Progress is very slow, and only 4 months before the next tournament

says beginner (rating 700)
says beginner (rating 700)
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At my last office tournament several months ago, I had a very poor result despite having spent months doing drills with coaches. I realized that I needed to focus more on gaining match experience. So for the past 7 months, I've been going to the club every week and playing people around my skill level. I even participated in my first ever USATT tournament last month.

Unfortunately my progress has been very slow. I feel like I'm only a little bit better than I was 7 months ago. My rating 7 months ago was around 600, and 2 weeks ago my rating was still around 600. (Now it is 680 mostly because I beat someone who was almost 900, but they were rated too high.) Meanwhile, the little kids are making progress so much faster than me. I might easily defeat a little kid one day, but then 1-2 months later they will destroy me. I don't even get to play some of those kids anymore because their rating has gotten so high that the club never puts us in the same group anymore. (BTW, I am in my 40s.)

Another thing is that I choked under the pressure of the last office tournament, and I feel like I'm still not handling pressure situations well. For example, last week at the club, they put me in a group with 6 other people and I was the highest rated player in that group. So I felt like I should go 6-0 in the round robin. Each match was best of 3, and I probably played a bit conservative to try to make sure I finished 6-0. One guy was rated 470 and somehow he won a game against me - that definitely shouldn't have happened. Also, there was one game where I was up 10-0, and I have never beaten anyone 11-0 before, so I thought it would nice to accomplish that. Of course I played the next point too conservatively and lost it. But I still managed to win my first 5 matches, and when I needed to win the final match to finish 6-0, of course I lost the match.

I'm also feeling a bit of pressure not to lose because my rating is at 680 now. A few months ago, my rating had gotten near 700, and then it collapsed all the way to 580. I want to make sure that doesn't happen again this time around.

There are a few more USATT tournaments I'll go to in the next few months, but I'm not sure how helpful those will be in terms of dealing with pressure. I probably won't feel much pressure at all since I know I don't have any chance of beating the players in the 800-1000 range who would participate. But I'd feel pressure at the office tournament since everyone there is around my skill level or worse, so it's definitely winnable. Unfortunately I'm not sure how much better than my coworkers I am now, since no one really goes into the office anymore, and I'll only find out when I have to play them in the next tournament.

And there's only about 4 months until the next office tournament, which really isn't a lot of time. There are still some skills I need to work on. I can do a backhand loop fairly well against a robot, but I rarely try it in a match. My forehand loop is almost non-existent. And I pretty much just do the same backspin serve over and over (always good for a few free points every game).

Also I just ordered a new paddle because the one I'm using has some broken wood, although it's still usable. Hopefully 4 months will be enough time to get used to the new paddle (it has different rubbers than what I currently have).

Just wondering how I should approach these next 4 months. I could spend time working on my looping and try to learn some new serves, although based on my experience at last year's tournament, I might be too afraid to try new skills in an important match.

Also how can I get better at handling pressure? Are the little mind games a good idea, like telling myself "You have to go 6-0 tonight" or "You're up 8-0 so try to win 11-0"?
 
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One has to do competitive matches to move their match level towards their practice level - often a LOT of matches getting feedback on what is not effective, how to manage risk to play the percentages, how to land the ball and get confidence... how to have simple serves low with just enough spin and low enough... and what to do with next ball... how to judge and discern what is happening... to have a basic plan and judgement when the ball is not happening to plan.

These things and many many many more happen each match. The ones who figure out how to be calm and do basic things within their abilities playing the percentages tend to win points under pressure... which lead to games and matches... especially if one can see a few key things that are happening and exploit them.
 
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At my last office tournament several months ago, I had a very poor result despite having spent months doing drills with coaches. I realized that I needed to focus more on gaining match experience. So for the past 7 months, I've been going to the club every week and playing people around my skill level. I even participated in my first ever USATT tournament last month.

Unfortunately my progress has been very slow. I feel like I'm only a little bit better than I was 7 months ago. My rating 7 months ago was around 600, and 2 weeks ago my rating was still around 600. (Now it is 680 mostly because I beat someone who was almost 900, but they were rated too high.) Meanwhile, the little kids are making progress so much faster than me. I might easily defeat a little kid one day, but then 1-2 months later they will destroy me. I don't even get to play some of those kids anymore because their rating has gotten so high that the club never puts us in the same group anymore. (BTW, I am in my 40s.)

Another thing is that I choked under the pressure of the last office tournament, and I feel like I'm still not handling pressure situations well. For example, last week at the club, they put me in a group with 6 other people and I was the highest rated player in that group. So I felt like I should go 6-0 in the round robin. Each match was best of 3, and I probably played a bit conservative to try to make sure I finished 6-0. One guy was rated 470 and somehow he won a game against me - that definitely shouldn't have happened. Also, there was one game where I was up 10-0, and I have never beaten anyone 11-0 before, so I thought it would nice to accomplish that. Of course I played the next point too conservatively and lost it. But I still managed to win my first 5 matches, and when I needed to win the final match to finish 6-0, of course I lost the match.

I'm also feeling a bit of pressure not to lose because my rating is at 680 now. A few months ago, my rating had gotten near 700, and then it collapsed all the way to 580. I want to make sure that doesn't happen again this time around.

There are a few more USATT tournaments I'll go to in the next few months, but I'm not sure how helpful those will be in terms of dealing with pressure. I probably won't feel much pressure at all since I know I don't have any chance of beating the players in the 800-1000 range who would participate. But I'd feel pressure at the office tournament since everyone there is around my skill level or worse, so it's definitely winnable. Unfortunately I'm not sure how much better than my coworkers I am now, since no one really goes into the office anymore, and I'll only find out when I have to play them in the next tournament.

And there's only about 4 months until the next office tournament, which really isn't a lot of time. There are still some skills I need to work on. I can do a backhand loop fairly well against a robot, but I rarely try it in a match. My forehand loop is almost non-existent. And I pretty much just do the same backspin serve over and over (always good for a few free points every game).

Also I just ordered a new paddle because the one I'm using has some broken wood, although it's still usable. Hopefully 4 months will be enough time to get used to the new paddle (it has different rubbers than what I currently have).

Just wondering how I should approach these next 4 months. I could spend time working on my looping and try to learn some new serves, although based on my experience at last year's tournament, I might be too afraid to try new skills in an important match.

Also how can I get better at handling pressure? Are the little mind games a good idea, like telling myself "You have to go 6-0 tonight" or "You're up 8-0 so try to win 11-0"?
Talk with your coach. I cant imagine that you have no improvements after 7 months. If he says that everything is fine, then it might be a problem with your coach. Otherwise, he will tell you where you make mistakes and etc.
At this point I dont think you should be concerned about your rating. If you continue practicing it will increase.
Also dont look at kids, they are too OP. I saw kids aged around 6-8, winning guys with approximately 2100 rating. They built differently😂
 
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How do you loose the points?
Did you give it away, or the opponent took it from you?

How do you win your points?
Did your opponent loose it, or did you take it away from your opponent?

4 very important questions to know how to answer, so you can tell exactly where you are.
Next is to focus on the fundementals to address the answer to the questions above.
 
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Looks to me like you are pressuring yourself by putting your rank first, and your improvement second. This is always going to get in your way until you begin seeing each match as something to learn from and improve upon, rather than that 680 number.

When you do what you do, and lose, mentally and physically we humans simply perform worse. And the more we lose with that mindset, the worse we become. I actually recommend listening to Andrew Huberman's podcast with Jocko Willink. They discuss just that.

You are obviously practicing, so what lacks is mental work. I think that all you need to do to improve faster is change your mindset.
 
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+1 to all the advice given so far. Don't be disheartened , table tennis is a complex sport with a lot of moving parts.

Progress in table tennis is not easily measured ... definitely not in terms of wins and losses. Thats why the important thing is to have fun every time you play .


This is how how progress in table tennis goes and not that too not exactly in a linear fashion ... mostly in an oscillating fashion ...

You start to put more balls on the table while still losing the point ... first in practice ... then in fun matches .. then in serious matches

You start to win more points while still losing the games... ... first in practice ... then in fun matches .. then in serious matches

You start winning more games still losing the matches ... ... first in practice ... then in fun matches .. then in serious matches ...

At lower level if you have have a gaping hole in your technique and is opponent matches up well against that there is not much one can do ....


... Hence .. trust the process .. play matches regularly against different kind of opponents and see how much of the skills you learn with your coach you can actually use in matches .. make sure you make note of your weaknesses during match and work with your coach to fix those ... the results will come ...
 
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At my last office tournament several months ago, I had a very poor result despite having spent months doing drills with coaches. I realized that I needed to focus more on gaining match experience. So for the past 7 months, I've been going to the club every week and playing people around my skill level. I even participated in my first ever USATT tournament last month.

Unfortunately my progress has been very slow. I feel like I'm only a little bit better than I was 7 months ago. My rating 7 months ago was around 600, and 2 weeks ago my rating was still around 600. (Now it is 680 mostly because I beat someone who was almost 900, but they were rated too high.) Meanwhile, the little kids are making progress so much faster than me. I might easily defeat a little kid one day, but then 1-2 months later they will destroy me. I don't even get to play some of those kids anymore because their rating has gotten so high that the club never puts us in the same group anymore. (BTW, I am in my 40s.)

Another thing is that I choked under the pressure of the last office tournament, and I feel like I'm still not handling pressure situations well. For example, last week at the club, they put me in a group with 6 other people and I was the highest rated player in that group. So I felt like I should go 6-0 in the round robin. Each match was best of 3, and I probably played a bit conservative to try to make sure I finished 6-0. One guy was rated 470 and somehow he won a game against me - that definitely shouldn't have happened. Also, there was one game where I was up 10-0, and I have never beaten anyone 11-0 before, so I thought it would nice to accomplish that. Of course I played the next point too conservatively and lost it. But I still managed to win my first 5 matches, and when I needed to win the final match to finish 6-0, of course I lost the match.

I'm also feeling a bit of pressure not to lose because my rating is at 680 now. A few months ago, my rating had gotten near 700, and then it collapsed all the way to 580. I want to make sure that doesn't happen again this time around.

There are a few more USATT tournaments I'll go to in the next few months, but I'm not sure how helpful those will be in terms of dealing with pressure. I probably won't feel much pressure at all since I know I don't have any chance of beating the players in the 800-1000 range who would participate. But I'd feel pressure at the office tournament since everyone there is around my skill level or worse, so it's definitely winnable. Unfortunately I'm not sure how much better than my coworkers I am now, since no one really goes into the office anymore, and I'll only find out when I have to play them in the next tournament.

And there's only about 4 months until the next office tournament, which really isn't a lot of time. There are still some skills I need to work on. I can do a backhand loop fairly well against a robot, but I rarely try it in a match. My forehand loop is almost non-existent. And I pretty much just do the same backspin serve over and over (always good for a few free points every game).

Also I just ordered a new paddle because the one I'm using has some broken wood, although it's still usable. Hopefully 4 months will be enough time to get used to the new paddle (it has different rubbers than what I currently have).

Just wondering how I should approach these next 4 months. I could spend time working on my looping and try to learn some new serves, although based on my experience at last year's tournament, I might be too afraid to try new skills in an important match.

Also how can I get better at handling pressure? Are the little mind games a good idea, like telling myself "You have to go 6-0 tonight" or "You're up 8-0 so try to win 11-0"?
Hey delerious
I just realised you are the "rotator cuff guy"!
you need to take a step back and get things in proportion.

Healing your body is the main thing followed by adjusting your attitude to the ratings before you are consumed by it.
And send in a vid to show your technique, maybe you will get some advice that will ease your pain in soul and shoulder, make sure that faulty technique is not damaging your shoulder.
As regards pressure most successful players in pressure situations are playing within themselves so that they have confidence in their shots in match situations. Noobies on the other hand tend to veer between timid or desperate in clutch situations and they fall into a pit of despair.
Sadly those noobies mostly won't experience that confidence in matches until they learn technique. If they don't buckle down and train calmly and intelligently to learn correct play they never will.
good luck
 
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says beginner (rating 700)
says beginner (rating 700)
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May 2019
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Healing your body is the main thing followed by adjusting your attitude to the ratings before you are consumed by it.
And send in a vid to show your technique, maybe you will get some advice that will ease your pain in soul and shoulder, make sure that faulty technique is not damaging your shoulder.
I agree that I probably have bad form in terms of not rotating my hips and transferring weight enough. I haven't worked with a coach in the past 7 months, but I'll definitely set up some sessions and get advice on what I can do better.

I'll also see if I can focus less on the rating and try to start doing the backhand loop in matches, instead of just against the robot.
 
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I agree that I probably have bad form in terms of not rotating my hips and transferring weight enough. I haven't worked with a coach in the past 7 months, but I'll definitely set up some sessions and get advice on what I can do better.

I'll also see if I can focus less on the rating and try to start doing the backhand loop in matches, instead of just against the robot.
At 600 USATT (or even around ~1000) level, hips rotation and weight transfer are not really that high on the list of things I would worry about. Just putting the ball on the table is mostly what you need (unless we are talking California 600 :) where you might be dealing with heavily coached kids who only happen to play each other...).

Ignore rating for now and try to play as many people as you can, instead of a robot - you mostly need match toughness, not robot training IMHO. Coaching is not a bad idea either, but do tell them what you are trying to achieve.
 
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At 600 USATT (or even around ~1000) level, hips rotation and weight transfer are not really that high on the list of things I would worry about. Just putting the ball on the table is mostly what you need (unless we are talking California 600 :) where you might be dealing with heavily coached kids who only happen to play each other...).

Ignore rating for now and try to play as many people as you can, instead of a robot - you mostly need match toughness, not robot training IMHO. Coaching is not a bad idea either, but do tell them what you are trying to achieve.

pgpg is offering you to come to Boston to deal with the heat and his BH. :D
 
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Hey Delerious,

My suggestion is figure out how you're losing points. The other week, I had a club player asking me why he's losing matches to players around his own or lower ranking but when he plays with higher ranked players then he does relatively well. So I played a few sets with him and noticed that he doesn't know why he's doing what he's doing.

For example, all his serves were short backspin serves. I asked him if that's how he always serves and he said yes. Then I explained to him, we serve backspin serve because the topspin serve is easy to attack but if you're opponent isn't good at attacking then serve him a mix of short and long topspin and that he should avoid his backspin serves or at least mix it up.

Next, he could easily receive a backspin serve as he was used to it but he really had major problems with receiving short topspin serve to his forehand and fast long topspin serve to his backhand. Then he mentioned that he loses a lot of points on this type of serves as it is more common in his ranking.

So in short, he was crippling himself while serving and receiving poorly the opponents' serves. How good of a looper or blocker he was made no difference cause the game never had the chance to get where he was good at.

Basically, he has learned to play against higher ranked players but doesn't know why those players play the way they play. He hasn't learned how to strategize. This might be the case with you as well, find out how you're losing points, maybe you're practicing something that's more advanced and instead should focus on some fundamentals.

Before perfecting your loop, ace your drives. Before focusing on power shots and weight transfer, focus on placement and touch. Before learning 10 types of serves, master 2 and focus on reading the spin on the serves. The simple stuff counts more in TT.

Hope this helps :).
 
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