Daily Table Tennis Chit Chat

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Your serve looks pretty good, what spin are you putting on that?

Also, I notice one very big error in your game. You are holding the racket completely wrong, you are holding it like a tennis racket.

It also took me a while to figure out (actually I should make a list of things that took me a while to figure out that nobody really tells you in the beginning), but the TT racket is supposed to be held continental grip, the same as a badminton racket. Your grip is more like the "frying pan" grip.
Against this guy it was mostly backspin and no spin, mixed in occasionally with a fast topspin. He liked to use his LP side to receive so I wanted something simple in return that I can attack.

I think we'd have pretty good practices. I do believe that you'd have fun blocking my loops and I'd have fun looping the blocks back. With some practice, I can launch some pretty powerful loops with good consistency these days, and after getting used to them you'd have a great time blocking them back as well.

I watched some of your videos, including that really long one against the twins. Their loops are too weak, you'd have a lot more fun blocking mine for sure!
 
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Didn't do so well at this tournament, but not really discouraged from it. Lost to players better and way more consistent than me. Definitely froze a lot physically and mentally.

No matches recorded this time unfortunately.
In a match just think about focusing on the ball, and your training guide you on what to do. You can't be thinking about technique, you either have it or you don't by match time. When you get better, have more experience, and can read the ball without thought, then you can focus on tactics. At the beginning just get the ball back on the table in whichever way your training makes you most comfortable with.
 
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Yeah taking lessons for 6 months so far once a week, so I know rebuilding my technique is going to take some time. I'm having fun with it, but it's definitely a grind to travel a bit to get coaching and to play in tournaments.

One thing I want to work on is to not get so tired during a match, and this may be to not being comfortable in a new playing environment. I was too tense, so a lot of my attempts went way long. By the third match, I was just not moving at all.
I'm the wrong person to ask, when I was your rating, I was largely a blocker, admittedly with the 40mm ball. Footwork was a bit of a luxury.

Right now I am an old man who can't play an event without feeling like he needs new knees. The kids just block me to the left and to the right and I am the one looking like an idiot trying to hit all these powerful shots. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I need to change the balance of power. It makes no sense!
 
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Against this guy it was mostly backspin and no spin, mixed in occasionally with a fast topspin. He liked to use his LP side to receive so I wanted something simple in return that I can attack.

I think we'd have pretty good practices. I do believe that you'd have fun blocking my loops and I'd have fun looping the blocks back. With some practice, I can launch some pretty powerful loops with good consistency these days, and after getting used to them you'd have a great time blocking them back as well.

I watched some of your videos, including that really long one against the twins. Their loops are too weak, you'd have a lot more fun blocking mine for sure!

I see you do like a reverse pendulum motion after the regular pendulum motion. Is that just a fake out? Or do you also put reverse spin?

Yeah for sure I like to play loopers. Blocking is kinda my specialty. Bh block and fh loop are my 2 main weapons, like a jab and a straight right punch.
 
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I see you do like a reverse pendulum motion after the regular pendulum motion. Is that just a fake out? Or do you also put reverse spin?

Yeah for sure I like to play loopers. Blocking is kinda my specialty. Bh block and fh loop are my 2 main weapons, like a jab and a straight right punch.
In those videos it's a fake out, but really just to hide the spin. I'm starting to get better with the hook serve so adding a Waldner down the line quick serve to it.

I'm working on my blocking, wish I could block like you, would create a lot of counter attack opportunities if not straight up points for me.
 
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I'm the wrong person to ask, when I was your rating, I was largely a blocker, admittedly with the 40mm ball. Footwork was a bit of a luxury.

Right now I am an old man who can't play an event without feeling like he needs new knees. The kids just block me to the left and to the right and I am the one looking like an idiot trying to hit all these powerful shots. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I need to change the balance of power. It makes no sense!
I felt that same way playing against the juniors, granted I know our situations are different. Playing on rubberized mats during the tournament was pretty interesting. I just play on hardwood gym floors, so not slipping and sliding everywhere was nice.

@dingyibvs My coach always tells me this, but it's hard to shut that part off in my brain! One day everything will become more automatic.
 
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Recently it's been raining a lot in Cali, and today the temp dropped too. Last year was an incredibly rainy and cold winter, and I had a lot of nights when I felt my loops were slipping. Today was the first time I felt that this year.

I played against the pusher of the club, which I can usually beat fairly easily with BH-push, FH-loop combo, but I've been trying to play a two-wing looping style against him recently. Last time I played him I lost 3-0 that way as I had trouble handling all the different spins and timing variations to my BH side. Today I felt more confident, but still lost 3-2 the first match due to the slippage. Balls were sinking into the net time and time again, especially opening loops against backspin. It just feels like the ball just bounces off the racket right away rather than being dragged along for a split second. I've yet to use a sheet of D09c past 4 months, but these ones have right about 5 months of use, so that probably contributes as well.

I watch a lot of Fang Bo's channel, and I remember him complaining about humidity making the ball slip sometimes. He casts from an air-conditioned building and probably replaces his rubber rather often, so I imagine he's rather sensitive to it. Once he just said you just need to adjust to it, but didn't mention how. I figured, maybe I should loop-drive more? Could more speed and less spin be the answer? I've practiced my FH opening loop maybe once in the past year, and that was focused on spin and consistency, so I wasn't sure how driving all opening loops would be, but figured if humidity is giving me trouble with spin then maybe his pushes are a little less spinny as well.

Anyhow, I did exactly that, and it worked like a charm! I started loop-driving every attack on both wings and I ended up winning easily 3-0 the second match. He tried to adjust by pushing very wide to both wings, which are almost impossible to drive, so I started responding with a a push deep to his middle to get a less angled push back so I can drive them.

The lesson here I think is that I need to think about adjustments earlier in games. I've been so focused on technique and not so much on tactics. If something isn't working, whether it's due to the opponent, myself, or the environment, I need to identify it quicker and adjust accordingly. Adjusting after the match is too late, I need to be able to do it sooner.
 
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Went back to the drawing board a bit and practiced a lot of whole table topspin countering today as I want to become a topspin rally monster. So the drill is they will block/counter and do whatever they want to random placements and I will quick loop everything back to their BH. I'm doing boxes of 50 balls.

What I found that even in this scenario my BH is significantly better than my FH in these fast topspin scenarios. So with BH I can often feel that I'm catching the ball with my body very well and have the option to really add a lot of spin and power whenever I want to. But on the FH especially when the ball is fast I am completely stuck with just spin borrowing counter which is a really bad shot against the penhold down the line switch. So what I want to get to is for my FH to have the option to return the ball with a lot of power and spin close table. I feel like this is reminiscent of the Harimoto problem where once you get into fast BH topspin countering rallies, the FH movement is just dragging the whole system down and not being able to keep up the rally. I feel like I'm forced to go all out for the hard counterloop but in actual fact this is coming from a position of weakness, not strength.
 
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Went back to the drawing board a bit and practiced a lot of whole table topspin countering today as I want to become a topspin rally monster. So the drill is they will block/counter and do whatever they want to random placements and I will quick loop everything back to their BH. I'm doing boxes of 50 balls.

What I found that even in this scenario my BH is significantly better than my FH in these fast topspin scenarios. So with BH I can often feel that I'm catching the ball with my body very well and have the option to really add a lot of spin and power whenever I want to. But on the FH especially when the ball is fast I am completely stuck with just spin borrowing counter which is a really bad shot against the penhold down the line switch. So what I want to get to is for my FH to have the option to return the ball with a lot of power and spin close table. I feel like this is reminiscent of the Harimoto problem where once you get into fast BH topspin countering rallies, the FH movement is just dragging the whole system down and not being able to keep up the rally. I feel like I'm forced to go all out for the hard counterloop but in actual fact this is coming from a position of weakness, not strength.
I would check your stance, are you standing in a BH-oriented stance during these counters? I find it difficult to use the body for both sides, I have to either stand in a FH-oriented or BH-oriented stance unless I back off the table a bit and give myself a bit more time to adjust the stance in between shots.
 
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I would check your stance, are you standing in a BH-oriented stance during these counters? I find it difficult to use the body for both sides, I have to either stand in a FH-oriented or BH-oriented stance unless I back off the table a bit and give myself a bit more time to adjust the stance in between shots.
I think most modern players stand in a flexible square-ish stance where you can hit with both wings with either leg in front depending on the scenario.

Heck I even see Ma Long and Fan Zhendong training FH loop to loop with right leg in front.

I feel like it's something I need to unlock - the fast controlled spinny close table FH counterloop.

But yes I do stand a bit square on to the table.

I feel like it's not a stance issue. Regardless of stance I just cannot execute close table small stroke FH counterloops consistently against topspin pressure.
 
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I have gone Lite(tm) as part of an experiment in 2024 and seems to be doing much better at the table as in winning more sets and games. Last night was a great night as I won all the games I played and did not lose a single game ( Caveat: I only played amongst player of similar level ).

This higher level veteran player was eyeing me play and later, after my game session, I sat down with him over some tea which I paid for him and we talked some points which I will share here and he said:

  • Gozo, your FH is not too bad. You have a decent workable FH but your BH is so-so. Meh!
  • At the level you are playing, you don't have to have to those pro style chiquita and those funky strokes for BH. A boring but stable push, block and BH drive is more than sufficient for your game.
  • I said that I have this problem that if my BH is good, my FH will suffer and vice-versa. I can't seem to be a balance player. I have poor transition. I believe I can't transition my FH to BH grip fast enough to be a good two winger.
  • He said, if that is the case, concentrate more on the FH as your main weapon. BH can be learned later. FH is more important. Make it my main weapon he said, win your points with your FH he said.

Nice piece of advise and money well spent on his drink. Going Lite(tm) seems to be making my 2024 TT life much brighter. Using Donic Baracuda on my FH at the moment. He, the veteran player approves of my rubber choice.

Nothing really guys, just musing before going to bed.
 
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I had a chat with one of the senior coaches and he said I have a good serve/receive game and very high quality on my 1st loop, but then after that I can't sustain the attack with very good consistency after the 3rd,4th loop, and my feet are not finding the correct spots to hit the ball. He thinks this is probably the biggest issue in my game at the moment. So his recommendation for me is to just drill topspin from both wings like crazy... I'm gonna heed his advice - am just gonna train topspin consistency and footwork every time I hit the club.
 
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I had a chat with one of the senior coaches and he said I have a good serve/receive game and very high quality on my 1st loop, but then after that I can't sustain the attack with very good consistency after the 3rd,4th loop, and my feet are not finding the correct spots to hit the ball. He thinks this is probably the biggest issue in my game at the moment. So his recommendation for me is to just drill topspin from both wings like crazy... I'm gonna heed his advice - am just gonna train topspin consistency and footwork every time I hit the club.
That's what I need now too, I think. Well, I need so many things, I want to train in so many things, but damn work and life keeps getting in the way :ROFLMAO:
 
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That's what I need now too, I think. Well, I need so many things, I want to train in so many things, but damn work and life keeps getting in the way :ROFLMAO:
Hey you already have a robot and table at home to train as much as you want!
 
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I would check your stance, are you standing in a BH-oriented stance during these counters? I find it difficult to use the body for both sides, I have to either stand in a FH-oriented or BH-oriented stance unless I back off the table a bit and give myself a bit more time to adjust the stance in between shots.
It is all about being able to rotate the lower body with minor lunges to the right to power the forehand, and mild squats/lunges to power the backhand. Your stance shouldn't really matter. The problem is having a healthy enough lower body to avoid injury. The flexibility of the heels plays a major role.
 
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A local TT player bought a couple 1" TT tables and stashed them in a community gym in Sacramento so some TT players could have a chance to train any day of the week. Sacramento has no real TT club, just a couple few places where tables are setup in community center gyms for a few hrs once a week. 2 are 1x a week and 2 are 2x a week with some form of round robin happening a combined 3x a week.

There is also underground action at local churches with 1-2 tables going on... the Russian Church is 1x a week with 4 tables with TT action 3-4 hrs solid. That is it for TT action with no real TT club, so our friend stashing tables (now 3 tables) at a full time gym for us to use is huge.

5 of us assembled today for 4 hrs of TT action. I gave a few hrs of BH and free FH/BH opening training to a TT player named Daniel, a Ukrainian visitor left handed player with a disability - right arm is kinda emancipated and is totally limp and unusable. he has to pick up ball with bat in hand, toss and serve... the only way possible given his condition.

Daniel did his first tourney and came out mid 1300s Cali rated. Up to a few weeks ago, his BH was way old school full arm/upper arm/shoulder moving and very inconsistent. With just a few times helping him, he is much more often choosing the efficient biomechanics of elbow/upper arm in front some and using lower arm.

We did the easy iso drill to do just bh openings... I had him serve, I gave light to light medium underspin long to his BH, then he opened... later I would block like players his level so he could choose his 5th ball attack which is a better attack than his 3rd ball.

We moved on to serve, push underspin long Daniel free play attack whatever wing he wants and play point. I alternated between blocking his level, going a bit higher, and fast blocking/strong countering his openings. made for some interesting play.

We moved from racquetball courts to 1/2 sized multipurpose room (possible 3 tables can be setup) (we setup 2) and played doubles. Sergey Tsos and Daniel had a few matches vs the BANG BROTHERS (Pastor Roman who I have been trying to help and his bang it or bust brother who can play 1900-2000 Cali level vs the entire field)

These are tricky opponents as they get to everything like a monkey on sugar overdose and strike the ball in most unconventional manners sometimes, they hang around points and you end up making errors attacking their dirty balls or counters. They ALMOST get as many nets and edges (2-3 per game) as James T himself (who averages a solid 3 per game)

I had an exceptional day attacking and countering... I often struggle to properly read what either brother inefficiently did to impact the ball and make it in with major funk using inverted rubbers... had two matches with Daniel we won 3-1 and 3-0... put into perspective Sergey and I have 80-90 percent win rate vs those two and half the matches go to the fifth.

I ditched Z3 in favor of regular 50 degree sponged Aurus on my PPP blade... All I can say is I am not in a hurry to slap Donic Bluestar A3 on the PPP, but will likely do it anyway in Boston next week.

Daniel is early 30s and has solid footwork to his FH... he was obviously trained some as a youth. If he can figure out how to consistently use that short stroke on BH (when he isn't trying to be a youtube star) and follow up 5th ball... he is gunna trouble the 1600-1700+ crowd later this year and eat their points.

More to follow.
 
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While Sergey Scoobie Doo the Tsos was letting his glue job dry out on his main blade, I had him hit with the bat in my Sig... he was IMMEDIATELY at home with Aurus Soft on BH... with a fast bat and firm grip there is NOTHING SOFT about Aurus Soft.

Sergey, besides 2 week old plus MX-P and his beloved Sandpaper K1 Hybrid rubber, there is no rubber aside from Aurus that he can trust eyes closed in a rally under pressure.

PPP with Aurus/Aurus Soft was a monster machine for him tonite while he was in between his glue job.
 
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A local TT player bought a couple 1" TT tables and stashed them in a community gym in Sacramento so some TT players could have a chance to train any day of the week. Sacramento has no real TT club, just a couple few places where tables are setup in community center gyms for a few hrs once a week. 2 are 1x a week and 2 are 2x a week with some form of round robin happening a combined 3x a week.

There is also underground action at local churches with 1-2 tables going on... the Russian Church is 1x a week with 4 tables with TT action 3-4 hrs solid. That is it for TT action with no real TT club, so our friend stashing tables (now 3 tables) at a full time gym for us to use is huge.

5 of us assembled today for 4 hrs of TT action. I gave a few hrs of BH and free FH/BH opening training to a TT player named Daniel, a Ukrainian visitor left handed player with a disability - right arm is kinda emancipated and is totally limp and unusable. he has to pick up ball with bat in hand, toss and serve... the only way possible given his condition.

Daniel did his first tourney and came out mid 1300s Cali rated. Up to a few weeks ago, his BH was way old school full arm/upper arm/shoulder moving and very inconsistent. With just a few times helping him, he is much more often choosing the efficient biomechanics of elbow/upper arm in front some and using lower arm.

We did the easy iso drill to do just bh openings... I had him serve, I gave light to light medium underspin long to his BH, then he opened... later I would block like players his level so he could choose his 5th ball attack which is a better attack than his 3rd ball.

We moved on to serve, push underspin long Daniel free play attack whatever wing he wants and play point. I alternated between blocking his level, going a bit higher, and fast blocking/strong countering his openings. made for some interesting play.

We moved from racquetball courts to 1/2 sized multipurpose room (possible 3 tables can be setup) (we setup 2) and played doubles. Sergey Tsos and Daniel had a few matches vs the BANG BROTHERS (Pastor Roman who I have been trying to help and his bang it or bust brother who can play 1900-2000 Cali level vs the entire field)

These are tricky opponents as they get to everything like a monkey on sugar overdose and strike the ball in most unconventional manners sometimes, they hang around points and you end up making errors attacking their dirty balls or counters. They ALMOST get as many nets and edges (2-3 per game) as James T himself (who averages a solid 3 per game)

I had an exceptional day attacking and countering... I often struggle to properly read what either brother inefficiently did to impact the ball and make it in with major funk using inverted rubbers... had two matches with Daniel we won 3-1 and 3-0... put into perspective Sergey and I have 80-90 percent win rate vs those two and half the matches go to the fifth.

I ditched Z3 in favor of regular 50 degree sponged Aurus on my PPP blade... All I can say is I am not in a hurry to slap Donic Bluestar A3 on the PPP, but will likely do it anyway in Boston next week.

Daniel is early 30s and has solid footwork to his FH... he was obviously trained some as a youth. If he can figure out how to consistently use that short stroke on BH (when he isn't trying to be a youtube star) and follow up 5th ball... he is gunna trouble the 1600-1700+ crowd later this year and eat their points.

More to follow.
well screw me for having a day job LOL. Soon the Ping Pong Paradise will be in action....you're E bike will get some drain some battery coming over to train with me!

Daniel is solid. Needs to learn better serve variation though. I beat him 3-0 a couple times because he served short every time and i returned it even shorter every time. He wasn't able to start any attacks before me.
 
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well screw me for having a day job LOL. Soon the Ping Pong Paradise will be in action....you're E bike will get some drain some battery coming over to train with me!

Daniel is solid. Needs to learn better serve variation though. I beat him 3-0 a couple times because he served short every time and i returned it even shorter every time. He wasn't able to start any attacks before me.
First things first... I voluntarily help Daniel... and that means one thing at a time.

What he asked was to make his BH grow from a weak liability into something he could pressure opponents or win points from. In three weeks and maybe 5 times averaging 20-30 minutes each he went from pissing away points on BH nearly 100% of the time to being able to use it for opportunity to win or pressure to win... he will still piss away the point being out of position or too early when going for some power...

...but in three weeks, his improvement in BH is way beyond the results of improvement comparable with those of Shake and Bake seasoning on a Kosher Pork Chop.

If and when he indicates to me he wants to improve serves, it is gunna have to start with his toss (get a higher toss to give him some more time to prep bat and arm/swing plane)... and it is not gunna be instant results. There is a LOT going on with developing an arsenal of good quality variety on serve... it takes learning/understanding of concepts, then learning/understanding of your body, then also of mind... and a LOT of practice.

You would not wear out my bike battery moving out to hit in your garage, I use it mostly to go to Antelope Tennis courts 12km away... your new place is gunna be 7km away max, maybe closer.

... on the front of beating players, I would ask you your approximate date where you would be beating C-Pen Albert like a bongo drum. I have expectations for you on that table in league... I am trying to move down, you are trying to move up.

back to Daniel's overall performances and evaluation of his strengths/weaknesses... He came out of Sac Open tourney with mid 1300s Cali rating, not terrible, but players his level, your level, my level, and that of also @NextLevel all have deficiencies that can be exploited.

You showed good tactical awareness and tactical intelligence vs Dainel those matches by not immediately pissing away the point needlessly with excessive risk. Why go apeshyt on a ball you will land only 14% of the time... just bump it back slow, let him pop it up and you do the cracking on a higher percentage ball. it is like flipping houses and letting the other guy mess it up.

Many Many Many (did I mention MANY ??) adult learners at, below, and above your level get Dracula blood lust kill syndrome trying to crack at the ball first chance hell or high water regardless of landing percentage expected or position leverage. it is like they cannot help themselves... which is an indication of self discipline and character.

You are not falling into that trap 1/3 as often of others around you, but you need to develop more ability to spin the ball in more situations at all speeds (but mostly learn a slow heavy or a light slow and low ball) to help yourself vs opponents who do what you do well but better.
 
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