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Looking for helpful observations (game video)

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    Posted: 09/26/2020 at 1:09am
This was my first time recording myself playing table tennis in any capacity. There was nothing I was specifically looking for, nor was I working on anything specific that night. These were just fun games at the end of the night against a friend playing with inverted (red) and no sponge, long pips (black). Originally I expected to just watch this for my own deconstruction, but after watching many times and adding timestamps of things I noticed I'm now interested in anything others might be willing to share.

Feel free to either watch as a whole or just pick out specific timestamp sections based on interest/time. I'm not specifically looking for tips to beat this player or his style. I'm more interested in ideas that will make me a more competent player overall (be it decision making, movement, technique, strategy, etc.).

I played basement ping pong from age 5-15 with paddles that played more like anti so the vast majority of my experience has been completely devoid of spin. In the last 3 years I've been playing once per week with rackets and players that can actually generate spin (whole new world). I stopped playing for 10 months due to partial tear of bicep and now I'm starting back again. From an elbow health standpoint I feel comfortable hitting most shots (as much as I'm capable) except I'm quite tentative when looping chops endlessly as elbow pain starts to make itself known.

Any observations/suggestions (posted here or on the video) would be appreciated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws81toYeYa4&feature=youtu.be
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blahness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/26/2020 at 4:31am
Why not switch to frictionless long pips on the BH? You don't have a BH loop anyway... This will immediately boost your rating by a few hundred  points because of the better serve receive.FH loop and push is decent for your level.... Serves are kinda bad though, most of them don't have much spin on them, you gotta work hard on them....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FierceTable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/26/2020 at 9:46pm
I appreciate the feedback. I agree that my service return is rubbish as I have great difficulty reading and reacting to the motion and point of contact of my opponent's service. I can gauge the spin by watching how the ball bounces, but of course I should already be moving into position for a return stroke before I have time to read spin via that method. I've gotten into a bad habit of trying to push almost all returns to get around this and when when I realize it's topspin trying to really chop it so at least if I pop it up it has heavier underspin which might be slightly harder to attack with a linear stroke.

I thought frictionless long pips were banned?..or is that a bit of a troll comment about how poorly I return service and how few backhand loops I attempted? Regardless, for now I would like to learn to play with inverted rubber. You're right that I didn't attempt many (nor successfully execute) many backhand loops and if I'm not doing it that's probably a sign I'm not as comfortable as I should be. So you've given me some things to consider during my next play session. Thank you.

As for my lack of spin on service. You're right that I didn't attempt to use a great deal of spin, but that's somewhat intentional. In the past I've been punished by long pip players for using heavier spin on my service (where it doesn't greatly affect how they have to react, but I have to pay close attention to what side they hit with) so I frequently default to mostly dead short serves with an occasional fast service. I haven't paid enough attention in the past, but I guess it's probably much less common to twiddle during a service return. If that's the case maybe I can strategize a bit more with heavier service spin against these players than I had previously thought.

Thank you for your insights. I've got a few new things to mull around before I play again which is exactly what I was hoping for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/26/2020 at 11:35pm
Service return is a lot harder with inverted compared to long pips, and your BH stroke is remarkably suited to long pips. You can always go for low friction long pips and then treat it - many players have gone down the same route. 

If you have elbow problems, BH loops are the worst in exacerbating the problem due to the biomechanics. 

So I would recommend just going for the pips route and don't even bother learning a BH loop. Many players do this till a very high level and it is an equally valid option. Not a troll comment. 

Against pips players the most effective serves are long fast no spin or light backspin serves with no sidespin, then attack their return. They will still dump well disguised heavy backspin serves into the net. 

For more spin you could consider doing exercises at home (just throw the ball and then spin it upwards and then catch the ball). You might also wanna look into the modified service grip for shakehand players. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2020 at 2:10am
I had to read your comments in the vid description to see you were the dude on the far side near the wall away from camera in this vid.

I see you like to push or block a lot. No national crime to do that at your level... but the WAY you are doing it is asking for a lot of inconsistency trouble that is making it much more difficult on yourself.

One simple thing to remember, practice, and eventually do is to BE CLOSE TO THE BOUNCE with your bat. Loosen grip. You will be able to block like a pro doing that... or at least a lot easier than you are doing.. and your blocks will have more possible angles... will be quicker to give opponent less time... will be a lot easier to control as blocking a ball way away from bounce requires a lot more precision and touch to do the same thing.

The same thing applies to your push. SO MUCH EASIER to do it off the bounce and make quality.

You are knda tall, so you need to bend knees and waist some more.

On serve, you do not present the ball properly. You d not stop or pause and show the ball. You are cupping the ball and do not put the ball in the center of your palm. If you do tournaments, opponents should and will see this and fault you, or they will get an unmpire. Better to start practicing a legal serve now. You also drop you hand with the ball below the top of the table sometimes when you try to dip the arm and hand on your toss.

When you are trying to BUMP the ball for a good angle pressure, you are reaching and off balance... you make a lot of errors doing that. Take a step to the ball and bump it on the rise net height or so and you will have many hundreds of percent increase in your consistency and quality... you might actually win points doing that instead of pissing them away like gatorade.

I am not going to get into the "You must serve short" deal with you... for how you play, you want oopponent to attack you want to bump or chop back, so no problem with length of serves... what you could do thought is find his middle with the faster deep serves and also make him take a wide step serving fast/deep to his wide FH and challenge him to be consistent and qualty while you are ready to block...

In general, when you are not attacking, you do not step to the ball, you are to tight a grip, use too long a stroke, take ball too far from bounce and give up advantages or piss away points directly. it is a an area that can see very rapid improvement if you get to the ball with softer grip and use only a shorter lower arm if that at first to impact ball.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2020 at 3:38am
Originally posted by BH-Man BH-Man wrote:

I had to read your comments in the vid description to see you were the dude on the far side near the wall away from camera in this vid.

I see you like to push or block a lot. No national crime to do that at your level... but the WAY you are doing it is asking for a lot of inconsistency trouble that is making it much more difficult on yourself.

One simple thing to remember, practice, and eventually do is to BE CLOSE TO THE BOUNCE with your bat. Loosen grip. You will be able to block like a pro doing that... or at least a lot easier than you are doing.. and your blocks will have more possible angles... will be quicker to give opponent less time... will be a lot easier to control as blocking a ball way away from bounce requires a lot more precision and touch to do the same thing.

The same thing applies to your push. SO MUCH EASIER to do it off the bounce and make quality.

You are knda tall, so you need to bend knees and waist some more.

On serve, you do not present the ball properly. You d not stop or pause and show the ball. You are cupping the ball and do not put the ball in the center of your palm. If you do tournaments, opponents should and will see this and fault you, or they will get an unmpire. Better to start practicing a legal serve now. You also drop you hand with the ball below the top of the table sometimes when you try to dip the arm and hand on your toss.

When you are trying to BUMP the ball for a good angle pressure, you are reaching and off balance... you make a lot of errors doing that. Take a step to the ball and bump it on the rise net height or so and you will have many hundreds of percent increase in your consistency and quality... you might actually win points doing that instead of pissing them away like gatorade.

I am not going to get into the "You must serve short" deal with you... for how you play, you want oopponent to attack you want to bump or chop back, so no problem with length of serves... what you could do thought is find his middle with the faster deep serves and also make him take a wide step serving fast/deep to his wide FH and challenge him to be consistent and qualty while you are ready to block...

In general, when you are not attacking, you do not step to the ball, you are to tight a grip, use too long a stroke, take ball too far from bounce and give up advantages or piss away points directly. it is a an area that can see very rapid improvement if you get to the ball with softer grip and use only a shorter lower arm if that at first to impact ball.


Dude can't even create much spin, if he tried any short serves it's just asking to be attacked easily by any competent player... The steps are to 1) figure out how to generate huge amounts of spin, 2) learn how to vary and disguise contact to generate huge spin variety, 3) serve spinny, fast and long, 4) shorten the serve by thinning the contact and reducing forward momentum and controlling the first bounce placement. 

Personally I do not serve short unless the opponent first proves to me he can punish them with high landing percentages...no point giving them so many receive options.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Valiantsin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/27/2020 at 3:59pm
i am not sure if it is helpful but would recommend to pay some money for training sessions or find someone who is willing to help with getting the base for free.
Once you have that base you will be able to improve with sparring only for long time.
But starting from some point you will need coach again to improve.
Or just play for fun if you have it))))
It's also really good to have fun)))


Edited by Valiantsin - 09/27/2020 at 6:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FierceTable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/30/2020 at 1:51am
Lots of good feedback here. Thank you for taking the time to review and provide insight. Taking the ball much earlier off the bounce when blocking makes a tremendous difference as I tried it out with better success during my last session. I still find myself playing chop blocks more than I should, but I suspect that's in part due to not being in front of the ball...so I need better footwork which you've mentioned. I've done little quick feet training/warmup things, but whenever I try to bounce or short hop in a match I find myself wrong footed or in motion when trying to make the stroke. I'm curious if this is just a matter of practice or if there is something specific to think about when trying to move with quick feet?

You mentioned shortening my strokes, but I'm having difficulties doing that without feeling spastic or tense. I understand why it's beneficial (economic, powerful, etc.), but I feel like longer strokes keep me from being spastic. Would focusing on my hip rotation (e.g. forehand loop) be a good thing to keep in mind? I feel like I'm using almost all arm when I try to make it more compact.

Thanks again for your time. I didn't directly comment on other ideas you put forth, but I've noted them so I can think about them more and give proper focus next session.
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