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 Post subject: Losing streak
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 14:47 
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Hi all. I’ve lost to the same player about 30 straight times. Have beaten him before, but he’s gotten a lot better over the last 3-4 years. His reflexes are crazy good, athletic, and is pretty much a retriever-counter hitter. He’s quite a bit younger than me, almost 25 years my junior. I still want to play, but basically it means me finishing second every week, while he dominates the top division. I’m afraid if keep playing him, it will affect my all-time standing in the league, which I’ve worked hard to achieve. Have some other health issues, and just wondered if I should call it a day or keep trying to beat him. Closest I’ve come lately was 3-2 about a month and a half ago. Usually, I lose around 11-6 or 7. Nor it else touches him. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 21:40 
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If he's a better player than you, then he's a better player than you, and he deserves a higher standing the league than you. Why would you artificially inflate your standing by stopping playing someone who beats you?

A better question might be whether you enjoy playing him. If you enjoy the challenge, he gives you a good workout, the matches have good rallies etc, then maybe just enjoy the matches. If you relish the prospect of trying to outwit him and the long campaign, maybe carry on the long battle. But if you don't like it, and you're just finding it demoralising, annoying, discouraging etc, then why punish yourself?

Most of us play table tennis for fun, not for a living, so if we're not having fun, we should consider doing something else instead!

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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 22:53 
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If you can take him to 5 games, you can beat him. He has age on you. You will have to adjust you game, or tactics or add a skill (or remove a liability). But it sounds possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2022, 23:31 
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Thanks for the feedback guys, appreciate it. Well, after losing 30 straight, one starts to wonder if it is just over with in terms of beating him. But as one of you guys said, taking him to 5 shows that he can be beaten. I enjoy playing, but to be honest, I don’t enjoy losing to him every time to play. And yes, it is highly discouraging. Drags me down, to be honest. He got some pro coaching, and his game elevated a lot during that 3 month or so timespan. I primarily push, block, and try to smash, work the Table, angles. He simply gets the ball back from everywhere. Never run into a player in our league like that. And, he’s 22, very good shape. I play with anti, but only have about six months experience with it-so it’s a relatively new concept, but seems to be effective somewhat against him. I guess my question. Is: when should I call it a day against him? And I agree, the sport should be about having fun, but winning is my primary reason for playing.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 07 Oct 2022, 00:18 
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Do you have any videos of your matches? Memories are really unreliable, so you might have the impression that you played badly, and we're subject to a beating, when, in fact, it could have been much closer than you thought. Similarly, you might remember only the really terrible misses, or the few amazing shots. If you can record your matches and analyse them, or upload them here for others to help analyse, you might find some useful insights.

For example, a player I used to struggle against, I realised that he often wins points with a topspin serve into my fh, which I'd block or counter, and he'd re-counter, or hit. Simply being aware of that from watching matches meant I could adjust, and now I twiddle chop that serve, or even attack it with LP, both of which he dislikes. That saved me a couple of points a match which turned the tables from losing 3-2 to me winning 3-1.

As Vanjr says - if you're taking him to 5, that means you're close to him, and he's certainly beatable, with perhaps a tactical change.

The other thing is the mental side. I"m going into tonight's match against 3 players I've never beaten. Even in practice. I've got to 3-2 a few times, but never beaten them. That's massively in their favour - they have never lost to me, so they feel confident. For me it's hard going into a match against someone I've lost to many times, and if I get close, as I have before, sometimes I tense up because I think silly things like: yes, it's this time!

Today I'm thinking: just go and play, have fun, see if you can outwit them. Doesn't matter if I win or lose. So I'm feeling chilled about it. Last couple of season's it's been hard because I've been #3 in the top team in the competition, and expected/needed to get 1/3 on the night, so I was giving myself a hard time if I didn't beat one of the three. Now I'm probably equal with the two other team mates, and we'd all be happy with 1/3, and we're not expecting to win against probably the second best team in the league.

I say all that because if you're worried about the result, how it looks, your standing in the league, your averages etc, you'll be less relaxed. I find I play best when I relax, and as a defender, I need to be patient, controlled, and clever... and when I am not relaxed, I get impatient, I tense up, my my brain fogs up - absolutely the opposite.

Finally, if you've only be playing with anti for six months, give yourself a break. I think it takes probably two full seasons to learn to play LP/Anti properly, and then a lifetime to master. If you're taking a strong player to 5 with a new game and new equipment, you should be really proud of yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 07 Oct 2022, 05:04 
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LordCope wrote:
Do you have any videos of your matches? Memories are really unreliable, so you might have the impression that you played badly, and we're subject to a beating, when, in fact, it could have been much closer than you thought. Similarly, you might remember only the really terrible misses, or the few amazing shots. If you can record your matches and analyse them, or upload them here for others to help analyse, you might find some useful insights.

For example, a player I used to struggle against, I realised that he often wins points with a topspin serve into my fh, which I'd block or counter, and he'd re-counter, or hit. Simply being aware of that from watching matches meant I could adjust, and now I twiddle chop that serve, or even attack it with LP, both of which he dislikes. That saved me a couple of points a match which turned the tables from losing 3-2 to me winning 3-1.

As Vanjr says - if you're taking him to 5, that means you're close to him, and he's certainly beatable, with perhaps a tactical change.

The other thing is the mental side. I"m going into tonight's match against 3 players I've never beaten. Even in practice. I've got to 3-2 a few times, but never beaten them. That's massively in their favour - they have never lost to me, so they feel confident. For me it's hard going into a match against someone I've lost to many times, and if I get close, as I have before, sometimes I tense up because I think silly things like: yes, it's this time!

Today I'm thinking: just go and play, have fun, see if you can outwit them. Doesn't matter if I win or lose. So I'm feeling chilled about it. Last couple of season's it's been hard because I've been #3 in the top team in the competition, and expected/needed to get 1/3 on the night, so I was giving myself a hard time if I didn't beat one of the three. Now I'm probably equal with the two other team mates, and we'd all be happy with 1/3, and we're not expecting to win against probably the second best team in the league.

I say all that because if you're worried about the result, how it looks, your standing in the league, your averages etc, you'll be less relaxed. I find I play best when I relax, and as a defender, I need to be patient, controlled, and clever... and when I am not relaxed, I get impatient, I tense up, my my brain fogs up - absolutely the opposite.

Finally, if you've only be playing with anti for six months, give yourself a break. I think it takes probably two full seasons to learn to play LP/Anti properly, and then a lifetime to master. If you're taking a strong player to 5 with a new game and new equipment, you should be really proud of yourself.



Thank you for the positive thoughts, insight, and analysis. You and I have gone through ( or are going through) some very similar conditions. I will definitely try to get some video. And you’re right: thinking about tying to possibly win after losing so long is a huge psychological roadblock for me. I know I’m playing too tight against him, and he’s like a machine getting the ball back. He’s a fisher and decent looper too.

Yes, I’m a newbie when it comes to anti. And as you said, it is a different beast to master.
I’m going to play tonight, and see what happens. Play loose and with house $.

I’ll keep you and the other guys posted on how it goes tonight. I think I’ll try some chopping, blocking, and pushing. May leave the offense off for this round.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 07 Oct 2022, 13:28 
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We played tonight. It was a 2-3 match set. First game went pretty well. Back-and -forth early, I went up 8-6 after he missed a serve (a rare happening). Somehow, I managed to blow the next two points, and then he finished with a 3-0 run. Very frustrating.

The second game was brutal. I was down 9-0, and barely got on the board. 11-1. As I said, I’m still trying to learn anti, and it is a lot more difficult to master than I thought.

Massive swing from 11-8 to 11-1. He doesn’t give me any margin for error. Anyway, I wanted to update you guys on how it went.


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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 07 Oct 2022, 17:26 
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Just by way of encouragement - it works the other way too. Last night I lost 3-2 to someone I haven't lost to in 4 years, and play in practice every week, always winning comfortably, 3-0. He beat me 3-2 last night, with a change of tactics, and I didn't adapt. I'm betting he's feeling really pleased this morning. If he can do it, so can you.

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 Post subject: Re: Losing streak
PostPosted: 08 Oct 2022, 20:25 
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LordCope wrote:
Just by way of encouragement - it works the other way too. Last night I lost 3-2 to someone I haven't lost to in 4 years, and play in practice every week, always winning comfortably, 3-0. He beat me 3-2 last night, with a change of tactics, and I didn't adapt. I'm betting he's feeling really pleased this morning. If he can do it, so can you.



Good analysis! That’s the way I need to start focusing on him. He beat a top 4 regional player to retain the league title 4/0, and it lasted about 15 minutes.

I’m going to get some training, and if that doesn’t get me there, I think I may call it a day. I’m 46 and I’ve played 35 years. Been on top of our league-region a long time; and playing for second just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t have fun because a silver medal is the best I can hope for. He’s living rent free in my head, which is not good at all. Losing streak now at 32 (vs him). Versus other 3,

Thanks.


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