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  1. Gozo is offline
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    I'm just going to be repeating what you already know at this point, but.... I will anyway 😀

    Looks like you have not just a good coach, but possibly the best coach you can get - This is a major step in improving your long term game, and I'd 100% trust what they have to say.

    A comparison I can make with myself, is that my backhand about 5 years ago was the weakest part of my game (and this is at the top level of local league in the UK).

    My Forehand was always good, but I could get stuck on my BH, just pushing, blocking and not being massively aggressive.


    I spent an entire summer (6-8 weeks) playing 3 times a week, and predominantly playing on my backhand as much as possible.

    At first, I'd lose to people I used to beat quite easily - I was being aggressive, trying to open up on my BH and stay aggressive.

    This probably happened for the first 4 or 5 weeks.

    By week 6, I was more consistent, more aggressive and a much better player.

    5 years down the line and it's one of my best shots and it's made me a much better player.

    You will improve over time, and the more you get coaching, the better you'll be!

    It seems I have a similar play style like you, NDH. I rely mostly on my FH to attack while my BH is mainly pushes + blocks and used as set-ups for my FH.

    One of the drills the my coach is making me do is as follows:

    1) I must serve a underspin to his BH side which he will push back to my BH and I must use the chiquita aka BH loop to return the backspin push to open up for rally.
    2) Then the coach will block randomly to either my BH or FH that I must BH drive or FH drive until I kill the ball. He will not counter-attack but just block.
    3) The chiquita is the part that is very uncomfortable for me. My old habit is just to safely push it back to him and wait for his long pushes to initiate my FH loop ( opening up ). Even if the push comes back to my BH, I'll still pivot and FH loop the return ( my old habit ).
    4) This opening up of using my BH loop may sound easy by saying just twist your wrist or corked it more but the harder bit is the footwork. The opening up on my BH side really messes up my footwork and anticipation. There is more to it than just the wrist aspect.
    Last edited by Gozo; 01-18-2022 at 01:31 AM.

  2. Gozo is offline
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by IB66
    Hi Gozo,

    Enough said already!! make sure you stick with the coaching it's defo a long term thing!!
    Since I started playing again 3 years ago, being coached 2 times a week, but not intensive 1 to 1 coaching, I have improved but it's still yet to really show in match results. It just takes time to come together. you may start putting together more really good 'high quality strokes' in a row, 2 instead of one, 3 instead of 2 etc but it may need 5 to win the point against a better player.
    when I was a junior I attended a 5 day intensive training course, after which i was pretty dam poor in matches for 6 - 9 months and then things improved. things are easier when you are young!!!
    This season I'm playing in higher divisions of leagues and struggling!!!!!😭🤬
    I've just started some 1 to 1 coaching as well, so once that kicks in, it's likely I will drop in level as well !!!!! double😭🤬 😭🤬!!!!!!! it sucks, but stay determined and focused and eventually you'll reap the rewards!!!

    So this dropping of level once one undergo formal coaching sound so counter-intuitive. It gets worse initially. I mean if someone who does not have access to experience players for advise; he may have been really demotivated like me and very likely stop taking lesson. This is scary thoughts.

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    #23
    Hi Gozo,

    Instead of relying solely on your coaches routines, try to pre-plan what you want to get out of the session.

    I'm a single-sided penholder. On one session I might ask to work only on backhand serve receives. On the next, I wanted to shift my starting position further to the left, spent the session on judging when to step around and how far left I can start and still reach fast serves to the forehand.

    Combine those 2 lessons, then find someone equally enthusiastic as you and practice. Play a few matches, then go back to the coach for calibration.

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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo

    So this dropping of level once one undergo formal coaching sound so counter-intuitive. It gets worse initially. I mean if someone who does not have access to experience players for advise; he may have been really demotivated like me and very likely stop taking lesson. This is scary thoughts.

    It can be de-motivating. Maybe it's not possible for you, but one way to get around this is to stop playing matches for a little while when you start training with the coach. If you have someone or a group that you can do exercises with, then you lower the risk of going back to your old patterns in match play and slowing down your progress.

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    #25
    One thing I found is to try and concentrate on one stroke, as you said about the BH flick/ Bh v under spin opener etc, it’s not only about the stroke mechanics.
    Movement, placement , tempo, the return of the flick etc all change your rally composition. What you ‘expect’ to happen doesn’t necessarily happen!!
    If you make changes to 4 different strokes, then you can expect each stroke to have new issues!!
    For example 4 strokes each with 4 constituent parts ( this is as an example, there’s more parts!!) weight transfer, bat angle, timing, movement to correct position and recovery. So 4 strokes = 16+ parts to remember and ingrain into muscle memory etc - it’s brain and body overload!!

    So when you go on coaching weekends or camps, they will look at all aspects of your game, you’ll practice different strokes and change some parts of them all. Your whole game is effected pretty much immediately!!! Some aspects may improve faster than others. You must also continue to do what you learned as part of any training you do after the camp has ended.

    With one to one coaching, it’s going to be over a longer period, you can analyse your game, pick out strong, weak, average strokes and decide to raise the weak stroke level up to a similar level as your strongest stroke. Once achieved move onto to another stroke or aspect and raise the level of that stroke.
    Things like general fitness & movement can be done without even hitting a ball !!!

    Of course you can jump right in and change everything but don’t expect instant results regarding match play.

    As an example of concentrating on one thing, Nick Faldo felt his golf swing didn’t hold up well enough, (not putting, chipping or bunker play etc just his swing off the tee and iron play) I think this was AFTER he won his 1st major and despite winning many tournaments, so he and his coach broke his swing down, only concentrating on 1 stroke and it’s constituent parts
    The initial result was that he went from hero to zero very quickly, results dropped of rapidly, now this guy was pretty dam talented!! After about 2 yrs or more in the doldrums results gradually picked up ending with at least 2 more major victories, job done, goal accomplished !!!
    Of course he still practiced the other aspects of the game of golf trying to maintain the level, but even these were effected to a certain extent because they are still linked, in that if you lose accuracy, you are then playing more chips off the green, going in more bunkers etc etc it’s not what he would normally ‘expect’.

    Now if he had decided to change his putting stroke, chipping stroke etc all at the same time how long before his WHOLE GAME would come together??????!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Gozo is offline
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    #26
    Quote Originally Posted by IB66
    One thing I found is to try and concentrate on one stroke, as you said about the BH flick/ Bh v under spin opener etc, it’s not only about the stroke mechanics.
    Movement, placement , tempo, the return of the flick etc all change your rally composition. What you ‘expect’ to happen doesn’t necessarily happen!!
    If you make changes to 4 different strokes, then you can expect each stroke to have new issues!!
    For example 4 strokes each with 4 constituent parts ( this is as an example, there’s more parts!!) weight transfer, bat angle, timing, movement to correct position and recovery. So 4 strokes = 16+ parts to remember and ingrain into muscle memory etc - it’s brain and body overload!!


    So when you go on coaching weekends or camps, they will look at all aspects of your game, you’ll practice different strokes and change some parts of them all. Your whole game is effected pretty much immediately!!! Some aspects may improve faster than others. You must also continue to do what you learned as part of any training you do after the camp has ended.

    With one to one coaching, it’s going to be over a longer period, you can analyse your game, pick out strong, weak, average strokes and decide to raise the weak stroke level up to a similar level as your strongest stroke. Once achieved move onto to another stroke or aspect and raise the level of that stroke.
    Things like general fitness & movement can be done without even hitting a ball !!!

    Of course you can jump right in and change everything but don’t expect instant results regarding match play.

    As an example of concentrating on one thing, Nick Faldo felt his golf swing didn’t hold up well enough, (not putting, chipping or bunker play etc just his swing off the tee and iron play) I think this was AFTER he won his 1st major and despite winning many tournaments, so he and his coach broke his swing down, only concentrating on 1 stroke and it’s constituent parts
    The initial result was that he went from hero to zero very quickly, results dropped of rapidly, now this guy was pretty dam talented!! After about 2 yrs or more in the doldrums results gradually picked up ending with at least 2 more major victories, job done, goal accomplished !!!
    Of course he still practiced the other aspects of the game of golf trying to maintain the level, but even these were effected to a certain extent because they are still linked, in that if you lose accuracy, you are then playing more chips off the green, going in more bunkers etc etc it’s not what he would normally ‘expect’.

    Now if he had decided to change his putting stroke, chipping stroke etc all at the same time how long before his WHOLE GAME would come together??????!!!!!!!!!!
    Well said my friend, well said!

    I never thought or experience first hand until now. Our body is like pre-program to save time and free up memory. The muscle memory kicks in during match play. My body moves automatically. Therefore when a new tactic is used, and muscle memory hasn't been ingrained yet, my rational mind takes over and this is the root of the problem. Rational or thinking mind is slow. That is why I am experiencing all this shitty game play right now. I have to practice until I no longer think about it.

    NB: You all should notice that FZD receives almost 95% of serve with a BH flick either from the FH or BH side. I suppose he is so pre-programed with this, I bet his brain isn't even thinking and he moves automatically.

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  7. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #27
    To transfer technique improvements from training into match play takes a long time.

    There is a lot of good information here. Brs's post about how, it is an indication that your coach is getting you to change things that you are having more trouble in match play is an excellent point.

    And I have definitely seen coaches who have told certain players not to play matches for several months while they are starting to improve their technique, change their strokes and learn to spin the ball better.
    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
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  8. WingTT is offline
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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by brokenball
    I have had 3 coaches. I hated multi ball. I could do that with a robot. My third coach was a 2500 player and fun to play with but he wasn't that good at evaluating what I was doing wrong. Cameras are brutally honest at show what you are doing wrong as along as either you or the coach can see the flaws.
    I was able to see mine and it made a big difference.
    Yup, camera doesn't lie. If you can analyze games, a video of your match will tell you right away what the issue is. Whether it is service receive, footwork, timing, shot selection or placement, it all comes out on video.

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    Last edited by WingTT; 01-19-2022 at 02:14 AM.

  9. Der_Echte is offline
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    #29

    It can be de-motivating.

    Of course, this is the natural way.
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  10. Gozo is offline
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    #30
    Today is my sixth lesson and something unexpected but wonderful happened.

    I have had this EJ disease since I started my TT journey and it has never been cured.

    So, since day one of my coaching lesson, I have been bringing different set-ups to play with my coach and ask for his feedback. So at this sixth lesson he told me, Gozo, stop using tacky chinese rubber as it is not suitable for your playstyle. Stop using the Stiga blade too. It is too slow and tiring.

    Of all my set-up, he told me to stick to:

    Darker Speed 90 with Donic Bluefire M1 on the FH. On the BH, it is already glued with Yasaka Rakza 7. He said keep using this set-up. It shall be your one and only weapon of mass destruction going forward.

    NB: He uses BTY Kim Taek Soo One Ply Hinoki J-Pen and he swear by Tenergy 05 ( now he uses Dignics 05 ). He uses on side rubber only, the BH is painted black.

    I guess I cured my EJ disease.

    It is like I had so many GFs and do not know whom to settle down with. Along came this matchmaker and he selected one of them to be wife to settle down with. 🤣

    Also the coach has been very patient with me. He let me take my time to use different set-up and he was never judgemental nor prejudiced on a certain brand or set-up. He took his time to evaluate me as an individual.

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    Last edited by Gozo; 01-22-2022 at 12:05 PM.

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    #31
    Hi Gozo,

    Looks like you have a good coach!! hopefully you can stick with the set up he has recommended!!!
    Its good that he took his time until deciding Tacky didn't suit your game play.

    As I said in a previous thread I have started some coaching sessions as well, concentrating on BH open up (behind table) and BH flick (over table) v back spin serves following into top spin counter.
    So far it's not going too badly. For match play, my coach has asked me to try and NOT return back spin serves with a push, but also said to try and be 'picky' and choose the serves that I am in a good position to open up or flick, if not then a push is fine. Perhaps this is a more important part of the lessons so far!! choosing the right ball !!!
    I am now making fewer errors opening up v backspin, whether its v a serve or opponents push, when the rally has gone down that route. again picking the right push to open up to has increased my consistency as well.
    However, moving into the top spin rally has shown that I am making quite a few unforced errors with the topspin counters. He identified this as not closing the bat face enough, both on FH and BH counters, so this is now being worked on as well.

    My coach has also given me a 'playing style' One that he thinks suits how I like to play, what my strengths are, weaknesses are, fitness, Age etc and this is a 2 wing attacker.
    Now, I also help coach twice a week at a TT academy, usually with the younger kids, the coaches there have asked me to define my play style, rather than tell me. I was asked to think about it over Christmas and then tell them in the New Year. (this happened before I decided to get some 'private' 1 on 1 coaching. When we went back in the New year I informed the coaches that a 2 wing attacker would be my style. At least it appears I got that right!!
    I would love to be a FH dominant 3rd ball attacker, but my Age, Fitness, quickness etc are not good enough!!! reality check !!!!!

    I've only played one match since starting the private lessons, this was against a team at the bottom of the league. (this is also the weakest league I play in) so wasn't a real test to be honest.
    Monday night will be a different story!! playing a match in a much tougher league, so this will be a better benchmark !!!

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  12. Gozo is offline
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    #32
    IB66;361167
    Hi Gozo,

    Looks like you have a good coach!! hopefully you can stick with the set up he has recommended!!!
    Its good that he took his time until deciding Tacky didn't suit your game play.

    Why thank you.

    As I said in a previous thread I have started some coaching sessions as well, concentrating on BH open up (behind table) and BH flick (over table) v back spin serves following into top spin counter.
    So far it's not going too badly. For match play, my coach has asked me to try and NOT return back spin serves with a push,

    Hear hear. It is the same here. I think modern TT has a certain common strategy. I am told not to push anymore but to open up all backspin with the BH flick / loop. If against regular topspin ball to my BH, then I must BH drive with topspin and not block nor punch ( which is my regular response ). I am told to open up immediately and then start attacking with counter loop ( as in my case ) until one of us misses. My coach, it seems wants to mould me to be the aggressive player type and no longer rely on a passive defense on my BH anymore.

    but also said to try and be 'picky' and choose the serves that I am in a good position to open up or flick, if not then a push is fine. Perhaps this is a more important part of the lessons so far!! choosing the right ball !!!
    I am now making fewer errors opening up v backspin, whether its v a serve or opponents push, when the rally has gone down that route. again picking the right push to open up to has increased my consistency as well.
    However, moving into the top spin rally has shown that I am making quite a few unforced errors with the topspin counters. He identified this as not closing the bat face enough, both on FH and BH counters, so this is now being worked on as well.

    Same here. I have this bad habit of opening to much my bat face previously which causes the ball to overshoot the table. It is most likely from the remnant of my old thinking of trying to pull the ball up, which is intuitive but ultimately wrong way to hit a FH. It should be forward and not upward. I have to close my bat almost parallel to the floor, i.e., less than 45 degrees and pull it forward. In this way the ball will curve very close to the net and slide downwards after touching the table. The ball does not bounce up.

    My coach has also given me a 'playing style' One that he thinks suits how I like to play, what my strengths are, weaknesses are, fitness, Age etc and this is a 2 wing attacker.
    Now, I also help coach twice a week at a TT academy, usually with the younger kids, the coaches there have asked me to define my play style, rather than tell me. I was asked to think about it over Christmas and then tell them in the New Year. (this happened before I decided to get some 'private' 1 on 1 coaching. When we went back in the New year I informed the coaches that a 2 wing attacker would be my style. At least it appears I got that right!!
    I would love to be a FH dominant 3rd ball attacker, but my Age, Fitness, quickness etc are not good enough!!! reality check !!!!!

    I have NOT been told to define my play-style just yet but it may come to it perhaps during some time in the near future. However, as it stand now, In my own mind, I am gearing very much towards the FH dominant power-looper category; if there is a need to pigeonhole. My BH is still very much work-in-progress at the moment.

    I've only played one match since starting the private lessons, this was against a team at the bottom of the league. (this is also the weakest league I play in) so wasn't a real test to be honest.
    Monday night will be a different story!! playing a match in a much tougher league, so this will be a better benchmark !!!

    Good for you! CHO-LEH!

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    Last edited by Gozo; 01-23-2022 at 12:51 AM.

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    #33
    During the last session, towards the end we worked on BH and FH counter topspin, for maybe 20min, so 10 min each side. Closing the face of the bat sounds simple, but there is more!! Sure you can close the face, but are you getting the most out of the stroke?

    When I played golf and had regular coaching, from a number of different coaches, they always talked about a ‘feel’ for or at a certain point in the swing or position or movement of a body part or the club.
    A ‘feel’ can be either very specific or very general, or somewhere in between depending on the focus point.

    Getting back to the BH and FH counter top spin, whilst practicing, it is essential that your coach gives feedback as you are playing, not shot by shot, but when the stroke gives the coach what they are looking for or sometimes MORE, they should tell you IMMEDIATELY, as they play the return. There’s no point in playing 20 shots and after the coach comments there was a couple of great shots the rest were ok. How do you know which 2 out of 20 were the ‘great’ strokes??
    With the immediate feedback from the coach you have pin pointed the ‘feel’ you had when you played the ‘great’ stroke, now you have a ‘focus feel’ and can try and replicate as the rally continues.

    So as we were playing, regular comments were coming back from my coach, ‘yes good’ ‘nice’ etc these were for ‘OK’ shots then came back ‘great kick’ he had noticed a higher forward acceleration of the incoming ball after the bounce on one shot, then a couple of shots later same comment for 3 in a row.
    I had been able to identify a ‘focus feel’ this was snapping the wrist through just before impact combined with exact timing. I also ‘felt’ the ball bite into the rubber more, the impact feel ( BB’s touchy feely time!!)

    The impact feel, for me is a ‘Target Feel’ now I had this ‘Target/impact feel’ on BH, I could transfer this ‘Target Feel’ to the FH, sounds easy?? HaHa!!! 10 mins later and I managed to get the ‘Target Feel’ twice, both times his block went long!! Accompanied by a great shot comment.

    During the counter topspin section of 20 mins, in total I managed to achieve my ‘Target feel’ at impact maybe 8 or 10 times out of maybe 500+ shots (probably more)!!!! Mind you the ‘Target feel’ was ‘realised’ towards the end of the BH practice.

    So the focus in future will be to bed in the ‘General Feels’ such as bat angle, swing plane, keeping low, weight forward etc etc ( getting towards brain and body overload!!!!) concentrating on the ‘Focus Feel’ to achieve the ‘Target / Impact’ feel.

    From the couple of one on one coaching sessions what I have learnt is 2 fold.

    1) what, as a person being coached i need to ‘realise’ and how to be more ‘in tune’ with what I am actually doing, recognising the good, bad and average.

    2) When coaching, my feedback needs to be ‘Immediate’ during rallies, focusing on the positive and reflective at the end of the session.





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  14. Baal is offline
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    #34
    Another thing to keep in mind is that you actually have to practice the things you're learning outside of your sessions with the coach. Ideally videoing some of it so yiu can see yourself later. If all you do is take lessons, get some tips on technique and then in all your other sessions just play matches, your progress will be slow at best Also six lessons is not anywhere near enough for new techniques to become ingrained.

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  15. Ktandean is offline
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    #35
    Patience, persistence... which are all managed in our minds... is the key to improving. It's not an instant ramen that is done in 3 training sessions.😄
    I should not train to only beat a certain kind of player/playstyle.
    I should instead improve holistically to be as complete as a player that I can.


    No matter what kind of style you define you are, chopper, one/two winger, blocker, etc.. we should embrace all the aspects of table tennis. That's how I enjoy my training sessions with my coach more and more every day, regardless of the menu he is going to feed me today. Yes, we all do like those FH loop kills that makes us the most cho-le! player in the room or those BH devil flicks that makes us feel like prime ZJK, but that shouldn't be our only weapon. Learn everything one after the other, aim to be 'complete'. That's how you keep table tennis interesting and not run out of content/getting bored or demotivated when training with a coach, even when you LOSE friendly games in between because of your own unforced errors trying to implement the new techniques. It'll keep you coming back to the table with even greater hunger to be better than the you yesterday.

    If I may add, my own playstyle is a 'Footworker", basically someone who never stands still and try to deceive my opponents using my own positioning and movement, lol.
    Spincerely yours,
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  16. Gozo is offline
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    #36
    Footworker: The most dangerous type of player there is. +3 Attack , +3 Defense, Special Attribute: Immune to Sneak Attack

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  17. PingBirdPong is offline
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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    Footworker: The most dangerous type of player there is. +3 Attack , +3 Defense, Special Attribute: Immune to Sneak Attack

    What’s “footwork”? Some kind of snack?
    —— Ping“phone pole”BirdPong
    😂

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    Modestly, Leo

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    #38
    Hey Gozo, the pathway to success is to play against better players than you who play at a higher level than you, this will expose your weaknesses. You and/or your coach need to identify your weaknesses and devise a training schedule/drills to eliminate any weaknesses from your game. You then need to practice a lot. My 2 cents.

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    says May the Spin be with you!
     
    Senior TTD Member 572 353
    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri
    Hey Gozo, the pathway to success is to play against better players than you who play at a higher level than you, this will expose your weaknesses. You and/or your coach need to identify your weaknesses and devise a training schedule/drills to eliminate any weaknesses from your game. You then need to practice a lot. My 2 cents.

    Thank you friend for your response.

    I do play with people of higher skill than me & get defeated regularly. They expose my weakness all the time. I am so aware of my weakness and my weakness is my BH. It suxs big time. I can, only block and push at the moment. So so so passive. During my session, my coach forbid me to push and he wants me to open up with BH loop or flick. Basically no more little kitten type return; always must be tiger style ( ROAR! ) return.

    He is, at the moment wants me to open up all with my BH and then follow up to hit a winner with my FH. He is not so worry about my FH and said he will leave it alone for the time being. So basically that is the game plan at the moment.

    If I can increase my BH open up percentage, I can go up a Tier it seems. I just need to work on this.

    P/s

    Imagine this scenario. The opponent will serve a sidespin or side with underspin from his BH side to my BH side and I safely pushes or block back. Then he will continue to drive or push towards my BH side forcing me deeper and deeper into my BH side. Once I am deep enough, he will loop / drive or push long to my FH side and I get stuck on my BH side and lose a point. The process then gets repeat and rinse and that is my curse. Without the ability to open up from my BH, I will be stuck here always. My clubmates knows very well my weakness and exploit it to the max. They never never push to the mid table nor my FH side at the start of the rally.

    Last edited by Gozo; 01-25-2022 at 02:05 AM.

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    TTD Member 22 4
    #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo

    Thank you friend for your response.

    I do play with people of higher skill than me & get defeated regularly. They expose my weakness all the time. I am so aware of my weakness and my weakness is my BH. It suxs big time. I can, only block and push at the moment. So so so passive. During my session, my coach forbid me to push and he wants me to open up with BH loop or flick. Basically no more little kitten type return; always must be tiger style ( ROAR! ) return.

    He is, at the moment wants me to open up all with my BH and then follow up to hit a winner with my FH. He is not so worry about my FH and said he will leave it alone for the time being. So basically that is the game plan at the moment.

    If I can increase my BH open up percentage, I can go up a Tier it seems. I just need to work on this.

    P/s

    Imagine this scenario. The opponent will serve a sidespin or side with underspin from his BH side to my BH side and I safely pushes or block back. Then he will continue to drive or push towards my BH side forcing me deeper and deeper into my BH side. Once I am deep enough, he will loop / drive or push long to my FH side and I get stuck on my BH side and lose a point. The process then gets repeat and rinse and that is my curse. Without the ability to open up from my BH, I will be stuck here always. My clubmates knows very well my weakness and exploit it to the max. They never never push to the mid table nor my FH side at the start of the rally.

    keep at it, you will improve


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