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Recent match against a strong player

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    Posted: 08/20/2020 at 3:40am
Hey all, I played in a tournament earlier this month, this was the B grade final, where I got to play a player whose played at world champs etc - although he took a hiatus of a decade, hence why the match was competitive.



[Note, in NZ we were lucky enough to be in a situation where we were covid free for several months after a 'hard n early' lockdown, hence it was reasonably for us to be playing].

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Any comments or tips would be appreciated, even though I have a good list of things that are in desperate need of improvement, I know a lot of forum members have a great mind for the game!


Edited by Basquests - 08/20/2020 at 3:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 4:11am
Guy's FH looks really strong, but I think you actually had a better BH than him haha....he definitely seems rusty! 

I think you lost most points due to loose receives. I didn't really like the BH receive from the FH side, it seems to expose you to sudden deep balls to the extreme BH corner and the middle. You also tend to stand up after the BH receive rather than keeping a stable forward leaning stance all the time. 

Have you tried developing a chiquita? I saw mostly normal flips but with your strong BH loop I feel like you probably can develop a dangerous chiquita with some effort. It puts a lot of pressure onto the server and forces a topspin rally which you seem to be quite good at. If you could combine it with a BH fade from the same preparatory position you'll start to score a lot of direct winners with it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote merlin el mago Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 5:06am
You are the yellow shirt dress?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 9:29am
Your return of serve was a bit passive quite a lot of the time and quite floaty. Letting the other player in to attack with a good spin which was tricky for you to deal with.  If you can on those longer serves you may find a placed backhand roll or loop a bit of a stronger option maybe. 

If this makes sense it looked a bit like if you opponent pushed you pushed back and if he looped you played the counter attack with a block or a drive. You weren't that active on the attack yourself in these positions. This maybe because of the player you were playing but might be something to look at a bit. 




Edited by ghostzen - 08/20/2020 at 9:48am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 10:52am
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Guy's FH looks really strong, but I think you actually had a better BH than him haha....he definitely seems rusty! 

I think you lost most points due to loose receives. I didn't really like the BH receive from the FH side, it seems to expose you to sudden deep balls to the extreme BH corner and the middle. You also tend to stand up after the BH receive rather than keeping a stable forward leaning stance all the time. 

Have you tried developing a chiquita? I saw mostly normal flips but with your strong BH loop I feel like you probably can develop a dangerous chiquita with some effort. It puts a lot of pressure onto the server and forces a topspin rally which you seem to be quite good at. If you could combine it with a BH fade from the same preparatory position you'll start to score a lot of direct winners with it. 

Could you give a timestamp of the particular receive [BH receive from the FH side]? I wasn't aware of stepping across to receive like that and I certainly don't want to make a habit of it. Or do you mean playing the push off the long pendulum serve, to his FH [or anywhere, it was too floaty too often]

His serves had very very good quality, as I'm not sure he's lost that so I wasn't confident in receiving consistently well this game, he varied the amount of spin very well, and had heavy serves when he needed them, with very good deception etc. Yep, I need to get in and out quicker / receive better to not be Out of position on receive for the opponents 3rd balls.

Yes, I developed a decently good chiquita, however given how little I've played since October 2019 due to study/work then covid, I decided to wait till i was playing regularly  for a few months before 'relearning' it. I also learnt to backhand loop with the improved technique like 10-15 sessions ago, which was more pressing for example.

 Yes, for sure, I stand up far too much between shots. Before lockdown i was 10-11kg heavier than I am now, so I'm in the process of attaining some 'better' habits that required more physicality than I was able to do in the past [for longer sessions / tournaments]. Before, I simply didn't have the stamina or physicality to keep in good habits, go in and out quick enough etc. Now its better, I need to continue experimenting with what i can and can't do.



Edited by Basquests - 08/20/2020 at 11:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 10:57am
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Your return of serve was a bit passive quite a lot of the time and quite floaty. Letting the other player in to attack with a good spin which was tricky for you to deal with.  If you can on those longer serves you may find a placed backhand roll or loop a bit of a stronger option maybe. 

If this makes sense it looked a bit like if you opponent pushed you pushed back and if he looped you played the counter attack with a block or a drive. You weren't that active on the attack yourself in these positions. This maybe because of the player you were playing but might be something to look at a bit. 



Yep for sure. When I'm playing consistently and have good confidence, I try to go for the BH open up 60% of the time [and a push 40%]. With a few months of regular play, I hope that I'm not pushing passively most of the long balls [i.e. no more than 20%], as that isn't the ideal shot to play in that situation, as you say. 

He felt that serve was giving him a good ball, so he definitely was smart to keep it long, as my push was slightly better on average when it was a shorter pendulum serve.

Also to the other poster, yes i am the yellow 'dress'


Edited by Basquests - 08/20/2020 at 10:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 3:56pm
Originally posted by Basquests Basquests wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Your return of serve was a bit passive quite a lot of the time and quite floaty. Letting the other player in to attack with a good spin which was tricky for you to deal with.  If you can on those longer serves you may find a placed backhand roll or loop a bit of a stronger option maybe. 

If this makes sense it looked a bit like if you opponent pushed you pushed back and if he looped you played the counter attack with a block or a drive. You weren't that active on the attack yourself in these positions. This maybe because of the player you were playing but might be something to look at a bit. 



Yep for sure. When I'm playing consistently and have good confidence, I try to go for the BH open up 60% of the time [and a push 40%]. With a few months of regular play, I hope that I'm not pushing passively most of the long balls [i.e. no more than 20%], as that isn't the ideal shot to play in that situation, as you say. 

He felt that serve was giving him a good ball, so he definitely was smart to keep it long, as my push was slightly better on average when it was a shorter pendulum serve.

Also to the other poster, yes i am the yellow 'dress'


Off the longer ball the ball the other player got back was very good for him to attack like you say. It's a good tactic to be honest as with the spin he put you under a bit trouble. Great if you can change it a bit be it direction placement or spin. Just to keep him guessing.

Also on those half long balls middle maybe take the chance sometimes to make a good spin yourself wide to the other players forehand to make him less sure of the ball coming always to the middle or backhand side. He looked almost set up on almost all of his serves to get that return. Bit like a 1-2 in boxing.

When you were in the rally mind and on your game type you played some nice stuff. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 5:33pm
Originally posted by Basquests Basquests wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Guy's FH looks really strong, but I think you actually had a better BH than him haha....he definitely seems rusty! 

I think you lost most points due to loose receives. I didn't really like the BH receive from the FH side, it seems to expose you to sudden deep balls to the extreme BH corner and the middle. You also tend to stand up after the BH receive rather than keeping a stable forward leaning stance all the time. 

Have you tried developing a chiquita? I saw mostly normal flips but with your strong BH loop I feel like you probably can develop a dangerous chiquita with some effort. It puts a lot of pressure onto the server and forces a topspin rally which you seem to be quite good at. If you could combine it with a BH fade from the same preparatory position you'll start to score a lot of direct winners with it. 

Could you give a timestamp of the particular receive [BH receive from the FH side]? I wasn't aware of stepping across to receive like that and I certainly don't want to make a habit of it. Or do you mean playing the push off the long pendulum serve, to his FH [or anywhere, it was too floaty too often]

His serves had very very good quality, as I'm not sure he's lost that so I wasn't confident in receiving consistently well this game, he varied the amount of spin very well, and had heavy serves when he needed them, with very good deception etc. Yep, I need to get in and out quicker / receive better to not be Out of position on receive for the opponents 3rd balls.

Yes, I developed a decently good chiquita, however given how little I've played since October 2019 due to study/work then covid, I decided to wait till i was playing regularly  for a few months before 'relearning' it. I also learnt to backhand loop with the improved technique like 10-15 sessions ago, which was more pressing for example.

 Yes, for sure, I stand up far too much between shots. Before lockdown i was 10-11kg heavier than I am now, so I'm in the process of attaining some 'better' habits that required more physicality than I was able to do in the past [for longer sessions / tournaments]. Before, I simply didn't have the stamina or physicality to keep in good habits, go in and out quick enough etc. Now its better, I need to continue experimenting with what i can and can't do.


7:30 in the first game for eg...there were a couple more as it seems that you vastly prefer the BH receive to the FH receive. It could be very, very useful that you have the footwork to do so, if you did the same thing except with a chiquita it would be very strong....a lot of his sidespin serves are perfect to use the chiquita on, and you would force a lot more underspin serves which are way easier to control in terms of pushing. In my experience the chiquita is deadly to FH dominant players because they're forced to rally rather than doing their powerloops off slow floaty underspin balls. It's not easy to loop strong against a chiquita especially when you can vary the direction very easily. The strong sidespin really throws people off their rhythm. Usually what happens is a block/counter which you can then continue attacking. 

Edit: the other huge benefit of chiquita is that you can use it to deal with short to half long to long balls with the stroke being increasingly larger as the ball gets longer (you can structure it the same way you do your normal BH loop), so there is no confusion at all. Worst case if the serve has more underspin than usual, you can still use the chiquita except that you scoop underneath the ball more (basically there's literally no serve that you can't chiquita with this way). There's even the fake chiquita which is essentially a sidespin push disguised as a chiquita (I've posted recently on the FH variant). 


Edited by blahness - 08/21/2020 at 6:58am
-------
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BH: Dignics 09c
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote passifid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/20/2020 at 5:51pm
I personally think long recives into his backhand were fantastic for you to capitalise on his weaker BH with your flat hitting style.
What I would suggest is learning a forehand spinny loop. Just because all your shots are low spin higher speed. I like the style, its like the opposite of how I play, all spin no control on flat hits at all.
I think a sloe spinny half long loop would at this stage against this player (especially backhand) allow the ball to pop up for a stronger smash off the weaker backhand shots he was playing.
Its about maximising your points, 1.) is serves and recives, but thats the same for most players, 2.) you win most your points off flat hits.
So how can you make more flat hits land, I think by making your life easier with some variation to keep them on their toes and topspin to help your smash

Just my 2c
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/21/2020 at 4:29am
Originally posted by passifid passifid wrote:

I personally think long recives into his backhand were fantastic for you to capitalise on his weaker BH with your flat hitting style.
What I would suggest is learning a forehand spinny loop. Just because all your shots are low spin higher speed. I like the style, its like the opposite of how I play, all spin no control on flat hits at all.
I think a sloe spinny half long loop would at this stage against this player (especially backhand) allow the ball to pop up for a stronger smash off the weaker backhand shots he was playing.
Its about maximising your points, 1.) is serves and recives, but thats the same for most players, 2.) you win most your points off flat hits.
So how can you make more flat hits land, I think by making your life easier with some variation to keep them on their toes and topspin to help your smash

Just my 2c


Good point about the drives and smashes being the banker go to on the forehand. There isn't much linkage at the moment to set that up. The only problem with a floaty push all the time is that i think maybe it gets very same all the time and also very easy for the other player to set or just push back long wait for another push to reset to attack. getting either a bit more quality on the ball of the push or a change up (topspin) to stop the other player setting would mean a bit more uncertain placement giving the OP a better chance of linking the play a bit better.

Almost being more active istead of reactive.

The drives and smashes are the big guns and point winners. Clap


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2020 at 5:18am
Originally posted by passifid passifid wrote:

I personally think long recives into his backhand were fantastic for you to capitalise on his weaker BH with your flat hitting style.
What I would suggest is learning a forehand spinny loop. Just because all your shots are low spin higher speed. I like the style, its like the opposite of how I play, all spin no control on flat hits at all.
I think a sloe spinny half long loop would at this stage against this player (especially backhand) allow the ball to pop up for a stronger smash off the weaker backhand shots he was playing.
Its about maximising your points, 1.) is serves and recives, but thats the same for most players, 2.) you win most your points off flat hits.
So how can you make more flat hits land, I think by making your life easier with some variation to keep them on their toes and topspin to help your smash

Just my 2c

Yes for sure, I'm always trying to set up for a big forehand or backhand, although this isn't always possible and clearly I didn't do it well enough if you guys are commenting on it not happening.

 I actually do have a reasonably stable FH spinny loop , but I typically do not play it too frequently to the backhand, so I'll definitely try utilizing a loop more often / testing out where there's some pressure points. I actually got to play an Olympian in a b07 just prior to this match, the most talented NZ player ever. I had a lot of success for a few minutes slapping his incredible loops, so I may have just been in the mood to trust my slap more, something i do often do when playing players that are better than me; normally I loop some forehands, slap some, but the better i feel / higher risk i need to play, the more i try become a non-standard player. I definitely need to see if that balance is right for each situation, though.

The theory for looping more to the forehand is that its been a more stable shot most of the time [cross court etc], but also when my eye is in, I don't fear most forehand responses to a loop. It's either a good block, high block or a high counter loop, all of which can be flat hit quite easily. I think there was a point in the match where he looped 3 or 4 times, and I flat hit all of them back, but missed the 4th flat hit.




Edited by Basquests - 08/22/2020 at 5:21am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2020 at 5:26am
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Originally posted by passifid passifid wrote:

I personally think long recives into his backhand were fantastic for you to capitalise on his weaker BH with your flat hitting style.
What I would suggest is learning a forehand spinny loop. Just because all your shots are low spin higher speed. I like the style, its like the opposite of how I play, all spin no control on flat hits at all.
I think a sloe spinny half long loop would at this stage against this player (especially backhand) allow the ball to pop up for a stronger smash off the weaker backhand shots he was playing.
Its about maximising your points, 1.) is serves and recives, but thats the same for most players, 2.) you win most your points off flat hits.
So how can you make more flat hits land, I think by making your life easier with some variation to keep them on their toes and topspin to help your smash

Just my 2c


Good point about the drives and smashes being the banker go to on the forehand. There isn't much linkage at the moment to set that up. The only problem with a floaty push all the time is that i think maybe it gets very same all the time and also very easy for the other player to set or just push back long wait for another push to reset to attack. getting either a bit more quality on the ball of the push or a change up (topspin) to stop the other player setting would mean a bit more uncertain placement giving the OP a better chance of linking the play a bit better.

Almost being more active istead of reactive.

The drives and smashes are the big guns and point winners. Clap



I've written all your guys main tips in the 'master' notepad where I keep all the important stuff  
 [working back on the chiquita, thinking more about whats truly going to give me the best chance of getting my slap in play regularly, and improving my pushing stability and quality, rather than being floaty. I know i can do it, but not nearly frequently enough, just need more time to improve the technique to see what works best; especially on serves], improving the physicality of my game [staying low throughout a point, being more willing to move to open up more angles]. 

Hopefully in 3-6 months I'll be back with another video, with these issues all largely addressed, and new, more fine-tuney ones to work on ;)


Edited by Basquests - 08/22/2020 at 12:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2020 at 6:04am
Good luck my friend Thumbs Up  enjoyed the video lots. Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/22/2020 at 7:53pm
Do you like wearing a yellow dress?
haha

Good effort a bit more active in return of service and getting in first
he had pressure on him and you needed to be strong on every point to break him
some things to look at is, what serves gave you trouble and what serves gave him trouble
so collect the data from your video's

You will gain confidence from playing high level players

for others B grade means anyone not in the top 25 in NZ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/23/2020 at 9:37am
Originally posted by smackman smackman wrote:

Do you like wearing a yellow dress?
haha

Good effort a bit more active in return of service and getting in first
he had pressure on him and you needed to be strong on every point to break him
some things to look at is, what serves gave you trouble and what serves gave him trouble
so collect the data from your video's

You will gain confidence from playing high level players

for others B grade means anyone not in the top 25 in NZ

Cheers RB, I enjoy playing the top 30-40 players as you said, it gives a lot of confidence and freedom to play with more aggression as you say.

Definitely need to be getting in first more regularly, that's always a challenge against the stronger and more experienced players - who can impose their will on the game the most.

Addressing those issues as you say will help make it easier for me to have a bigger variety in terms of types of good points, as well as making it easier for me to play the game i like [and expanding what that is].

I'll give Mr. AS credit here though, every time i've played him this year he's a drastically different player as he gets back to some level of form. Against most players, they probably won't address their technical issues game to game, I'm expecting far thinner opportunities if we play at Nationals or next year.

P.S. The yellow dress was the 3rd shirt i bought to the tournament, as I was about 11 hours into that tournament. The Black version of that shirt and Navy version are a lot prettier!


Edited by Basquests - 08/23/2020 at 9:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/23/2020 at 10:16pm
I watched some of the games - how long have you been playing for?  Trying to guage what advice to give you if any.  A lot of your technique is non-standard and upper body driven so it would require some time to change if you really wanted to develop new shots in the standard technique paradigm.

That said, you have great touch and timing, you probably should consider working on your forehand and backhand transition because your current approach to forehand and backhand require major shifts in footwork to play effective shots, so you tend to massively compromise one or the other with your stance at the table - it is likely why most of your forehands are flat if you aren't forced to spin early.  You should consider taking your backhand consistently in front of you with an arm structure that allows you to quickly play a forehand with body/hip rotation.  Most of your forehands now are largely upper arm driven which is why they are often so flat.  It can be a great shot, but the question is whether it can get you to beat the kind of players you want to be beating.

If we put technique aside, the biggest thing I would say is to always attack on the third ball especially when the ball comes high to your forehand.  I do think that the reason you passed this up was technical confidence in your forehand and it goes back to how you use your body to drive it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/23/2020 at 11:54pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

I watched some of the games - how long have you been playing for?  Trying to guage what advice to give you if any.  A lot of your technique is non-standard and upper body driven so it would require some time to change if you really wanted to develop new shots in the standard technique paradigm.

That said, you have great touch and timing, you probably should consider working on your forehand and backhand transition because your current approach to forehand and backhand require major shifts in footwork to play effective shots, so you tend to massively compromise one or the other with your stance at the table - it is likely why most of your forehands are flat if you aren't forced to spin early.  You should consider taking your backhand consistently in front of you with an arm structure that allows you to quickly play a forehand with body/hip rotation.  Most of your forehands now are largely upper arm driven which is why they are often so flat.  It can be a great shot, but the question is whether it can get you to beat the kind of players you want to be beating.

If we put technique aside, the biggest thing I would say is to always attack on the third ball especially when the ball comes high to your forehand.  I do think that the reason you passed this up was technical confidence in your forehand and it goes back to how you use your body to drive it.

I've done the math and it's around 1000-1100 hours of scheduled play [-> much less time actually hitting a ball]. About 250-300 hours before 18, the remainder after 21 [Just turned 26]. Almost non-existent coaching throughout which explains the non-standard technique and poor habits, although one of my 2 main training partners of the last 18 months has been giving me a lot of good advice to slowly address this, even though he's 36 years my senior [3 of his son's reached top 10 level in mens in NZ and he's still just as good as me, but with far fewer technical issues and far better footwork..and stamina].

That said, I'm more than happy to change any and everything, and I've demonstrated that. 16 months ago, I would just push or block on my BH. Nothing else. 15 sessions ago I didn't have a BH loop but my partner taught me. He also taught me the banana, but given the hiatus i had, I need time to feel comfortable utilizing it in game again. Many players are resistant to change, especially as they get older, I'm determined not to be, which is the only way I'll get to where I want to be wrt TT.

Yes, the GOAT of our country mentioned exactly the same thing as you did just before our more recent lockdown and it was painfully obvious how big the issue is, and  the importance needing to be working on that. I'm telegraphing where I'm going, and having to anticipate/guess early, or risk getting there late, rather than resetting after a shot, then moving when you should, and as you say this destroys other stances. As you're saying, the transitions are exceptionally slow from BH to FH / vice versa and need to be improved. This'll involve concerted effort in improving transitions and end stances and more physicality as well.

I shudder to think just how glacial they were 10-11 kilograms ago considering its still exceptionally slow. 

The last session just before this tournament I'd starting engaging my core more during FH loops [again, partner helped with that] and it was much more effective, so I'm definitely on board. I need to make it [and every other positive change] a habit, not something that goes away consistently when its a tough match or I'm tired etc.


Edited by Basquests - 08/24/2020 at 12:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/24/2020 at 8:45am
It all makes sense, it is not just a one day thing, but I would encourage you after learning any stroke to do a one forehand, one backhand transition deal to measure your transition time and paying distance and figure out whether the technique you are learning is really going to get the job done if you are forced to play strokes at the table by a really good blocker.  The improved backhand looks good in isolation, but it is going to compromise other things.   Modern backhand play (as well as forehand play) is done with the legs and core and played from the middle of the body mostly and not so much in a backhand stance from the left hip.  Pretty much I can play all my strokes standing relatively square to the table with very little change in foot positioning.  Not saying that I always played like this or that I am a better player than you are by the way.  Just thinking generally about how to frame what your game might need to be able to do to make you play faster. 

You played with good touch and sometimes improvisation so those things can Trump standard technique.  It all depends on what you are trying to do with your game.  But transition drills close to the table to see whether your body and leg usage supports fast transitions to play strokes close to the table is what I would recommend.  If the stance and stroke can't support that, you will need to back off the table more and more and it is good information to know that during training so you can see how far your game has progressed towards fast transitions at the table.  Aim to spin on both sides so that you have a challenge ‐ you do have a good flat shot but it would probably be even better if your body was used to preparing it better with the legs.
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
Carbonado 245
FH: D09C 1.9 R/B
BH: D09C 1.9 B/R
Lumberjack TT, not for lovers of beautiful strokes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/24/2020 at 11:34am
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

It all makes sense, it is not just a one day thing, but I would encourage you after learning any stroke to do a one forehand, one backhand transition deal to measure your transition time and paying distance and figure out whether the technique you are learning is really going to get the job done if you are forced to play strokes at the table by a really good blocker.  The improved backhand looks good in isolation, but it is going to compromise other things.   Modern backhand play (as well as forehand play) is done with the legs and core and played from the middle of the body mostly and not so much in a backhand stance from the left hip.  Pretty much I can play all my strokes standing relatively square to the table with very little change in foot positioning.  Not saying that I always played like this or that I am a better player than you are by the way.  Just thinking generally about how to frame what your game might need to be able to do to make you play faster. 

You played with good touch and sometimes improvisation so those things can Trump standard technique.  It all depends on what you are trying to do with your game.  But transition drills close to the table to see whether your body and leg usage supports fast transitions to play strokes close to the table is what I would recommend.  If the stance and stroke can't support that, you will need to back off the table more and more and it is good information to know that during training so you can see how far your game has progressed towards fast transitions at the table.  Aim to spin on both sides so that you have a challenge ‐ you do have a good flat shot but it would probably be even better if your body was used to preparing it better with the legs.

Thanks for the detailed post NextLevel, I really appreciate it.

Like any good book, I will come back to it time and time again, because my interpretation of it will change as I change. I really liked the examples of moving back during drills, as its just so true, and its a great barometer to see where your transition speed is.

Nothing bad will happen to my touch and improvisation by improving any of this, I know that is my strength, but there is absolutely reason to not become more well rounded, or simply to improve transitions in both quality and speed so that you can increase your shot %'s / what you are prepared for and get to the ball early to give you more options wrt timing / speed / placement for your shot.

Also, I take your point about using more lower body. That is where the power is, and as I continue to lose weight, it'll become easier to use that. The flat hits / BH smashes are a walk in the park timing wise, no matter the spin if I'm able to transition to them early, with some body balance and a reasonable lateral distance [i.e. not a chicken wing, nor reaching, but within 1-2 inches of being 'right'] so I'll be excited to try up the efficiency of those shots [and all shots, really] by engaging that lower body more.

Fortunately, that training partner who gives me advice is also an exceptional blocker, a lot of practice from doing drills with his 3 high level kids, so it'll be easy to follow your advice :)

One piece of advice that partner told me was to stop flat hitting about 3 years ago. I didn't, but the idea was to reduce it, not only to work on my loop, but to improve shot selection [which ball to flat hit vs loop] and also thus balance your play a bit more [more unpredictably, but both shots becoming high %]. Its definitely possible to slap balls below to net, even if they have backspin, but you shouldn't opt for that over a loop, without good reason.

 My point here is that its nice to have flair and improvisation, but you need to be selective. Ma Long has been so hard to beat when match fit, because he offers so much variety in what looks he gives, my flat hits and bigger BH strokes should be there when the opponent gives me the right ball for them, not just hit because its a 60-40 shot or 'your best shot.' That is why I was maybe too bullish with the pushing. I feel that if I push with good technique and the right depth [short, or fast and deep] I can win a point with 2 pushes. I did that exactly once in the match, where it was clear that it was a point 'won' from pushing, rather than a shot that handed control to my opponent.

It doesn't help that Ma Long at times utilizes the long heavy push to great effect at times... too tempting to try recreate!







Edited by Basquests - 08/24/2020 at 11:50am
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