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  1. Gozo is offline
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    #521
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    One thing I notice that, Gozo, would be worth you looking at is: when the kid hits a topspin shot that hits the net and bounces back from the net and onto the table, you can see it has good spin and gets pulled towards the net fairly fast (there are some where this is not the case, but usually they have good spin). When you hit a "topspin" shot into the net and it does the same, the ones I have seen in the first two sets of the video, there is not so much spin.


    It just might be worth knowing that working on developing more spin is usually good for increasing your level.

    First off, the kid is good, no doubt about it. He is well trained. He will attack all ball regardless where the position is. He does not push at all and will topspin everything back at me. It is so so so different playing against these academic trained Jr players. Where my usual staple of club level uncles player type will mainly push safe and open up when they feel safe to do so, this boy will open up every ball no matter the position of the ball, be it BH or FH. His BH open up is very spinny. This is a credit to him, I must say.

    I spoke to him after the game and I gather these few facts. He started being properly trained at the age of five and he has been under a proper coach for the past five years.

    The pace of game is very fast and I get a chance to play my counter-hit game with him. I did score some fast counter-hit winner against him, which I am very proud, to say the least. For example is at 16:40. There are few more like winner like these. My counter-hit is so fast, even when I slow down the video to 0.25X I still can't hardly see the ball.

    @Carl,

    The boy's game is so fast, I can't hardly get into position to do a loop drive. All I could react was to counter-hit his topspin incoming ball. That is why you see very little top-spin from me. The boy hardly ever push or cut the ball, but mainly just topspin all strokes.

    It is a challenge as well as a massive learning opportunity for me. Playing against him is like a breathe of fresh air versus my usual club-uncles / club-pusher type players, which is aplenty at club-level.
    Last edited by Gozo; 08-14-2022 at 04:58 AM.

  2. NextLevel is online now
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    #522
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    Hello to all those who responded to my post. Massive massive appreciation and thanks.

    To give a little bit more context, when I played the elderly man, in the first set I beat him 11-4. He was using the conventional rubber mainly to serve in the first game. Although he did not toss the ball, I struggled a bit but I still was able to play my game. It was the 2nd & 3rd set that he changed his serve using the LP side while still maintaining the no toss serve that really messed me up. Yes, I was feeling frustrated and unhappy that I missed a lot of his serves.

    I did talk to my coach about this and he concur with my club mate. This is just a friendly match and it does not really matter if you win or lose. He told me, a friendly match most important aspect is just to make friends / be social. I guess, I am still new to these tournament and approached it the wrong way mentally. I now understand better and will be less judgemental in the future.

    If he serves with LP, there is barely any spin on the ball worth respecting or usually light topspin. You probably didn't realize this and kept trying to do things to the ball based on his service motion rather than returning all the balls the same way which is however you loop or return no-spin balls.

    Though to be fair, some people throw the ball into their racket since they have no toss and make the ball do crazy stuff. But again, it is a chance to learn something new.

    In any case, he gave you a chance to learn more stuff. In the end, that is what this is all about. That and making friends as much as possible.

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    Last edited by NextLevel; 08-14-2022 at 05:03 AM.
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    #523
    One of the advantages of team competition is that usually your teammates can watch and coach you. But I will strongly recommend to adult learners who play matches in singles competition that they have a friend, especially a higher rated player or coach who is familiar with their level and training, watch their matches live. Sometimes, an astute observer with little knowledge of table tennis can be good enough for the mental side just to keep you having the right mindset.

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    #524

    A lot of great comments, and I can’t really add much to it (but I will).

    From my POV, the whole “serving” issue depends on the standard and whether or not it’s a competitive match (be that a league, or tournament etc).

    Whilst standard “shouldn’t” matter, it does.

    The 2 most common “illegal servers” are:

    * Older players who have served like that their entire lives, and quite simply can’t/don’t want to learn the new rules.

    * Newish players who may have some good shots, but find the serving motion to be a tricky thing to master. Often resulting in a low toss or no toss.

    Even in competitive games, it’s unlikely to ever become an issue unless you have an impartial referee.

    If the referee is of similar standard, they will unlikely have the confidence to start calling the servers.

    I’ll give you a real world example……

    I was refereeing a match for my sons team (it wasn’t him playing), which is in the lowest division.

    One of their guys serves straight out of the hand, with zero attempt to throw the ball up. So I called him on it, and told him to throw the ball up.

    He seriously struggled to do it. He just couldn’t get the coordination together, and really struggled.

    The fact I called his serves shocked everyone there. They’d never seen it happen before!

    Back to your example - As you now know….. you should have let it go.

    I’d have made a jokey comment about throwing the ball up after it was obvious he wasn’t going to do it…. but if he ignored it, I’d have let it go.

    As for him changing to the LP to serve, it sounds like a smart move, and shows your opponent was thinking about the game after you walked the first end.

    That was your chance to practice against something new, and try to overcome it - You’ll know for next time.

    As others have said, LP serves usually result in very little spin. It’s actually a really good chance to practice your backhand flick and forehand open up because you aren’t dealing with much incoming spin!

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  5. Gozo is offline
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    #525
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    A lot of great comments, and I can’t really add much to it (but I will).

    From my POV, the whole “serving” issue depends on the standard and whether or not it’s a competitive match (be that a league, or tournament etc).

    Whilst standard “shouldn’t” matter, it does.

    The 2 most common “illegal servers” are:

    * Older players who have served like that their entire lives, and quite simply can’t/don’t want to learn the new rules.

    * Newish players who may have some good shots, but find the serving motion to be a tricky thing to master. Often resulting in a low toss or no toss.

    Even in competitive games, it’s unlikely to ever become an issue unless you have an impartial referee.

    If the referee is of similar standard, they will unlikely have the confidence to start calling the servers.

    I’ll give you a real world example……

    I was refereeing a match for my sons team (it wasn’t him playing), which is in the lowest division.

    One of their guys serves straight out of the hand, with zero attempt to throw the ball up. So I called him on it, and told him to throw the ball up.

    He seriously struggled to do it. He just couldn’t get the coordination together, and really struggled.

    The fact I called his serves shocked everyone there. They’d never seen it happen before!

    Back to your example - As you now know….. you should have let it go.

    I’d have made a jokey comment about throwing the ball up after it was obvious he wasn’t going to do it…. but if he ignored it, I’d have let it go.

    As for him changing to the LP to serve, it sounds like a smart move, and shows your opponent was thinking about the game after you walked the first end.

    That was your chance to practice against something new, and try to overcome it - You’ll know for next time.

    As others have said, LP serves usually result in very little spin. It’s actually a really good chance to practice your backhand flick and forehand open up because you aren’t dealing with much incoming spin!

    Thanks NDH,

    No comment abt my game with the U10 kid? Have been a fan of your constructive and objective review all these while...


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    #526
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    Thanks NDH,

    No comment abt my game with the U10 kid? Have been a fan of your constructive and objective review all these while...

    Apologies, I've barely had a minute to think with the new baby!

    I watched the first 10 minutes, so please correct me if I say anything that is done differently in the last 10 minutes.

    As with all advice, I prefer to give a few bits you can work on, rather than critiquing loads of different things, and you never knowing where to start.

    Firstly.....

    Your colour coordination is on point. Look good. Feel good. Play good - Never underestimate it! 😁

    Tactics:

    For the vast majority of the first 10 minutes, I don't think you played the first attacking shot in any rally (maybe once or twice).

    The kid was clearly very comfortable opening up, and you look much more comfortable (and threatening) when the rallies are top spin.

    So my question is..... Why did you play virtually 100% backspin serves?

    If it was a conscious decision, I'd like to hear what your thoughts were.

    I usually see players like yourself (who are improving), use the backspin serve a lot, as they feel it's safer/less likely to get attacked.

    But actually..... Those players (like you), are much better in top spin rallies, than you are against a ball that is looped (slow or fast) when you had previously played a back spin shot.

    I'd be looking to do some short/mid length top spin serves, and then look to come in on the 3rd ball with an aggressive counter/top spin loop/smash.

    You showed that you are more than capable of countering his top spin to top spin, yet you predominantly put yourself on the back foot every time you served with heavy back spin serves.

    How you hold the bat:

    You need to try and relax a little - Right now, you are set up for a backhand (although you rarely play a backhand open up anyway).

    This is fine for backhand pushes and the way you backhand block, but you are at a disadvantage when the ball is played fast to the forehand (or when it's pushed out wide to your forehand).

    So..... If you are setting yourself up to practice that back hand flick..... Do it. Do it a lot.

    You could have flicked a lot of his serves, but you worried too much about losing the point immediately, rather than practicing the shot.

    Unless you change your grip between backhand and forehand (which it doesn't look like you do), you'll struggle to hit top spin loops against backspin.

    It's OK for those smashes you did against an incoming top spin ball - But the angle you are holding the bat at, would make it virtually impossible to go down the line (rather than cross court), or really lift a ball with heavy backspin.

    Those 2 things were the biggest stand out for me, and I think a combination of being more tactically aware and playing to your strengths when you serve..... Coupled with the ability to hit a forehand top spin down the line would really make a difference.

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  7. Gozo is offline
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    #527
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    Apologies, I've barely had a minute to think with the new baby!

    I watched the first 10 minutes, so please correct me if I say anything that is done differently in the last 10 minutes.

    As with all advice, I prefer to give a few bits you can work on, rather than critiquing loads of different things, and you never knowing where to start.

    Firstly.....

    Your colour coordination is on point. Look good. Feel good. Play good - Never underestimate it! 😁

    Tactics:

    For the vast majority of the first 10 minutes, I don't think you played the first attacking shot in any rally (maybe once or twice).

    The kid was clearly very comfortable opening up, and you look much more comfortable (and threatening) when the rallies are top spin.

    So my question is..... Why did you play virtually 100% backspin serves?

    If it was a conscious decision, I'd like to hear what your thoughts were.

    I usually see players like yourself (who are improving), use the backspin serve a lot, as they feel it's safer/less likely to get attacked.

    But actually..... Those players (like you), are much better in top spin rallies, than you are against a ball that is looped (slow or fast) when you had previously played a back spin shot.

    I'd be looking to do some short/mid length top spin serves, and then look to come in on the 3rd ball with an aggressive counter/top spin loop/smash.

    You showed that you are more than capable of countering his top spin to top spin, yet you predominantly put yourself on the back foot every time you served with heavy back spin serves.

    How you hold the bat:

    You need to try and relax a little - Right now, you are set up for a backhand (although you rarely play a backhand open up anyway).

    This is fine for backhand pushes and the way you backhand block, but you are at a disadvantage when the ball is played fast to the forehand (or when it's pushed out wide to your forehand).

    So..... If you are setting yourself up to practice that back hand flick..... Do it. Do it a lot.

    You could have flicked a lot of his serves, but you worried too much about losing the point immediately, rather than practicing the shot.

    Unless you change your grip between backhand and forehand (which it doesn't look like you do), you'll struggle to hit top spin loops against backspin.

    It's OK for those smashes you did against an incoming top spin ball - But the angle you are holding the bat at, would make it virtually impossible to go down the line (rather than cross court), or really lift a ball with heavy backspin.

    Those 2 things were the biggest stand out for me, and I think a combination of being more tactically aware and playing to your strengths when you serve..... Coupled with the ability to hit a forehand top spin down the line would really make a difference.

    Man, what an honour to hear your comments knowing you have a Jr needing your attention 24/7/365.

    1. I want to be like em Italian. If I can't beat you in points, the least I could do is to beat you with my fashion sense.

    2. As always, your comments are constructive and objective. I'll read it a few more times and try it out in my future game play.

    3. I suppose the BH backspin serves are habitual. It was my de facto serve since my noobies days, It served it purpose then; it makes the game slower and more predictable for me. However, as I play more tourney and meet more advance players, I do realised that this serve can be easily attacked by higher level players.

    4. I did not realise I am good in topspin to topspin rally until you mention it. I will try to work on this aspect of the game and give more side topspin serves instead.

    4. Grip: I am not confident of switching grip mid way during rally. Call it butter-fingers. I may actually drop my bat midway. In fact I would love to have a FH dominant grip and topspin the living daylights out of my opponents with my FH but alas, I always have a fear on my BH side. My coach always prefer me to attack both wings. So, it is a struggle for me btw FH & BH grip at this point in time.


    NB: My next tourney is in Oct22. Plenty of time to work on these issues you mentioned.

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    Last edited by Gozo; 08-15-2022 at 10:25 AM.

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    #528
    Serving topspin is kind of hard to learn and easy to attack unless/until you can really make the ball kick. However serving no-spin is dead easy. If you have time practice a half-long no-spin serve that drops just off the end. Players who love to open strongly against backspin sometimes really hate that serve.

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    #529
    Gozo,

    Is ur blade FL handle? A ST handle is easier for some players to transition BH to FH and FH to BH. That is the biggest reason I switched to ST handle blades.
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  10. Gozo is offline
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    #530
    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte
    Gozo,

    Is ur blade FL handle? A ST handle is easier for some players to transition BH to FH and FH to BH. That is the biggest reason I switched to ST handle blades.
    Why yes Der, it is a FL handle and I customised it to be slightly longer by 2mm ( max my vendor can do due to machinery limitation, says my vendor). When I ordered this made-to-order blade, I was picturing myself to be a FH dominant looper. It does what it does well. Problem is, those darn pesky homo-sapiens that I played against are darn good at adapting. They see my strength, now those same pesky homo-sapiens keep attacking my BH side.

    So, what do I do? I asked my coach for help and he gave me a lot of BH top-spin drills and open ups against BH backspin ball drill as well. Now that I am more stable with my BH, those same pesky homo-sapiens recognised this trend and start to push to my wide FH. I tell you, they are driving me mad, MAD I say! 😣

    However, since this is a made-to-order blade and I paid good money for it, I guess I will have to stick with it.

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    #531
    Continuing from this thread here. So upon some self reflection from Tony's feedback and my coach's instructions, I went away and played a lot of games with people with better backhand than mine to learn from them, put in some more hours of multiballs and more drills. After all, hitting the training floor is the only way forward - then finally came a moment when I think it clicked for me.
    Now to keep this level of consistency up and start using it in match play...

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    Last edited by famanson; 08-19-2022 at 02:28 PM.

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    #532
    Really nice backhands. Don't get frustrated when you can't equal this consistency in matches. We won't be blocking it right back to you, or we will have junk rubbers or whatever. You also don't need to make five shots in a row to win most points.

    I'm curious what your coach's next step is for exercises to develop this tachnique and make it playable for you IRL? Is it 2 bh - 2 fh, or 1 - 1, or two-point bh from bh and middle? Or the more point-related bh vs push then 2 - 3 bhs vs block?

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    #533
    Quote Originally Posted by Brs
    Really nice backhands. Don't get frustrated when you can't equal this consistency in matches. We won't be blocking it right back to you, or we will have junk rubbers or whatever. You also don't need to make five shots in a row to win most points.

    I'm curious what your coach's next step is for exercises to develop this tachnique and make it playable for you IRL? Is it 2 bh - 2 fh, or 1 - 1, or two-point bh from bh and middle? Or the more point-related bh vs push then 2 - 3 bhs vs block?

    For drills, we are working on the 2-2 more and more these days. My coach said that it would be useful for my footwork and help with control.

    we often practice the point-related bh/fh vs push and block at the end of a session, typically for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes he would throw in a random lob or change of pace during a rally, I always find this part fun


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    #534
    Me ( in green ) versus a random walk-in player in my club tonight. This means that I am unfamiliar with his game as well as he is to my game. I reckon his level is roughly similar to mine, in this game, it was 50:50 and the winner is the one who made the least amount of unforced errors. The game ended with me losing 2-3 to him.

    Note to self:
    1. Generally I am pleased with my game from Set-2 onwards. During first set I seem to be not mentally prepared and made many many unforced error. I started to get into the game late.
    2. I managed to play according to my coach's teaching. Attack first and attack often. In the video, you can see I initiated the open up attack almost 90% of the time, i.e., playing the offensive one wing looping style.
    3. You can see that I am comfortable looping with my FH and I loop a lot.
    4. I am pleased with my serve especially the conventional pendulum serve as it created a lot of opportunities for me to attack but my success rate is still unsatisfactory. I am however, unfazed as I know that this is a practice makes perfect scenario.


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    #535
    Quote Originally Posted by famanson

    For drills, we are working on the 2-2 more and more these days. My coach said that it would be useful for my footwork and help with control.

    we often practice the point-related bh/fh vs push and block at the end of a session, typically for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes he would throw in a random lob or change of pace during a rally, I always find this part fun

    Good job
    I like what I am seeing in the video, well done and keep it up.

    Don't worry about matches, matches is about strategy
    Training is about fundamentals.
    When you get your fundamentals right, I will give you tips on how to accelerate and add more spin and speed, for you to implement in strategies.

    For now, don't worry about winning a point, first worry about you getting the ball on 50 times in a row. When you can do 50, do 100 etc.
    It is pointless to think about "winning" point, when you the one "giving away" the points all the time, if you know what I am trying to say

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    #536
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    Me ( in green ) versus a random walk-in player in my club tonight. This means that I am unfamiliar with his game as well as he is to my game. I reckon his level is roughly similar to mine, in this game, it was 50:50 and the winner is the one who made the least amount of unforced errors. The game ended with me losing 2-3 to him.

    Note to self:
    1. Generally I am pleased with my game from Set-2 onwards. During first set I seem to be not mentally prepared and made many many unforced error. I started to get into the game late.
    2. I managed to play according to my coach's teaching. Attack first and attack often. In the video, you can see I initiated the open up attack almost 90% of the time, i.e., playing the offensive one wing looping style.
    3. You can see that I am comfortable looping with my FH and I loop a lot.
    4. I am pleased with my serve especially the conventional pendulum serve as it created a lot of opportunities for me to attack but my success rate is still unsatisfactory. I am however, unfazed as I know that this is a practice makes perfect scenario.
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    #537
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    Why yes Der, it is a FL handle and I customised it to be slightly longer by 2mm ( max my vendor can do due to machinery limitation, says my vendor). When I ordered this made-to-order blade, I was picturing myself to be a FH dominant looper. It does what it does well. Problem is, those darn pesky homo-sapiens that I played against are darn good at adapting. They see my strength, now those same pesky homo-sapiens keep attacking my BH side.

    So, what do I do? I asked my coach for help and he gave me a lot of BH top-spin drills and open ups against BH backspin ball drill as well. Now that I am more stable with my BH, those same pesky homo-sapiens recognised this trend and start to push to my wide FH. I tell you, they are driving me mad, MAD I say! 😣

    However, since this is a made-to-order blade and I paid good money for it, I guess I will have to stick with it.

    The DHS crowd (Damn Homo Sapienities) gunna REALLY hate on you when you learn the FH cross step. That lets you move real quick to the ball and POUND it.

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    #538
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    Me ( in green ) versus a random walk-in player in my club tonight. This means that I am unfamiliar with his game as well as he is to my game. I reckon his level is roughly similar to mine, in this game, it was 50:50 and the winner is the one who made the least amount of unforced errors. The game ended with me losing 2-3 to him.

    So far I watched the first 6:30. You guys never change ends of the table? Weird.

    I think you are quite a bit better than this opponent and could have won 3-0 or 3-1. You made many more attacks, and he had a lot of trouble blocking you. Your serves also gave him a lot more problems than his did to you. Really smart in this match.

    In the first two minutes you made a couple really nice backhand opens. Then you sort of stopped using it. Almost like you said 'I am a one-wing attacker, so I better stop making those pretty backhand attacks.'

    Your forehand is very good and you get it into play often. The only problem I see with it is you always go at roughly the same power, like a killer. Which is great when you are in position or the ball is high and easy. I think you need an alternate pace, maybe more spinny, or simply more careful, that you can use when the ball is low, or placed awkwardly, when you are off-balance, or whatever. The Tahl Leibovitz PEZ thing applies here -- Placement, Extend the rally, Zero unforced errors.

    I totally get what you mean by "my success rate is still unsatisfactory. I am however, unfazed as I know that this is a practice makes perfect scenario." And I agree with that, don't be fazed and keep attacking. Your definition of attack should include attempts that will not end the point but simply keep you in control so you can end the point later. And part of the practice is learning to make good decisions about how to approach each ball as an individual. I know people who have interpreted it more as "I'll just crush everything. And I don't care if I miss 60% now because eventually I will be able to crush every ball and rarely miss." That doesn't usually work.

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  19. Der_Echte is offline
    says Grand Consultant to the Office of the Goon Squad
     
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    Der_Echte is offline
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    #539
    Gozo, the camera is placed TOO LOW to really see the right perspective, but it looked like you consistently tried to smash so many FH balls when they were falling and now not high enough. At your level, you will get MANY such smash or hit opportunities, but you have to see the ball, judge where/how it is going, and be ready to impact ball when it is high enough on rise or top of bounce chest high. When you improve on that, your offense on these shots will be better.

    You pretty much whacked off ur taliwhacker one whack at a time with those misses, (This is a colloquial expression, not a literal one)

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  20. Gozo is offline
    says May the Spin be with you!
     
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    Gozo is offline
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    Senior TTD Member 865 551
    #540
    1. Der, the camera is placed on a stool as there are no other place to put my camera on.

    2. Brs, we did not change the position due to my request. I want to face the camera to record my stroke for future reference. My opponent is cool with that request.

    3. Michael, in South East Asia or Nusantara ( in local language ) or ASEAN ( the official / legal entity ), Thailand is known for its hospitality; Indonesia for its diversity in culture and some awesome forest & beaches; Singapore is known as a one huge shopping destination and business hub. Malaysia, my country is well known for its culinary and gastronomic delight. All tourist, 100% of them will remember only one thing from Malaysia, its food. Anthony Bourdain once said, never has he seen in other place, where up to three generation will cook the same recipe over and over again, perfected it over a span of 50 years or more. These special chefs will only cook only one recipe and get really-really good at it. It is like in Japan, where up to three generation will practice a single craft, be it kettle making, sword or knife making and get really good at it. It is similar to our chef in Malaysia.

    4. Now back to TT. I recall it was some members here, not too sure who, could be NDH or Next-Level or Brs who suggested I serve more top / side spin to set up the ball for 3rd attack. I did so and it can be seen in my video. Compared to my previous game, you can see more side/ top spin serve. The problem is I was not so successful to convert those serves to points. I reckon it is a matter of practice. Do recall in my previous coaching session, my coach also wanted me to attack early and often. My coach and I just did the pivot at BH corner to attack drill and I am not so stable in that skill-set.

    5, Next-Level, I just notice you are from Nigeria. Just to inform you that I am a fan of Aruna Q and try to emulate his game-style, i.e., powerful FH attack. I use a green rubber on my BH in homage to him.

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