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Table Tennis - A Real Sport?

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    Posted: 04/16/2018 at 9:15am
Sadly, too many people (in the general public) think of TT as a non-athletic, non-challenging, and "easy" hobby-sport. 

We want to talk about the reality through a film. Not a YouTube compilation of rallies, but an entertaining documentary.

For this to be a reality, we need the help of the TT community! Please share this campaign, especially with people you think would be able and willing to contribute ! Any help is appreciated :)

https://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/17768926/campaigns

Thank you !
THIS FILM MUST BE MADE: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/love-all-a-pakistani-table-tennis-story-sports#/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 10:33am
The reality is that table tennis in the eyes of the general non-playing public, "is a non-athletic, non-challenging, and "easy" hobby-sport."
That's the great advantage and beauty of TT as a sport. Anyone,whether old, young, disabled can come off the street into a TT club  or TT bar or house dinner party and have a good game.
I think that you first have to acknowledge this fact and move from there
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranger-man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 11:12am
Let me quote Kevin Finn, the author of "The Table Tennis Player's Guide To Health And Fitness". He explained it quite well when talking about the general perception that table tennis is not physically demanding:

The average person thinks of table tennis as a simple game meant for basements and college dormitories. To the uninitiated, the concept of training for table tennis is absurd......

One of the greatest things about our sport is that qualities such as proper technique, tactics, mental fortitude, and experience far outweigh brute strength and athleticism.....

The fact that you can line up a twelve year old girl, a fit man in his twenties, and an overweight grandfather and be unable to tell who is likely to be the best player says something to the uniqueness of our sport.

This is because, above all else, table tennis is a sport of precision and skill. With the right skill-set and practice almost anyone can become a competitive club player.

This is a double-edged sword, though…

Having spent a lot of time in the table tennis community—both in club play and through online forums—I’ve noticed that table tennis tends to attract people who don’t have as much of a background in athletics compared to other sports.

For many, table tennis is their only sport.


End quote.

A LOT of people play the sport pretty much standing in one spot or moving as little as possible and reaching for the ball. Friends join and play the same way and then they say: damn table tennis is not really a sport is it?

Very few people that I know of who really love the game think that they need to do anything else other than to just play the game. They rely on the game to result in fitness. They forget that they need to work on their fitness to become better at the game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote songdavid98 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 1:11pm
Originally posted by Ranger-man Ranger-man wrote:


The fact that you can line up a twelve year old girl, a fit man in his twenties, and an overweight grandfather and be unable to tell who is likely to be the best player says something to the uniqueness of our sport.


I made an account just to reply to this great line!

I think part of the problem is that as a player vs player sport, the difficulty depends mostly on how good your opponent is. Since TT requires you to be precise in order to hit hard, most people have to resort to tapping the ball lightly, which makes the sport look bad.

The people who say that TT isn't a sport probably don't have any exposure to how high the skill/difficulty ceiling can get (kind of like how almost nobody ever sees competitive Tetris https://youtu.be/qKahcFOj8SA?t=1 and people think it's boring/easy).


Edited by songdavid98 - 04/16/2018 at 1:12pm
Counterlooping is great
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 2:48pm
My other sport is road cycling.  Most people can get on a bike and cruise around, not fall off, and have a nice day in the outdoors, pretty much whatever their body shape and overall fitness.  If they have balance problems they can ride a recumbent bike or even a three wheeled one.

But not many people can put out 350 watts of power for 6 hours and average a speed of almost 45 kph, and climb their bike up mountains in the Alps or Pyrenees, and then descend down the mountain at somewhere between 60 and 90 kph.

in other words, this is not unique to TT. 

If people actually saw pro TT on TV more they would know more about what it entails.  I think that view that TT is not really a sport at the highest levels, though, is not as prevalent as it once was.

One thing that is different about TT, though, is that pure strength is not quite the same value that it is in some other sports because of the skill, vision, and touch required to cope with spin.

Spin and all of its consequences is what makes our sport unique.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ZingyDNA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 4:17pm
^ Yeah but casually riding a bike isn't anywhere close to cycling, like bouncing a ball on a paddle a few times isn't anywhere close to a TT match. Otherwise anyone who can walk can do racewalk, which also happens to be an Olympic sport..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shathe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 6:22pm
The equipment has a lot to do with the judgement of this sport. 

Table tennis cant be played with those shity 2 $ blades and "softs" that most of the outsiders used a few times at the playground. 

To really discover the real beauty of table tennis you need to spend a lot of money on equipment, which is a basic element that  makes one of the the difference between table tennis and pingpong. 

Most of those who try the sport will get bored soon because they never get to the point to play with the adequate blade, soft that is needed to expoit the awesomeness in table tennis. 

Thats why its a bit harder to promote table tennis. Because its expensive, and at first (and usually last too) the ones that try it play with crappy tools. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 6:43pm
Originally posted by Shathe Shathe wrote:

The equipment has a lot to do with the judgement of this sport. 

Table tennis cant be played with those shity 2 $ blades and "softs" that most of the outsiders used a few times at the playground. 

To really discover the real beauty of table tennis you need to spend a lot of money on equipment, which is a basic element that  makes one of the the difference between table tennis and pingpong. 

Most of those who try the sport will get bored soon because they never get to the point to play with the adequate blade, soft that is needed to expoit the awesomeness in table tennis. 

Thats why its a bit harder to promote table tennis. Because its expensive, and at first (and usually last too) the ones that try it play with crappy tools. 
  you could easily play PP not in an athletic manner even if you have  good equipment and really it is not an expensive sport (unless you have extensive coaching and travels)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LUCKYLOOP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2018 at 7:00pm
Ping Pong, a lower skill level of TT, would be considered aerobic exercise. Experts say we need 2 1/2 hours per week, a minimum of 20 minutes each session. Walking is considered aerobic exercise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2018 at 7:43am
Having spent a lot of time in the table tennis community—both in club play and through online forums—I’ve noticed that table tennis tends to attract people who don’t have as much of a background in athletics compared to other sports.

Yes, and this notes a critical limitation of table tennis.  In truth, higher level table tennis is much more complex to play than many other sports, its subtle deception element is very challenging to many.  I've know many athletes of considerable athletic achievement find more advanced table tennis frustrating, as their sport of American football or basketball or even tennis was much more straightforward.

Implicit in this understanding of table tennis is the exceptional demand for grinding, long-term, skill development that is so large in comparison to a more mixed athleticism/skill/power matrix of requirements of the typical sport.  This understanding is manifest in the number of multi-sport athletes who perform at a high level in each of their chosen sports.  Table tennis training demands do not result in this.

Another simplifying dimension of other sports is derived from the nature of team sports.  The isolated division of labor results in a very simple function being performed, often at an exceptionally athletic manner.  In table tennis, one is forced to address the full spectrum of demands, with no capability to delegate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2018 at 9:09am
That last comnent by Donn was spot on. Excellent.

It is interesting to compare TT to my other sport, road cycling. Top riders have a lot of bike handling skills but they are not subtle like in TT. What they do have is in inhuman capacity to make themselves suffer and ignore pain in their legs and elsewhere. Also they have insane VO2 Max and are willing to reduce their body fat to such low levels that other health problems can ensue (including bone loss).

But it takes more time to grasp subtle TT skills and tactics than it does for any cyclist to develop their fitness (and tactical sense too).

I think to achieve a professional standard in TT you have to start much younger than in road cycling. I know of one cycling world champion who didnt start until she was in her 20s! (Also at least one Tour de France stage winner from last year who prior to taking up road cycling had been a ski jumper and took up cycling around age 20).  This is impossible in TT. 

The one thing that makes TT so difficult?  Spin on a ball that weighs just 2.70 grams.  Compared to that, you have to reach a pretty decent level before the athletic aspects of the sport matter tremendously.  As Donn says, this can make it frustrating for gifted athletes.

With that said, once you reach a certain level, then athleticism in our sport does become important, and a big reason some people find a plateau is they are simply unable to move well enough to get past it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joo Se Kev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2018 at 6:10pm
Originally posted by songdavid98 songdavid98 wrote:

Originally posted by Ranger-man Ranger-man wrote:


The fact that you can line up a twelve year old girl, a fit man in his twenties, and an overweight grandfather and be unable to tell who is likely to be the best player says something to the uniqueness of our sport.


I made an account just to reply to this great line!

I think part of the problem is that as a player vs player sport, the difficulty depends mostly on how good your opponent is. Since TT requires you to be precise in order to hit hard, most people have to resort to tapping the ball lightly, which makes the sport look bad.

The people who say that TT isn't a sport probably don't have any exposure to how high the skill/difficulty ceiling can get (kind of like how almost nobody ever sees competitive Tetris https://youtu.be/qKahcFOj8SA?t=1 and people think it's boring/easy).

I'm honored Smile

Please stick around and join the conversation from time to time! I owe so much of my knowledge and development as a player to these forums!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2018 at 7:56pm
Originally posted by Ranger-man Ranger-man wrote:


Very few people that I know of who really love the game think that they need to do anything else other than to just play the game. They rely on the game to result in fitness. They forget that they need to work on their fitness to become better at the game.


I'm not sure this is exactly true. Probably it depends what level you are shooting for and how fit you were before taking up table tennis. What people need to do to improve is train. Intense table tennis training will improve your fitness, if it needs to improve to support your play. I'm not talking about pros or ambitious juniors, but for club players. I think the average TT player would improve more doing falkenberg or multiball a couple hours a week than running or lifting weights for the same amount of time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2018 at 7:49am
Originally posted by Ranger-man Ranger-man wrote:

The fact that you can line up a twelve year old girl, a fit man in his twenties, and an overweight grandfather and be unable to tell who is likely to be the best player says something to the uniqueness of our sport.
The twelve year old girl probably gets a couple of lessons a week from a highly qualified coach so she has superior training along with the best footwork of the group. Her coach, who knows way more than the 3 players combined will be in her corner and offer solid advice throughout the match.

The fit man in his twenties has the least skill but will make up for it in athleticism. He can move well despite improper footwork so he'll get into position to smash loose balls and retrieve many balls away from the table the other two cannot. 

The overweight grandfather has almost no mobility, but has the experience to return serves, block well at close range, and those darn pips can give the other two fits. 

You're right! I can't tell who among them is best!


Edited by heavyspin - 04/19/2018 at 9:35am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote man_iii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2018 at 10:17am
TT or ping-pong is great for all ages, but the amount of constant training and practice needed to maintain playing level with equal or higher-level players is astounding. 

Most of the sport's intricacies go right over the head of common people and casual players.

People's perception will not change and less likely to improve. 

Best to leave clues for people to pickup and have that Aha! moment that becomes an eye-opener for them. Those that cannot perceive the depth of the sport will not enter, while those with the ability will make the transition into a fan of the sport and perhaps eventually into a player.

I would rather organically grow the sport and the interest surrounding it instead of forcing people without any understanding into it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2018 at 10:53am
Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

Originally posted by Ranger-man Ranger-man wrote:

The fact that you can line up a twelve year old girl, a fit man in his twenties, and an overweight grandfather and be unable to tell who is likely to be the best player says something to the uniqueness of our sport.
The twelve year old girl probably gets a couple of lessons a week from a highly qualified coach so she has superior training along with the best footwork of the group. Her coach, who knows way more than the 3 players combined will be in her corner and offer solid advice throughout the match.

The fit man in his twenties has the least skill but will make up for it in athleticism. He can move well despite improper footwork so he'll get into position to smash loose balls and retrieve many balls away from the table the other two cannot. 

The overweight grandfather has almost no mobility, but has the experience to return serves, block well at close range, and those darn pips can give the other two fits. 

You're right! I can't tell who among them is best!


Let's also project forward six years.  The fit man with the least skill will be less fit.  He will be worse.  The fat old guy with the LP will still be a fat old guy with LP.  He will be the same probably, assuming his health holds up.  And the girl will be 2400+ and will be joking while she toys with these guys.  In fact, to be honest will only play with them at their club because she is a nice person, and she fondly remembers that these guys played with her when she was 10 years old and not good yet.  So she is willing to give these guys a look at what a really high level player is like, and she needs a little diversion from her training to make her national team.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2018 at 3:52pm
And while we're projecting, heavy and Baal, why not take a trip down Memory Lane with me, the athletic fit but unskilful at tt young guy, the twelve year old girl, and the grandfather who started playing pong during the banjo bat days but doesn't move so good anymore.

It's 1958, Wednesday night in the gym with a six table setup at South Euclid High School, South Euclid being an eastern suburb outside of Cleveland.

The twelve year old girl, a real sweetie, is my in time to be mentor Danny Vegh's daughter Anna.  Under his patient tutelage, she's learned a rudimentary fh and bh push and a 5 mph forehand topspin that would put a smile on bbkon's face.  

The young athletic guy's hardbat game consists of a fast forehand topspin/no spin crosscourt serve followed up by a tennis elbow busting forehand follow up slap shot that somehow hits his opponent's side of the table on those Wednesday nights when the pong gods feel like screwing around.

The old grandfather dude is your classic septuagenarian chiseler/blocker/put the ball where his opponent ain't player.  He draws down with an E. C. Goode autograph hardbat blade cladded in desiccated rubber made sometime during World War I.
  
Behind Danny Vegh, Sandy Potiker, and John Lehman, he's the fourth ranked player at the South Euclid club.

Misty water color memories.  The way it was.  If I'm lyin' I'm dyin'.
 



Edited by berndt_mann - 04/19/2018 at 3:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geardaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2018 at 3:55pm
Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

Originally posted by Ranger-man Ranger-man wrote:


Very few people that I know of who really love the game think that they need to do anything else other than to just play the game. They rely on the game to result in fitness. They forget that they need to work on their fitness to become better at the game.


I'm not sure this is exactly true. Probably it depends what level you are shooting for and how fit you were before taking up table tennis. What people need to do to improve is train. Intense table tennis training will improve your fitness, if it needs to improve to support your play. I'm not talking about pros or ambitious juniors, but for club players. I think the average TT player would improve more doing falkenberg or multiball a couple hours a week than running or lifting weights for the same amount of time.

+1

Even though I'm in my 50's I'm probably more fit than 90% of my opponents.  I'm an avid cyclist (still actively race bikes), X-C skier, hockey player, and many other sporting activities.  I played varsity tennis in high school and could probably still play competitively at 4.0 or 4.5 level.  I've also played badminton, squash, and racquetball competitively.  But all that fitness and racquet sport experience only gets me so far in table tennis.

It's not that table tennis isn't an athletic sport, but you can go very far in the sport without having tremendous fitness.  All the fitness in the world isn't going to help you if you can't handle spin properly and you miss the table or pop a ball up softly for an easy smash by your opponent.  This is a unique quality of the sport (which is a good thing IMO).  Case in point, Mitch Seidenfeld has reached a 2300+ level in the sport, and he suffers from dwarfism and is only 4 ft tall.  His son Ian, who also suffers from dwarfism, is 14 years old and has reached a 2000+ level, and he is also beating me most of the time these days.

Athleticism is still important of course, and I'd argue that it still takes the same level of dedication, training, and talent to reach the highest levels of table tennis as it does to reach the highest levels of any other sport.  I really don't think perceived lack of athleticism is the reason for the lack of "respect" for table tennis as a sport.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacekGM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2018 at 8:02pm
Good points, geardaddy.
I think it depends quite a bit on what country we are talking about. I believe in China nobody has any doubts about TT being a real sport... at least for now.


Edited by JacekGM - 04/19/2018 at 8:03pm
(1) Juic SBA (Fl, 85 g) with Bluefire JP3 (red max) on FH and 0.6 mm DR N Desperado on BH; (2) Yinhe T7 (Fl, 87 g) with Bluefire M3 (red 2.0) on FH and 0.6 mm 755 on BH.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2018 at 11:26pm
Table tennis a real sport?  Oh hell heavens to Betsy yes.  It is now and has been for at least eight and one-half decades.  Witness:  Barna vs. Jones (British Pathe, 1933)

https://youtu.be/f7npCd3jKE8

Censored!  I wanted the video.  Oh what a rogue and bush league bum am I!

P.S.:  And oh yeah, I was gonna put up a video of the Fan/Harimoto match to illustrate how pong has evolved, uh changed since the Barna days but I still have not got the hang of importing YouTube videos to websites like this.

Meh. 


Edited by berndt_mann - 04/20/2018 at 7:22am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/20/2018 at 5:13pm
Berndt

On the For Sale forum there is a stickied thread on how to upload stuff. It is easy. But you can also just paste in the URL. People will find the video then. Sometimes a kind moderator will even upload it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vince64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/20/2018 at 7:14pm
Originally posted by berndt_mann berndt_mann wrote:

Table tennis a real sport?  Oh hell heavens to Betsy yes.  It is now and has been for at least eight and one-half decades.  Witness:  Barna vs. Jones (British Pathe, 1933)


Censored!  I wanted the video.  Oh what a rogue and bush league bum am I!

P.S.:  And oh yeah, I was gonna put up a video of the Fan/Harimoto match to illustrate how pong has evolved, uh changed since the Barna days but I still have not got the hang of importing YouTube videos to websites like this.

Meh. 
You mean this match

https://www.facebook.com/SeattlePacificTableTennisClub/timeline
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/20/2018 at 7:16pm
Bingo, Vince64.  That's the one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bbkon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/23/2018 at 8:45pm
Originally posted by berndt_mann berndt_mann wrote:

And while we're projecting, heavy and Baal, why not take a trip down Memory Lane with me, the athletic fit but unskilful at tt young guy, the twelve year old girl, and the grandfather who started playing pong during the banjo bat days but doesn't move so good anymore.

It's 1958, Wednesday night in the gym with a six table setup at South Euclid High School, South Euclid being an eastern suburb outside of Cleveland.

The twelve year old girl, a real sweetie, is my in time to be mentor Danny Vegh's daughter Anna.  Under his patient tutelage, she's learned a rudimentary fh and bh push and a 5 mph forehand topspin that would put a smile on bbkon's face.  

The young athletic guy's hardbat game consists of a fast forehand topspin/no spin crosscourt serve followed up by a tennis elbow busting forehand follow up slap shot that somehow hits his opponent's side of the table on those Wednesday nights when the pong gods feel like screwing around.

The old grandfather dude is your classic septuagenarian chiseler/blocker/put the ball where his opponent ain't player.  He draws down with an E. C. Goode autograph hardbat blade cladded in desiccated rubber made sometime during World War I.
  
Behind Danny Vegh, Sandy Potiker, and John Lehman, he's the fourth ranked player at the South Euclid club.

Misty water color memories.  The way it was.  If I'm lyin' I'm dyin'.
 




It seems you want to start a fight again . at your age you should learn to behave I dont want to be in your post no matter what you say

alexli do your job
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/23/2018 at 9:48pm
Originally posted by bbkon bbkon wrote:

Originally posted by berndt_mann berndt_mann wrote:

And while we're projecting, heavy and Baal, why not take a trip down Memory Lane with me...


It seems you want to start a fight again . at your age you should learn to behave I dont want to be in your post no matter what you say

alexli do your job

I disagree.  No, Berndt has not learnt his lesson when it comes to endless reminiscences.  Again and again we're plagued with 'misty water colour memories" that have little if anything to do with the topic at hand.

But - and this is the important bit - this post is not argumentative.  If it was another example of Berndt disagreeing just for the sake of being a pain, then I would argue for removing him.  But it's not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bbkon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/24/2018 at 11:33am
Originally posted by Tassie52 Tassie52 wrote:

Originally posted by bbkon bbkon wrote:

Originally posted by berndt_mann berndt_mann wrote:

And while we're projecting, heavy and Baal, why not take a trip down Memory Lane with me...


It seems you want to start a fight again . at your age you should learn to behave I dont want to be in your post no matter what you say

alexli do your job

I disagree.  No, Berndt has not learnt his lesson when it comes to endless reminiscences.  Again and again we're plagued with 'misty water colour memories" that have little if anything to do with the topic at hand.

But - and this is the important bit - this post is not argumentative.  If it was another example of Berndt disagreeing just for the sake of being a pain, then I would argue for removing him.  But it's not.


I m sick of his 1930 1$ racket pong rozeanu delusions   . dont want to get involved again with him in anyway
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/24/2018 at 1:59pm
Look gentlemen.  Table tennis is, and as I posted, has been a real sport for at least eight and one-half decades, from Barna vs. Jones to Fan vs. Harimoto.

At present it is an unbalanced real sport, dominated by players who almost to a man and woman employ an offensive approach in which the questionable service and equipment illegally augmented by boosting oils possibly dangerous (see the Table Tennis daily forum) and presently undetectable are the norm at the professional level.  


Edited by berndt_mann - 04/24/2018 at 2:02pm
bmann1942
Setup: Mark Bellamy Master Craftsman blade, British Leyland hard rubber
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RPB23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2018 at 2:08pm
Originally posted by Ranger-man Ranger-man wrote:

...
Very few people that I know of who really love the game think that they need to do anything else other than to just play the game. They rely on the game to result in fitness. They forget that they need to work on their fitness to become better at the game.
As someone who has played 20 years TT and 16 years of fitness training, I have to say, I belong to this group of very few players who think fitness level in TT is really not a big deal.

Due to years of weight training and good dieting, I have maintained muscular and low body fat such that sometimes people often ask me when I show up in tournaments what other sport I play as I don't look like a table tennis player. Yes, I can play several hours nonstop without feeling fatiqure and I look in better shape than most pro players, which shows how TT is perceived in terms of athletic impression among non TT populations. 

However, many players who's fitness levels are way below me can easily handle me even though my USATT rating had reached over 2000 in the past. Take a famous forum member Heavyspin as an example, he looked like 300 pounds and barely could move. Somehow he has a very quick hand and wrist control as well as excellent anticipation of coming balls. Most of times, he just station himself with his big body close to the table in the center, blocking and flipping every shots with speed and angle. My awesome athletic power would be useless against his skills.

BTW, I once lived in Boston for a couple years, watched him play a few times in close distance, an amazing player. Haven't seen him for quite a while, not sure if he is still big and heavy:-)  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2018 at 2:53pm
Originally posted by RPB23 RPB23 wrote:

...Take a famous forum member Heavyspin as an example, he looked like 300 pounds and barely could move. Somehow he has a very quick hand and wrist control as well as excellent anticipation of coming balls. Most of times, he just station himself with his big body close to the table in the center, blocking and flipping every shots with speed and angle. My awesome athletic power would be useless against his skills.

BTW, I once lived in Boston for a couple years, watched him play a few times in close distance, an amazing player. Haven't seen him for quite a while, not sure if he is still big and heavy:-)  

Thanks for the compliment (I think). While I agree I wouldn't be an ideal choice to be featured in a campaign to promote the athleticism of table tennis, I do think TT is a real sport where fitness makes one better. I have demonstrated that there are a set of skills that can make one a good player, but it's my lack of fitness that holds me back from being significantly better.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PythonMonty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/25/2018 at 6:25pm
Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

Originally posted by RPB23 RPB23 wrote:

...Take a famous forum member Heavyspin as an example, he looked like 300 pounds and barely could move. Somehow he has a very quick hand and wrist control as well as excellent anticipation of coming balls. Most of times, he just station himself with his big body close to the table in the center, blocking and flipping every shots with speed and angle. My awesome athletic power would be useless against his skills.

BTW, I once lived in Boston for a couple years, watched him play a few times in close distance, an amazing player. Haven't seen him for quite a while, not sure if he is still big and heavy:-)  

Thanks for the compliment (I think). While I agree I wouldn't be an ideal choice to be featured in a campaign to promote the athleticism of table tennis, I do think TT is a real sport where fitness makes one better. I have demonstrated that there are a set of skills that can make one a good player, but it's my lack of fitness that holds me back from being significantly better.   

I'm sure Heavyspin would be even better if he could move like a fit 20 year old. But maybe not right away. I think there are significant advantages to *not* moving much, especially if you have good reach. It simplifies the game in many ways, and allows for better stability and precision. Possibly unique to table tennis, could be the primary reason why seemingly non-athletic people can compete up to a high level.
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