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    1. Top | #1
      Der_Echte is online now
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      WHY do we select WHAT for equipment when a player begins TT? What's a "Right" answer?

      I started this thread since a very important question came up today. There are many different approaches to this and no everyone agrees... which is OK in my book. TT should not be command directed like we are low rank in the military.

      The deal is, not even some coaches understand why they choose what they choose and what the developmental goals and paths are for what they selected for the new player.

      I detail here my discussion and overall attitude. The things I write not everyone or maybe not even a majority may agree, but the point is, I state the RATIONALE behind why I think the way I do and why some others think the way they do... which influences the choices they make for equipment.

      I believe it is very important to deeply understand WHY we do stuff... at least for adults anyways. Kids just do it a few thousand times and get there despite any leadership from adults.

      Well, here it goes. Get your eggs ready to throw... but don't tear up your rotator cuff... you need that intact to play table tennis.

      This isn't such a bad topic. Why? Because this is an issue with coaches and strategic direction that goes against the grain. It causes evaluation of why we do things.

      That is worth writing about.

      There are no absolutes and you frequently see me saying about Kim Jung Hoon and his "There is no right answer in TT".

      Actually in Korea, the majority of coaches recommend a bat so fast, it would shock the pants off most coaches. I saw SO MANY TIMES a new player starting out with OFF+++ carbon blade (think Schlager Carbon) and an early generation control OFF Low Throw tensor rubber (like Yasaka Extend HS)

      Why do Korean coaches like such a setup for new players? Because that FAST ++ setup is OUTSTANDING at making low spin drives close to the table. You can hit all day with that bat, but will have a more difficult time learning to topspin. Since a classic amateur Korean player doesn't topspin much if at all, this kind of fast bat is just perfect middle ground for what the coach wants the player to do - DRIVE the ball with little spin.

      This brings up the issue of WHY we select a certain class of equipment and WHAT will it make it easy to do?

      That is the important question. What does the coach/player expect the new player to do in TT?

      The general answer (with NO RIGHT ANSWER) (but a lot of possible answers) is to select equipment that makes it easier to do the most frequently used shots with control. (and later power)

      Since the Koreans want to stand at the table and give the opponent a live assault by means of HITTING the ball fast and controlled, the Korean coaches select equipment that makes that job easier.

      A lot of high level Chinese coaches I see by default select for their players a BTY Viscaria (OFF carbon blade) with H3 FH and T05 BH. Those are crazy difficult rubbers to control at first and especially, H3 requires a very fast and strong FH impact. A 8 yr old kid doesn't have this yet. The Chinese high level coach follows the tried and true path of selecting the final equipment, and training the player to grow into it, even if it is difficult at first. That way works as they train like crazy. Once that kid has 3 yrs of 2x a week one hour lessons, the better kids reach the TTR 1700-1800 level... which is a level that maybe 1% of adult learners reach in their lifetime.

      A typical European coach will recommend something much closer to the middle of the pack in terms of speed and spin, but very high in control. Often, this means a 5 or 7 play wood blade in the ALL to OFF MINUS (OFF-) class and modern control rubbers. The concept these coaches operate on is that such a setup makes the player use strokes, makes the player do them correctly, and allows the player to feel the ball better than a fast/stiff carbon blade... which helps develop touch and variations in topspin. It allows the player to know if they did not strike the ball in the sweet spot. (You don't get that with carbon or ALC blades - they all feel great, even a mis-hit) Trying to learn basic topsin offensive TT with a bat too fast and bouncy is usually a fail, but not always.

      This kind of way a typical European coach uses works too. Often, with time it produces a player capable of topspinning at every speed and spin with control and placement, plus short touch over the net. That is important in the European style of play. All the faster gear make it very difficult to get this level of touch and controlled topspin.

      I get back to the main idea. What is it that the player and coach want the new player to be able to do? That should drive the equipment selection.

      If you go the way of a typical European coach, there are hundreds if not thousands of possible middle of the road setups for blade and rubber. We list many of them all the time. A Stiga Allround Evolution with Vega Euro or Vega Pro is one of one thousand possible.

      My personal tendency for equipment recommendation is much like the Euro coach if the player is going to learn basic offensive table tennis that involves topsinning the ball. However, I realize this isn't how some players and coaches want the player to play and there are also other paths that work for this.
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    3. Top | #2
      Der_Echte is online now
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      I wrote the long post above to cause us the think about what we do. Many of us already do this and it is consistent in our posting.

      A thread about WHY we do stuff is pretty much the opposite of presenting 20 choices, analyzing each one and picking hairs about which one to go with...

      The one who asked me could remain unknow and that is OK. That person could also come to the thread and claim responsibility for getting Der_Echte to think and write. That might make that person a hero (or enemy of the state).

      I am happy to create this thread as it is a way to examine how we think, why we do things, what is our strategic direction... those kind of important things.

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    5. Top | #3
      NDH is offline
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      Hell of a post that I won’t be able to respond to properly on my phone

      In the UK, the Primorac All round and Sriver 1.9 on both sides is the coaches best freind for a beginner whose past the early stage, and starting to have one to one, or more advanced group coaching.

      I feel the Chinese way of going about things fits in with the Chinese mentality of “only the strong survive”.

      With so many players, and such a high standard to live up to, they really won’t care if 99% of the kids that come through don’t make it.

      But the 1% who do will have a hell of a step up over the rest (if they have been mastering a Viscaria, H3 and T05 for a few years!)

      I’m not massively familiar with the Korean way, but it feels a bit narrow minded and insular in my opinion.

      The European way is by far the most common sense way of approaching overall development.

      From that base, kids can then move to whatever style they want. Super aggressive kids will go for a very fast set up, whilst others can go more all around.

      But they’ll already have the shot mechanics to cope with the new equipment.

      One other thing to consider, is that coaches often advise equipment they are familiar with (or maybe even sell themselves).

      Very few coaches I know are experts on equipment, opting to go with what they know has worked for the last X amount of years.


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    7. Top | #4
      Der_Echte is online now
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      I discussed amateur Korean TT ways and high level Chinese players (think of players who could be CNT B team players or close to that) who come to USA to coach. (for peanuts) (Hint, the high level imported coaches are not pocketing all the $80 USD an hour the TT club charges the rich kids' parents.)

      The Korean system to identify prospects for Pro development is similar to the Chinese way, but their equipment selection is much closer to the Euro model and way. Yet, the approach is way different.

      The school will hire an ex-pro coach who will be given a small gym or medium sized multipurpose room (think 15x30 meters size) and turn it into a 5-7 table pro-style training camp 3 hrs after school with the ex-pro coach taking on the role of Marine Corps BOOT CAMP DRILL INSTRUCTOR... and the kids train and train and train forever relentlessly on the most simple basics of the game, but with thousands of reps and strive for accuracy and power.

      You look at the kind of things coach has kids train and you wonder how the kids are gunna get to be great players. The drills look like nothing special. Serves 30 minutes, FH to FH drives 30 minutes. BH to BH drives 30 minutes. Multiball 30 minutes on a long ball kill. Multiball 30 minutes on footwork intense stuff like FH push short, BH passing shot, step around FH crosscourt, crossover footwork to get to ball blocked down FH line and kill that sucka.

      Since these kids are pro-style trained, they are not allowed in amateur events... only in national level tourneys and only in the Pro-Player Division.

      The Korean pro-style way for amateurs is certainly strick, but you gotta go there and live for a spell, you would quickly get their ways of society. Their way works too, pretty much the same as USA amateurs. Some players train 2x a week and play matches 3x a week or more and never get past TTR 1100. Some get to TTR 2000. Average is TTR1200-1300.
      Last edited by Der_Echte; 02-10-2019 at 06:38 PM.

    8. Top | #5
      Lightzy is offline
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      I often hear our kids coach giving equipment lists to the club manager with what rubbers to give out to each kid.
      I think some coaches know equipment better than others, some just don't care about equipment so much. I think those who understand equipment give their kids an edge in development and in competitiveness.

      I suppose the kids here are kinda lucky. A couple of practices ago the coach said to give a certain kid a baraccuda rubber. I don't know the kid or the rubber, but I do wonder how he came to that conclusion and why. If it's related to playstyle, or graduation to a certain level of technical ability, or the kid growing stronger physically or what. They invest most of the club money into the kids. The adults groups are basically there just to pay for the kids training .


      I also dunno anything about chinese kid training but if kids are given viscarias with t05s and h3nationals from a very young age then I suppose this too denotes a deep understanding of equipment as it relates to the kids development, but with a more specific mindset targeting kids so talented as to be world champion prospects with the rest being sidelined, as the guy above said.
      Last edited by Lightzy; 02-10-2019 at 07:21 PM.

    9. Top | #6
      Der_Echte is online now
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      Lightzy,

      In the USA cities where there is a lot of TT action (Think San Francisco/San Jose area, LA Area, NYC area) the club or coaches are not really picking out the kids per se, the kids parents bring their kids to the club to be trained by a Chinese coach who was/is a high level amateur or near pro player. (Sometimes Ex-CNT players open a club in US and be the main coach) Once parent brings kids to the club, they pay top dollar per hour (think $80 USD an hour) for lessons. Sometimes the parents want a specific coach. Sometimes they ask for the best coach there. Sometimes, the club starts the training with one coach, and when kid is a certain level, they move the kid to a different coach.

      All I can say is that in the tourneys I do where I face an opponent who is training with one of these imported coaches, nearly EVERY TIME the bat the kid is using is the gold standard issue Viscaria/H3/T05 agent Q from James Bond would get bored, but that system works for them... quite well.

      it is not the natter of the most talented kids getting selected, the parents are driving it all in USA... but yeah, the kids better suited for TT Warrior training do adapt and become Warriors pretty quickly.

    10. Top | #7
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      I am a mixture of Chinese and euro equipment suggestion. I suggest a chinese rubber (to those who have coaching) as a fh rubber because it helps develop better brushing technique when taught right and at the beginner's phase it does not matter much and the equipment is not the focus, just the control. Also, the reason why i recommend all wood blades. Part of the reason is also the number of hours or less hours they do for practice.
      Last edited by yogi_bear; 02-11-2019 at 12:33 AM.
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    12. Top | #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by yogi_bear View Post
      I am a mixture of Chinese and euro equipment suggestion. I suggest a chinese rubber (to those who have coaching) as a fh rubber because it helps develop better brushing technique when taught right and at the beginner's phase it does not matter much and the equipment is not the focos, just the control. Also, the reason why i recommend all wood blades. Part of the reason is also the number of hours or less hours they do for practice.
      I would add that it makes sense to start a student on cheaper equipment when they first get started because it won't make a huge difference in their play and the cheaper equipment is usually easier to control. I think if they get serious enough to buy more expensive stuff, they can pay for it later.
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    14. Top | #9
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      Nextlevel, I agree. Imagine the amount of time you will be spending using Tenergy and then you are still developing your loops and brushes. Unless you have money this would be very impractical especially if you do multiballs.

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    16. Top | #10
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      For kids aspiring to be pro level, I can see why that makes sense. But for the majority of people starting tt, they just want to have fun and improve a bit as they go along. So I tend to see the lower level "lifers" as I call them, play better and win more when you cater the equipment to fit their natural weird and unrefined strokes. Many areas do not have any coaching, aside from the more experienced players offering a tip or two. Whether that be pips or anti or tenergy. Some utilize body power and fare better with tacky rubbers. Some just kind of flap their wrist around and the springy tenergy helps them be consistent with more power. Others have no chance of learning to loop well... slap on some pips and their shots are more reliable. A few more just stand there and block, so I recommend anti and then their game is more dangerous from the varying "deception" it brings.

      For my own game, I like to use a rather quick and springy blade since my strokes are basically all brush. Along with a slower, sticky rubber I can focus on the brushing aspect and the blade supplies the added kick.

      Meaning, I think the individual players aspirations are important to factor in.

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    18. Top | #11
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      Der_, I am going to add some context to the 5 ply all wood, All-Off- blade plus modern control rubber thang.

      Developing spin. Developing more spin. Developing massive spin.

      Soft wood with a 5 ply blade with control rubbers, helps you learn the touch for massive spin. It helps you feel how to get the ball to sink into the sponge so the topsheet can wrap and rebound to propel the ball out with mechanical spin. It is much harder to develop that precision with carbon.

      And sure, starting with Viscaria plus H3/T05 like Abe did will work for many young guns. But still, when you gave Abe a control setup with a slower blade and more manageable rubbers, his level jumped considerably within 3 months. I remember Abe's way of saying it was, "It gave me the confidence to feel that whatever I did, the ball would go on the table."

      But for many, those faster setups will encourage driving and fast shots without much spin and will not help the developing player develop the skills and touch to use the rubber and topsheet to really get high level spin.

      In the end that is certainly a choice. And we have talked about how some coaches do not really coach to help the player improve but instead coach to keep on getting the weekly coaching fee. And sometimes, what gets the player better is a bit of hard reality, working on weaknesses, developing skills like short game, return of serve, opening loops, over the table loops, return of serve....in short, a lot of stuff that might be hard to work on, and not so much fun. But those are the nuts and bolts of getting better in real terms.

      Whereas, if you get good at those block drills where you drive or loop over and over again, you can look great in practice and look like you are improving in practice and still lose like you never trained at all in match play. Because the skills of the game take way longer to convert from practice to game play if you are doing block training and not training game simulation drills and skills.

      BTW: I have heard that with the young kids, scouted and selected to start training in China, with the thought that some day, some of them may make National or Provincial teams, that those kids start with simple all wood blades. I could have old information because I have not looked at that for a long time. And by 13 those kids have more training than most westerners have had by the time they are 20 or EVER. And between 11 and 13 is, I think when the kids may get upgraded to ALC.

      Further detail: are the people trained in Korea with Off++++++++++ carbon blades as beginner prospects to become pros? If not, part of the choice may also be that, since driving and hitting is a lot of fun and most beginners want that stuff, why not go with that.

      If they give the prospects to become pros the 5 ply all wood blades, there may still be a reason.

      More spin still means higher level technique and if you are training someone for higher level technique you are probably going to train them for how to get massive spin. Because the rest is easy to learn if you can get the subtlety of how to use the topsheet and sponge to get massive spin.
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    20. Top | #12
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      All that said, I agree with Der_ that all info needs a context.

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      Quote Originally Posted by LordPippington View Post
      For kids aspiring to be pro level, I can see why that makes sense. But for the majority of people starting tt, they just want to have fun and improve a bit as they go along. So I tend to see the lower level "lifers" as I call them, play better and win more when you cater the equipment to fit their natural weird and unrefined strokes. Many areas do not have any coaching, aside from the more experienced players offering a tip or two. Whether that be pips or anti or tenergy. Some utilize body power and fare better with tacky rubbers. Some just kind of flap their wrist around and the springy tenergy helps them be consistent with more power. Others have no chance of learning to loop well... slap on some pips and their shots are more reliable. A few more just stand there and block, so I recommend anti and then their game is more dangerous from the varying "deception" it brings.

      For my own game, I like to use a rather quick and springy blade since my strokes are basically all brush. Along with a slower, sticky rubber I can focus on the brushing aspect and the blade supplies the added kick.

      Meaning, I think the individual players aspirations are important to factor in.
      This is a good point.

    22. Top | #14
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      Carl, I already said it... the pro developed kids use much more reasonable equipment, like OFF Minus wood blade.

      The amateur adults are the ones starting with rocket equipment.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte View Post
      Why do Korean coaches like such a setup for new players? Because that FAST ++ setup is OUTSTANDING at making low spin drives close to the table. You can hit all day with that bat, but will have a more difficult time learning to topspin. Since a classic amateur Korean player doesn't topspin much if at all, this kind of fast bat is just perfect middle ground for what the coach wants the player to do - DRIVE the ball with little spin.
      Just out of curiosity: How does a Korean amateur player react when they encounter a player who mainly plays a loop based game? I would assume that the looper would have a huge advantage.

    24. Top | #16
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      In my club all new kids start with club rackets, cheap Yinhe 5 ply wood with cheap Yinhe nontacky rubbers. After a month or two some of the kids loose interest, wich is normal, the others are encouraged to buy own 5 ply allwood blade depending on the budget. With rubbers its more complicated - some continue to play with cheap chinese non-tacky rubbers, some are granted older rubbers from club members and pros, others continue with tensors or tenergy. In about 6 months more than a half of the kids are with T05 or T05fx. After 2-3 years of training 4-5 of the kids are usual prizers on regional and national competitions.

    25. Top | #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by langel View Post
      In my club all new kids start with club rackets, cheap Yinhe 5 ply wood with cheap Yinhe nontacky rubbers. After a month or two some of the kids loose interest, wich is normal, the others are encouraged to buy own 5 ply allwood blade depending on the budget. With rubbers its more complicated - some continue to play with cheap chinese non-tacky rubbers, some are granted older rubbers from club members and pros, others continue with tensors or tenergy. In about 6 months more than a half of the kids are with T05 or T05fx. After 2-3 years of training 4-5 of the kids are usual prizers on regional and national competitions.
      BY now, you have read enough to know I frequently recommend the "Der_Echte Special" a Yinhe 896 5 ply blade (13 Euros), a recycled FH rubber (FREE) and a new sheet of XP2008 (7 euros).

      Who couldn't afford that bat and who cannot say they cannot play a good game with it?

      That setup is middle of the road goodness.

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    27. Top | #18
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      Blade Nate Cedar Straight
      Forehand Rubber Tibhar MX-K
      Backhand Rubber Tibhar FX-S

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      Quote Originally Posted by mart1nandersson View Post
      Just out of curiosity: How does a Korean amateur player react when they encounter a player who mainly plays a loop based game? I would assume that the looper would have a huge advantage.
      That would mean that there are real loopers in Div 4 mens or Div 3 mens in Korea… which there are practically none.

      A Div 4 player would be facing a Div 1 player to get a looper. They would be doing that mostly just in the club... and get a 4 point handicap.

      Div 4 player basic tactics: BLOCK and HOPE. Give underspins and hope looper misses.

      Div 4 cannot receive serves very well, cannot loop, and cannot do much to initiate offense vs Div 1 player... Div 1 player can win with touch, power, spin, variation... so many options with big advantage.

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      mart1nandersson (02-11-2019)

    29. Top | #19
      Loopadoop is offline
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      Master TTD Member Country: United States

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      What level is Div 3 & 4 of Korea in the USA ?

    30. Top | #20
      langel is offline
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      Master TTD Member Country: Bulgaria

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      Blade Xiom Vega Tour
      Forehand Rubber Xiom Omega VII Asia 2.2, Xiom Omega V Tour 2.2
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      Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte View Post
      BY now, you have read enough to know I frequently recommend the "Der_Echte Special" a Yinhe 896 5 ply blade (13 Euros), a recycled FH rubber (FREE) and a new sheet of XP2008 (7 euros).

      Who couldn't afford that bat and who cannot say they cannot play a good game with it?

      That setup is middle of the road goodness.
      Agreed.
      Here kids are not encouraged to switch to carbon blades until U15+ or after some 5 years of training, except some of the best competitors. But some of the kids don't listen to the coach advices mainly because of their overdevoted parents, and switch to faster equipment too early, without having the needed technique. A faster equipment doesn't mean a faster game. Kids with slower bats and with better development can play much faster than those with the fastest bats they are not ready to use. The actual bat speed is not the mark on it, but the speed a player is able to manage effectively.

    31. The Following User Likes langel's Post:

      Der_Echte (02-12-2019)

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