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serr View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10/05/2019 at 8:06am
I want to start beating/giving more trouble to better players than me. Can anyone recommend drills/any specific training to improve anticipation/speed/decisionmaking etc? I've got plenty of time but usually my partners are a little worse in level than me. I was told it'll be hard to move up when training with weaker players but does than mean a practice session is a total waste of time if my partner is lower level? What about excercises that artificially increase level of the feeder (i.e. he knows where and what ball is coming but his return is more random). Maybe learn some unorthodox shots? (pancake flip, strawberry receive, forehand fade, backspin blocks???) Replies appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2019 at 10:20am
Originally posted by serr serr wrote:

I want to start beating/giving more trouble to better players than me. Can anyone recommend drills/any specific training to improve anticipation/speed/decisionmaking etc? I've got plenty of time but usually my partners are a little worse in level than me. I was told it'll be hard to move up when training with weaker players but does than mean a practice session is a total waste of time if my partner is lower level? What about excercises that artificially increase level of the feeder (i.e. he knows where and what ball is coming but his return is more random). Maybe learn some unorthodox shots? (pancake flip, strawberry receive, forehand fade, backspin blocks???) Replies appreciated.

This is my area.   I live in a town of 20k and have to drive 3 hours to be beat.  Some obvious answers:

Practice serves a lot.  Be able to serve low and flat to any spot on the table.

Be in really good shape.

You and your partner learn footwork drills.

When playing lesser players don't reach for any balls.  Make sure to move your feet impeccably to get in position to hit a winner, then don't.
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Please let me know if I can be of assistance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote serr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2019 at 10:59am
Thanks a lot for your reply. I'll take your advice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2019 at 10:59am
Getting better when there are not stronger players around is always harder than when you do - but you can do it!

Cole's Tips are excellent!  Below I'll paste a part of an article I wrote a while back that might help.  

If there is at least one other player who is willing to focus on drilling, you can almost certainly make progress.  

If you are even remotely close to somewhere with decent (doesn't have to be world class, just competent!) coaching available, it would be worthwhile to get a lesson occasionally.  The coach should be able to recomment things to work on and help fix (or identify) significant technical glitches (which may, or may not be critical - depending on you level and desired level).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is a Good Training Partner?

A good TP is someone available and willing to do drills and other practice regularly.  Ideally a TP should be of a level that allows them to push you (the player).  Unfortunately, perfect TP’s are often not available.  The good news is that a good TP doesn’t have to be a great player.  They do have to be good enough to do drills effectively, but even this isn’t etched in stone.  There are several ways for a willing, but slightly weak TP to be very useful.

  • Virtually all players have strengths and weaknesses; hence the stronger player can play to the weaker TP’s strength or to one of their strengths. This will result in them being “effectively stronger”.  A side bonus is than being forced to play to a certain specific location or one of a few locations – the TP’s strength – will force a player to improve their placement, control, and overall focus.
  • Regular drilling should help a weaker TP to improve at least some aspects of their game quite rapidly. Two examples of this are blocking and pushing.  Both skills can usually be improved fairly quickly with practice and both skills are critical for most advanced drills.  As the TP improves, the stronger player will be able to drill at an increasingly high level.  This, in turn, will keep pushing the TP towards continued improvement.
  • A weaker TP may force the stronger player to do drills at, for example, 50% speed. While this might not seem as obviously beneficial as doing the same drills at “full speed”, it is still great practice, and is well worth spending time on. The better player should really focus on consistency, balance, smoothness, technique, placement, depth, and control over spin and speed.  Even when a top notch TP is available, practicing these things is a great idea.
  • A weaker TP can learn to feed multi-ball, which can open up plenty of drill options for the stronger player.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

bes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote serr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2019 at 1:31pm
Thanks for encouraging words, really appreciate your input. Great article, I share your opinion, as long as ego doesn't get in the way, you can have decent practice with a weaker player(in most cases). I've worked with a coach, can't access one right now unfortunately.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2019 at 6:08pm
You can always practice your serves and your third ball attack. One of the hardest things to get consistent with is third ball attack (if you're an attacking player)

Other than that, get some instructional videos and practice drills with your practice partner. If he/she improves then you will have to improve as well.

FdT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/05/2019 at 8:56pm
It also seems to me that table tennis is more popular in Poland than the US, so maybe you have some access to better players not too far away from you, once you are a bit more confident in your abilities?

You can set up some fun games against weaker players where you are required for example, to hit every ball to one half of the table but they can hit anywhere.  Or you can make it so that you have to win the point within a certain number of shots.  Or you are only allowed to use your backhand once in a point.  Be creative. 

Another one is to drill with two tables pushed together.  You have to cover both tables, but always hit back to your playing partner.


Edited by Baal - 10/05/2019 at 8:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dream1700 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2019 at 12:31am
~$150 robot could be a good additional partner.
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serr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote serr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2019 at 5:22am
Yes, tt might indeed  be more popular here than in the US, however better players are hard to access. 3rd ball attack is probably what I should train more. Robot... I'm broke right now
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tt Gold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2019 at 4:19pm
You and your lower level partners should learn to feed multiball to each other. That way you can get excellent training and your partner will also improve much faster, which results in better practice for you
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/06/2019 at 7:40pm
Try to work more on your weaknesses, imo that's the fastest path to improvement. You have to be relatively self aware for that though.



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