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A New Approach to Training for Tournaments

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mjamja View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04/27/2021 at 11:41pm
My recent visit with forum member mts388 has convinced me I need to completely rethink my training and take a new approach. Mon evening I got to play at the Sonora club and who shows up but Ken from Modesto. Ken is one of several players from Modesto who politely inform me they are 1600 or so rated and then proceed to destroy me (1830 rated). It is usually 3-0 and I get 5-7 points a game. And they are are all so nice to make sure I play them each several times on my one night visits so they can prove the victories are no accident.

When I show up mts388 immediately pairs me up with Ken. I think he wanted Ken to have as many chances to trounce me as possible. Mts388 can be a little vindictive when you go to his house to play and then beat him in multiple matches. Ken is a penhold hitter who has a great traditional penhold Bh punch block as well as a pretty good RPB he mixes in. So in the first match I get completely destroyed. In the second match the games are closer with one duece game and a couple of 11-9 scores, but I felt like he was in total control even when it was close.

But in the 3rd match things change completely. I win the first game 11-1. I win the second game in a real close one that I think went to duece. Then in the third I get a big lead. He comes back but in the end I win 11-8. A 3-0 victory after maybe 8 or 10 straight loses over the last 3 years I visited the area.

I was excited to have played well and tell mts388 that maybe I have changed my game for the better and just needed a few real matches to finally bring out my new level of play. Mts388 promptly tells me that it was not my play that mattered. It was just that I looked so sad, pitiful, and hopeless after my first two losses that Ken just did not have the heart to beat me a third time (did I mention mts388 can be a little vindictive).

So with ego crushed and no belief in my playing ability remaining I returned to my trailer and started packing for today's trip. Out of nowhere a new idea popped into my head. Larry Hodges always says to train your strengths to make them stronger. Since I have never felt I have any real strengths, I was always training my weaknesses to be better. Not any more.

As soon as I get to Salem I am joining the local theater group. I am going to learn to emote saddness, pitifulness, and hopelessness like no one has ever seen (at least not at a TT tournament). Instead of looping I will train those sad teary eye expessions. Instead of footwork I will master the head down dropped shoulders look of hopelessness that will rip at the heart strings of my opponents. My beaten down dog demeanor will pull pity from them they never knew they had. If an eight yr old girls tears can bring down an opponent just imagine what emotional destruction a professional trained thesbian can inflict on that opponent. And after all when it comes to looking sad, pitiful, and hopeless I have a great natural headstart on most people.

Mark - What eye angle do you use to look really sad. Do you wrap the lower lip over the upper to get the most pitiful look? Do I try to copy Sir Lawrence Olivia or follow the much different Red Skelton tecnique? So many new questions.
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BH-Man View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/28/2021 at 4:27am
Mark, many of us who know your qualites know your ability to succeed with that pursuit of presentation.

As for the losses vs ken, sometimes, you just do not play very well in a place vs a certain player, it goes like that, or you just have to be in that hall a few hrs for you to be able to adjust.

I didn't deal well with that hall, and prolly lost more than you did.
Korea Foreign Table Tennis Club
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vanjr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vanjr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/28/2021 at 8:25am
Mark-since you are traveling around playing table tennis and "living the life" I want you to know that you are definitely semi-pro, no matter what they say on other threads...
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heavyspin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/28/2021 at 9:10am
One of your strengths is how well you write and describe your struggles on the court. So you have been practicing a strong point and making it stronger.
A masseuse practicing social distancing rubs me the wrong way.
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DonnOlsen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/28/2021 at 12:04pm
Esoteric, if not eccentric
Ways unseen in China and Japan,
Seeking the ephemeral within the concrete
A sorcerer needed upon?

Pathos aside, bathos in its place?
Irresolution to be solved within the thespian art
A De Niro or a Pacino soon before us
Or better a Stallone?

Dashed are the standard methods to the goal
Forging instead a transformative force
Existing frameworks overboard!
The redemptive alternative before us

Just look at my face
At the U.S. Nationals: Pass muster or pass the mustard.
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