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My Progress Over Time

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mickd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 9:59am
Thanks skip, but I'm one of those guys who knows well that playing level and teaching level aren't necessarily related.

You're always welcome to say anything. You've got a load more experience/wisdom than me too (joined the forum in 2006!!), which I would also be honoured to receive!! Everyone has something that they do well :) And I want to know it all haha.

With that said, you'd probably kick my arse if we played :)
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balldance View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote balldance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 3:11pm
It's easier to criticize you when you lose. You won convincingly in the last video, so it's hard to give you any advice :D

Your technique is not "perfect" in general but you play pretty smart and have a good approach. The thing I like most about your game is that while you don't have power to loop kill, you almost always get back to the neutral position and be ready for the next shot whether it comes to your BH or FH, and that helps you do well in long rallies.

P.S.: if you want to receive more criticism and advice, I think you should post matches that you lost, but the opponent shouldn't be too much better than you.


Edited by balldance - 09/07/2018 at 3:13pm
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kindof99 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kindof99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 4:28pm
What would be mickd's appr. US rating? 1800?
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fatt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 4:55pm
Originally posted by kindof99 kindof99 wrote:

What would be mickd's appr. US rating? 1800?
I think so but his sound technique and strong rallying capabilities can take down 2000 conventional players, those who do not do anything special but are consistent on everything, have average serves and serve return and train regularly: mickd would hang in there and on a good day he'd prevail. I wrote that remembering that we always look worst on a video so if he looks 1800 he probably can challenge 2k.

Edited by fatt - 09/07/2018 at 4:55pm
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mickd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 10:42pm
Thanks for the replies, everyone!

@balldance I'll get other videos up soon! Ones where I lose :) I don't actually play many matches since I spend a lot of time pretending to be a coach lol. The last tournament I played, I won all 4 matches, but the level wasn't so high. I lost a game on the same day as the video above, but the guy didn't want me to upload the video :( I lost a match this Wednesday against a long pips player, which I'm planning to upload! It was a close match, and the last time we played, I lost deuce in the 5th, so I thought I could win, but a combination of bad decisions and being weak against long pips ended with me losing 1-3, though losing deuce in games 2 and 4.

A guy I played kinda recently (no video because it was at a school) said that my balls have a lot more spin than he expects and since I always move into position to attack the next ball, it forces him to try for higher quality shots and better placements, resulting in more unforced errors.

@kindof99 No idea, but maybe around there! I'm improving slowly but consistently. I think fatt has a good analysis of my style!

@fatt I love playing, and do very well against spin based players. Conventional players, like you said :) I find flat hitters hard to play if they're able to consistently drive low underspin balls, too. I also find long pips players hard to play if they're aggressive with weak/pop up balls. If they're passive, I generally do okay. I think I'm quite strong against choppers, but I've never played a very good one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2018 at 8:36pm
Looks like you have one of my big problems. When the ball gets faster and with more spin you tend to block defensively. At the camp I attended last week there was an emphasis on hitting higher quality balls back instead of returning safely but weak and hoping your opponent will miss. At higher levels you need to do a little more to force those errors.

We did a number of serve,receive,open drills where the 4th ball was to be counter attacked or at a minimum blocked very aggressively. We also did one where you blocked loops but were always looking to counter-attack any weak or short loop.

If like me you go too long without learning more aggressive blocking and counter-attacking it becomes very hard to break the safe,slow,high block habit.

Mark
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mickd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2018 at 9:21pm
Hello Mark! That I do. Although in the video it looks like I have a lot more free time to be more aggressive for most shots, during the match it never feels that way. It's a habit that needs to be broken for sure. Many others have also mentioned it (just last week fatt did too). I need to be more aggressive regardless of having more misses. I think I'm subconsciously too afraid of missing.

In practice I can always be more aggressive. I think it comes down to requiring less reading and anticipation since during practice balls are generally more predictable. I've always hoped that with more practice, better anticipation, I would naturally break this habit. And to some degree I have, being much more aggressive more often than I did in the past, but I'm still plagued with many soft blocks during matches! It's especially noticeable when my opponent opens first.

Actually, there are a few things I'm currently working on which I'm hoping will alleviate this problem a bit. It's actually not a direct solution, but something I feel is an underlying cause of the problem most of the time. The first one is my backhand is too passive/weak. So I've been working on being more aggressive with the backhand. My backhand lacks wrist and is mostly a forearm stroke. When trying to take the ball early and be aggressive, I feel like I need more wrist to generate a quick explosive power burst in a small stroke. The second problem is that I favour my forehand too much. Many of the soft blocks happen when I try to pivot, but I don't move my legs far enough, so I end up moving from a ball coming to my backhand to a ball coming towards my elbow, which is really hard to apply power, so I just soft block it. I need to pivot more wide, or use my backhand instead. So far I'm thinking using my backhand more will be better because I often get punished by the block/counter to my wide forehand after I pivot.
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blahness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2018 at 10:51pm
This is a huge improvement over your last few videos, you've tightened up the backswing significantly and shortened your stroke! I think you're in the right direction, don't worry too much about increasing power....Youve got one of the more deadly styles which is a consistent looping game. It kinda looks like a lower level Ding Ning style haha... What's the use of hitting powerloops if you miss more than you hit and can't recover?

One area I think you should work on is your BH opening loop...right now you're pushing a lot of them back. If you have a consistent spinny BH opening you would be able to gain control of the rally in your advantage which will lift your game significantly. You might have to sacrifice quite a few games and lose lots of points to build it into your game, but I think it'll be well worth it!
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BH: Hurricane 8
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TT newbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/09/2018 at 11:23pm
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

This is a huge improvement over your last few videos, you've tightened up the backswing significantly and shortened your stroke! I think you're in the right direction, don't worry too much about increasing power....Youve got one of the more deadly styles which is a consistent looping game. It kinda looks like a lower level Ding Ning style haha... What's the use of hitting powerloops if you miss more than you hit and can't recover?
I think this is one of the most mental part of TT: calculate the amount of power to apply to the ball and still maintain on the rally without giving an easy ball to your opponent. All in fractions of second.
This is the beauty of the sport, the dynamic thing.
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mickd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 4:09am
Thank you blahness. I've been working on compacting my strokes this last year. I think forcing myself to play closer to the table and versing better players will help keep my strokes more compact. Having my name and Ding Ning's in the same sentence is as big of a complement anyone can give, so thank you :) I do like her style, and I've been trying to play more of a women's style. I think she has a good balance. A women's style, but with her reach, she looks like she plays a TINY bit further than some of the shorter females and adapts well between bigger and smaller strokes depending on time. On the same page, I also like Hina Hayata quite a bit (as she also plays left handed)!

My backhand is still a mess after spending probably 2.5 years working on it quite consistently every week. The consistency has definitely improved, along with taking the ball a little earlier with a slightly more closed racket angle. It still lacks power, and I still lack confidence opening against underspin. During practice I do it decently though. I'm going to try and do it more in games, even if it means losing. Hopefully I'll be able to show some videos with a good amount of backhand openings too in a year or so :)

@TTnewbie Yes, I agree! It's definitely hard to apply heavy pressure on every ball, especially as an amateur player!


My "rival" asked me to play another match with him yesterday after I finished teaching the students. Sadly, I lost 0-3 this time, but it was a very close game. 9, 9, 8 or something. I actually had 3 serve misses in the first set, and unfortunately ended up behind 1-5 at the start of the second set. I still think I'll have a decent chance at beating him the next time we play. He's a lot more passive than me, but there are a few more things I need to work on.

This was an important point. I was down 9-10 in the first set, and I should have won the point to take it to deuce, but couldn't convert it. He chos very loud, by the way!

Unfortunately at the start of the second set, my camera died and I didn't realize. Would have been nice to analyse sets 2 and 3.


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blahness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 4:41am
Originally posted by mickd mickd wrote:

Thank you blahness. I've been working on compacting my strokes this last year. I think forcing myself to play closer to the table and versing better players will help keep my strokes more compact. Having my name and Ding Ning's in the same sentence is as big of a complement anyone can give, so thank you :) I do like her style, and I've been trying to play more of a women's style. I think she has a good balance. A women's style, but with her reach, she looks like she plays a TINY bit further than some of the shorter females and adapts well between bigger and smaller strokes depending on time. On the same page, I also like Hina Hayata quite a bit (as she also plays left handed)!

My backhand is still a mess after spending probably 2.5 years working on it quite consistently every week. The consistency has definitely improved, along with taking the ball a little earlier with a slightly more closed racket angle. It still lacks power, and I still lack confidence opening against underspin. During practice I do it decently though. I'm going to try and do it more in games, even if it means losing. Hopefully I'll be able to show some videos with a good amount of backhand openings too in a year or so :)

@TTnewbie Yes, I agree! It's definitely hard to apply heavy pressure on every ball, especially as an amateur player!


My "rival" asked me to play another match with him yesterday after I finished teaching the students. Sadly, I lost 0-3 this time, but it was a very close game. 9, 9, 8 or something. I actually had 3 serve misses in the first set, and unfortunately ended up behind 1-5 at the start of the second set. I still think I'll have a decent chance at beating him the next time we play. He's a lot more passive than me, but there are a few more things I need to work on.

This was an important point. I was down 9-10 in the first set, and I should have won the point to take it to deuce, but couldn't convert it. He chos very loud, by the way!

Unfortunately at the start of the second set, my camera died and I didn't realize. Would have been nice to analyse sets 2 and 3.





Yes ignore people who keep asking you to add more power to your strokes...I think you have a very good balance now, as you get better your confidence and power level will increase gradually. Ding Ning and Hina Hayata are definitely very worthy models!

Good luck to your backhand work!

Ps: on the rally, you did really well except at the end where you decided to switch to his FH :( In general once someone is away from the table you keep pressuring their BH until you create a chance to finish them off on the FH. One stroke you could learn (very useful for lefties!) is a slower spinnier FH sidespin loop to really increase the angle they have to cover. Just contact the ball more to the side, watch them run, block their return to their FH next, then end with a smug thug life smile! :))))
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FH: Hurricane 8
BH: Hurricane 8
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mickd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/13/2018 at 10:13pm
Thanks blahness! I definitely had the upper hand there being the one on the attack. When I pivoted he actually moved towards the forehand side, so if I did go down the line again, he would have been out of position and I probably could have taken the point. In the end though, my intention was to go much wider than I actually did. I never do it, but a fading inside out forehand definitely would have been a better play.

So far I've never played side spin loops. The only time I do is when I'm out of position and late to my forehand, so I end up contacting the left side of the ball. When I'm in position, it's always just a regular drive/loop. I definitely want to add more sidespin balls to my game. I'll start thinking about it and practicing it every now and then. I think I'll aim to practice it consistently early next year. So far I still want to work on my backhand opening, flicks, then chiquitas in that order.

Thanks again for the advice, blahness!!
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