How Did I Win or Lose a Match?

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A fun, yet productive session at the church last night

One of the highlights was a conversation der & i had about quality vs landing %. he led me to answer my own question after i noticed my consistency was increasing but ball quality decreased (i was not pressing him). After thinking, at this moment - I CHOSE CONSISTENCY

i believe as i stop admiring my last shot, get-busy keeping my feet moving, get low (good for possible next BH, practice paying attention to the other's racket (& body), my own body proximity to end table ... quality (speed, spin, location) will come

i heard der's warning loud & clear, that when i focus on consistency, the decreasing quality allows half of the plyrs at my level pound balls past me ... to which i am thinking A) these plyrs are at my level for a reason (they're equally un-consistent or less), let's play a game of attrition then (especially if i get good at a dead loop). B) It's not like i cannot increase the quality of my shots, it's jst that at this moment, i would like to (practicing) get more balls back on the other side, preparing myself mentally hitting 10, 15, 20 shots is normal business as I train for the Next Level (punt intended) 💪

LDM7

At your level, no one talks about the obvious role of fitness because it doesn't reward as much as training specific technique, but the key is that the quality of your consistent technique can be easily improved by raising your core strength and leg strength as long as you don't get injured. Squats, lunges etc. are all fair game as long as one doesn't get injured. Practicing heavy spin serving to understand how to transmit spin into the arm better.

The goal is to be able to use consistent technique without using the upper arm excessively so you don't compromise the stability of the technique. Then getting more power behind that consistency by improving the strength of the core so you can throw harder is helpful - that's why most TT players don't have bulging biceps, they try to keep the arms slim and whippy, but then they get really thick lower bodies so that their base is strong and flexible enough to put good power behind stable technique.

The other thing is that if you put more of the consistency into rotation and developing options to play more shots with rotation and work on precise placement, you can play two shots instead of one, but if the two shots hit the spot, they can be far deadlier than if you played one powerful shot. Consistency needs to be combined early with placement or over time, you will just get used to hitting the ball where the opponent likes it, which can be pretty bad over time.

 
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Next Level makes great points about quality and consistency.

I explained to LDM7 that one simply will not greatly improve quality over a short time... that is a slow improvement mission.

I explained that one considers what one wants to go for in training... whether that is to go for high quality high power (speed or spin or both) in training, accept the lower landing percentage (consistency) and work to improve consistency with time...

... or go for high consistency within one's abilities... and push to move those boundaries and improve power and quality with time... or go for some kind of balance of both.

LDM7 chose high consistency.

There is no single right or wrong answer for this - it is something a player must examine and determine for themselves using knowledge and judgement and their own idea of how they want to develop. many pundit type of coaches will emphatically tell players to do what LDM7 chose for himself. There are very good reasons why pundit coaches do that - mainly, they know it works over time to develop players.

I say it isn't the only way, yet I will acknowledge and respect the rationale and process of why the coaches feel this way. Their recommended way works and produces results over time.

On a similar note, this is why pundit coaches demand players use much slower and moderate equipment early on. I have not yet this kind of discussion very much with LDM7. I only recommended some reasonable rubbers for his category from a couple brands. Sure, both his blades would give a pundit coach a dizzy convulsion fit... but that wasn't so much important to immediately address more than his approach and rubbers. The blade and some other things will be another adventure.
 
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Next Level makes great points about quality and consistency.

I explained to LDM7 that one simply will not greatly improve quality over a short time... that is a slow improvement mission.

I explained that one considers what one wants to go for in training... whether that is to go for high quality high power (speed or spin or both) in training, accept the lower landing percentage (consistency) and work to improve consistency with time...

... or go for high consistency within one's abilities... and push to move those boundaries and improve power and quality with time... or go for some kind of balance of both.

LDM7 chose high consistency.

There is no single right or wrong answer for this - it is something a player must examine and determine for themselves using knowledge and judgement and their own idea of how they want to develop. many pundit type of coaches will emphatically tell players to do what LDM7 chose for himself. There are very good reasons why pundit coaches do that - mainly, they know it works over time to develop players.

I say it isn't the only way, yet I will acknowledge and respect the rationale and process of why the coaches feel this way. Their recommended way works and produces results over time.

On a similar note, this is why pundit coaches demand players use much slower and moderate equipment early on. I have not yet this kind of discussion very much with LDM7. I only recommended some reasonable rubbers for his category from a couple brands. Sure, both his blades would give a pundit coach a dizzy convulsion fit... but that wasn't so much important to immediately address more than his approach and rubbers. The blade and some other things will be another adventure.

I was an equipment pundit back in the day. My current conclusion is that if you put in the hours, you will learn as you play and you can test other people's stuff. It really doesn't matter as long as it doesn't matter to the player. Equipment makes a small difference in the relatively big scheme of technique as long as you are training many hours.

 
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Nov 18, 2022 Friday Training Session @ Church

Another highlight was a fundamental change playing (trusting) my BH more by not running around my FH, looking for a FH (out of habit)

At this moment, i am working toward a 45% BH 55% FH playing style

i came to this decision b/c opponents were jamming (i get pinned to) my BH as i run around to take a FH on my BH side, leaving wide FH (or rightie oppoent's BH dTL) exposed

i get tired (out of breath) from running around my FH all the time. I am not 16 yrs old


i noticed others would return my serves deep to my BH catching me out of position sometimes, too close to the table or not in a position to hit a quality FH (i am jammed) ...

so for the past months i've been thinking, talking, practicing, learning to trust my BH, observing how to stay in a rally with my BH and how to (possibly) set up a strategic FH and when that doesn't end the point, go back to my trusting BH

one thing i noticed on this night was rallies were getting longer & obviously i am playing more BHs (by design)

der gave me one word - "DOWN" - this is where getting low prepares me for the next ball he said (possibly) to my BH (especially coming out of running down a wide FH)

the next frontier for me = playing this new'ish style in league matches (under added stress) & eventually sanctioned tourneys

I am both excited & a little scared ... only time will tell

LDM7 out
 
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Prey tell LDM7

How di' IB66,

to minimize the chance of me being eighty-six from this forum, i shall be discrete & only say i have a money-pit of a car on my hand 😡

over the past three weeks, i've called AAA road-side tow service four times, waited on the side of freeway (road) over an hour on each occasion late at night, in & out of three mechanics, went through three alternators, three batteries ($207 ea), a battery sensor and this "previous car" is currently still at the dealership needing yet another alternator replacement & a new battery ... I COULD NO LONGER TAKE IT ANY MORE

after doing research and consideration, der graciously picked me up to go car shopping, purchased a new automobile with outstanding safety features and ride

i am not sure how all this relates to pinga ponga winning & losing (or development), i am just relieved to have a reliable vehicle for caring my 91 yr old mom, work and play

Merry holidays!

 
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I just HAD to toss in that word negotiate, couldn't help myself.

However, this WILL have an impact in LDM7's TT pinga ponga as he will have full mobility and be in a much better mental state for every TT appearance he makes.
 
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1am improv training session sharpened the following skills:

* how to deep push to set up an open: push serve return (or pushing back & forth in succession) & look for a probable wide FH, use a cross-over step along with a violent bat speed and pulling left arm/shoulder back to whip that ball cross-court wide back

* FH 3 zone counter: 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 ... then repeat
with zone 1 = on top of table (or about a foot off)
zone 2 = 3' back
zone 3 = a good 5' back

* serve short, wide backspin pendulum to set up a slow, spinny FH loop open, then prepare for 5th ball put away. Be reminded on some of those deeper backspin coming back, to let the ball drop even lower, another inch or two or perhaps three, forcing me to spin up as oppose to trying to loop right off my side table end

i am definitely landing more balls back on the table & starting to realize the more relax i am, the better spin i put onto the ball. it puts a smile on my face when der blocks them balls 10' off my end as i say night-night (channeling Stephan Curry)

finally i do realize today's progress was during a training session with a willing partner (coach) and i need reps, much more ...

LDM7 out
 
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LDM7 for the first time I noticed found a way to relax more consistently... it showed in his increased quality and spin on opening shots.

LDM7 nearly got into 12 different fights on the way back home with those California drivers. If I didn't talk LDM7 outta it, those dudes woulda been pounded blue and tattooed... so LDM7 tattooed the ball in practice instead.
 
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I just HAD to toss in that word negotiate, couldn't help myself.

However, this WILL have an impact in LDM7's TT pinga ponga as he will have full mobility and be in a much better mental state for every TT appearance he makes.

Anything that adds stress will affect TT game, I found this to be the case 18 - 24 months ago, similar situation to LDM7, Looking after 2 elderly parents + COVID, mother was in and out of hospital, eventually she passed away aged 90. It was expected, so not a shock, but still stressful.
At the time I was really looking forward to playing TT, 2 - 3 hours ‘release’ from the daily worries twice a week. Before the above kicked in a 66% win rate, during, win rate dropped to 33%, my concentration dropped and way less patient, frustrated etc this showed in results.

 
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How di' IB66,

to minimize the chance of me being eighty-six from this forum, i shall be discrete & only say i have a money-pit of a car on my hand 😡

over the past three weeks, i've called AAA road-side tow service four times, waited on the side of freeway (road) over an hour on each occasion late at night, in & out of three mechanics, went through three alternators, three batteries ($207 ea), a battery sensor and this "previous car" is currently still at the dealership needing yet another alternator replacement & a new battery ... I COULD NO LONGER TAKE IT ANY MORE

after doing research and consideration, der graciously picked me up to go car shopping, purchased a new automobile with outstanding safety features and ride

i am not sure how all this relates to pinga ponga winning & losing (or development), i am just relieved to have a reliable vehicle for caring my 91 yr old mom, work and play

Merry holidays!

Hi LDM7,
In the same situation regarding looking after a parent, in my case it’s my dad, 88yrs old, deaf as post!! Heart issues, mobility issues, coping with the loss of his wife of 60yrs, living alone. Cleaning, shopping, checking in everyday etc etc it becomes the ‘norm’ but it ain’t easy. Always in the back of your mind.
Positive is that he’s doing fine, British stiff upper lip stuff, hasn’t shown or spoke about his feelings, cut from a different cloth.
All the best!!!

 
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Hi LDM7,
In the same situation regarding looking after a parent, in my case it’s my dad, 88yrs old, deaf as post!! Heart issues, mobility issues, coping with the loss of his wife of 60yrs, living alone. Cleaning, shopping, checking in everyday etc etc it becomes the ‘norm’ but it ain’t easy. Always in the back of your mind.
Positive is that he’s doing fine, British stiff upper lip stuff, hasn’t shown or spoke about his feelings, cut from a different cloth.
All the best!!!

in some sense table tennis is a haven, a mental break from life's responsibilities and pressure for the both of us (and many others i am sure)

Pinga Ponga helps me stay on tasks, focus on things that are important, it can be fun and great exercise 💪 i am always exhilarated after a hit. Hope to keep doing this til i expire

take care IB66 & merry holidays!

 
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Hi LDM7,
In the same situation regarding looking after a parent, in my case it’s my dad, 88yrs old, deaf as post!! Heart issues, mobility issues, coping with the loss of his wife of 60yrs, living alone. Cleaning, shopping, checking in everyday etc etc it becomes the ‘norm’ but it ain’t easy. Always in the back of your mind.
Positive is that he’s doing fine, British stiff upper lip stuff, hasn’t shown or spoke about his feelings, cut from a different cloth.
The positive is that your Dad is 88 and still above the ground. My Mom is 90, same kind of deal like you and LDM7. I hope we all do so well.

 
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On Sunday I played in a Veterans tournament in Bristol. As I hadn’t played in a Vetts comp before I was in the lowest band - 9.
8 players in the group, so everyone plays 7 matches, a lot of games to get through!! Started at 09.30 finished at 17.30, we had to use 2 tables, (after a table became free when another group had completed their matches) there were a lot of 5 setters!! Would have been a much later finish if we had just the single table!!

My results were - won 6, lost 1,

I ended up winning the group 😀

Played pretty well. Knees were in the best shape they have been in in ages, I moved freely, tiredness set in towards the end of the day,
( I have had an infection in my face which came out last week, antibiotics managed to do the trick just in time, it was touch and go whether I would be able to play, left eye was closed with swelling on Friday !! The infection had took a lot out of me earlier in the week, slept for 20 hrs on Wednesday, only getting up to see the doctor and pick up drugs from the chemist!!)

Of the 7 matches played, 2 were easy wins, 3-0 , 2 were ‘comfortable’ 3-1, 3 were 3-2 wins which were a little tighter. I had some issues with serve return, but this ended up winning me the 5 setters, my serve return improved as the match went on and I picked up more points when opponent was serving than they did off my serve.
Also took on board what NL advised about contacting the to the side more, landed a bigger % of FH loops.

The single loss was 1-3, it was my 6th match and I was pretty knackered by this point, played more negatively, refused FH open ups, when earlier I was taking every opportunity.
My opponent in this match, finished 5th in the group, he was pretty consistent, had good BH a FH drives, solid pushes. I think I would have given him more trouble if I had played him earlier in the day, but styles also come into play and I had identified him as a player I may struggle against when I watched him play at the start of the rounds, this is also shown by the fact that he lost to the players that finished in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places.

My 7th match was against the weakest player in the group, which was a touch considering how tired I was!?

Overall it was a very enjoyable day, the other lads were friendly and easy to get on with, there were 14 tables in the venue so a reasonable sized tournament, with generally groups of 7 players per table!!
When I left there were still 2 groups playing!!

On reflection, I suppose that I was expected to win the group, last year Seb (who I went with and plays in the same league team as me) was in the same situation, 1st time playing in a Vetts comp, played in band 9, and won the group, this year he was in band 6 (I think) he finished 4th ( on count back) but with the same win loss rate as the guys that finished 2nd and 3rd. Perhaps I should have been in a tougher band.

Next comp is in Feb 23, so we are planning to enter and hopefully I’ll be in a higher band
 
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LDM7 and I were able to get in an hour or so of work spread out over a couple times. Roman (the pastor I rain) brought in my former espresso machine (that I sold to him) and halfway through I made 8 cappuccinos. He also brought in Creps and choco and jam.

We went over some basic vital stuff we were always going over... then we all got caught up into playing doubles.

The last 2 hrs LDM7 got partnered with a 2100+ player whose has the best tactical and overall footwork of any player in the Sacramento metro area, period. He used to be an elite amateur decades ago in Egypt.

LDM7 continually professed that he did not perform well and made too many errors. On an absolute objective evaluation, that is true. He is not comfortable with the things one must do in doubles and all the associated nuances, plus he is 600-900 rating points lower than the other players playing. So I get it, in that situation vs me and Roman, he is not going to be expected to dominate points or games.

Still, considering all things, LDM7 balled out and performed better than a player his level would be reasonably expected to play vs players much higher rated. It wasn't just a game or two he played at that comparatively good level. (Although he did exceptionally overperform in some games and also in the match he won.)

Was more important is that he got himself into a position to directly discover some other aspects of TT, preparation, positioning, leverage, and shot making that he had not been exposed to before. I think this is big time important for LDM7. He got a lot of data points and things that will transfer into his singles play down the road and next week.

LDM7 can write his laundry list of things in this thread, but there was so much he got to see from higher level players up close that will benefit him both soon and much later.

LDM7 make all kind of plays today, even vs some of my power loops and loaded slow loops. He did that when he stayed close to table and got the ball off the bounce relaxed. He gave Roman next to zero time to react on those, won the point nearly every time on those he landed.

He got to see why vs better players you have to attack the attackable balls when presented. You pass up an attack and push (especially with poor quality) you are getting murdered on the next ball. You try to attack strong out of position or out of strike zone, then you gunna piss away the point. That is the pressure much higher level players place on you. LDM7 got to see some times when the higher level player declined an attack (and why) (variety - attack a few chances and push one chance) With variety and suddenness, a player can get away with a push when opponent is expecting a strong attack of spin or pace.

LDM7 serves a lot better than his level. It took me a few games to get determined to flip all those short serves... and a real challenge to find that 2100's middle - it is such a moving target. LDM7 got to see that even in doubles with many different nuances, there are adjustments going on with each side forcing the other to adapt and overcome the previous adjustment.

Those are the kind of things why I feel LDM7 got a lot of value (and fun). (He really had a lot of moments where he enjoyed himself)
 
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Some other things one could see LDM7 do progressively well as the doubles matches piled up was to see the action and know what is happening... and to strive to move to position. When you are in position ready for action, you can make plays. Granted, he was getting higher level players' attacks thrown against him, but he wasn't out of position much.

That one improvement alone can raise a player's level some. When you are in position vs players your level, you just improved your chances of making the shot by a lot.
 
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LDM7 and I were able to get in an hour or so of work spread out over a couple times. Roman (the pastor I rain) brought in my former espresso machine (that I sold to him) and halfway through I made 8 cappuccinos. He also brought in Creps and choco and jam.

We went over some basic vital stuff we were always going over... then we all got caught up into playing doubles.
Never in my wildest dream would I realize so many different emotions from a night’s doubles friendlies. I am grateful my partner (more than 900+ my senior) put up with me for some fifteen games or more. I knew it wasn’t a banner of a night when der’s departing words to me were “I’ll try to think of something nice to say on the forum.” Yaiks

The Good:
  • I’m starting to place short, spinny serves over (with location)
  • Gaining confidence on BH blocks
  • discovered how to deaden loops with a loose grip
The Bad:
  • I felt my poor foot-work was exposed (I didn’t know where I should be or how to get out of partner’s way)
  • I couldn’t execute proper return of serves stance even after my partner told me my two options
The I Don’t Want To Talk About It:
  • I am frustrated that most of the night, I was playing too close, on top of the table, even after my partner pointed it out to me, I still didn’t make the adjustment (I don’t get it)
Immediate Focus:
  • Service return (most important TT skill)
  • A BH loop (more than just putting the ball back on the middle of the table)
  • Play 2 ~ 3’ off the table
  • My table demeanor needs to be calmer & more relaxed (every time I win a good point, I get too high & excited, almost always losing the next two or three points)
Ta' Ta' LDM7 out

 
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I stand by everything I wrote, I did not misrepresent anything.

Never in my wildest dream would I realize so many different emotions from a night’s doubles friendlies.

That is why I said it was valuable data points. many things in TT need to be felt and experienced firsthand.

I am grateful my partner (more than 900+ my senior) put up with me for some fifteen games or more.


He wasn't only just gracious. He was partnering with you and helping you out. A LOT of players who are that better level do not even give the time of day. He willingly took you on the squad. You got put in a position to see a LOT tonite. It will benefit you.
I knew it wasn’t a banner of a night when der’s departing words to me were “I’ll try to think of something nice to say on the forum.” .
I hope I didn't communicate it that way. One doesn't have to think that hard to articulate how so much positive stuff happened tonite, even if it was missed shot or a great shot or seeing a way to be in a ready position. The things that did not go well for LDM7 tonite are really gunna improve his game... and there were a pile of things he did that well exceeded what his level of player would do in that situation.
 
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