Blades for restarting/relearning Table Tennis

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Hello TTD-Community,

i have been lurking here for quite some time and often found good advices for every aspect of our sport. Thank you for that!

The reason why i am posting now for the first time is that i recently started having some serious issues with my gameplay after a comeback and i would like to gather some opinions/information regarding equipment/training/mentality since i feel like i am missing some very important details.

First, i would like to give you an overview of my development so far. I started playing when i was 14 years old and learned quickly. When i was 16 years old, my team got promoted to the highest league that was available in the youth section at that time (Niedersachsenliga (Lower-Saxony), some sort of youngster state-league here in germany, dont know how to describe it better). Unfortunately, my team fell apart mid-season and i was forced to play in my clubs men team. Most men there were around 40+ years old and had no real interest in improving anymore. I got bored and stopped for the first time. About four years later, the mens team also fell apart and got re-build with some motivated players and my former coach asked me if i wanted to join. I was hyped again and said yes. The next two season went pretty well for us. We were all rated between 1650-1750 TTR (from what i have seen here on the forum this should be equal to something between 2100-2200 USATT, not sure though). Unfortunately, i got two long-term injuries back to back, which forced me to stop playing for about 2 years in total. My team members were still improving and when i finally was able to play again, i was no longer able to compete with them. I lost all my motivation at that point and stopped again for almost 5 years. I am now 30 years old and started playing again about 6 months ago. Im currently sitting at around 1600 TTR but i am not satisfied at all. My technique is still decent but my touch seems to be gone (and i had very decent touch back then). Playing several quality loops during rallies is usually fine but when things are a little bit slower (short game, receive) i am not feeling good at all. Also the first balls during warmup (just a couple FH-FH flat hits) feel like i never played table tennis. I am doing better when things are speeding up, but not good when touch is required.

I would like no know if it might be a good idea to maybe slow down equipment-wise? I am still using the blade i used when i came back after my first break (BFY Maze Performance). On forehand i play Xiom Omega VII Asia in max. thickness and on backhand i play XIOM Omega V Asia in 2mm. Many people told me to keep my blade and use thinner/slower rubbers. I never had problems/felt good with hard/fast rubbers and i really like the Xiom Asia rubbers due to their linearity and they dont feel bouncy at all. What are you experiences with slowing down again to get the confidence in your strokes back. Maybe someone here can give some advices in terms of blades and rubbers. Besides that, what would be some good practices (touch, footwork, receive, short game ) to get back into the game even quicker.

Thanks in advance and best regards,
Niklas
 

NDH

says Spin to win!
Hello TTD-Community,

i have been lurking here for quite some time and often found good advices for every aspect of our sport. Thank you for that!

The reason why i am posting now for the first time is that i recently started having some serious issues with my gameplay after a comeback and i would like to gather some opinions/information regarding equipment/training/mentality since i feel like i am missing some very important details.

First, i would like to give you an overview of my development so far. I started playing when i was 14 years old and learned quickly. When i was 16 years old, my team got promoted to the highest league that was available in the youth section at that time (Niedersachsenliga (Lower-Saxony), some sort of youngster state-league here in germany, dont know how to describe it better). Unfortunately, my team fell apart mid-season and i was forced to play in my clubs men team. Most men there were around 40+ years old and had no real interest in improving anymore. I got bored and stopped for the first time. About four years later, the mens team also fell apart and got re-build with some motivated players and my former coach asked me if i wanted to join. I was hyped again and said yes. The next two season went pretty well for us. We were all rated between 1650-1750 TTR (from what i have seen here on the forum this should be equal to something between 2100-2200 USATT, not sure though). Unfortunately, i got two long-term injuries back to back, which forced me to stop playing for about 2 years in total. My team members were still improving and when i finally was able to play again, i was no longer able to compete with them. I lost all my motivation at that point and stopped again for almost 5 years. I am now 30 years old and started playing again about 6 months ago. Im currently sitting at around 1600 TTR but i am not satisfied at all. My technique is still decent but my touch seems to be gone (and i had very decent touch back then). Playing several quality loops during rallies is usually fine but when things are a little bit slower (short game, receive) i am not feeling good at all. Also the first balls during warmup (just a couple FH-FH flat hits) feel like i never played table tennis. I am doing better when things are speeding up, but not good when touch is required.

I would like no know if it might be a good idea to maybe slow down equipment-wise? I am still using the blade i used when i came back after my first break (BFY Maze Performance). On forehand i play Xiom Omega VII Asia in max. thickness and on backhand i play XIOM Omega V Asia in 2mm. Many people told me to keep my blade and use thinner/slower rubbers. I never had problems/felt good with hard/fast rubbers and i really like the Xiom Asia rubbers due to their linearity and they dont feel bouncy at all. What are you experiences with slowing down again to get the confidence in your strokes back. Maybe someone here can give some advices in terms of blades and rubbers. Besides that, what would be some good practices (touch, footwork, receive, short game ) to get back into the game even quicker.

Thanks in advance and best regards,
Niklas

As someone who has had a similar path to you.... I don't think changing the equipment is going to make *too* much of a difference here.

I think you are trying to achieve something by changing equipment, that you can only achieve through practice and match play.

Sure, thinner/slower rubbers will improve your touch - But only in the obvious sense.

But those rubbers will also make the rest of your game worse, if you are already playing at a decent level and other parts of your game are fine.

You could tweak the rubbers slightly, but in my personal opinion, you'd be wasting your time right now.

Practice, improve with what you have, and then you'll know for definite what you want to change.

My example would be my recent transition from T05 to Dignics 09c on my FH.

T05 was absolutely fine, and great in so many ways - But I wanted a better touch and a slightly slower rubber...... And that's what D09c has given me.

Is it worth the £80? No.

Does it give me 1-5% performance improvement? Yeah.... Usually.

But I'm not improving like you are, and I wouldn't have made that change 6 months after coming back to the sport after time off.

If it's really just your touch you are looking to improve, I'd just keep practicing and playing - t'll slowly come back in time.

 
I have also made this journey. I started started 45 years with a BTY primorac carbon that was given to me. I went to semi slow and soft rubbers for starters and it worked out pretty goo. Now (after ~2 years) I am playing with an off- blade with Tenergy 05 FX on both sides. This works excellent for me. Next time I change I will put a regular Tenergy 05 on FH and call it a day.
On the primorac I started with 1.5 mm Sriver becuase during my active period I used to use super sriver. I found this to be meeeh. I then tried Rakza 7 but this was too fast and I found myself holding back. So I tried Rakza 7 soft and that worked good but the combination of a superfast blade and slow rubber is not optimal so I contacted SDC (hipnotic) here on this site. He made a similar but slower design as the Primo carbon but replacing the Tamca 5000 layer with a hard wood instead. Now I wanted to start from scratch so I tried Yasaka Mark V rubbers. This combo was way to slow and I lost almost all my power. Then I put on Mark V HPS as an intermediate step and this was significantly better and help me improve. I can recommend this. Then I saw another blade from SDC which I really liked. The speed ratings similar but an different construction. I bought this one and shortly after I found Tenergies on sale so I decided to try them on this blade. This was a real hit. I am now using this blade with Tenergy 05 FX on both sides but I come so far now that I am beginning to hit my FH through the rubber too much so next time I will use regular Tenergy 05. After this I will put the same combo on my first blade from SDC which is a notch faster and there I think journey will end and I have a perfect combination, but time will tell.

So The idea of using slow rubbers is a good idea, I recommend it as an intermediate step and why not Mark V HPS, Xiom vega Europe or something similar.

Cheers
L-zr
 
says Spin and more spin.
says Spin and more spin.
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Touch exercise may actually help.
Some of these are not so hard and some are harder. I found trying what Freitas is doing on the edge of the table against a wall to learn it very helpful for how I touch the ball. The one where he is getting the ball to go from one blade face to the other is also quite helpful with touch. Catching the ball, it does not have to be fancy, but simpler versions of catching the ball while trying not to let it bounce are useful as well.

The spin catcher is crazy hard, but if you can do that, you have to have really good control of how you touch the ball.
 
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Some favorite touch drills in order of difficulty:
  1. Block vs loop: block long-long-short (also good in and out footwork for the looper)
  2. Receive: Short push or flip vs dead ball serve
  3. Multiball: Open up short and low (trying for half long second bounce)
 
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You get to 1700 TTR, you know what you are doing, not very many people on a TT forum can tell such a player what to do.

Of course a player loses timing and touch after even a 6 month break. Nothing well happens the first week or so coming back. To regain timing and touch, you need stable equipment you are familiar with (and is suitable) plus a LOT of reps with players or trainer who can give you the correct balls. This takes a lot of time to get back. Some players never get their original level back, some do.

If you have the typical German "club" that only has 2x a week chances for a player to hit (outside league comp) then it will not be enough. 2 times a week in insufficient. You need to be practicing almost every day an hour plus with good enough player/trainer.

Americans would be surprised to know the typical German club does not operate every day.

You could consider seeking out a second place that has good enough players. Another way is to ask for access to the club facility and bring someone 1600 TTR+ (school basement sometimes) (The Wiesbaden Men's team used such a place) (One day I went to visit and it was an off day, but an older dude was training an Asian kid - I watched for 10 minutes and left)
 
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Okay... so my long post did not even discuss equipment... it is a secondary issue as long as it is appropriate and known to the player and familiar.

If you like Tibhar products and you seem to like harder sponge, then 50 degree Tibhar MX-D is right up your alley. Very powerful dynamic rubber with an excellent top end.

NKLS, you have to also know and consider WHO is giving advice (or OK for anyone to share an experience), because you have a lot of players who would be TTR 600 in their dreams and talk like they are TTR 2000+.

I will range in rating anywhere from TTR1550 to 1800 as California has a LOT of under-rated players who improve and never do enough tourneys, plus their is the sandbagging league who always manipulates their rating to be 200-400 points lower than their rating. (just to win 100 USD in an even 2x a year)

NDH would be TTR 2000+ on his bad day if Tanya Harding Consulting LLC paid him a visit, maybe drop down to TTR 1900 if Loretta Bobbit Personal Services LLC had their crack at him.

If Lula chimes in, pay attention, he is a player/trainer and prolly TTR 2200 if he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. TTR 2400 if he drinks a cappuccino.

Carl is TTR 1400+, but has the knowledge and experience of many TTR 2000+ players and trainers.

I do not know Lazer or Dr Evil's levels, (by now I am not really interested in thier actual rating, what they say and do for each situation is more important) but if you read enough of their replies in these kind of discussions and test what they say over time, you will see they are talking straight. You prolly saw that if you were lurking long enough.
 
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