Daily Table Tennis Chit Chat

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Had a very long and very productive training session with my training partner. We're both making pretty quick progress now. My BH attacks are starting to become pretty deadly, and I'm fully utilizing the new opening loop technique. We started off with some FH loop practices, then BH loops, then BH opening loops against all sorts of pushes. It was actually a really good push practice as well. We'd finish the point by having him attack, primarily using his BH toward my BH, and I'd try to win the point by defense only. I feel soooooo much more comfortable with defense now! Near the end of his BH opening loop drills, I started countering his loops, and even that went surprisingly well! When it was my turn to make BH opening loops, I hardly missed any against all sorts of pushes, and punished high and floaty pushes with thundering drives.

We felt comfortable enough with our basic shots that we practiced some looping long and half long services at the end. He had particular trouble with no spin serves, so I tried out the new technique @NextLevel and I were talking about , which worked super well, and I taught him that as well. I think a bit more BH practice against all sorts of topspins and blocks and I'm ready to take my game to a new level!
Awesome, glad to hear it worked, describing something over the internet doesn't always. Practicing against pips players, especially those who can sometimes twiddle to inverted, is the best way to get practice against spin variation. I find that if whenever I get practice against a decent pips player for a long period, my spin level goes up and since my game is so heavily tied it, my results just get better against all kinds of players since my opening topspin just scores more points or sets me up for more winners and sometimes, even the rally spin just becomes ridiculous as well. And then people ask me what rubber I am using lol...
 
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Yeah he said something like that after defeating France. It wasn't as clear in Chinese, but I'm fairly sure that's what he meant. The lineup for Paris hasn't been revealed yet, but pretty sure he'll be playing in the teams competition. It'll most likely be FZD/WCQ in singles, with ML added for teams.
Super clever ML, leaving the scene at the peak of his illustrious career. He will be well remembered.
 
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been injured again. haven't played in 10 days. frustrating because i was playing my best TT then. Because i was playing perhaps too much as well.

basically its mostly the tennis elbow again, although its not as bad as in December because i stopped immediately. But now i also have the wrist hurting and even some fingers (4th and 5th) at the base of the hand (not the extremities)

i think some is due to TT, and perhaps the new racket. maybe its heavier than the old setups. i haven't checked yet but just ordered a scale. but i think its also due to keyboard / mouse. i now am trying to use more a trackpad, its less painful than the vertical mouse. smartphone also is bad i guess.

don't know what to do because the pain is stable. its not horrible as it was in December but i do feel something even when typing. its not decreasing. if i try to play TT, its just not possible, I cannot execute a FH without feeling something bad and thus i can't hit the ball properly. BH is a less painful.
 
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been injured again. haven't played in 10 days. frustrating because i was playing my best TT then. Because i was playing perhaps too much as well.

basically its mostly the tennis elbow again, although its not as bad as in December because i stopped immediately. But now i also have the wrist hurting and even some fingers (4th and 5th) at the base of the hand (not the extremities)

i think some is due to TT, and perhaps the new racket. maybe its heavier than the old setups. i haven't checked yet but just ordered a scale. but i think its also due to keyboard / mouse. i now am trying to use more a trackpad, its less painful than the vertical mouse. smartphone also is bad i guess.

don't know what to do because the pain is stable. its not horrible as it was in December but i do feel something even when typing. its not decreasing. if i try to play TT, its just not possible, I cannot execute a FH without feeling something bad and thus i can't hit the ball properly. BH is a less painful.
Hope you feel better soon and can get back to playing, sounds tough :(
 
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been injured again. haven't played in 10 days. frustrating because i was playing my best TT then. Because i was playing perhaps too much as well.

basically its mostly the tennis elbow again, although its not as bad as in December because i stopped immediately. But now i also have the wrist hurting and even some fingers (4th and 5th) at the base of the hand (not the extremities)

i think some is due to TT, and perhaps the new racket. maybe its heavier than the old setups. i haven't checked yet but just ordered a scale. but i think its also due to keyboard / mouse. i now am trying to use more a trackpad, its less painful than the vertical mouse. smartphone also is bad i guess.

don't know what to do because the pain is stable. its not horrible as it was in December but i do feel something even when typing. its not decreasing. if i try to play TT, its just not possible, I cannot execute a FH without feeling something bad and thus i can't hit the ball properly. BH is a less painful.
Head heavy setups are my kryptonite too - the balance of the racket is extremely important for my wrist to feel ok. One thing that helped me last time with the wrists was to use my left hand to move the mouse and hold the phone just to relieve the pressure from my right hand, and of course lots of massages and stretches.

In terms of strokes, it's better not to use the wrist much imo, I no longer use them actively, it's all in the fingers for both BH and FH these days even for chiquita. I also have a more "hooked grip" on my FH which feels a bit more comfortable. I feel like I can relax the wrist a bit more like this. The other important aspect was serves, I had to actually lower the spin expectations in my serve and serve using more body/weight transfer and relax the wrists. I get plenty of spin anyway and I try not to rely on serve alone to win.
 
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been injured again. haven't played in 10 days. frustrating because i was playing my best TT then. Because i was playing perhaps too much as well.

basically its mostly the tennis elbow again, although its not as bad as in December because i stopped immediately. But now i also have the wrist hurting and even some fingers (4th and 5th) at the base of the hand (not the extremities)

i think some is due to TT, and perhaps the new racket. maybe its heavier than the old setups. i haven't checked yet but just ordered a scale. but i think its also due to keyboard / mouse. i now am trying to use more a trackpad, its less painful than the vertical mouse. smartphone also is bad i guess.

don't know what to do because the pain is stable. its not horrible as it was in December but i do feel something even when typing. its not decreasing. if i try to play TT, its just not possible, I cannot execute a FH without feeling something bad and thus i can't hit the ball properly. BH is a less painful.
I thought tennis elbow is with backhand swings? Either way that sucks, I've had a few tendinitis kind of injuries related to TT as well. For me it's mostly been incorrect technique, so once I fixed them they'd go away. Overuse of my wrist is definitely one of them, specifically overly supinate and laterally flex it.

Get some rest and hope you get healthy soon! Sometimes minor injuries like these can be a blessing in disguise. With some rest we can sometimes come back better than ever!
 
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Had a good day at the club today. A few things happened and I'm gonna go on a long ramble.

First, I tried the Wilson Pro grip tape yesterday cut to 2/3 length, and it was way too thick. My forearm was actually a bit sore from holding onto that thick racket. I switched it out for Wilson Pro Sensation grip tape today, which is 25% thinner, and cut to 1/2 length. It was 2 grams lighter, which is inconsequential, but much thinner. My grip is now almost exactly the same as on the provincial W968, with my fingers just touching my palm when I firm up the grip.

How does it actually feel? Well, fantastic my friends, absolutely fantastic! From warm up it felt different, I was getting solid contact with every ball, and for the first time since I switched to the W968, I felt like I couldn't miss a FH loop against block. I always thought it was because the racket is faster than my old HL5 and YSE, that I had to use a bit more closed angle, and that the returned ball is also faster, that I end up mistime my shots. Turns out it was just the grip! I never thought about it because the old HL5 had the same thin handle, but I totally forgot that I actually had the same grip tape on that blade. Whether it's bending sideways to loop a ball low and close to my body or jumping out to cover my wide forehand (my partner today wasn't the best blocker) I was landing my FH shots with excellent quality. It felt amazing.

Next up is my BH attack. I'm finally getting better at adjusting to different depth of the ball, and I'm able to launch some excellent attacks during BH/BH rallies. This has improved by leaps and bounds over the last couple of weeks. Drives against opportunity balls is also way more consistent, but I haven't used it in real play much yet. Training with my regular training partner has really helped in this regard. My BH opening loop is still not instinctual yet though. In fact, it took me a good 30 minutes before I started actually using it consistently. My instinct is still to drop the racket way low to loop backspins. It's just a far, far inferior way to do things. Once I managed to switch over to the new technique, I could loop heavy backspins, half-longs, and even banana flick which I haven't even really practiced. Since my BH techniques are pretty new, I don't think it'll take that long for the new technique to become instinctual. My BH is already at a point where it's no longer a weakness, but I think in a month I'll take another level up and my BH will become a fearsome weapon.

Another nice thing is my blocking. Since my training partner is relatively weaker than me with FH loops, while I'm worse with blocking, we usually have him do a lot more FH loops while I block. My FH block is solid, so I use my BH to block. Until yesterday, the rallies would end almost always because I failed a block, but yesterday I finally found the right timing and hand pressure. I found that by besides just adjusting the blocking angle, I can also adjust how firmly I grip the racket to block loops of varying power. Today my blocks were on point. As a guy who's always aimed to attack at every possible chance, it's surprising actually just how exhilarating making some good blocks feel. I'm definitely gonna incorporate that into my game more. I've found that making that first block gives me more time to get into both physical and mental position to counter attack. A lot of people also can't re-loop with the same quality as they don't have the footwork to do it, so that makes counter attacking easier as well.
 
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Played in 36 deg weather today and it was so hot and humid that I couldn't really get going physically. Also, the stupid balls were slipping so much that even when I contact the bottom of the ball and hit upwards with my loop stroke against topspin balls it's still going to the net. What a joke environment. Maybe next time if there's such weather I just won't play table tennis and just hit the gym...

Also, combination penholders have such an unfair advantage over inverted in the amateur circuit that I'm really surprised that we don't see any of these players on the pro circuit (except for Wang Zengyi and in the women's game for eg Zhou Xintong, Ni xia lian I guess). But I don't see the inverted/LP combo played to max effectiveness at all.

Sun Yingsha's recent defeat shows that indeed you can have very good results at the top level with these combination pips, and they are also nowhere near maximizing the potential of the pips play.

For eg with ppl like Kaii Yoshida or the Jpen crowd, it makes absolutely no sense why they wouldn't just slap a piece of LP to receive serves to disgust their opponent and then end the point with their thunderous FH loopkill. Imagine a player like Ryu Seung Min with an actual good LP/antispin control game, his career would be so much longer and he might have won a few world cups or world championships too...

Although I do win quite a lot of games. I feel like I really have to be playing at 110% physically and mentally to really match the amount of crap that is coming towards me which is all coming from just equipment differences - which is the single most bullshit thing about TT. Imo no other sport has this kind of bullshit.
 
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Played in 36 deg weather today and it was so hot and humid that I couldn't really get going physically. Also, the stupid balls were slipping so much that even when I contact the bottom of the ball and hit upwards with my loop stroke against topspin balls it's still going to the net. What a joke environment. Maybe next time if there's such weather I just won't play table tennis and just hit the gym...

Also, combination penholders have such an unfair advantage over inverted in the amateur circuit that I'm really surprised that we don't see any of these players on the pro circuit (except for Wang Zengyi and in the women's game for eg Zhou Xintong, Ni xia lian I guess). But I don't see the inverted/LP combo played to max effectiveness at all.

Sun Yingsha's recent defeat shows that indeed you can have very good results at the top level with these combination pips, and they are also nowhere near maximizing the potential of the pips play.

For eg with ppl like Kaii Yoshida or the Jpen crowd, it makes absolutely no sense why they wouldn't just slap a piece of LP to receive serves to disgust their opponent and then end the point with their thunderous FH loopkill. Imagine a player like Ryu Seung Min with an actual good LP/antispin control game, his career would be so much longer and he might have won a few world cups or world championships too...

Although I do win quite a lot of games. I feel like I really have to be playing at 110% physically and mentally to really match the amount of crap that is coming towards me which is all coming from just equipment differences - which is the single most bullshit thing about TT. Imo no other sport has this kind of bullshit.
Heh, I'm getting a Cpen blade with SP/LP combo to play around.

SYS and WYD's losses though are IMO just dumbfounding. Against close to the table pips players just attack everything long. They should be able to loop backspins all day long on both wings, so just loop everything long to the pips side, then mix in one to the wide FH or step around for a kill shot when the opportunity presents itself. WMY did that and most other top players as well and managed to beat the Indian girls. Twiddlers like Batra is a lot harder, that takes some serious skills. There's no one tactical adjustment for her, you just need to be better. Straight BH pips defense FH attack players like Akula should be pretty simple.
 
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Heh, I'm getting a Cpen blade with SP/LP combo to play around.

SYS and WYD's losses though are IMO just dumbfounding. Against close to the table pips players just attack everything long. They should be able to loop backspins all day long on both wings, so just loop everything long to the pips side, then mix in one to the wide FH or step around for a kill shot when the opportunity presents itself. WMY did that and most other top players as well and managed to beat the Indian girls. Twiddlers like Batra is a lot harder, that takes some serious skills. There's no one tactical adjustment for her, you just need to be better. Straight BH pips defense FH attack players like Akula should be pretty simple.
Have you ever played 2300+ level inverted/LP penhold players to make that statement?

Imo penhold pips players are way more dangerous than shakehand pips. Shakehand strokes are larger, there's way less deception and you don't get the TPB/RPB flexibility on the BH. Also the penhold FH loopkill, serves, flick kills, short receive are way more dangerous than shakehand because of the grip flexibility.

One serve that is used to bully penholders in the past (both in pro as well as amateur levels) is the short heavy sidetopspin serve that cannot be pushed short without popping them up. This forces them to flick it and two wing shakehand players can force the topspin rally which they are very much favoured. Guess what, with LP they can push that short easily with massive backspin due to the reversal. They can do the same with short game against short backspin to give you a short topspin ball which tends to pop up.

Also TPB is only relatively weaker than shakehand BH in straight up topspin vs topspin battles, but it is easier to change direction deceptively and there is no middle weakness. But with the addition of inverted TPB/LP RPB or even inverted RPB/LP TPB the variation becomes a huge strength because now you have double the amount of shot variations to deal with.

If you go long first, you'll be the one who has to defend the penhold FH loopkills, not the other way around - you simply won't be allowed to loop first most of the time....

SP/LP is not as powerful as inverted/LP unless you can serve and push super spinny with SP (not easy to do at all!)
 
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No, def not someone that level lol. But in the grand scheme of things, 2300 isn't that high, there are many, many players around the world above that level. If it's truly a viable style then we'd probably see it a lot more often. There are plenty of 2300+ TPB players I'm sure many have explored LP RPB.
 
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No, def not someone that level lol. But in the grand scheme of things, 2300 isn't that high, there are many, many players around the world above that level. If it's truly a viable style then we'd probably see it a lot more often. There are plenty of 2300+ TPB players I'm sure many have explored LP RPB.
Yes but what I mean is that they didn't use the LPs or the inverted side to the max potential.

Players like Ryu Seung Min, Kaii Yoshida and Chiang Peng Lung definitely used the inverted side to the max but they didn't have the LPs. A lot of players with LPs didn't have such strong inverted sides or have terrible footwork/fundamentals.

What if you had a inverted/LP twiddling penhold player who could serve and attack as hard as the single side penholders, but also incorporated very high level LP play and could switch between each other as they wished? It's difficult for sure but I can imagine such a player having huge success even in the international arena. I feel like coaches haven't maximised the potential of this style yet.

It'll have to be a serve/receive/3rd ball kind of player with very strong serves and short game and 3rd ball like Ma Lin to fully take max advantage of this style imo. And then when they receive serves they'll be putting in so much variation and would also be largely immune from serve variation (due to LPs being relatively insensitive to spin), and you can see how they can have a huge advantage this way.
 
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Yes but what I mean is that they didn't use the LPs or the inverted side to the max potential.

Players like Ryu Seung Min, Kaii Yoshida and Chiang Peng Lung definitely used the inverted side to the max but they didn't have the LPs. A lot of players with LPs didn't have such strong inverted sides or have terrible footwork/fundamentals.

What if you had a inverted/LP twiddling penhold player who could serve and attack as hard as the single side penholders, but also incorporated very high level LP play and could switch between each other as they wished? It's difficult for sure but I can imagine such a player having huge success even in the international arena. I feel like coaches haven't maximised the potential of this style yet.

It'll have to be a serve/receive/3rd ball kind of player with very strong serves and short game and 3rd ball like Ma Lin to fully take max advantage of this style imo. And then when they receive serves they'll be putting in so much variation and would also be largely immune from serve variation (due to LPs being relatively insensitive to spin), and you can see how they can have a huge advantage this way.
How much variation is too much variation though? All the time spent perfecting the LP play won't be spent on perfecting the inverted play. In the end, the ball can only rotate around the same 3 axes, and spin gets less useful relative to speed with each ball size increase. Defenders have already been killed off by the 40mm celluloid, is a style that relies on spin for advantage really viable in the 40+ plastic era, all else being equal?
 
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I wouldn't make too much of Ma Lin's ineptness and make the Indian women's performance into a rule. They're still the exception. Ayhika is 27, she's reached her peak long ago. Just 4 months ago she lost to Altinkaya Sibel of Turkey 0-3. Most of the CNT seems to have forgotten how to play against LP, but those who haven't still have a fairly easy time.
 
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I wouldn't make too much of Ma Lin's ineptness and make the Indian women's performance into a rule. They're still the exception. Ayhika is 27, she's reached her peak long ago. Just 4 months ago she lost to Altinkaya Sibel of Turkey 0-3. Most of the CNT seems to have forgotten how to play against LP, but those who haven't still have a fairly easy time.
Ayhika can still be improving, it is the young well trained players that hit their peak years ago. Those who get exposed to new patterns later may still find new highs and have random unbeatable days.
been injured again. haven't played in 10 days. frustrating because i was playing my best TT then. Because i was playing perhaps too much as well.

basically its mostly the tennis elbow again, although its not as bad as in December because i stopped immediately. But now i also have the wrist hurting and even some fingers (4th and 5th) at the base of the hand (not the extremities)

i think some is due to TT, and perhaps the new racket. maybe its heavier than the old setups. i haven't checked yet but just ordered a scale. but i think its also due to keyboard / mouse. i now am trying to use more a trackpad, its less painful than the vertical mouse. smartphone also is bad i guess.

don't know what to do because the pain is stable. its not horrible as it was in December but i do feel something even when typing. its not decreasing. if i try to play TT, its just not possible, I cannot execute a FH without feeling something bad and thus i can't hit the ball properly. BH is a less painful.
Do you do physical therapy and exercises for your strength and joints in general?
 
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How much variation is too much variation though? All the time spent perfecting the LP play won't be spent on perfecting the inverted play. In the end, the ball can only rotate around the same 3 axes, and spin gets less useful relative to speed with each ball size increase. Defenders have already been killed off by the 40mm celluloid, is a style that relies on spin for advantage really viable in the 40+ plastic era, all else being equal?
Even Simon Gauzy lost to antispin player Luka a while back, and I think Luka's style would be far inferior to an equivalent player using penhold.

Spin variation is still extremely important especially if you have a good short game and have a massive attack to back it. You can see plenty of inverted strokes which work based on spin variation.
 
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Ayhika can still be improving, it is the young well trained players that hit their peak years ago. Those who get exposed to new patterns later may still find new highs and have random unbeatable days.

Do you do physical therapy and exercises for your strength and joints in general?
I'm sure she's been playing since she was a little kid though, unless you mean something else by new patterns?
Even Simon Gauzy lost to antispin player Luka a while back, and I think Luka's style would be far inferior to an equivalent player using penhold.

Spin variation is still extremely important especially if you have a good short game and have a massive attack to back it. You can see plenty of inverted strokes which work based on spin variation.
Spin is certainly still important, just less so these days. I'm not saying that LP or anti players can't win, it's just that it's much less likely than before now. With all the resources available to the CNT, I'm sure they've explored these opportunities already. As for Gauzy, he's a more spin based player himself, and is in fact another example of the changes being disadvantageous to spin.
 
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I'm sure she's been playing since she was a little kid though, unless you mean something else by new patterns?

Spin is certainly still important, just less so these days. I'm not saying that LP or anti players can't win, it's just that it's much less likely than before now. With all the resources available to the CNT, I'm sure they've explored these opportunities already. As for Gauzy, he's a more spin based player himself, and is in fact another example of the changes being disadvantageous to spin.
I'm not sure if they even explored those opportunities in the 1st place, a lot of the coaches don't even bother developing alternative players because double inverted is "proven". It fits the CNT mentality of if it ain't broken, don't fix it. The alternative players don't even get chances to develop fully, so how do you even know that the ceiling of the style is even limited?

CNT claim that penhold + RPB had no future and here you can see Felix Lebrun blazing a bright new trail with his modern penhold style, and he is already better than any of the CNT penholders.

Maybe players outside the CNT would pick this up one day.
 
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I'm sure she's been playing since she was a little kid though, unless you mean something else by new patterns?
Playing/training since you were a kid doesn't make you optimally trained or exposed. And while it is harder to improve or learn new tricks at an older age, some of that is context‐dependent. Working with a better coach or being in a better training environment can raise your level at any age. What that translates to competitively can be limited by age and I agree with you on that. I am just pointing out that the omprovment still happens at 27 under certain conditions as long as it isn't measured entirely by the ability to beat Sun Yingsha on demand and not lose to players below you.

Batra has had technical improvements and results in the last two years that showed a new level compared to even her great prior achievements. I am fairly confident the whole Indian team is experiencing similar things because TT is getting more funding. To put it another way, even getting on this team is a breakthrough of sorts for Ayhika because there is more competition from younger inverted players.

Long story short: I get what you mean when you say that at 27, Ayhika doesn't have the growth trajectory of a teenager. But players like Freitas and even Batra have made significant improvements in playing level as professional adults in their 20s A lot of it comes from going to more competitive environments where you aren't the biggest fish in the pond and there is some investment in you. And of course, fending off talented teammates.
 
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