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Different styles and familiarity of opponents

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Topic: Different styles and familiarity of opponents
Posted By: Simon_plays
Subject: Different styles and familiarity of opponents
Date Posted: 02/27/2019 at 3:02pm
I've been wondering about this for some time: if two opponents with different styles but roughly equal playing standard play and practice a lot together, which player is likely to then have the upper hand in a match?

Am I right with the assumption that a player who plays close to the table and relies heavily on blocks and killing loose/ high balls is going to have odds shifted in their favour when repeatedly playing against a more 'standard' looping type player? My thinking here is that the blocker will become more familiar with the looper's placement and this slightly shifts the match in the blocker's favour. 

Or can such generalisations not be made as it still depends more on the individual players?



Replies:
Posted By: mickd
Date Posted: 02/27/2019 at 8:04pm
This is probably a very generic answer, but the person who is more adaptive will probably be the one who has the upper hand over time.

The blocker may have an easier time early on, but in the end it'll probably be the one who has the most flexibility and adaptability to find new tactics and shots that work.

This is assuming they are close in level. That said, if one person is only winning because they have very specific tricky serves or shots, they'll probably start losing with sufficient practice from the other player.


Posted By: Lightzy
Date Posted: 02/27/2019 at 8:56pm
From my experience if 2 players train a lot together, one of them will usually emerge as the one who always wins, or at least almost always.
But later they can switch places.

Its cuz it's always the weakest link, tactically or technically, that your practice partner will know to exploit until you fix it.


Posted By: stiltt
Date Posted: 02/27/2019 at 10:51pm
Tthere are so many factors it is almost impossible to answer the question as is shortly. 

If we assume the following first:
1) they are exposed to the same facilities and people to play, the same environment. 
2) they get the same amount of hours of play and training.
3) they are roughly as intelligent and talented (no matter what that means) and they get it as fast no matter what problem they try to solve.

In these conditions I'd say over time, the looper able to land deep in the corners will prevail, the blocker close to the table will be moved around and a kill off the bounce will be the punishment of an expected loose block.

If the looper can't learn to land deep then the blocker adapts quickly and wins all the time with easier redirected blocks off the bounce before the flat kill.



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Posted By: obesechopper
Date Posted: 02/28/2019 at 12:00am
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

Tthere are so many factors it is almost impossible to answer the question as is shortly. 

If we assume the following first:
1) they are exposed to the same facilities and people to play, the same environment. 
2) they get the same amount of hours of play and training.
3) they are roughly as intelligent and talented (no matter what that means) and they get it as fast no matter what problem they try to solve.

In these conditions I'd say over time, the looper able to land deep in the corners will prevail, the blocker close to the table will be moved around and a kill off the bounce will be the punishment of an expected loose block.

If the looper can't learn to land deep then the blocker adapts quickly and wins all the time with easier redirected blocks off the bounce before the flat kill.

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I'd agree there... some people at my club that I train (loopers) were pretty good, technically, but tactically they were terrible and always losing to decent blockers. I said hold on lads, it looks like you're doing a drill! Why aren't you changing the rhythm and placement? Loop some deep, loop some to the body loop some wide, loop some short! I think too many loopers just enjoy hitting the ball LOL as long as they get nice arcs and hit them consistently, they're happy... but they lose to many lesser players because of a few basic strategic errors. 


Posted By: Simon_plays
Date Posted: 02/28/2019 at 5:31pm
Originally posted by Lightzy Lightzy wrote:

From my experience if 2 players train a lot together, one of them will usually emerge as the one who always wins, or at least almost always.
But later they can switch places.

Its cuz it's always the weakest link, tactically or technically, that your practice partner will know to exploit until you fix it.
 

Yeah, the whole idea of needing to improve in every aspect of your game to move up a level comes to mind.


Posted By: Simon_plays
Date Posted: 02/28/2019 at 5:35pm
Originally posted by fatt fatt wrote:

Tthere are so many factors it is almost impossible to answer the question as is shortly. 

If we assume the following first:
1) they are exposed to the same facilities and people to play, the same environment. 
2) they get the same amount of hours of play and training.
3) they are roughly as intelligent and talented (no matter what that means) and they get it as fast no matter what problem they try to solve.

In these conditions I'd say over time, the looper able to land deep in the corners will prevail, the blocker close to the table will be moved around and a kill off the bounce will be the punishment of an expected loose block.

If the looper can't learn to land deep then the blocker adapts quickly and wins all the time with easier redirected blocks off the bounce before the flat kill.


I guess my issue here might be then that I am either lacking in Nr 3 (problem solving ability) or just need to improve the placement of my shots a bit, get them more into corners and towards the end line. 

Another element to this question is that I have a feeling that this might change depending on what level both players are on. Around the lower intermediate levels I have a feeling that the blocker has it easier to keep his shots on the table whilst more can go wrong for the looper who is trying more 'complicated' shots. 


Posted By: vanjr
Date Posted: 02/28/2019 at 5:55pm
We like to figure out answers to these types of questions. We often say "all things being equal" but we also know all things are NEVER equal. And the "all things" are a tremendous number of individual variables.
When I played modern defense style, there was nothing I loved more than facing a looper and noting I hated more that a SP hitter. 


Posted By: blahness
Date Posted: 03/01/2019 at 4:30pm
There's a blocker in my club who destroys most offensive loopers. He will often lose the first few matches, and once he's used to the patterns he will just placement block you off the table with all sorts of weird placements and spin variation. His opening loops are quite weak but they are stable with good placement. So I do think the blockers are advantaged in terms of opponents which are familiar with one another. But, he often can't beat choppers because he can't attack good. 

The only way you can beat him is if you play ugly, ie the pick hitting style where you push everything to convert it to underspin and wait patiently for a good opportunity to kill. That or if you can play with power and spin and good recovery (I'm planning to start transitioning to that!).


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