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Reprogramming a player

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BeaverMD View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07/31/2017 at 11:39am
A student asked me this and I thought it was interesting so I I'll share it here.  We were looking at reviews for Air rubbers.

There was an interesting quote from topspinschuss.

Originally posted by topspinschuss topspinschuss wrote:

Originally posted by Skyline Skyline wrote:

@topspinschuss I was refering to this particular sentence. I've tried several allround blades, allround classic, allround classic carbon and for me it was very dfifficult to generate good power with them. It makes me wonder what kind of stroke is neccessary to play powerful topspin shots with such pea shooters. 

It takes two things...good technique (using your whole body instead of just swinging your arm) and a fast rubber. A Stiga Allround with an untuned/unglued Sriver won't allow you to produce such loops. Having said that, during the fresh gluing era it was very common for European top players to play alround blades with heavily glued rubbers. You get control *and* speed if you need it. This is nothing new. 

Now that rubbers are much faster than they used to be I think it's *best* for most people out there to actually start playing with slower wood blades. I keep joking in my club about how nowadays the lower someone's rating, the faster their racket/rubber combination. LOL  Yes, it feels good if you do actually hit the ball...but there is a reason why your rating is so low...there is no consistency and proper technique is hard/impossible to develop with rocket setups. 

The guy asked me about it because he learned from and still uses a "rocket set up" (currently Gergely Alpha with Rasanter V47 on both sides).  He feels that he never developed the right technique because he did not start with a slow set up.  And to some extent, he's right.  He tends to caress the ball so to speak and does not use the whole body.  So he asked me if changing to an all around blade ex. Appelgren All play or Grubba ALL+ and putting a slower Rasant version would make him re-learn his strokes and use his whole body more like topspinschuss stated.

What do you guys think?
1.  I say no because this guy has gotten up to 2037 rating already, a lifetime achievement for many pongers.  And now, he wants to go back to a slower racket and re-learn basics? I would suggest just developing more from what his set up is now.  But I am interested to know what others think.

2.  Have you are a player you know done this "reprogramming" of strokes before? How did it go? What were some of the challenges? And did the results from tournaments improve?
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liXiao View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liXiao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/31/2017 at 1:10pm
Originally posted by BeaverMD BeaverMD wrote:


What do you guys think?
1.  I say no because this guy has gotten up to 2037 rating already, a lifetime achievement for many pongers.  And now, he wants to go back to a slower racket and re-learn basics? I would suggest just developing more from what his set up is now.  But I am interested to know what others think.

2.  Have you are a player you know done this "reprogramming" of strokes before? How did it go? What were some of the challenges? And did the results from tournaments improve?

1. I agree. To get to 2000+ is quite an achievement, and at that level you should be able to "fix" your strokes with just about any setup. 

2. Yes, I did this with myself. I spent way too much time playing around with equipment and styles. I had a clipper CR WRB and put boosted hurricane 3 on it thinking it would be fun, but eventually I got fed up with not being as good as I could be. I knew I was capable of being a very high level player, but my looping was really inconsistent and I simply wasn't putting enough balls on the table. I switched to an Offensive Classic with Rakza 7 on both sides (granted, Rakza 7 is still pretty fast but the OC definitely tames it a lot). Rakza is such a less demanding rubber than Hurricane, and the OC's flexibility and lower speed and stiffness made looping much easier. I had to unlearn some poor habits, and once I did the difference was night and day. Last year when I started playing again seriously after not playing for about four years, my rating was like 1050, now my club rating is 1500+ and I regularly beat 1700+ players now.

I think one thing people don't understand is that this game rewards consistency more than anything. Until you get to very high level (like 1800+ at least imo, maybe even higher), the more consistent player will win 9 times out of 10. In fact, I'd argue that for me, what changed my game dramatically the most was proper serve return (again, it's probably easiest way to lose points).

 I would suggest to most new players to go for an AC or OC and put Mark V on both sides and learn with that, it will pay off in the long run. I'm getting close to the point where it would probably behoove me to have a slightly faster blade, but I'm great where I am at right now.


Edited by liXiao - 07/31/2017 at 1:12pm
Stiga Offensive Classic
Yasaka Rakza 7
Yasaka Rakza 7

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Fabian1890 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fabian1890 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/31/2017 at 1:42pm
Funny how you feel that Rakza is less demanding than Hurricane. It just shows the differences between players' abilities. I feel like it's much easier to play with H3 because my short game just suffers so much with those ESN rubbers.
Everyone has different needs regarding equipment :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/31/2017 at 3:45pm
I have been sort of down that road when I switched from Tenergy 05 (after about 8 years) to Karis M last January.  Karis M is quite different, it is much more linear than T05.  It has high speed and spin at the top end, but you need good timing and it absolutely punishes a lazy stroke.  On the other hand, massively improves defense, short game, serve return, and any shot you play where you are under pressure or not quite in the right place (ball is more likely to stay on the table thereby keeping you alive in the point).

I saw a lot of the benefits in the first five minutes I used Karis M, but for quite awhile I kept thinking I would prefer a faster version because it seemed like my offensive shots were anemic.

No longer.  Now I think Karis M is absolutely fast enough.  Clearly, my technique adapted on offensive shots. 

It took about five months.  Things got even better when I changed my training regimens to get lighter and fitter (road cycling and a lot of 2-1 and Falkenberg drills in TT), but I had still managed a lot adaptation to Karis M before that.

Bottom line is that you can remodel your game in some fundamental ways.  I have done it.  I am not unusually talented or athletic, and my general level is maybe a bit higher than Beaver MD's friend, but not enough so that it would be comparing apples to oranges.  Maybe like comparing a Golden Delicious to a Granny Smith. 

Actually, I would say that this is the first equipment change I have made since the first time I used composite blades that actually increased my level.  I gotta thank Next Level and Der Echte for writing posts that convince me to try it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/31/2017 at 8:22pm
ah yes, we all go through that. But I would argue we have to!! I had to find out what blade was too fast otherwise I would always be questioning/wondering. I believe you have to experience a blade that's too fast as well as one that is too slow, like finding where your ceiling is as well as your floor. Only then you can zero in on a blade that is a good match somewhere in the middle.
By experiencing the pain of missing the table too many times I have been cured from Chronic EJ-itis and no longer wonder what would it be like to play with a Kreanga with titanium layers or whatever.
The surprising irony was that with the slower setup I was beginning to be more aggressive!! I was hitting the table more so I became more confident, as well as being able to use my whole body on each shot.
So yeah, I think it is a good thing to move on to a slightly slower setup. There will be a transition period for sure, but he will be happy he made it!!

FdT



Edited by Fulanodetal - 07/31/2017 at 8:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skyline Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/01/2017 at 3:25pm
Last week I was a coach at a training camp for kids and one of the other coaches there told me that he always learned beginners to play with a Stiga Allround Classic Carbon paired with some Mark V in 1.8 mm, then switches them too Mark V 2.0 and then Rakza 7 1.8 mm. Technique wise he teaches them to use a lot of body movement and rotation in their strokes. He doesn't teach long strokes but with the added body rotation they make full strokes also with the backhand. This sets a proper foundation for them to improve. 

At the time I was having a discussion with topspinschuss I used an Allround Classic carbon with Boosted Airoc Soft and boosted Calibra LT Spin. With soft rubbers like that it doesn't work but with harder rubbers it's great. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bbkon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2017 at 1:48pm
Originally posted by Skyline Skyline wrote:

Last week I was a coach at a training camp for kids and one of the other coaches there told me that he always learned beginners to play with a Stiga Allround Classic Carbon paired with some Mark V in 1.8 mm, then switches them too Mark V 2.0 and then Rakza 7 1.8 mm. Technique wise he teaches them to use a lot of body movement and rotation in their strokes. He doesn't teach long strokes but with the added body rotation they make full strokes also with the backhand. This sets a proper foundation for them to improve. 

At the time I was having a discussion with topspinschuss I used an Allround Classic carbon with Boosted Airoc Soft and boosted Calibra LT Spin. With soft rubbers like that it doesn't work but with harder rubbers it's great. 


rakza with allround?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kurokami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2017 at 11:42pm
to reprogram a player, you need to get rid of old stuff coded into their system. they need python builds in their legs and arms and make sure they're restful with some R and r [to react well]. For rapid development, try following agile methodologies. They should maybe engage in some outdoor visual tracking and coordination exercises so they can C or C sharp. For early morning training, Java does the trick. Somehow, keeping pet pandas around helps a lot too.

Edited by kurokami - 08/03/2017 at 11:43pm
Viscaria / T05 / T80
http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=65345&KW=&title=feedback-kurokami
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeaverMD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/06/2017 at 6:41pm
Thanks all for the profound replies.  But Kurokami, that is just waaay too deep... LOL!

I myself am in the same category where I started out by using an OFF+ blades albeit with slow rubbers (Juic Spinspiel), then gradually moved on to faster rubbers and now using Tenergy.  I can downgrade some like to an OFF- blade but man, when I get something slower, it feels like a space alien has taken over my body and none of my strokes work.  This student I'm talking about only takes lessons every now and then but I'll report on the progress of his "reprogramming" using a slower blade (ALL+ during our last conversation).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bbkon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/09/2017 at 5:51pm
Originally posted by BeaverMD BeaverMD wrote:

Thanks all for the profound replies.  But Kurokami, that is just waaay too deep... LOL!

<span>I myself am in the same category where I started out by using an OFF+ blades albeit with slow rubbers (Juic Spinspiel), then gradually moved on to faster rubbers and now using Tenergy.  I can downgrade some like to an OFF- blade but man, when I get something slower, it feels like a space alien has taken over my body and none of my strokes work.  This student I'm talking about only takes lessons every now and then but I'll report on the progress of his "reprogramming" using a slower blade (ALL+ during our last conversation).</span>


how many hours to reprogram?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/09/2017 at 8:52pm
Beaver, for years I used OFF- to OFF class blades, both wooden and composite. I did well with them.

Whenever my main blade breaks (they never last more than a year or so, I sweat on handle like crazy and it later gets weak)... when blade breaks, I go to the LISSOM ALL to ALL+ blade with same rubbers.

Normally, after a month, I get a replacement blade and switch back out. The last 3-4 months I have stayed with Lissom ALL to ALL+ the touch is there and so is the top end with Karis M+. Do not plan to use another blade for main blade currently, unless I get a boatload of KJH blades and can manage to not sell out the first week.

As for Karis, I could tell the first day it was great for what I do vs topspin - block it, counterloop it, and soft topspin it. I tested it 3 days before last year's Team championships in DC and had great results. Went 8-1 vs the 1900-2000 crowd in my rating range.

Took me a few more months to adapt fully, but right away I could do stuff with it I couldn't with MX-P or Aurus or other great rubbers.
Korea Foreign Table Tennis Club
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeaverMD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/10/2017 at 12:16pm
bbkon, not sure how long. The plan is to play three times a week, three hours each and play one tournament.

BH man, that is some insane sweating! You have the honor of the only person I know whose sweat eventually breaks a blade. May I suggest some light lacquer on the blade face and handles? Or if you like the raw wood feeling, some wood treatment like Rustoleum?

I should also clarify that "reprogramming" is not just trying to adapt to new equipment. The point of going with a slower blade is to force him to use his whole body when looping. I might even try this experience with him. We have been too spoiled by our OFF+ blades. Basically, we want to be like topspinschuss hitting the ball so hard that we're bubbling poorly manufactured rubbers. LOL!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/10/2017 at 1:20pm
For me, it took five months to get to where I really was not relying on the speed of the rubber and really getting a lot of body rotation.  But I have to say that was accompanied by some other stuff to get fitter, and a lot of drilling.  I got noticeably better as a result.  (Problem is now that one of the main things I did to get fitter is actually becoming almost more enjoyable to me than table tennis, even though I still suck at it).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeaverMD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/10/2017 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

(Problem is now that one of the main things I did to get fitter is actually becoming almost more enjoyable to me than table tennis, even though I still suck at it).

Well don't keep us in suspense :) What did you do? P90X? Insanity? Bas Rutten MMA Workout? Maybe doing something not too far off like racquetball?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/10/2017 at 6:52pm
Road cycling
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote henningf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/11/2017 at 10:51am
Haha, and all I did was going with my son on a table tennis camp (they where one person "short" so I got a lot of training)

I started with a Butterfly ZLF with Tenergy rubbers (really fast, could not hit the table if I did a full swing) did some EJing (made me stay at my level for quite a while) now I'm guessing that the Rozena is a bit too fast for my backhand, but it was what my dealer had in stock when I killed my rubber with the edge of the table.

I found it easyer to develop a full swing when I didn't have equipment that "bounced" all over the place when I hit the ball (like Tenergy did)
Nittaku Violin, Nittaku H3 pro, Butterfly Rozena
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/11/2017 at 1:45pm
It's easier to chop using slow equipment - is it easier to loop using slower stuff as well?
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