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    1. Top | #1
      JoshGallenTT is offline
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      Which European Player has the Best Mentality?

      As most people know the Chinese, normally have great mental strength. So I was curious as to who people think has the best mental strength in Europe? I think Vladimir Samsonov has a very strong mentality. Showing no emotion at all when plays. He also has good body language showing no negative emotions. In Asia I think Gao Ning has the strongest head. He is very similar to Samsonov in terms of mentality.

    2. Top | #2
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      I think Dimitrij Ovtcharov has great mental strength and really focuses on the game. I mean he didn't even realize he had won the bronze medal in 2012 Olympics until he saw the score.
      {Insert inspirational Table Tennis quote here}

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    4. Top | #3
      JoshGallenTT is offline
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      Yeah Ovtcharov is good mentally. Completely focused. However on rare occasions I have seen him show negative emotions and body language.

    5. Top | #4
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      Don't forget the European table tennis hero, Werner Schlager!
      Definitely a player with one of the strongest mental strength and mental game in the history of table tennis!
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    7. Top | #5
      JoshGallenTT is offline
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      Meh. I've seen Schlager get very angry many times. In my opinion not really a great mentalitly. A great player, but not a great head.

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      Samsonov. His calm and relaxed demeanor is amazing. Very good sportsman. Timo comes a close 2nd to Samsonov.

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    10. Top | #7
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      Agreed!

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      Samsonov has lost in 7 sets in all his Olympic and WTTC exits. He stays very calm, but I don't think he has a strong mentality. In Europe Ovtcharov is probably the one who handles pressure best.

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      Maybe Ovtcharov handles pressure best and plays well but I think Samsonov shows no emotion and stays extremely calm. Ovtcharov is probably better at staying calm under pressure and playing well.

    13. Top | #10
      Dan is offline
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      Great discussions with great posts! I've always liked Tiago Apolonia's mentality however at times doesnt have that crunch similar to Samsonov. I love Kreanga's attitude, he plays his game plan whatever situation he is in. And also Ovtcharov due to his true fighting spirit!

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    15. Top | #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
      Great discussions with great posts! I've always liked Tiago Apolonia's mentality however at times doesnt have that crunch similar to Samsonov. I love Kreanga's attitude, he plays his game plan whatever situation he is in. And also Ovtcharov due to his true fighting spirit!

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      Kreanga is tank! Love his approach and attitude. Hardworking and resilient yet ccompletely focused on what he wants to do whilst showing positive emotions and body language like choing unlike most of the other strong heads that just remain cool and calm. For example Samsonov remains calm and cool but rarely cho's which doesn't show his confidence as well as Kreanga. Kreanga seems to be able to fight, keep cool, focused and cho, all under pressure.

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    17. Top | #12
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      Kreanga have the best mentality. Samsonov, Boll and Ovtcharov have very good mentalities too but not as strong as Kreanga. I think Ovtcharov have the weakest mentality between these four. He some times give up the match.
      Zhang Jike : Man Of Steel
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    18. Top | #13
      JoshGallenTT is offline
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      Interesting! Most would say Ovtcharov has the best mentality but I agree Kreanga has one of the best heads. I have seen Ovtcharov crack at times and some what give up and show negative emotions and body language.

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      I don't think that not showing any emotions means one has got a strong mentality. Even if a player like Samsonov seems totally calm in the outside, nobody knows what really goes on inside his head expect for himself. He could be thinking about the next service, a change in tactics or "Wow that was a crazy shot from Ma Lin, I'm totally losing this one. - No, I will win this, I will win! -Or maybe not.. To lose or to win, quite a dilemma. Oh shit he's serving allready!"

      Zhang Jike has proven to have a strong mentality even though he shouts and jumps around the court when he fires up. It is just a matter of people being different.
      A strong mentality isn't about how the players look like when they play, but rather how they feel, think and play during tough situations. How they compose themselves and readjust tactics before clearing the mind for the next point is what makes a great mentality.

      Throwing his bat doesn't make Michael Maze a mentally bad player but rather getting angry in the first place. Throwing the bat is just a consequence of him getting angry. Some other player may get just as angry as him without showing it but it doesn't make him a mentally stronger player if he still loses the match for getting angry.

      All in all, you can't tell whether a player is mentally strong or not judging by appearance only. A result of a close match is a better indicator in my opinion. On the other hand the losing player can have a great mentality too but the other player played better that time.

      As for the actual question of who of the Euuropean players has got the best mentality, I really don't know.



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    21. Top | #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by JustAlt View Post
      I don't think that not showing any emotions means one has got a strong mentality. Even if a player like Samsonov seems totally calm in the outside, nobody knows what really goes on inside his head expect for himself. He could be thinking about the next service, a change in tactics or "Wow that was a crazy shot from Ma Lin, I'm totally losing this one. - No, I will win this, I will win! -Or maybe not.. To lose or to win, quite a dilemma. Oh shit he's serving allready!"

      Zhang Jike has proven to have a strong mentality even though he shouts and jumps around the court when he fires up. It is just a matter of people being different.
      A strong mentality isn't about how the players look like when they play, but rather how they feel, think and play during tough situations. How they compose themselves and readjust tactics before clearing the mind for the next point is what makes a great mentality.

      Throwing his bat doesn't make Michael Maze a mentally bad player but rather getting angry in the first place. Throwing the bat is just a consequence of him getting angry. Some other player may get just as angry as him without showing it but it doesn't make him a mentally stronger player if he still loses the match for getting angry.

      All in all, you can't tell whether a player is mentally strong or not judging by appearance only. A result of a close match is a better indicator in my opinion. On the other hand the losing player can have a great mentality too but the other player played better that time.

      As for the actual question of who of the Euuropean players has got the best mentality, I really don't know

      Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 4
      Very true! This is why Ovtcharov or Kreanga may have a better mentality than Samsonov. Ovtcharov and Kreanga may on rare occasions get frustrated and show it, however they may handle the pressure better and maintain or even enhance their performance as the match continues and becomes more close and tight than Samsonov. I completely agree that you can still have an exceptional mentality and still shout and cho. As you said everyone is different and has their own way of handling pressure and mentality.

    22. Top | #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by JustAlt View Post
      I don't think that not showing any emotions means one has got a strong mentality. Even if a player like Samsonov seems totally calm in the outside, nobody knows what really goes on inside his head expect for himself. He could be thinking about the next service, a change in tactics or "Wow that was a crazy shot from Ma Lin, I'm totally losing this one. - No, I will win this, I will win! -Or maybe not.. To lose or to win, quite a dilemma. Oh shit he's serving allready!"

      Zhang Jike has proven to have a strong mentality even though he shouts and jumps around the court when he fires up. It is just a matter of people being different.
      A strong mentality isn't about how the players look like when they play, but rather how they feel, think and play during tough situations. How they compose themselves and readjust tactics before clearing the mind for the next point is what makes a great mentality.

      Throwing his bat doesn't make Michael Maze a mentally bad player but rather getting angry in the first place. Throwing the bat is just a consequence of him getting angry. Some other player may get just as angry as him without showing it but it doesn't make him a mentally stronger player if he still loses the match for getting angry.

      All in all, you can't tell whether a player is mentally strong or not judging by appearance only. A result of a close match is a better indicator in my opinion. On the other hand the losing player can have a great mentality too but the other player played better that time.

      As for the actual question of who of the Euuropean players has got the best mentality, I really don't know.



      Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 4
      Absolutely agree with you, it's the same I would write. Maze is good example. Just look how clearly he beat Mizutani at the olympics or how he played at the olympics.
      And then watch the Japan Open two months before the Olympics and look how clearly he lost to Mizutani. Without any chances. Maze is a player for the big tournaments. But in my opinion the best mentality has Ovtcharov.
      It's me!

    23. Top | #17
      JoshGallenTT is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by JustAlt View Post
      I don't think that not showing any emotions means one has got a strong mentality. Even if a player like Samsonov seems totally calm in the outside, nobody knows what really goes on inside his head expect for himself. He could be thinking about the next service, a change in tactics or "Wow that was a crazy shot from Ma Lin, I'm totally losing this one. - No, I will win this, I will win! -Or maybe not.. To lose or to win, quite a dilemma. Oh shit he's serving allready!"

      Zhang Jike has proven to have a strong mentality even though he shouts and jumps around the court when he fires up. It is just a matter of people being different.
      A strong mentality isn't about how the players look like when they play, but rather how they feel, think and play during tough situations. How they compose themselves and readjust tactics before clearing the mind for the next point is what makes a great mentality.

      Throwing his bat doesn't make Michael Maze a mentally bad player but rather getting angry in the first place. Throwing the bat is just a consequence of him getting angry. Some other player may get just as angry as him without showing it but it doesn't make him a mentally stronger player if he still loses the match for getting angry.

      All in all, you can't tell whether a player is mentally strong or not judging by appearance only. A result of a close match is a better indicator in my opinion. On the other hand the losing player can have a great mentality too but the other player played better that time.

      As for the actual question of who of the Euuropean players has got the best mentality, I really don't know.



      Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 4
      Maze for sure does not have a weak mentality! He fights for every point like a dog! He may on more frequent occasions get angry and release his anger more than others, however Maze is very capable of of producing a comeback. If you remember one of the greatest comebacks of all time possibly the best when Maze was trailing 3-0 and came back and won shows great mental strength and resilience. Maze has great mental strength!

    24. Top | #18
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      Maze is mentally strong for sure, because getting back from injuries is not for the weak hearted. Appreciate him for that and the amazing comeback against Chen Qi.

      However, when people say Samsonov is not mentally strong because he loses in the decider, that's just plain wrong. Cut him some slack. He has been in Top-10 for 15 years.

      For me, not showing emotions means the player is unemotional, which leaves him in a better position to assess what went wrong, and what to do and what not to do. Just because somebody's quiet doesn't mean he is great. But 24 pro-tour titles? Gotta be kidding. Now, I don't want to change this is in to a statistical debate. Let me put it differently.

      Being unemotional and having the ability to detach oneself from the heat of the moment is what separates the good from the great. You would rarely see Wang Liqin/Ma Long kicking the match table. This is common to all sport except for maybe boxing/rugby. Concentration is the key to table tennis and being emotional does not allow you to focus too well. It is better to feel angry, keep quiet on the exterior and channel the anger to focus harder. Sorta like taking the anger out on yourself than objects and/or people around you. At least that way, your opponent keeps guessing what's in your head.

    25. Top | #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by strangeloop View Post
      Maze is mentally strong for sure, because getting back from injuries is not for the weak hearted. Appreciate him for that and the amazing comeback against Chen Qi.

      However, when people say Samsonov is not mentally strong because he loses in the decider, that's just plain wrong. Cut him some slack. He has been in Top-10 for 15 years.

      For me, not showing emotions means the player is unemotional, which leaves him in a better position to assess what went wrong, and what to do and what not to do. Just because somebody's quiet doesn't mean he is great. But 24 pro-tour titles? Gotta be kidding. Now, I don't want to change this is in to a statistical debate. Let me put it differently.

      Being unemotional and having the ability to detach oneself from the heat of the moment is what separates the good from the great. You would rarely see Wang Liqin/Ma Long kicking the match table. This is common to all sport except for maybe boxing/rugby. Concentration is the key to table tennis and being emotional does not allow you to focus too well. It is better to feel angry, keep quiet on the exterior and channel the anger to focus harder. Sorta like taking the anger out on yourself than objects and/or people around you. At least that way, your opponent keeps guessing what's in your head.
      I agree with everything you've said. Well put!

    26. Top | #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by JoshGallenTT View Post
      Maze for sure does not have a weak mentality! He fights for every point like a dog! He may on more frequent occasions get angry and release his anger more than others, however Maze is very capable of of producing a comeback. If you remember one of the greatest comebacks of all time possibly the best when Maze was trailing 3-0 and came back and won shows great mental strength and resilience. Maze has great mental strength!
      I think that Maze has great mental strength - sometimes. I've seen him give up during matches many times in his career - not least against Boll.

      But his has been able to "peak" really well at some major tournaments - most famously the 2005 WTTCs, the 2009 Euros and the 2012 Olympics. But at many other tournaments (like Pro/World Tours and club/league competitions), his motivation doesn't always seem to be that high.

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