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Hitting/Practicing with Lower/Higher Rated Players

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    Posted: 01/13/2021 at 11:42am
It's true and very interesting topic. You can never be too humble to ask to practice with a stronger player or accept the invitation to train with someone who is not at that level yet.

You can learn something from both I think generally. 

 


Edited by ghostzen - 01/13/2021 at 11:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/13/2021 at 11:22am
I'm just bouncing this old thread because it is exceptional and needs to be seen regularly.

I think most of us old-timers have seen it and, more importantly, "experienced it".  We've all had folks who are (maybe) slightly stronger act like hitting with or playing us would ruin their life.  But (hopefully) we've also had much stronger players who go out of their way to help.

I think most players should be aware that they should read the whole initial post and understand that they are almost certainly members of both camps, i.e. sometimes the stronger, and sometimes the weaker player.  They should know how to act as courtiously as possible in both situations.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Coach Germany Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/30/2018 at 4:03pm
I have a table tennis school and I always try to let people who are better play irregular practices and with people who don't have the same level as they have. So the lower player know where the ball is coming and the better player don't. That works quite well!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LUCKYLOOP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2015 at 11:09pm
Applies to all lower rated players you play: Teach them to block your loop .. then both of you get good practice .. both of you can increase your skill level ..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2015 at 5:43pm
About 'blocking' there are differences between reactive blocking, and pro-reactive blocking, and IMO they are huge and not technique orientated. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jolan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 7:37am
When I play matches with lower level practice partners, I try to play a different system than what I am used to. Such as pushing and blocking. No loop, no hit, just very passive game. I am very weak in that kind of game so it helps me to improve and it leaves a better chance to the other player to improve too. Sometimes I play defense with long pimples too, but usually the other guy doesn't like it and feels like I am not taking him seriously. So I stop unless he explecitely says he doesn't bother.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baribari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 6:12am
World? No... National?.... Yes. Hehehe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pnachtwey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 3:43am
Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:

Where does the scale top out? 2700? 3000?

I mean, at a certain point rating becomes less relevant than national or world ranking.
Yes, but we are talking about playing at a club.   Most of us will not ever play against a world ranked player and if you ever do then hitting or practicing should not be a problem.



 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baribari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 1:31am
Where does the scale top out? 2700? 3000?

I mean, at a certain point rating becomes less relevant than national or world ranking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pnachtwey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 12:42am
Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:

Assuming they're reasonably close matches (11-7 or closer), is that worth being snobby over?

That could feasibly be more about match nerves, experience, and tactics than about the soundness of their technique.

How does the scale work, exactly? Is it logarithmic, linear, or what? 
I made a table of handicaps,  percentages of points won and games won, in order to achieve different spreads in ratings points.   If you look at it the other way around the ratings difference can be used to index into a table that would provide the expected percentage of points, games and matches won.

The scale is roughly logarithmic similar to the ELO chess rating system.
learn more here.
http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis/Ratings/How-Does-the-USATT-Rating-System-work
A 200 point difference means the better player will need to win 40 times to each win of the lower player to maintain a 200 point ratings difference.   The rating table is very quantized unlike the ratings central method.

To win 11-8 means the winner won 57.9% of the points.






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baribari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 12:33am
I'm only asking because I have no knowledge or experience with the system.

A win/loss ratio seems overly cut in dry...  Is that an official definition, or just a gut feeling?

I am also still wondering if the scale is linear or not, since most rating systems are not. For example, the rating system in tennis is a 1-7 scale, and the difference between a 1 and a 2, or a 3 and a 4 is relatively small (especially considering some people either sandbag or are overly generous), but the difference between a 6 and a 7 is pretty much astronomic.

FWIW, no, I'm not denying that the lower player is getting more benefit, but I think if you're playing at a club you should play with everyone (within reason). Where I practice we have a 15 minute timer and basically play with everyone.


Edited by baribari - 04/15/2015 at 12:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 12:32am
Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:


To be honest, I didn't even know table tennis had a ranking system until I came to this forum, so these numbers have no meaning for me. How much of a gap is 200 points, relatively speaking?

Well north of 90%.


Quote

We also need to be exposed to low-quality shots to know how to deal with them in match play. Anyone who isn't a complete beginner has at least *something* to offer as long as they have a good attitude. Of course, I'm not suggesting a national-level player should have to play with a complete beginner, at least not for free.

There's a difference between having something to offer and being what someone primarily needs to play against to improve.  If a lower rated player practices exclusively against a higher rated player and vice versa, the lower rated player is likely to improve while the higher rated player is likely to stagnate or get worse.  The lower rated player gains more in these practices and there is no need to dispute this seriously.

Quote  
I would have thought it was assumed the lower player was putting it on the table most of the time, even without pinpoint accuracy, and mostly making mistakes when going for power or when pushed by hard shots.

If you read the original post and subsequent responses, you will see that this assumption is often enough not the case.  Moreover, the ultimate purpose is not just to keep it on the table but to have a productive hitting session.   Some higher rated players also have hitting discipline issues, but these issues are more common amongst lower rated players because of the more diverse ways of achieving a level of play at the lower levels - high rated players have usually practiced/created more structured approaches to playing.

Quote

Just how much of a disparity are you talking about, exactly? A complete beginner versus a tournament player? At that point, they would be better off doing multiball for each other. That sounds weird...

The disparity may vary.  I have practiced with players as high as 600-800 pts above me when I was 
1200-1400.

Quote

The way I see it, if you don't specify a drill you would like to do, you've got some freedom to hit the ball the way you would like it, within reason, even if you're primarily doing one type of shot. If you're doing drills, I don't see any problem with throwing a different shot in at random.

Full disclosure, I don't do specific drills all that often, except when doing multiball. I mostly do what's fun.

The last statement/paragraph puts you in the devil's advocate category, but that is okay as long as you realize that it is easy to lose credibility if assertive statements are made about things with which one has little experience/expertise.

For the prior paragraph, the devil is in the details.  I would say that as the lower rated player, be willing to do whatever the higher rated player wants
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 12:21am
Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:

Assuming they're reasonably close matches (11-7 or closer), is that worth being snobby over?

That could feasibly be more about match nerves, experience, and tactics than about the soundness of their technique.

How does the scale work, exactly? Is it logarithmic, linear, or what? 

There's a good way to be a devil's advocate, but note that you are pushing the boundaries of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baribari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 12:14am
Assuming they're reasonably close matches (11-7 or closer), is that worth being snobby over?

That could feasibly be more about match nerves, experience, and tactics than about the soundness of their technique.

How does the scale work, exactly? Is it logarithmic, linear, or what? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pnachtwey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/15/2015 at 12:04am
[QUOTE=baribari]
To be honest, I didn't even know table tennis had a ranking system until I came to this forum, so these numbers have no meaning for me. How much of a gap is 200 points, relatively speaking?
[quote]
The lower player will win about 1 out of 25 matches, maybe 1 out of 30.
To achieve this the better player only needs to win about  57% of the balls.  That isn't that much more.  That is about a 5 to 4 win ratio on points.  That isn't that great a difference where the player that is 200 point higher should feel that put out.   The willingness to cooperate is more important that the 200 point difference.


  



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baribari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 11:46pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:



Moreover, let's get this straight - practicing with a higher rated player, especially when the gap is over 200 points, should always be seen as a privileged opportunity for a lower rated player unless the lower rated player is paying for coaching. 


To be honest, I didn't even know table tennis had a ranking system until I came to this forum, so these numbers have no meaning for me. How much of a gap is 200 points, relatively speaking?

Quote


 After all, we all know that to get better, we need to get exposed to higher quality shots


We also need to be exposed to low-quality shots to know how to deal with them in match play. Anyone who isn't a complete beginner has at least *something* to offer as long as they have a good attitude. Of course, I'm not suggesting a national-level player should have to play with a complete beginner, at least not for free.


Quote If the lower rated player is keeping the higher rated player's ball on the table, in general, just by doing that, the lower rated player is learning to control a higher quality of shot and that is valuable practice just by itself even if nothing else is worked on.

I would have thought it was assumed the lower player was putting it on the table most of the time, even without pinpoint accuracy, and mostly making mistakes when going for power or when pushed by hard shots.

Quote

Of course, in practice, there is nothing wrong with the occasional hit outside the drill to keep someone on their toes but it should not come from the lower rated player for a very important reason - the lower rated player has something to prove in terms of displaying his ability to cope with the level at which he is drilling.  


Just how much of a disparity are you talking about, exactly? A complete beginner versus a tournament player? At that point, they would be better off doing multiball for each other. That sounds weird...

Quote

But just hitting the ball deliberately where it should not go is not something that you should be doing in a hitting session unless it is an agreed upon part of the drill discipline.  

The way I see it, if you don't specify a drill you would like to do, you've got some freedom to hit the ball the way you would like it, within reason, even if you're primarily doing one type of shot. If you're doing drills, I don't see any problem with throwing a different shot in at random.

Full disclosure, I don't do specific drills all that often, except when doing multiball. I mostly do what's fun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clarence247 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 10:27pm
Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:


Because low-end players tend to play differently than they practice, and hitting practice is still necessary.

I think an occasionally shot to the opposite hand against a superior player is fair game, as long as you're telegraphing it or calling it out. Just to keep them on their toes. The same goes for lower players...  if anything it's more helpful than pure forehand / backhand drills, since transitions are something most people have trouble with.

This in my opinion is very wrong - a drill is a drill and should be adhered to - each drill has a specific focus. Some drills like BH to BH drive or FH to FH drive focus on feel and warming up. FH loop to FH block and BH loop to BH block focus on technique warm up. 

Then there are footwork drills, 3rd ball drills and many many more... most importantly there are REGULAR drills where a pattern is adhered to and IRREGULAR drills where you "keep your opponent on their toes" with predefined but random switches.

Before each drill the higher player has to explain the purpose of the drill to the lower player:
eg. of a REGULAR CONTROL drill:
BH to BH across DRIVING with control - at the right moment player A turns and gives a CONTROLLED FH loop from his BH side - keeping the ball going across.... ball is returned and BH to BH resumed...

the purpose is a) consistency b) the pivot motion to turn around to execute a good FH loop from the BH side c) the FH technique when applying footwork (many players may have decent FH technique but it falls apart when specific footwork is needed to get into position before executing the stroke) d) getting back into BH to BH position e) concentration and discipline

eg. of a REGULAR ATTACKING drill:
Now a small change to the drill:
BH to BH across DRIVING with control - at the right moment player A turns and gives a strong FH loop from his BH side - keeping the ball going across....but with the intention to win the point... then it's an open point... 

Now the purpose of the exercise is very different:
the focus is now almost totally on the pivot to the FH on breaking away from safety and applying good technique AND force with the intention to win... and on the recovery after it is blocked.

eg. of an IRREGULAR CONTROL drill:
BH to BH across one side spinning the other blocking... at one point the blocker blocks to the FH without warning... Attacker plays a FH Controlled loop down the line (to the blocker's BH again) and the ball goes back the the BH and the drill goes on...

Again focus here is on consistency, placement, footwork, grip adjustment (for some ppl) between FH and BH, recovery to the BH spinning

eg. of an IRREGULAR ATTACKING drill:
BH to BH across one side spinning the other blocking... at one point the blocker blocks to the FH without warning... Attacker plays a FH ATTACKING loop anywhere to finish the point... open point if blocked...

the purpose here is footwork, keeping technique while attacking with force, recovery if blocked, placement with power, getting the habit to use power whenever the opportunity arises on the FH.

The Higher player has to explain the REASON for each drill to the Lower player and each player has to take 15 mins of active and 15 passive...

IF one player breaks from the routine... what most players I know do is simply catch the ball with their hand instead of continue.... this shows that the reason behind the exercise has not been adhered too and that it's wasting time....

for example in example 1: 

BH to BH DRIVE - if suddenly my practice partner had to SPIN when we said drive.... I stop the ball and explain...

This way it is easy to weed out serious partners from time wasters, because those who just want to hit balls about simply get annoyed , whereas those who want to improve quickly understand the benefits and  a serious practice session follows.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 10:01pm
Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:

Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:

If you're ever playing against someone who doesn't hit where they aim, just consider it match practice.

Then why not just play a match, as jrscatman pointed out?

Maybe this problem doesn't exist in Japan, but it is a problem in the US.  One of the barriers to developing better players is finding ways for players who want to improve but don't want to go broke paying for coaching is to spread the right kind of culture around hitting.  Again, if you want to play a match, play a match. But if you need to warm up your strokes, you need the drill discipline.    No one expects you to be laser point precise in your control, but hitting to the backhand when the drill is forehand to forehand warm-up ignores the fact that the main reason you can tee off on the ball is that your opponent gave you a warmup ball, not a match ball. 

Because low-end players tend to play differently than they practice, and hitting practice is still necessary.

I think an occasionally shot to the opposite hand against a superior player is fair game, as long as you're telegraphing it or calling it out. Just to keep them on their toes. The same goes for lower players...  if anything it's more helpful than pure forehand / backhand drills, since transitions are something most people have trouble with.

Here are my thoughts and they are probably biased by my attitude to this and what worked for me coming up.

If someone can't hit in the general vicinity of where they aim, they will not make good hitting partners.  If a lower rated player wants to make a good hitting partner, they should work on improving their control of practice shots.

Moreover, let's get this straight - practicing with a higher rated player, especially when the gap is over 200 points, should always be seen as a privileged opportunity for a lower rated player unless the lower rated player is paying for coaching.  After all, we all know that to get better, we need to get exposed to higher quality shots, so the opportunity to do so in practice is very valuable and should not be trivialized by taking liberties - of course, if the higher rated player is an arrogant or rude person, it's one thing, but all things being equal, when a better player gives you a chance to hit with them, the attitude of the lower rated player should be one of gratitude for the most part in normal cases.  Maybe I should have stressed this in the original post because you seem to be missing that part of the equation.  If the lower rated player is keeping the higher rated player's ball on the table, in general, just by doing that, the lower rated player is learning to control a higher quality of shot and that is valuable practice just by itself even if nothing else is worked on.

Of course, in practice, there is nothing wrong with the occasional hit outside the drill to keep someone on their toes but it should not come from the lower rated player for a very important reason - the lower rated player has something to prove in terms of displaying his ability to cope with the level at which he is drilling.  Therefore, you don't know how many chances the lower rated player has to prove that he has drill discipline or how his shots will be interpreted when the higher rated player is looking for practice partners.  There is nothing wrong with imperfectly placed or faster or even slower shots within the drill discipline - in fact, higher rated players often will accept the responsibility for keeping the drill going when the lower rated player makes an errant but reasonable shot, and the higher rated player will often play an off speed or faster shot to test the lower rated player.  But just hitting the ball deliberately where it should not go is not something that you should be doing in a hitting session unless it is an agreed upon part of the drill discipline.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baribari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 9:18pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:

If you're ever playing against someone who doesn't hit where they aim, just consider it match practice.

Then why not just play a match, as jrscatman pointed out?

Maybe this problem doesn't exist in Japan, but it is a problem in the US.  One of the barriers to developing better players is finding ways for players who want to improve but don't want to go broke paying for coaching is to spread the right kind of culture around hitting.  Again, if you want to play a match, play a match. But if you need to warm up your strokes, you need the drill discipline.    No one expects you to be laser point precise in your control, but hitting to the backhand when the drill is forehand to forehand warm-up ignores the fact that the main reason you can tee off on the ball is that your opponent gave you a warmup ball, not a match ball. 

Because low-end players tend to play differently than they practice, and hitting practice is still necessary.

I think an occasionally shot to the opposite hand against a superior player is fair game, as long as you're telegraphing it or calling it out. Just to keep them on their toes. The same goes for lower players...  if anything it's more helpful than pure forehand / backhand drills, since transitions are something most people have trouble with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 3:20pm
Originally posted by takethat takethat wrote:

Blocking against good loopers, could require fair amount of skill. Lower level players enjoy slipping one through good players. I would think it would be hard to find a medium that can fully benefit, both levels of players. That being said, old school, I remember the better players would play lower ones, games. The better player could only play, one set all backhand, next set all forehand, etc. They found it good practise, for footwork and placement. Caveat: There was no Penholders then or there.

The fundamentals of blocking against loopers can be taught.  As long as you aren't looping at over 60% for the first 5 balls and aren't looping all over the place, the ball is usually blockable if the person has the right blocking fundamentals (in a match, this changes for a variety of reasons).  Usually, the culprit is bad blocking technique if the loop isn't at full power and when hitting in practice with people, there are many good reasons not to go at full power for at least the first 5 shots of the rally by both players.  After that, one can decide to ramp up the pace but the value is already at least there for both players.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GMan4911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 2:04pm
When playing matches, one technique that I've used on occasion is giving the lower rated player a few handicap points.  Helps to keep me focused and not be lazy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote takethat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 1:47pm
If you do, that is a high percentage, do you play games? If not you should try the one side next side, they actually try harder to beat you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 1:37pm
I play against lower rated players literally 90% of the time.

I really try to focus on footwork and form.  I make sure to take a step on every point and set up to smash the ball, then place it back under control.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote takethat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/14/2015 at 1:23pm
Blocking against good loopers, could require fair amount of skill. Lower level players enjoy slipping one through good players. I would think it would be hard to find a medium that can fully benefit, both levels of players. That being said, old school, I remember the better players would play lower ones, games. The better player could only play, one set all backhand, next set all forehand, etc. They found it good practise, for footwork and placement. Caveat: There was no Penholders then or there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/13/2015 at 12:44pm
Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

Another problem is that most clubs are multi-use rooms like in a community center or school, with TT one or two nights a week.  So people want to / have to play matches and not practice.  Often there is a rule like winner stays, but only two matches.  The only practice/hitting is pre-match warmup.  And there is often a wait list.  

So I see the higher-rated players side of it.  Do they want to use one of their two matches for that turn on the table playing someone hundreds of points lower?  And if not, then they don't hit with that person at all.   

The amount of time NL gets to spend doing drills and various forms of pure practice at Trolley Car TTC is very unusual.



Yes, it is very unusual when you don't live close to a full time club/training center, but it is the norm wherever you find a full time club/training center - I mean, some people consider my club a no-go area because it has no regular 2500+ players there.

If you don't live in one of these areas with a full time club (plenty of NJ, NY city, DC/MD/VA Metro, part of TX, CA, WA and OR, good college teams or just about anywhere where a former US Pro or a high level immigrant has opened a club) then your chance of seeing high level TT is pretty near impossible.  That was BH-Man's point a while back and he is feeling the effects of this in Upstate NY.  I have thought about it and realized that if I moved 50 minutes away from where I lived right now to DE, my level would drop just as much if not more than BH-Man's did.



Edited by NextLevel - 04/13/2015 at 12:48pm
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/13/2015 at 12:08pm
Another problem is that most clubs are multi-use rooms like in a community center or school, with TT one or two nights a week.  So people want to / have to play matches and not practice.  Often there is a rule like winner stays, but only two matches.  The only practice/hitting is pre-match warmup.  And there is often a wait list.  

So I see the higher-rated players side of it.  Do they want to use one of their two matches for that turn on the table playing someone hundreds of points lower?  And if not, then they don't hit with that person at all.   

The amount of time NL gets to spend doing drills and various forms of pure practice at Trolley Car TTC is very unusual.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/13/2015 at 11:04am
Originally posted by AcudaDave AcudaDave wrote:

Good post NextLevel about hitting with lower players.  One thing I read a long time ago is that if you're hitting with a lower player they probably won't be able to hit it in the same spot as well so use that as an opportunity to improve your footwork.
Since I started our club about 3.5 years ago many of the lower players look up to me to help them out so I'm happy to walk around spending some time with lower players as long as they are good listeners and really try to do the things I recommend to them to improve their game.
It's also a shame some of the higher players won't help out lower players by hitting with them a little. I understand if you want to improve your game and hit with better players, but if some of the higher players would just spend 10 - 15 minutes with the other players that would help.  We actually have a 2200+ player come to our club a few times that has really made some derogatory comments to lower players when they ask him to hit with them for a few minutes.  One guy was a 1900+ player that has an unorthodox style and when he asked the higher player to hit with him his response was "I need to practice with someone that has a proper stoke". Needless to say this didn't go over to well with the lower player so he walked away. He later apologized for his comment and tried to make it up with that guy but the damage was done and the lower player said he would just find other players to hit with.  I still laugh about his comment sometimes and thought about printing that on a T-shirt. LOL.

LOL.  People can be mean.  That said, it can be hard to warm up with unorthodox players until you have grooved your stroke - I play in a club with lots of long pips players and some sidespin loopers as well so I don't have an issue, but I can see how a topspin player at any level might.  However, even some of the pips players or sidespin loopers would find more partners to hit with if they learned to feed a regular dead or light topspin ball.  It's just a good practice requirement and I don't think it is too demanding for any style unless you use long pips on both sides.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/13/2015 at 10:50am
Originally posted by baribari baribari wrote:

If you're ever playing against someone who doesn't hit where they aim, just consider it match practice.

Then why not just play a match, as jrscatman pointed out?

Maybe this problem doesn't exist in Japan, but it is a problem in the US.  One of the barriers to developing better players is finding ways for players who want to improve but don't want to go broke paying for coaching is to spread the right kind of culture around hitting.  Again, if you want to play a match, play a match. But if you need to warm up your strokes, you need the drill discipline.    No one expects you to be laser point precise in your control, but hitting to the backhand when the drill is forehand to forehand warm-up ignores the fact that the main reason you can tee off on the ball is that your opponent gave you a warmup ball, not a match ball. 
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote baribari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/13/2015 at 10:26am
If you're ever playing against someone who doesn't hit where they aim, just consider it match practice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AcudaDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/13/2015 at 10:16am
Good post NextLevel about hitting with lower players.  One thing I read a long time ago is that if you're hitting with a lower player they probably won't be able to hit it in the same spot as well so use that as an opportunity to improve your footwork.
Since I started our club about 3.5 years ago many of the lower players look up to me to help them out so I'm happy to walk around spending some time with lower players as long as they are good listeners and really try to do the things I recommend to them to improve their game.
It's also a shame some of the higher players won't help out lower players by hitting with them a little. I understand if you want to improve your game and hit with better players, but if some of the higher players would just spend 10 - 15 minutes with the other players that would help.  We actually have a 2200+ player come to our club a few times that has really made some derogatory comments to lower players when they ask him to hit with them for a few minutes.  One guy was a 1900+ player that has an unorthodox style and when he asked the higher player to hit with him his response was "I need to practice with someone that has a proper stoke". Needless to say this didn't go over to well with the lower player so he walked away. He later apologized for his comment and tried to make it up with that guy but the damage was done and the lower player said he would just find other players to hit with.  I still laugh about his comment sometimes and thought about printing that on a T-shirt. LOL.
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