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  1. toekneema is offline
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    #1

    How to improve from 2000 to 2200

    As a fairly standard Chinese-style player (2-wing looper), how can i improve from 2000 to 2200. I think i could definitely improve my service returns, such as receiving the side-underspin serves with lower and and shorter placement. I also want to learn how to counterloop 3rd balls close to the table (the opponent serves and then i push and he loops a slow/spinny loop, how do i FH counter that ball? what is the proper timing and distance i should be from the table and what should the racket angle be and should i be brushing or hitting the ball more or contacting the side of the ball more?)

    Also, I think i have a very consistent BH and FH, but im certainly not playing kill shots past the opponents, which means 2100s can block me down and control the pace of the rallies and eventually I will miss after 4 loops or so. How do i improve my power while preserving my consistency of shots?

    Also, how do i improve my blocking? i think 2200s should be able to block any ball as long as its within their reach.

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  2. Der_Echte is offline
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    #2
    First off, BRAVO !!! ... for a topic that is developmental coaching.

    Table Tennis Forums neve have enough of these topics, you rarely see them.

    Also, Bravo on achieving your current good play level, many never make it to where you got starting as an adult.

    Since there is "No ONE Way" in table tennis, but many ways, it would be a book of a reply many of us would have to write.

    You expressed a few concerns and I will address them in general.

    Your concern about no being able to hit through certain opponents... my reply would be to not worry about that. When you timing and seeing the ball gets better, you will do better there. If you are close to the table, you are taking ball earlier and pressuring opponent with quickness. This is successful at a 2600 level... it can still work for you. As long as you are able to make the opponent wonder where the ball will go, you have the edge. Of course you have to be able to hit all the zones with consistency, but that is OK. Being able to pound the middle pays off more than hitting through people... and it also opens up the corners.

    Executing a counterloop finish vs a slow, heavy incoming ball while parked at the table is a skill some 2400 level players suck at still... don't sweat it yet. Still, if you know what to do and are not flinching from the long swing... you can put away those balls. The trick is to recognize early what happened. A slow, heavy topspin ball is like a freezing time warp. If you are not caught mesmerized, you have time to setup and act. You have a small window of space to execute the shot, so your position must be right. If you are gunna pound the ball, you are making a step in on a shallow ball, or for the ball landing deep you are crouched and exploding forward. You goal is to impact the ball on the rise at a little over net height (or higher if it is a more high arching shot) You will be covering the ball, but not totally. How much depends on the incoming spin and vertical angle. You will be swinging forward, using either legs/hips to start explosion or a step in. You will be impacting the ball over the table for a shallow ball, or near/just past/just in front of endline for the longer landing ones.

    You have three kinds of impact that will get the job done. You can go forward into the ball covering it and maintain the loose grip. You accelerate like the other shots, but keep the grip loose. This will not give you a big finishing power, but if you go in to meet the ball, it will be easier to get the timing to meet the ball. This is critical, the timing. It is hard job to get timing right and pound the ball 120% consistently while you are learning this, that is why I recommend a progressive approach.

    Critical points - recognize early what happened, don't panic, take mini steps/hops/slide/whatever to get into position, see level of spin on ball/the arch/the landing spot, crouch and then explode shortly after ball lands, impact on rise above net, use the grip pressure you have adjusted (very loose early while learning - very firm at impact when timing is learned)

    The soft grip early will make it easier to focus on the timing of meeting the ball as you are not worrying about hyper explosion... you will be able to easily return the ball, and often, the medium pace you generate will be enough to finish the point. Many players will be amazed you countered their heaviest, best shot. You will still be in position to deal with any return. Often, there won't be a return.

    The goal is to get the timing and the other stuff right, and when done at a high consistency, increase grip pressure at impact progressively to the point where you instinctively firm up the pressure right at impact. This will produce the most powerful transfer of power to the ball. This kind of impact (loose, then sudden firming right at impact) will cancel out whatever is on the ball and make your own spin, plus produce loads of power)

    The other way is to impact the ball a little on the side, just like you do for a "Hookshot". Impacting on the side makes the incoming spin bite much less on the ball, plus it allows you to easily add you own spin. This is AWESUM for control. Early on, when you are learning the timing and impact, it is important not to miss and be consistent. This kind of impact makes it easy to control the ball. You can use the variations of light and firm grip pressure. A lighter, real loose grip will allow you to corkscrew/side/top spin the ball very short near net landing well wide and short of FH corner while breaking away from opponent. Even if this return is not very fast, it is a point winner. A firmer grip at impact allows you to make a return of a fast loop loaded with spin that lands at FH corner and breaks away... that is also a tough shot to cope with.

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  3. Der_Echte is offline
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    #3
    Practicing the counterloop vs incoming heavy topspin ball is easy to get going. Partner serves under, you push to FH, partner heavy loops, you counter. Stop there and repeat. Later, have partner try to return your counter and you finish that shot.

    Please do not get over-eager to try pounding the ball on your early reps, that is gunna get in the way of the more important things about this shot you need to get right before you are able to apply big power. Please do not worry about missing early, there are a lot of moving pieces to this. Until you are able to see the ball early and setup early, it is gunna be tough. Once you get the position on time, it will get a lot easier.

    Once you start getting the recognition, getting setup and execute a few softer returns, it will get a lot easier to start firming up the grip and really ripping into the ball and consistently landing that shot.

    Don't sweat it. Here at my club, there is a 2400 level coach with classic at the table Chinese technique... In a match, if I give him my slow heavy topspin opener, he is maybe 10% on trying to pound it and land it. The few times when we are both at the club and he isn't coaching, he asks me to do the drill I explained above. When he is setup close to the table and hits it going forward over the table, he is crushing my slow ball... maybe 75% consistent. When he is not quite setup or is setup too far from endline (2 feet might be too far) then he rarely lands the counter.

    You will do the drill and discover what zones are working for you. Don't sweat it too much, this shot takes some time to develop the prep tasks to make it a success.

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    #4
    What did you do to get from 1800 to 2000? Maybe just keep going. Unless you have been stuck at 2000-level for a long time?

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  5. Der_Echte is offline
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    #5
    I never really addressed the blocking.

    Blocking is simple, get the ball to the ball off the bounce and have a loose grip. More offensive returns are variations of the basic block that hit through some more and/or allow ball to come up some more and firm up more.

    People overthink blocking. It is a simple task. Simple if you see the ball and where it is going and have the mind to be calm and stay loose grip. Many will freek out at a well struck ball and tighten up.

    The big difference between 2000 and 2200 level blocking is pretty much the same thing as the 2-3 level difference at lower levels. Consistency and quality.

    A 2200 level player is much more likely to know and use the block variations to make the right shot for the situation and his/her objectives. The 2200 level player will place the ball a lot better and take it off the bounce earlier and more consistent. The 2200 level player will be more apt to play soft and firm as needed to catch opponent out of position or pressure them with quickness and pace and placement to middle.

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    #6
    If TTD member David Song could read this thread and reply, it would add a lot of value as he has been there/done that at this level.

    A lot of reply as we have knowledge of what it takes to do this or that and seen it/done it some... and we know we can break it down in terms that can be understood.

    David has seen it and done it from the perspective of the OP.

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  7. Lula is offline
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by toekneema
    As a fairly standard Chinese-style player (2-wing looper), how can i improve from 2000 to 2200. I think i could definitely improve my service returns, such as receiving the side-underspin serves with lower and and shorter placement. I also want to learn how to counterloop 3rd balls close to the table (the opponent serves and then i push and he loops a slow/spinny loop, how do i FH counter that ball? what is the proper timing and distance i should be from the table and what should the racket angle be and should i be brushing or hitting the ball more or contacting the side of the ball more?)

    Also, I think i have a very consistent BH and FH, but im certainly not playing kill shots past the opponents, which means 2100s can block me down and control the pace of the rallies and eventually I will miss after 4 loops or so. How do i improve my power while preserving my consistency of shots?

    Also, how do i improve my blocking? i think 2200s should be able to block any ball as long as its within their reach.
    I also enjoy more questions about technique, it is alot talk about equipment all the time. Like that would solve all the problems.

    The short answer is practice alot more and get some coaching.I also it would help alot if you post a video of you playing.

    Regarding the questions i have some thoughts:

    I think it is important to counter the correct type of balls. It is very difficult to counterloop everything, so choose the right balls. I think it is good to try think that, if you have the time to think "this is an easy ball", then it is proably the correct ball.

    Counterlooping also depends on your push. If you push backspin, they will likely have a lot of topspin in the ball and you need either have longer contact with the ball and follow it since it already have alot of topspin, and you can use it. You do not need to create own spin. Or have an open racket angle and try to flathit the ball, this will proably be easier on the backhand.

    if you push no spin, they ball will likely be harder with less spin and you need to accelerate more and create more of your own spin when countering othervise the ball will go in the net.

    The power in tabletennis comes from the body, so it important to learn how to use the body to be able to generate power. At the second ball, after you have opened up and they block it or when you want to kill the ball in general it is important to step out so you have the space to be able to use the body and kill the ball. I also think the placement is very important, try to place the ball in the pocket and outside the corners. Varying the pace will also make it difficult for the opponent.

    Blocking also depends lot about the push. If you push bad i do not matter if you are Samsonov, you can not block well and will loose the point. So return good is important. How yu return also depends how you block.

    When blocking it is important to change the pace and placement of the ball and by doing that making it harder for the opponent.
    It is also important to look at the opponent, so you can se where the ball is going.
    Also have the racket in front of you, high and in the middle. You always want to move the racket in to the middle again after blocking forehand or backhand. otherwise it will be to difficult to reach the balls.
    Always try to relax, look at ex samsonov and oh sang eun, and move the racket from the middle when you see where the ball is going.
    Try working with the angle so you have the correct angle.

    Good luck!

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    #8
    Great advice from Der Echte and Lula .
    One of the best threads for a while on here.
    There is only so much info you can read about rubbers and blades..

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    #9
    How much do you practice? I can't suggest anything but I wonder if it is possible to make such a leap without basically training full-time.

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    #10
    The easiest way to get to 2200 from 2000 is to practice your service for hours on end. If you are 2000, you have room to dramatically improve your serve. With a better serve, everything becomes much easier when you play.

    If you want travel along a harder road to 2200, 2200 players loops have much more spin on them than a 2000 player when both players loop the ball at the same speed. This makes the loop harder to block.

    In general 2200 players do everything way better than a 2000 player. I would say the skill gap from 1400 to 1900 is about the same as 2000 to 2200 or 2200 to 2300. With that being said, lots of people get stuck between 2000 and 2200 because the gap is so large.

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  11. FruitLoop is offline
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    #11
    For non Americans what does 2200 rating represent? Would this be like national cadet level players?

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    #12
    Disclaimer : I am not 2000 , nor I am 2200 , but I have been around a bit and seen some 2200 players closely ...

    Keep in mind that USATT 2200 right now, especially in Cali is probably around 2300 + from 5 years back ...
    I think some more relevant information will help ... your current age , do you have a regular coach ... which state are you in US , the ratings in US are unfortunately not uniformly distributed ... and what will be really good is to have a clear video of you playing a recent tournament match ...

    In general the difference between 2000 and 2200 in my book is fairly high level serve and receive, consistency and one overpowering shot ... again its very different to quantify a rating ... at that level you generally don't have a gaping hole in your technique and you should be fairly quick in solving problems on the table during the match .. most of them take a max. of 1 - 1.5 sets to solve issues with a particular serve return or a particular combination ... again all this is subjective ... but I am sure if you share the information mentioned above you would get more actionable advice
    Last edited by ttmonster; 11-28-2018 at 12:02 AM.
    Lets go Spinny Looping !

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    #13
    Hi I don’t know how old you are. I’m French and playing in Japan, I don’t know my US rating but from the equivalence table and videos I’ve seen i believe this is the kind of progression I made recently.

    In my 20s My best French rating was 1350 which is around 2000 US

    Then I dipped to 1000-1100 due to less training and competition, then started coaching lessons 5 years ago and I’d say i recovered my previous level although in a different style a year and a half ago then in my 40s exceeded my youth level, in a different style

    I don’t want to comment much on overall technique in this post, but to improve, first of all, having a professional coach and hitting partners of a good level above you’re but also below, and willing to drill, will help a lot.

    Also improving your attitude when training, meaning playing all points with 100% focus even against weaker players, drilling, or blocking for your partner is very important

    I think i started to improve dramatically when I started to do multiball training. It improved my fitness and retrained my brain. It’s so fast that you have to look at the ball from the guy distributing and you have no time to stand still and look where your own ball landed

    Also it’s so fast that even if I get to play a fast player in a match i almost have the impression it’s slow motion no kidding, I’m not losing because of speed but technique etc

    Also I understood that some drills like footwork drills (example 2BH 2 FH then repeat) be done slowly first. They are about footwork. For many years I was doing them too fast and often missing after 5 or 6 balls. You should work on them to be consistent and do 20 or more in a row without missing. Stamina is part of the equation and if you go too fast the ball comes back fast and you might get tired and miss. And that’s also important for focus, when doing 20 balls there will always be one or two going let or edge and you have the opportunity to fight to get them. But most of all it’s important for proper footwork ! It almost doesn’t matter in the beginning if the shot quality is good in those drills what is important is to be in good position early, feel your leg muscles, understand if you have good balance or not, be able to stay relaxed, especially the upper leg from which you should move, and always being in movement. To be consistent you should try to shorten your strokes and recover quickly

    Serve receive is a very important part of the game especially working on both flicks. Drill not only lateral movement but to/away from the table. Then it’s about working some tactics where you can use your strong shots and explore combos that suit you.

    Hope it helps

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    #14
    Regarding counterlooping FH, I believe this is not the kind of essential skill you need to get to 2200 level. Having stronger fundamentals is more important.

    Probably the main reason why you miss counterloop is because either your push is not good enough and/or you’re not back quickly in position so you have less time to react.

    Blocking or counterlooping should be fearless, if you’re in a good position, low on your feet , upper body bent forward with a good balance and and If you’re keeping your racket high in the neutral position it should be much easier to absorb the spin and block

    I try to time the ball early and the earlier you time it the more the bat angle should be closed almost horizontal and especially for counterloop I try to go down on my feet

    If you counterloop further away from the table you have much more time. The danger is more to be out of sync if the incoming ball is slow and spinny

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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte
    If TTD member David Song could read this thread and reply, it would add a lot of value as he has been there/done that at this level.

    A lot of reply as we have knowledge of what it takes to do this or that and seen it/done it some... and we know we can break it down in terms that can be understood.

    David has seen it and done it from the perspective of the OP.
    Hey, thanks for the invite.

    I've hit around 2300 earlier this year, and I think there was a clear difference in the things that I practiced to get there.

    I was around 2100 with just a solid receive, and serve-and-attack. So make sure your fundamentals are solid there. Have a set of serves that you are familiar with and can follow up with. If you haven't been serving short, it's about time to start. Players at this level will be much better at looping serves.
    Be able to serve everywhere with any spin, and if you plan to serve long, make sure you make it look like you're going to serve short.
    It really helps if you have a killer loop, but it's ok if you don't. Make sure that you can loop several times in a row, while being able to aim at the two different corners. My service receive is also pretty decent: loop half-long and long serves. Short push and flip short serves.


    Getting to the next level (2200-2300) was pretty much about 1 thing: attacking weak attacks.

    ***********

    Counterloop:
    Der Echte already gave good advice here.
    Although, I can give you some setups for counterloops.
    1. Push long to the backhand, then counterloop. Hopefully you will get loop that isn't so fast, and you an opportunity to counterloop.
    2. Push/serve really wide. I'm lefty handed, so sometimes I can serve barely-half long wide to a righty's forehand, and get a slowish loop that I can counterloop.

    After the counterloop, the rally turns into a normal rally. Although, usually players in the 2000-2100 range are not very good at counterlooping.


    Flips: At the 2000-2100 level, most players are not very good at flipping, especially forehand flipping. I win a lot of points by punishing players for doing bad flips. I would serve short side-topspin, the opponent would flip, and I would loop the flip to win. It's pretty safe and reliable as long as your serve is low and short. If your short side-topspin serve is spinny, your opponent basically has no choice but to flip. Make sure you can attack flips with both your forehand and backhand.

    ******************

    Of course, you want to be able to flip well yourself so that you don't lose to the same strategy. My forehand is really spinny and hard to counter, so I use my forehand to open the rally and prevent myself from getting easily countered. If I use my backhand against a good opponent, I will simply hit to my opponent's backhand to not get forehand countered or loop very wide and fast to the forehand to prevent an easy counter.

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    Always go forward

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    #16
    There's nothing more important than the solidity of the basic techniques for shot and footwork. Absolutely nothing.

    But if I had to add something other than that for the level discussed, it would probably be speed/power variations:

    Control over the speed/spin ratio of your loop, be able to hit one very spinny and slow and then one speedy, or the other way around.
    Do a topspin practice where you do a slow spinny topspin (but not high) and a fast powerful topspin one after the other repeatedly.

    Then do the same practice only playing down-the-line, which I think is the most important shot for developing that kind of control.
    If you can add speed/spin variations to your game it adds so much to the tactics you can really bamboozle opponents of that level especially.

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    Last edited by Lightzy; 11-28-2018 at 12:26 AM.

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    #17
    I think the best solution is still to provide a video of your match or practice?

    Players i’ve seen around 2200 are more consistent. Many of 1900-2000 players i’ve met are very power oriented while the 2100+ put nastier push variation and loop positioning.

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by FruitLoop
    For non Americans what does 2200 rating represent? Would this be like national cadet level players?
    2200 USATT would be the level to get you a chance to tryout for the GIRLS Cadet team, but not quite get there.

    2200 USATT would get you somewhere around National Rank #15 for Cadet boys. Same drill, enough to tryout and not make the national team.

    Cadets are 12-14 age group.

    Like ttmonster alludes, our play level varies wildly across areas of USA. It is a huge country and expensive to fly around everywhere to do stuff like TT.

    Play level as defined by USATT rating means something here and something there. A player who is 1800 USATT in California may go to NYC and defeat 2000 USATT rated players. Happens a lot. Some East coast 2000 USATT level players go to California and do a tourney or two and are suddenly 1800 USATT, it happens.

    San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland/Fremont is known as the Bay Area... has probably the largest concentration of pro-style training clubs.

    Southern California (Los Angelas and San Diego) also have many pro-style outfits. One of them is run by the youngest World Champion of TT ever (Stellan Bengston)

    A lot of these outfits were not around 15 years ago. This has changed the play level significantly. Our rating system does not efficiently measure this over time. What was USATT 2000 just 10 years ago might not even be 1900 USATT now. There has been an infusion of players from outside USA into USA Table Tennis... and very strong development of new players in USA training clubs that has significantly raised the level of whatever 2000, 2200, and 2400 were. This bumped down those players and also greatly affected what is sub 2000 level.

    I do not know for sure, but I think the OP hangs out at Triangle TTC. That is a pro-style training outfit. He posted a thread earlier on USATT 2000 in two years.

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  19. Der_Echte is offline
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    #19
    I didn't even get into the tactics of some of the leading Bay Area clubs.

    They have training programs for new kids, they train up and play only in-house training and league. Head coach keep them in a U400 USATT league. What a joke as these kids are already counter looping and ripping shots. USATT 400 level is for those who can barely serve the ball and land it, maybe return 1 out of 3 easy serves. These kids are already playing a pro style game with all the choing. This is a 2000+ breeding ground where their rating is kept to a minimum.

    If said mini-cadet kid gets to 1800-2000+ USATT level, they play in their club's sanctioned tourneys. Head Coach will manually rate them USATT 400. Head Coach will have them play only their U400 division and get an initial rating of around USATT 400.

    Just before an important tourney, like the US Nationals or US Open, Coach will unleash them and get them entered in 4-5 events like U1000, U1200, U1400, U1600, U1800, U2000... and said kid is at a level to win them all, just like say Pokémon. Problem is, there are another 10-15 of these kids doing the same thing.

    Conditions like that usually mean that the winner of U1000 and U1200 is a true USATT 1800 level player... but isn't rated or ranked at that level, even with rating adjustments. Usually, a USATT 1800 level kid going into a big tourney as 400 rated will come out around USATT 1600 and still be under-rated.

    This has pissed off many a GEEZER who has been around TT for life and worked their tail off for decades to get to a very solid USATT 1800 or 1900 level... then faces a string of these ringer under-rated kids in group stage of the U200 and U1900 (the only two events that said Geezer ought to a top seed) and of course loses spectacularly to said kid who plays a game way better than the rating limit of that event.

    This has created adult-only ratings events at the huge tourneys...

    But guess what ??? Now we got teenagers and young 20s in the sport starting off and coaches are doing the same thing... Redux V2.0 reboot.

    This is what is happening on one end to deflate the ratings over time. That is why USATT2000 a decade ago is no longer 2000 or even 1900 now.

    USATT used to be that magical/mythical level where you could say you are good at TT. That is pretty much mid-1800s right now.

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  20. zeio is offline
    says 快、準、狠、變、轉
     
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    #20
    A video is better than a million words. You're pretty consistent, and just playing more aggressive alone can get you further ahead. How to do that? Better bio-mechanics and more sophisticated tactics.

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