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    1. Top | #21
      Lula is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by pgpg View Post
      I understand the comments like "you don't think when you play", guilty about that myself. But - I can totally see why this might be happening: all drills aimed at establishing basic technique, fundamentals etc. are trying to make sure that you are executing shots without thinking.

      If main focus is on this, why are we surprised when during the point player can't think one step ahead? His reflexes are drilled into one thing and then a different ball arrives. And I suspect teaching how to analyze what happened and adjusting on the next point is rather different from multiball or even a single ball practice. Playing more matches will help (slowly...), but somehow coaches do not tend to teach this ("if you serve X, 80% chance ball will come here and you should do Y"), or may be I was unlucky.
      Good points! I agree that learning and practicing the fundementals is very important! But i do think it is very important to not be like robots when we play and try to think why we do certain exerccises or why we do like we do. Try to have a purpose with alot of shots, especially serve and return and try to analyze like you say what happened if you miss or start losing points.

      I have understood thay they focus on fundementals in Korea, and i think we all should do but i still think we need to be able to think when we play so we make the possibilities for victory in games higher. It does not matter if you have the best technique if you always loose because you play stupidly and without and thought. I understand that we work on the technique to be abe to win in the future, but i think we can not only look in to the future but need to try to also play good and win in the present.

      So i do not really agree with the korean coaches and i find it strange that you guys practise with coaches that do not teach what pgpg is talking about. Im a real technique freak but i also think playing with thought and thinking what ball will come after this one is important and having a playing style where you know your strengths and weakness and practice with these in mind and play games with these in mind so you have a game tactic is somewhat as important as technique. I think coaches atleast would teach that if you do a nospin short serve they will push high or flip, or if you push long you need to have the racket high and be ready to block and stuff like this. Pretty basic stuff if you have played for a while and think a little.

      Technique is good for the developement but the other stuff is good if you actually want to win games. I also think with a playing style you may not need to have perfect technique for all the shots since you do not need to use them as much. In ex Gatien could barely play backhand in my opinion, Gerell aswell but they worked around it with good serve, return game and good footwork. And the technique do not need to be perfect either, as long as it work for you. In example Keinath looks horrible while playing but is still a pro, Boll switch grip like crazy, pistej also loop forehand pretty funny and Schlager looked really stiff. Me personally have changed my technique to much i think, so i never became safe beccause i changed alot. Now i have really nice technique but i would proably have become better if i were happy with my techniqe and tried to become good at it. But maybe if i play my whole life i will benefit that i have changed my technique alot.

      I think we could go on forever about this discussion, but i need to go out with the dogs now haha
      Proably there are alot of different paths as Echte said. But i think we sshould focus on both technique and game tactics and i still find it strange that the koreans only seems to look at the technique. But maybe they have a very high standard of when the technique is good so it takes a long while before they focus on anything else. But i still think it is fun to win games so the other stuff is still important for that.

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    3. Top | #22
      pgpg is offline
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      I think I'm going to dust off my copy of Larry Hodges's "Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers" and give it another go. I suspect I will find things there that I missed on the first read couple of years back...

    4. Top | #23
      Lula is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by pgpg View Post
      His reflexes are drilled into one thing and then a different ball arrives.
      I have a somewhat interesting story about the above. A old coach of mine, coached a pretty high level team and they had an old chinese in their team that used to be good. He had once came very far in the chinese national championship for a long time ago. I also remember when he played in my league when i was younger and he shifted between playing penhold and shakehand depending on the match.

      Anyway, when my old coach coached him it was at a pretty high level. he lost the first set, then said to the coach something like "he must have played alot of multiball, it looks like it. Now i will do bad returns. Watch and see". So he started to do bad returns on purpose and he later won the match. He did that because the opponent had played alot of multiball and was used to only getting good returns, but his timing were off when he got another return, one that was not as good. Pretty interesting i think.


      I have never heard about Larry Hodges. I feel that it must be hard to share tips regarding how to think when we play and tactics in text form. But if you found something interesting maybe you can post it!

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    6. Top | #24
      pgpg is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lula View Post
      ...
      I have never heard about Larry Hodges. I feel that it must be hard to share tips regarding how to think when we play and tactics in text form. But if you found something interesting maybe you can post it!
      Larry is a pretty well-known (in US at least) coach, from Maryland TTC. He blogs here:

      http://www.tabletenniscoaching.com/blog

      His site also has plenty of tips and coaching advice. He also published quite a few books on TT, both technique and tactics. I found them quite useful.

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    8. Top | #25
      Der_Echte is offline
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      When I got to Korea, right away I got with a club and started lessons. I was very surprised that lessons in Korea more resembled hardcore drills instead of teaching. There was some teaching and explanation to get certain things, but 99 percent of time was focused on single ball and multi ball drills... later with explosive footwork and shot combinations.

      It seemed Korean coaches were on a mission to physically exhaust you and make you seriously regret the choice of tt as sport.

      Coaches consistently achieved that single objective by minute 12 of the allotted 20 minute time.

      In USA, lessons are usually one hour long. When I got back to USA, I could not comprehend why anyone could endure 30 minutes, let alone 60.

      When I see a USA lesson here, there is a lot of standing around.

      Some of the hardcore Chinese coaches in usa roll like the Koreans.

      So... Korea simply has a different way that works for them.

      Even some Korean ex pros who coach amateurs will say there is no single right answer in tt.

      Lula, I think Kim Jung Hoon and you think a lot alike... much more than you would realize.

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    9. Top | #26
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      When I was taking lessons in Korea... one of the very first milestones before progression to next step is several hundred flat fh in a row at a medium fast speed.

      Der_Echte REALLY sucks at that shot and could never do more than 10 to 20 of that shot.

      One coach thought i was hopeless, but i progressed to the next step anyway... i already had a spinny fh and the best bh heavy topspin in the city... so onward i moved. I might have been the only one to advance without meeting coaches criteria.

      It seems only now all that footwork intensive stuff is working for me... i am 105 kg... but move around the court the best i ever did in the ten years i played. I can now from this experience show efficient footwork to an adult needing it.

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    10. Top | #27
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      A good example of different philosophy of the Koreans... they do not teach a spinny bh fh vs undersipn... even at Div 1 level...

      It was no wonder even at Div 5 city level I had better bh than all Div 1 players... I was training that shot before I got to Korea and they dont really train it.

      Same for serving... they expect you to figure it out on your own...

      At city Div 5 level, I had serves that were killing half the Div 1 crowd.

      It is just like that there... coaches roll different.

      I expect this to be changing now and in future as more modern pros retire and open clubs.

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    11. Top | #28
      Lula is online now
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      Okay, it is really interesting to hear how others do it. Like you said, there are several ways to become good at tabletennis.
      I find it interesting that they do not teach so much and just go for it. I think that if the players know why they do stuff and understand how to do it it will be easier for them to learn. But alot of the time kids listen bad so it might not be necessary, but i think that those who listen will benefit alot.

      I like that they have like criterias to move forward. I feel that in my club we often rush forward to much, i want it more like forhand backhan counter CHECK, now we go to the next thing and CHECK that before going forward. But i do not know if this would be possible, think alot of people would get boored and stop playing. The sport directior in the club sometimes move kids up to the best group to fast i think. It is difficult to individualise the practice for everyone, so it sometimes is more difficult exercises for the better players but then it gets to difficult for the not as good new kids. I think they will become better in the long run if they stay longer in the group below where we play very easy exercises with focus on the technique. I think we have some problem that they do not learn correct technique from the beginning, and proably the best coaches would be for the beginners in my opinion.

      That is strange that they focus so little on serve and return i think. I want them to practice that alot since i believe we win games with this boring stuff and not the more fun footwork drills where it is just pang pang. So it is important to be good at it.

      What is difficult with a flat forehand counter? haha

      I sometimes think my players do not have good technique enough. Proably since i have not have them from the beginning and sometimes they go up in the best group to early. And some players have some real difficulties with learning the correct technique and some do not really listen despite saying the same thing over and over. So we try to do alot of easy exercises to learn the correct technique, but it hard to know when you should be satisfied because the longer you play you understadn like you say that there really are no correct technique, just more right and wrong.

      I really really believe in shadow training. If they do not do the correct stroke and we practice at it they learn the wrong stroke which is bad. And i think many times it is to hard to learn with the ball. If we can just learn the correct technique from the beginning, then we will have the time to practice at it and become good at it. I think i did not have so good coaches so i did not learn the correct way to play so i changed the technique alot which made it difficult to become safe. I also think i worked to much on the techniwue so i changed to much which made it hard to become good at anything.

      Unfortunaly it is hard to get them to take shadow training serious. To bad, since i really really believe in it, i think it is one of the biggest keys to get good technique. Do they do Shadow training in Korea?

      What type of approach do you think is the best? a mix? That you learn the correct strokes well from the beginning sound good, but i have some real issues with that coaches seem to want the players be like zoombies or robots and not think. And letting them figure out to much on the own i think is seems somewhat irresponsible.

    12. Top | #29
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      Every club I see in Korea has mirrors... ours had a huge mirror.

      Danger with shadow stroke or robot practice (most clubs have robots) is if player is doing it wrong, then it builds in false technique.

      Often, players are practicing on their own.

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    13. Top | #30
      Lula is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte View Post
      Every club I see in Korea has mirrors... ours had a huge mirror.

      Danger with shadow stroke or robot practice (most clubs have robots) is if player is doing it wrong, then it builds in false technique.

      Often, players are practicing on their own.

      Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
      Okay, to be able to see how it looks? we do not have mirrors here.

      Yes, that was my point. I think it is bigger risk of practicing the wrong technique with a ball since it is harder to do compared to shadow training. Shadow training should proably be done with a coach, otherwise the purpose of it is pretty gone.

      If the players are practicing on their own, even more important that they think and understand what they are doing and what is happening when they miss or hit the table.

    14. Top | #31
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      Lula,

      You might recognize the Div 1 Swedish player in this pic when he visited my club (Johan Hornel) in Korea.

      The mirror behind us runs for another 1-1.5 metes and is 2.2 meters high... the stuff covering it are certificates cub players have won in tourneys.

      Players often shadow practice on this mirror...

      Click image for larger version. 

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