to 8, and both teams missed the cut,

On our match we played against a decent side - all solid players with interesting styles and good serves. We played our strongest team, and won 10-0. I won all mine 3-0 - straightforward wins.

I played CB in the other match first. I beat him 3-0 last time - this time it was uncomfortably close. Some variables - it was his first match. And I was a bit tired from yesterday and had just finished a match on the other table. He played very well - and made me play a lot of shots. I started making mistakes . I managed to win the first, but he won the next two. For the fourth I resorted to very passive play - he's a hardbat defender who almost never attacks, so I just bumped the ball all over the place and occasionally pick hitted or waited for him to make a mistake.

It was pretty touch and go - I was 10-8 down in the 4th and my other team mates started trying to ask me what to do about playing order in the other match! I held it together and won that one 12-10, and managed to win the 5th 11-8 I think. Definitely a case of winning ugly.

I beat CC 11-1 11-1 11-6 and IW 11-8 11-8 11-6 - played very well in both, and the JC and I won the doubles.

So 7/7 on the night! And I'm tired but happy.

Mentality was good all evening, even when under pressure, and when missing silly shots, serving faults etc. No reacting.

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