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Style, Strategy, and Tactics

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mjamja View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2019 at 4:31pm
Look at Liu Shiwen's matches against Ding Ning and Ching Meng at 2019 WTTC.  There are many points where one or both players hit 3 or more consecutive balls to different locations and often completely different sides of the table.  Another thing to look for is the players choice of using the Bh for playing balls to the elbow.  So instead of choosing a power option with the Fh they play placement and positioning by using the Bh.  It should be noted that several times Ching Meng switched to classic 3rd or 5th ball kill tactics (Early Power) using early step around footwork to get her Fh into play.  Liu Shiwen also did 3rd ball kills, but to me they looked more like opportunistic kills of poor serve returns than planned early step around type tactics.  

Of course at this level the players are so versatile that they use multiple strategies during matches unlike most average players who tend to be one trick ponies.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2019 at 6:29pm

Style, Strategy, and Tactics

Much depends on 
personality
start age
Type of coaching
no coaching
Country of origin
closeness to a club
Gear available at start age
type of rubber
environment (small space)
opposition style
ability to learn in a game
able to learn from mistakes and work on problems
amount of practice and reason for practice
remembered knowledge from last match
level of player and competition
$$$ on Dignics or 729 rubber



Ulmo Duality,tibhar Aurus Prime Dr N Pistal Black
NZ table tennis selector, third in the World (plate Doubles)I'm Listed on the ITTF website,
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mjamja View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2019 at 6:22pm
Time Pressure

Time Pressure is a very specialized strategy which involves contacting the ball almost right off the bounce such that the ball is returned to the opponent before he is ready to hit again.  The shots used have characteristics of both controlling and attacking shots.  The ball speed is more in the control range, but the commitment to play every shot from the more difficult off the bounce location with the intention of winning with that shot is more attacking in nature.  Overall, using Time Pressure requires more of an attacking (rather than controlling) mindset.  Contacting balls over the table rather than letting them come off the end of the table is a hallmark of the Time Pressure strategy.

Because the shots are played off the bounce,  Time Pressure is a close distance only strategy.  It is also not very effective unless the opponent is also playing close distance.  Blocking is the primary stroke used although very close to table counterhitting can be used.  In both cases borrowing power from the opponent's shot is important since off the bounce strokes are inherently more compact and do not generate as much power on their own.

The key to using the Time Pressure strategy is the ability to play the ball right off the bounce and even contact it over the table if the ball is a little short.  Besides the obvious reduced time to react, Time Pressure play has two other effects.  There is a kind of Timing Disruption effect since normally balls are allowed to come off the table before being hit.  Opponents are often not even preparing for the balls return at the time it is hit.  Taking the ball over the table also negates the effects of widely angled balls since they never get the chance to continue going wide outside the table.  Thus it is generally better to attack the Time Pressure player deep to the corner or middle than short and wide.  When played as a synergistic strategy to Pattern play, there are fewer balls played over the table than in a pure Time Pressure strategy.  In the mixed strategy the Time Pressure comes from playing the ball very close to the end of the table rather than the more normally expected one step back position.

Because the Time Pressure player needs to borrow power, they generally do not attack first.  Using Early Power and attacking on 3rd or 4th ball can be an effective complimentary strategy to Time Pressure especially if the opponent tries to deal with the reduced time by taking some power off their serve return or their 3rd ball.

Pattern and Time Pressure are natural synergistic strategies.  If Time Pressure is the more dominant then there are more shots played over the table and the ball movement pattern tends to be repeated shots to one location followed by a surprise location change.  If Pattern is more dominant there is more shot to shot ball movement and the ball is more often played near the end of the table.  Time Pressure strategy can turn into an Attrition plus Time Pressure strategy if both players are good at dealing with each others shots.

The Early Power player using 4th and 5th ball kills after topspin shots is vulnerable to Time Pressure since the topspin setup shot (2nd or 3rd ball) can be returned very quickly.  Using an underspin 2nd ball or 3rd ball as the setup can negate lots of the time pressure on your attacking shot.  And using 2nd or 3rd ball kills gets your attack in before  Time Pressure can be applied.  The Pattern player is probably the most vulnerable to Time Pressure.  In addition to having less time in which to execute precise placements, the over the table blocks negate the effects of their wide placements (their primary finishing shot).  The compact strokes ( mostly blocks) of the Time Pressure player are also less vulnerable to the transition pressure of the Pattern strategy.  To win the Pattern player has to find a pattern that the particular Time Pressure player finds difficult to deal with.  Since the Time Pressure player is not attacking with power, sometimes a non standard pattern going into the Fh power zone will work.  Attrition or Late Power from mid or far distance force the Time Pressure player to play a different strategy.  A close distance Late Power strategy based on pushing and then pick hitting can be effective if the Time Pressure player can not open strongly.  Of course if the Time Pressure player is using topspin serves, this would only work when the Late Power player was serving unless he is able to use a chop serve return.

The ability to play returns right off the bounce ( even playing shorter balls over the table) is the key factor in making the Time Pressure strategy work.  To do so you need compact strokes and good in/out footwork to get in over the table on short balls and still get back for deep attacks.  As such the Time Pressure player needs to practice against strong deep attacks and needs to use drills with different length returns to practice this in/out play.  When playing players who can effectively retreat to mid and far distance, the Time Pressure player needs another strategy.  Since they normally would have good blocks, they can develop a close distance Late Power strategy using deep blocks to control their opponent, short blocks to bring them in closer, and a punch block or fast counterhit as a finisher once they are in closer behind a weak return.  

Time Pressure is a specialized, close distance strategy, used against other close distance players, particularly Early Power and Pattern Players.  The Time Pressure player needs to develop an alternative strategy for dealing with mid and far distance players since Time Pressure is not very effectice against those players.  Close distance Late Power based on control blocking is the closest fit to what they do in the Time Pressure strategy.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/21/2019 at 4:45am
'Time pressure' works in every strategy, the player who has more time than his opponent in every aspect of the game is putting pressure on his opponent to play strokes, think, and apply a strategy or tactic of his own. The player with superior time of his own is normally the better player. Trying to squeeze your opponent for time, if you actually do not have the ability means that you lose because you are largely predetermining what you are doing. Peripheral vision and reading your opponent is the key.

Edited by APW46 - 08/21/2019 at 4:46am
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mjamja View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/21/2019 at 1:56pm
Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

'Time pressure' works in every strategy, the player who has more time than his opponent in every aspect of the game is putting pressure on his opponent to play strokes, think, and apply a strategy or tactic of his own. The player with superior time of his own is normally the better player. Trying to squeeze your opponent for time, if you actually do not have the ability means that you lose because you are largely predetermining what you are doing. Peripheral vision and reading your opponent is the key.

I would disagree in the case of lobbers, fishers, choppers, and modern defenders.  To me it seems these players are willing to voluntarily give their opponents more time in order to get more time themselves.

Maybe "Time Pressure" was a poor name choice.  I have repeatedly run into a class of player who contacts the ball very early off the bounce and makes me feel like I just do not have time to execute my normal shots even though the ball speed seems slow compared to loopers that do not make me feel pressured for time.  I was looking for a strategy name to identify what this group of players does that seems to be distinctly different from other players.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2019 at 2:07am
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

'Time pressure' works in every strategy, the player who has more time than his opponent in every aspect of the game is putting pressure on his opponent to play strokes, think, and apply a strategy or tactic of his own. The player with superior time of his own is normally the better player. Trying to squeeze your opponent for time, if you actually do not have the ability means that you lose because you are largely predetermining what you are doing. Peripheral vision and reading your opponent is the key.

I would disagree in the case of lobbers, fishers, choppers, and modern defenders.  To me it seems these players are willing to voluntarily give their opponents more time in order to get more time themselves.

Maybe "Time Pressure" was a poor name choice.  I have repeatedly run into a class of player who contacts the ball very early off the bounce and makes me feel like I just do not have time to execute my normal shots even though the ball speed seems slow compared to loopers that do not make me feel pressured for time.  I was looking for a strategy name to identify what this group of players does that seems to be distinctly different from other players.

Mark
I understand what you are categorizing. I tend to see time from a players point of view as something they possess, and that does include lobbers, fishers and defenders. For example, a player who is way off the table and spots a drop shot before his opponent has executed it, has more time, than another player in the same position who does not. the best way to buy time in TT is to teach yourself to look straight at your opponents bat  as soon as you have played your stroke, then pick the ball up from his bat incoming. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2019 at 2:02pm
"I understand what you are categorizing. I tend to see time from a players point of view as something they possess, and that does include lobbers, fishers and defenders. For example, a player who is way off the table and spots a drop shot before his opponent has executed it, has more time, than another player in the same position who does not. the best way to buy time in TT is to teach yourself to look straight at your opponents bat  as soon as you have played your stroke, then pick the ball up from his bat incoming."

I don't think you fully understand mjamja's point. It is not about just Time or having time as you put it. It is about putting "Time Pressure" on your opponent. That's why defenders strategy is about outlasting the opponent (attrition) not about applying time pressure.

FdT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2019 at 3:35pm
Originally posted by Fulanodetal Fulanodetal wrote:

"I understand what you are categorizing. I tend to see time from a players point of view as something they possess, and that does include lobbers, fishers and defenders. For example, a player who is way off the table and spots a drop shot before his opponent has executed it, has more time, than another player in the same position who does not. the best way to buy time in TT is to teach yourself to look straight at your opponents bat  as soon as you have played your stroke, then pick the ball up from his bat incoming."

I don't think you fully understand mjamja's point. It is not about just Time or having time as you put it. It is about putting "Time Pressure" on your opponent. That's why defenders strategy is about outlasting the opponent (attrition) not about applying time pressure.

FdT


One follows from the other though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2019 at 8:20pm
Originally posted by Fulanodetal Fulanodetal wrote:

"I understand what you are categorizing. I tend to see time from a players point of view as something they possess, and that does include lobbers, fishers and defenders. For example, a player who is way off the table and spots a drop shot before his opponent has executed it, has more time, than another player in the same position who does not. the best way to buy time in TT is to teach yourself to look straight at your opponents bat  as soon as you have played your stroke, then pick the ball up from his bat incoming."

I don't think you fully understand mjamja's point. It is not about just Time or having time as you put it. It is about putting "Time Pressure" on your opponent. That's why defenders strategy is about outlasting the opponent (attrition) not about applying time pressure.

FdT

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/23/2019 at 2:12am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by Fulanodetal Fulanodetal wrote:

"I understand what you are categorizing. I tend to see time from a players point of view as something they possess, and that does include lobbers, fishers and defenders. For example, a player who is way off the table and spots a drop shot before his opponent has executed it, has more time, than another player in the same position who does not. the best way to buy time in TT is to teach yourself to look straight at your opponents bat  as soon as you have played your stroke, then pick the ball up from his bat incoming."

I don't think you fully understand mjamja's point. It is not about just Time or having time as you put it. It is about putting "Time Pressure" on your opponent. That's why defenders strategy is about outlasting the opponent (attrition) not about applying time pressure.

FdT

No surprises that real life coaches hate anyone providing good advice online :) 
 I fully understand mjamja's point, his point is glaringly obvious, and what he is doing is categorizing aspects of the game into neat little boxes, very eloquently I must add.

 A player who's style falls into the 'time pressure' as he puts it category, also has less time himself and unless he understands how to 'buy time' is very limited potentially. 

Categorizing defenders as 'attrition' is also far too neat, the reality is that the best defenders hit at every opportunity to stop players getting into a pattern and if they are not hitting, they are not getting the opportunity. Attrition for defenders in its pure form went out in the 1950's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/23/2019 at 8:33am
Thanks, Mark, for continuing to expand your series.  Personally, I'm finding your observations and explanations both interesting and useful.

I've just spent the last thirteen weeks playing in a team where our number 2 is the archetypical "Time pressure" player.  He's an accomplished sports-person quite new to table tennis, so is relying on keen hand-eye coordination and sharp reflexes.  In the space of less than twelve months, he's graduated to beating players with years more experience and table tennis education.  He consistently takes the ball off the bounce, primarily using a backhand block played with a side swiping motion.  On the forehand he does something similar.  He rarely attempts to win using "early power" or "late power" techniques.  By constantly pressuring his opponents he forces them out of position and into mistakes.

In our division, there are a couple of other "time pressure" players, mainly relying on a strong forehand block.  Both are quite successful number 1s for their teams, winning because they stop their opponents (meaning me) from developing winning patterns and strategies.  Everything you've argued - both pros and cons of this strategy - is spot on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote benfb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/25/2019 at 10:18pm
Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

Categorizing defenders as 'attrition' is also far too neat, the reality is that the best defenders hit at every opportunity to stop players getting into a pattern and if they are not hitting, they are not getting the opportunity. Attrition for defenders in its pure form went out in the 1950's.
Perhaps you were overstating yourself to make a stronger point, but I would call this very wrong.

Classic choppers are almost purely attrition players.  They are waiting for a mistake. The mistake can either be a true failure (such as not landing on the table) or a weak shot which is punished.  However, even with "punishment", the game for class chopper is still about attrition.

Clearly, the debut of Joo Se Hyuk and his "modern defender" style changed that paradigm, by choosing a mix of attrition and attack, but there are still fairly few attackers that really have mastered modern defender the way he did.  Most of the male choppers I see now are more aggressive than the choppers of the 1990s (not the 1950s!), but I would still say that attrition is an important part of their game.  And this becomes even more so if you're looking at amateurs rather than professionals.

I suppose "defenders" could also refer to pushblockers, but that is also very much a style of attrition.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/26/2019 at 2:49am
I think there is different interperetations of attrition and how it relates to TT, which is why I'm not keen on the terminology. I'm a two wing topspin looper, and I've always used 'attrition' as a tactic against defenders and pushblockers by essentially reading spin reducing risk. Changing terminology changes  nothing in reality. 
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