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Cracked 1200 last night...

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    Posted: 04/25/2012 at 8:54am
May not seem like much, but a big milestone for me.  Had a great night at league play last night, improving my rating from 1175 to 1255. Had a few big wins against opponents with significantly higher ratings.

Something clicked last night, a revelation of sorts… for my game, anyways:

-
When playing a superior opponent, you must go for shots. Playing timidly and defensively will not win the match. You must attack.

And yet...

-
 Don’t be over-eager to attack the ball. Doing so results in a lot of errors. Exercise patience, wait for your openings.

These two points seem to be a bit contradictory, yet they need to coexist.  The key seems to be to find the right balance between the two.  Last night I seemed to find this balance better than ever before.


Edited by djnelsen - 04/25/2012 at 9:13am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sticharo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2012 at 9:32am
Congratulations!
And  it is a big deal. You are gaining confidence. Priceless!
The right balance is important.
There seems to be so much emphasis on "attacking" that having the patience to just keeping the ball on the table is often left out of the discussion.


Edited by sticharo - 04/25/2012 at 9:33am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopchopslam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2012 at 9:39am
Finding that balance is EVERYTHING in order to win matches. It can also be difficult to force yourself to play differently in club/practice play vs tournament play. The best way to improve quickly is to always play as aggressively as possible, attack every possible ball, and when you hit a defensive shot, place it perfectly with max spin -- don't just put it back on the table.

However, if you play this way the majority of the time, it can be difficult to adjust to conservative, win-at-all-costs style play. I usually pick 1 or 2 matches a night where I play to win, not to improve. This is also practice for me... practice for serious tournament play.

But even then, I think I often play more aggressively than needed. One night, I played an opponent who I felt was just slightly below me in skill... I started off playing all-out-attack/improve style. I went down 2 games to 0. I decided to switch to win-at-all-costs mode, and split the next two games 1-1, losing the match. Later that night, when I was more tired, the same opponent challenged me. I played a much more relaxed, defensive, conservative style, mainly because I was lazy and worn out. It was a blowout, I won 3 games in a row, with scores like 11-4 each time. So, lesson learned, against some opponents, conservative play is the best way to go, it just depends how your offensive/defensive skills match up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RankAmateur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2012 at 10:07am
Do you have any videos of your game here or on Youtube?  Wanted to see how far I, a newbie, am off from you, who's about to climb up to average as a rated TT player.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thomasson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2012 at 10:12am
Congratulations on achieving this.

Your 2 points hit the nail on the head tbh.
This goes for any level, being to passive will give the opponent to many oppurtunities, being to aggresive will lead to being error prone.

I noticed when playing my Acoustic I am more passive then ever, but winning alot of matches because of the control and placement I have. However when using my Mizutani, it is easier for me to score points and attack. So it all depends on what you play and who you play aswell, I like both styles but they give me different feeling. 1 of getting every shot on the table and having a superb feel, the other one of being able to counter or attack all balls with a verocious spin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pondus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2012 at 10:26am
High Five Smile

And your two points are indeed not contradictory... it comes down to having solid strategy and timing in your game.
It's incredible how important proper patience is for such a fast paced game, right. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djnelsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2012 at 10:28am
Here's a trick I figured out is so simple yet incredibly effective. This is nothing new, but I never really tried it before:

When I start to feel frustrated, I just pause and take a very deep breath. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly.

That's it. Just concentrate on the deep breath, don't think about anything else.

Amazing how well this works. Try it.


Edited by djnelsen - 04/25/2012 at 10:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djnelsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2012 at 10:29am
Originally posted by RankAmateur RankAmateur wrote:

Do you have any videos of your game here or on Youtube?  Wanted to see how far I, a newbie, am off from you, who's about to climb up to average as a rated TT player.


Unfortunately I don't. Maybe some day I'll post one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AcudaDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/26/2012 at 2:15pm
Congrats on breaking 1200! My son is 11 just cracked 1200 too after the last tournament a week ago.  His rating was in the 900s, but he's been training and taking lessons but just kept losing close matches in tournaments.  Finally he beat a 1500 player, a 1200 player, and lost 2 very close matches in 5 to another 1500 player and another 1200+ player (deuce in 5th).  He also went 4 close games with a 1600 player.  His rating went from 934 to 1218. 
The big improvement I noticed was that he was able to get into rallys with his opponents with a controlled offense.  Previously he would go for big shots and make too many mistakes, but I could see it all finally started coming together.  Great job and keep on improving.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raphyelrosby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/26/2012 at 3:41pm
Awesome...that is a good lesson. I think the biggest problem is that people tend to try to go for too big of a shot rather than one that is reasonable (and safe). You are learning some really good table tennis skills.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LoopsALot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/26/2012 at 9:41pm
Originally posted by AcudaDave AcudaDave wrote:

Congrats on breaking 1200! My son is 11 just cracked 1200 too after the last tournament a week ago.  His rating was in the 900s, but he's been training and taking lessons but just kept losing close matches in tournaments.  Finally he beat a 1500 player, a 1200 player, and lost 2 very close matches in 5 to another 1500 player and another 1200+ player (deuce in 5th).  He also went 4 close games with a 1600 player.  His rating went from 934 to 1218. 
The big improvement I noticed was that he was able to get into rallys with his opponents with a controlled offense.  Previously he would go for big shots and make too many mistakes, but I could see it all finally started coming together.  Great job and keep on improving.


how long has he been training?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/28/2012 at 10:53am
Originally posted by djnelsen djnelsen wrote:

May not seem like much, but a big milestone for me.  Had a great night at league play last night, improving my rating from 1175 to 1255. Had a few big wins against opponents with significantly higher ratings.

Something clicked last night, a revelation of sorts… for my game, anyways:

-
When playing a superior opponent, you must go for shots. Playing timidly and defensively will not win the match. You must attack.

And yet...

-
 Don’t be over-eager to attack the ball. Doing so results in a lot of errors. Exercise patience, wait for your openings.

These two points seem to be a bit contradictory, yet they need to coexist.  The key seems to be to find the right balance between the two.  Last night I seemed to find this balance better than ever before.
 
 
The big thing to take away from this is this is a LEAGUE.... in USA. This dude is excited and proud to be in a league that is growing. Such a thing is the very catylist that can drive up participation in serious TT along with schools adopting the sport. Good work and keep it up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote icontek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/01/2012 at 1:06pm
I agree with Der_Echte.

League participation is the core of competitive TT in any state.

I've watched one of the leagues I play in grow by 75%-100% in 2 years (from 6-8 active members to 12-14 active) and another shrink by an alarming percentage (from 26-30 members to 10-14 members). I'm not sure why exactly, but would be glad to speculate :)

Re: Ratings - I'm confused.

I assume you are part of RITT, who used to used to use Ratingscentral.com for ratings, but haven't in years.

And I don't see them using the USATT League site.

What are ya'll using for league software?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AcudaDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/01/2012 at 1:38pm
Originally posted by LoopsALot LoopsALot wrote:

Originally posted by AcudaDave AcudaDave wrote:

Congrats on breaking 1200! My son is 11 just cracked 1200 too after the last tournament a week ago.  His rating was in the 900s, but he's been training and taking lessons but just kept losing close matches in tournaments.  Finally he beat a 1500 player, a 1200 player, and lost 2 very close matches in 5 to another 1500 player and another 1200+ player (deuce in 5th).  He also went 4 close games with a 1600 player.  His rating went from 934 to 1218. 
The big improvement I noticed was that he was able to get into rallys with his opponents with a controlled offense.  Previously he would go for big shots and make too many mistakes, but I could see it all finally started coming together.  Great job and keep on improving.


how long has he been training?
He's been playing a couple of years now and although he had strokes like a 1600 player he didn't move well enough or put it all together in a game.  He would often go for big shots and when they got it back he wouldn't be ready.  He also didn't play in enough tournaments and that was keeping him from improving.  Another thing I did recently was to sign him up in a Thursday night league at the local club.  That has helped a lot as well...probably should have signed him up a long time ago.  There is a big difference between playing matches on open night, and playing in a league.  This past weekend he beat a 1550 - 1600 player that he's never beaten before.  
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skip3119 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/01/2012 at 2:34pm
We use USATT League site.  Our league play is steady - neither growing nor shrinking in the past 2 years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tommyzai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/03/2012 at 4:39pm
1200 is a respectable level. It says you train. It says you are not a basement player. It says you have a serve and some stings to win points. It also say you will be 1500 if you get more serious. I was high level, and then because of physical problems I because a 1000 level player, but as the weeks go by my rating is jumping up. I have my eye on the top tales and know the day will come when I play them. That day will come for you too!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote assiduous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/04/2012 at 1:18pm
I agree with both of your points as well. Sheesh, I hate to agree with people. I feel like I'm losing blood that way : ) But I have realized that playing safe against a better player means setting yourself for a sure loss. He will always outplay you in long, low-risk rallies. You have to push him around a little, throw him off timing, mess with his head, and you will need a little luck in the risky shots. But at least you will be in a position where luck can help you. With passive game against a better player luck cannot help you. And of course, you have to push it to a point, don't blindly smack everything.

I broke 1650 recently and feel exited as well. I am piling pretty long both-side loop rallies now and was told several times by 2100 players that my loops are on 2000 level. That's the only thing I practice and love, but I think it's time to step back and improve my serve, serve return, killing high spiny balls and not forgetting to think and analyze the game during the match. There is more to it than just looping : )
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AcudaDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/04/2012 at 1:37pm
you got that right assiduous...there is a lot more to the game than just looping! I've known several 1700 - 1800 players that had what I call the "2000 syndrome".  Basically this disease can become fatal if left untreated (meaning you don't improve other areas of your game besides looping).  These players had 2000 level loops so they kept telling everyone their game was about 2000, even though they were only rated 1700 - 1800.  There was 1 guy in particular that was about 1750, he had a nice loop that was about 2000, so he would constantly challenge me every time he saw me at the club.  I was right at 2000 at the time so he would set his sights on me.  I pounded him every time, because I did all the little things so much better than him.  He never did get above 1850 to my knowledge because he didn't improve his serves, serve returns, etc.  Don't fall into this trap. Good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 9:06am
Hit the "Like" button on Accuda Dave's post!
 
the better div 4 Uijeongbu city players here are 1700-1800 est. rating and can all loop the ball well. What seperates tehm from the better div 3 players and the div 2 players is the same stuff Dave discusses. If in doubles, I serve and the ball is received with a long push to an unexpected area, the div 4 player pushes it... and the opposing div 4 player crushes that push or spins the logo paint off the ball. When I decline to attack and do the same push, 90% of the time, the opponent either attacks it for a lost point net or out, or pushes it back for my partner to make a quality attack. Our better div 4 players do not flip well or bump it short well, nor do they read spin completely well, nor do they have a whole arsenal of difficult to read serves with variation in spin and placement.
 
Having said all that, not doing the above well enough is what is separating me from advancing to div 1, so it applies to everyone, not just the 1700ish crowd. I will testify in court, the more I have improved, the more I discovered I fail at the little things in TT and that there are numerous newly discovered flaws in my game I must improve upon and it has been kicking me in my arse. Whenever I have managed to improve these things and become more consistant in footwork and offense, I move up a level or get stronger in teh saem level.
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