Winning matches at a lower level?

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I'm 62 years old and returning to table tennis after being an empty nester. I am a competitive SOB. I want to reach the highest level possible. I'm not satisfied beating 1300 level players.
What do I need to do?
1- Equipment...Should I take the DNA Platinum off of my Cybershape blade and put Rakza 7 on? (if so, what thickness?)
2- Robot Training...what specific drills should I work on?
3- What else do you recommend?

I appreciate your comments!
Keep 'em coming!!!
 
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The biggest thing you should be concerning yourself with in terms of equipment, is not concerning yourself that deep with equipment. Nitpicking and worrying about such minutiae takes precious brain power away from figuring out how to score points. Not to say there won't be pieces of kit you'll play "better" with vs other things, but fact of the matter is that you remain the same player regardless of if you hit the ball with Rakza or Tenergy.
 
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I'm 62 years old and returning to table tennis after being an empty nester. I am a competitive SOB. I want to reach the highest level possible. I'm not satisfied beating 1300 level players.
What do I need to do?
1- Equipment...Should I take the DNA Platinum off of my Cybershape blade and put Rakza 7 on? (if so, what thickness?)
2- Robot Training...what specific drills should I work on?
3- What else do you recommend?

I appreciate your comments!
Keep 'em coming!!!
Good solution and a fast solution?

Coach
 
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Fast and good: Coach (Tony)

Fast and cheap: Serve/receive (Kuba)

Fast: Bribery (Lazer)

Good and cheap: Improve at seeing the ball/playing close to the table (Der Echte)

Fast, good and cheap: ?
 
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psst.... use long-pimple. You'll be king of the mountain in no time in the lower levels.

When one uses long-pimple; fantastic & marvelous things happens:

1. Footwork? what footwork?
2. One gets to stand exactly in one position like a tree firmly and still beat a regular player
3. Watch your young and fit opponent gets out of breath easily while you can still talk and chit-chat with you buddies on the bench.

p/s I used to be beaten by a close to eighty year old granny with her long-pimple skill. That was maybe a year ago and we seldom meet as she comes during the afternoon to avoid the big crowd at the TT club and I come later in the evening after work. So our head to head remains in her favour. We've only like played match three or four times.
 
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psst.... use long-pimple. You'll be king of the mountain in no time in the lower levels.
I second that opinion. Gozo and I are serious. We are not pulling your leg. Long pips works really well up to about 1800-2000 level. Below that level, people's loops and attacks can be inconsistent. When you slap a long pips on the backhand side and use it well, you can beat a lot of people from 800 to 1750 range!

So for robot training, just practice using long pips against top spins and against back spins and against no spin. that's pretty much it. When you use long pips to cut back spins, the ball will come back top spins for the opponent. So you actually might even consider hitting the backspin ball because the ball will go back to the otherside with some top spins. When you block top spins however, the ball will come back with back spin to your opponent and you have to learn how to dissipate some of the energy off of that ball that it will land on the other table properly.

As for no spin, learn how to hit it in different manner so it "wobbles." You will love hitting those wobbling no spin back to your opponent.

then change your forehand to a chinese rubber and learn how to serve. Below, say, 1700 level, you don't need to do any fancy motions to fake your spin to your opponent. When you do a back spin serve, just learn to do a good heavy back spin. Most opponents will eat the serves and put it into the net. Or if it comes back, then attack with long pips and try to finish the point ASAP. When you do a top spin serve, just spin the ball properly and make the ball glide fast on the table. The first bounce of your top spin serve should land on the edge of your side of the table.

Again at that level, it is more important to spin the ball well so you gain an advantage right away (only at the top level, the best serves are heavy back spin v.s. little back spin/no spin; that variation is what top players do).

Get a bucket of balls and keep on practicing serving. And do it at least 30 minutes a day. Your serve will become a weapon soon if you can do that.
 
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Fast and good: Coach (Tony)

Fast and cheap: Serve/receive (Kuba)

Fast: Bribery (Lazer)

Good and cheap: Improve at seeing the ball/playing close to the table (Der Echte)

Fast, good and cheap: ?
All very good points.
I think one additional thing you can do is to analyse your opponent before the match, knowing the strengths/weakness of both of you, and play to your advantage. It is easier if you have played them before and have recorded the match, but you can also watch them from the side.
Also, preparing well before a competition: not eating too much, good amount of sleep the night before, the right mentality, psychology etc.
 
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I'm 62 years old and returning to table tennis after being an empty nester. I am a competitive SOB. I want to reach the highest level possible. I'm not satisfied beating 1300 level players.
What do I need to do?
1- Equipment...Should I take the DNA Platinum off of my Cybershape blade and put Rakza 7 on? (if so, what thickness?)
2- Robot Training...what specific drills should I work on?
3- What else do you recommend?

I appreciate your comments!
Keep 'em coming!!!
Hi

What is your style of play?
If you are FH dominant, like to step round BH and play FH drives and loops, then perhaps a change to a 2 wing attacker may be a better option, because as you get older, movement speed is gonna decrease. FH dominant style is very demanding physically.

Definitely get a good coach, and by good, I mean a coach that is able to work well with a ‘muddy‘ canvas rather than a ‘blank‘ one!!

Equipment - Ask your ’new’ coach !! They are not always experts on equipment, but they have actually seen how you play, what your standard is, what skill level you have etc
If you want. equipment advice, technique advice on this forum, then you will have to post footage of yourself playing, use the “safe video footage” thread to reduce the number of those able to reply.
The posts regarding using LP are also tied in to your style of play, so it has a double effect, change of equipment and style of play. It’s still a valid point though. There are a lot of veterans using LP’s at a good standard / level.

Robot training - depending on the robot you have?
Keep The sessions shortish, 2, 3 or 4 min length routines, breaks in between, maybe 8 or 10 routines in a session, robots are relentless, we aren’t!!!!
If your robot has variable spin capability, use this for serve return practice, because at least 50% of the ’Normal’ info is missing, ie a Serve Action, you will have to watch the ball flight like a hawk. Set it up for regular and irregular serves, you can then practice against a ‘known‘ serve and an ’unknown’ serve.

Pace / Frequency of balls, is important, not too slow, not too fast!!

Because you have a robot you have a table!!! Practice serves!! Serve practice should be bolted on to EVERY session you do with your robot. It can be used to split up routines, giving you a break etc
It is surprising how quickly you can lose serve consistency if you don’t practice serves regularly. remember to practice transition to ready position as part of your serve action. Ball watch WITH movement to ready position. When practicing serves it’s easy to forget this!!

Brs’s advice to get a serious training partner is also gold!!, if you both get coaching, the cost is halved!!
 
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A serious training partner with a lot of free time who wants to do exercises in a purposeful way, not just mess around or play games.
This as well. Just as important as a good coach is the right training environment. In addition to my coach when I started, I played a lot of tournaments with two Juniors who started playing around thr same time. They started beating me after a while and got better and better but a lot of my skill playing against topspin was developed blocking their topspins so just being able to hit with a better player on a regular basis teaches you stuff even if you don't get anything special out of it.

Of the player is the same level as you, then the quality of the drills matter a lot more.

But if there is one tip above all others, learn to serve at a good level. There is lots of great stuff on YouTube to help you develop good serves. If you don't know where to find it, let me know and I will share some of it.
 
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