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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roundrobin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 4:26pm
It's not a bad idea for older adults to watch paralympic-level table tennis players now and then.  I used to watch the highest level paralympic events at the U.S. Nationals and learned a ton from them... 

Not every adult has the mobility to perform the "correct" stroke anymore.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 5:06pm
Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.
I'm not familiar with micro/macro footwork. 
Whatever works for you - you should use! But when offering advice - one should offer the correct method.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 5:29pm
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.
I'm not familiar with micro/macro footwork. 
Whatever works for you - you should use! But when offering advice - one should offer the correct method.
I'm sorry but if you are not familiar with micro/macro footwork, do you really think you should be saying things like:
 
"I would say the easiest way to improve is to focus on footwork."
 
Micro footwork is about things like foot positioning and balance and how they affect the ability to do weight transfer to improve stroke speed and recovery.  For example, if you hit your forehand out of a backhand stance, your footwork needs to be corrected.  If you look at OP, he almost never does this.  In fact, he may be guilty of hitting too many shots out of a backhand stance, but that all depends on how he intends to play but is a more advanced footwork error (but again, may not be if he has the athleticism to support it).  MAcro footwork would be more about covering larger distances, and while it helps advanced players, it is not the reason why most players lose points at the lower level.  In fact, players who never use it get as high as 2300.
 
The "correct method" is what fits into the player's goals. 


Edited by NextLevel - 04/18/2014 at 5:35pm
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 6:20pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.
I'm not familiar with micro/macro footwork. 
Whatever works for you - you should use! But when offering advice - one should offer the correct method.
I'm sorry but if you are not familiar with micro/macro footwork, do you really think you should be saying things like:
 
"I would say the easiest way to improve is to focus on footwork."
 
Micro footwork is about things like foot positioning and balance and how they affect the ability to do weight transfer to improve stroke speed and recovery.  For example, if you hit your forehand out of a backhand stance, your footwork needs to be corrected.  If you look at OP, he almost never does this.  In fact, he may be guilty of hitting too many shots out of a backhand stance, but that all depends on how he intends to play but is a more advanced footwork error (but again, may not be if he has the athleticism to support it).  MAcro footwork would be more about covering larger distances, and while it helps advanced players, it is not the reason why most players lose points at the lower level.  In fact, players who never use it get as high as 2300.
 
The "correct method" is what fits into the player's goals. 
There is no such thing as micro/macro footwork - it's just stuff you're making up. 
Good luck to the OP - hope he improves his game!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 6:26pm
Originally posted by VictorK VictorK wrote:

Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by VictorK VictorK wrote:

Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

By working on his stroke, his footwork will largely follow. The video he posted shows signs of good footwork. He moves his feet into optimal position for weight transfer for strokes to a degree higher than his level. Whether that is the moat efficient way for him to play is another question.


I disagree.   Footwork: proper/timely movement; proper feet position, weight transfer, etc are actually components and/or pre-requisite of correct stroke ... hence, should be taught in tandem.

I actually find it much easier to learn/teach most strokes starting from footwork and ending with arm movement rather than the other way around.


I would be really surprised if this applied to adult players with existing skills. I don't have your level of play or experience, but I spent four months with a 2200 coach who could not get me to play much better and then worked for 2 years with someone lower rated that did. The difference was that one of them wanted to show you how to hit a ball that would give your opponent fits while the other was happy just rallying and multiballing until the hour was over.

The one who improved my game believed that while top level players used all parts of their body, the wrist was the key if you wanted to play a less physical form of the top level game. When he teaches juniors, he emphasises everything, but for adults, he focuses on the stroke because as he says, if you get to the ball but don't have the right stroke, it won't matter.

He has had success improving the games of adults because he improved mostly in adulthood. Most high level coaches simply try to teach people exactly what they learned as juniors. In his case, he had an eye for what higher level players were doing to make their strokes more powerful and simply takes whatever you are doing and tries to make it better unless it is simply terrible.


I wholeheartedly agree that coaches should discuss with, and adjust to the goals, age and physical limitations of their students, so there's no argument here.

IMO, one of the main problems in coaching adults with existing (self-taught) skills is that they need to first "unlearn" the old/incorrect habits before re-learning the correct way, so it typically takes much longer than learning from scratch.   Some adult players and their coaches are happy building on top of old/bad habits, which might result in faster progress in short-term, but inhibits progress in the longer-term.   I don't think it's a wrong approach, as long as this is the student's objective.

I believe that with juniors, as well as with adult players who have longer-term goals and aim much higher, we need to put lots of emphasis on correct and efficient footwork.   I'm not saying that adult players should learn textbook perfect technique, but learning few, basic principles can have huge impact on their long-term progress.  Also, good footwork helps prevent injuries while giving players better, more intense workout.

Regarding your statement "if you get to the ball but don't have the right stroke, it won't matter" I would say that it's possible to hit the ball even with a wrong arm/wrist movement, but  if you don't get to the ball with your feet, then you won't be able to hit it at all - you'll swing in the air.  

Also, if you learn proper footwork and balance, you can use almost identical stroke while placing the ball in different locations and with different amount of power, while incorrect footwork (e.g. having feet always parallel to the table) will force you to alter your stroke significantly depending on where you want to place the ball and will inhibit your power and quick recovery into ready position.
Lestat said what I wanted to say best.  My original point was where to get the most bang for your buck in terms of TT improvement.  I was trying to tell OP that he should be more ambitious about improving his stroke mechanics - it's hard to find a single quality topspin in the original video.  Jrscatman said he should work on his footwork with a Kanak Jha model.  Nothing annoys me more than people being told to work on their footwork (especially in this case where the footwork is decent) when the real problem lack of good strokes.
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 6:29pm
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.
I'm not familiar with micro/macro footwork. 
Whatever works for you - you should use! But when offering advice - one should offer the correct method.
I'm sorry but if you are not familiar with micro/macro footwork, do you really think you should be saying things like:
 
"I would say the easiest way to improve is to focus on footwork."
 
Micro footwork is about things like foot positioning and balance and how they affect the ability to do weight transfer to improve stroke speed and recovery.  For example, if you hit your forehand out of a backhand stance, your footwork needs to be corrected.  If you look at OP, he almost never does this.  In fact, he may be guilty of hitting too many shots out of a backhand stance, but that all depends on how he intends to play but is a more advanced footwork error (but again, may not be if he has the athleticism to support it).  MAcro footwork would be more about covering larger distances, and while it helps advanced players, it is not the reason why most players lose points at the lower level.  In fact, players who never use it get as high as 2300.
 
The "correct method" is what fits into the player's goals. 
There is no such thing as micro/macro footwork - it's just stuff you're making up. 
Good luck to the OP - hope he improves his game!
Can I ask what your TT level is?  After all, mine is public knowledge.  It is much weaker than that of VictorK and Lestat but significantly higher than the OP.  What is yours?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 6:47pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.
I'm not familiar with micro/macro footwork. 
Whatever works for you - you should use! But when offering advice - one should offer the correct method.
I'm sorry but if you are not familiar with micro/macro footwork, do you really think you should be saying things like:
 
"I would say the easiest way to improve is to focus on footwork."
 
Micro footwork is about things like foot positioning and balance and how they affect the ability to do weight transfer to improve stroke speed and recovery.  For example, if you hit your forehand out of a backhand stance, your footwork needs to be corrected.  If you look at OP, he almost never does this.  In fact, he may be guilty of hitting too many shots out of a backhand stance, but that all depends on how he intends to play but is a more advanced footwork error (but again, may not be if he has the athleticism to support it).  MAcro footwork would be more about covering larger distances, and while it helps advanced players, it is not the reason why most players lose points at the lower level.  In fact, players who never use it get as high as 2300.
 
The "correct method" is what fits into the player's goals. 
There is no such thing as micro/macro footwork - it's just stuff you're making up. 
Good luck to the OP - hope he improves his game!
Can I ask what your TT level is?  After all, mine is public knowledge.  It is much weaker than that of VictorK and Lestat but significantly higher than the OP.  What is yours?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 7:46pm
I think it is pretty easy to agree that without proper footwork you will have limits on how far you will go in table-tennis and will look awkward when you play.  For crying out loud the OP is only 15 years old and some of you are discouraging him from learning proper footwork?  Why can't you learn proper footwork and stroke at the same time?  When you are not in the right place you would have to greatly distort your stroke from the correct form in order to return the rally= bad habits and a waste of time.  So it is for the OP to decide how far he wants to go in table-tennis ( and everything else in life).  If you want to just enjoy the game or just have short term goals to win more a few more points (but not improving your technique), sure there is no wrong way otherwise you'll need the whole pkg.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lestat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 8:09pm
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

There is no such thing as micro/macro footwork - it's just stuff you're making up. 
Good luck to the OP - hope he improves his game!

Yes, there is. NextLevel put it well, you might call it whatever you like but if you don't make a differentiation between positioning footwork needed to perform a stroke and footwork needed to reach out to a ball FAST, what do you actually know about footwork? Most amateur players with good knees could do the first well, very few the second.

You went for a coaching certificate so you've obviously considered coaching. You will learn this soon enough, hamper an adult player with distance footwork drills and they won't be back.

Having had a quick look at the OPs video, footwork in terms of mobility is not a problem for him. He's keen to move, his feet are fast enough and he looks eager to learn. He just doesn't know what to do with himself at the table. I recommend a bunch of sessions with a good coach, sooner rather than later.


Edited by Lestat - 04/18/2014 at 8:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 8:21pm
As long as one is making strokes in good form, foot positioning is key. OP is generally good at that kind of footwork. What he needs is a good stroke, not more footwork drills.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lestat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 8:31pm
Forehand loop with Brian Pace. Watch the positioning footwork. He's doing constant micro adjustments for every stroke. Sometimes he leaps left or right in small jumps to get out of the way or to reach out - but it's all fairly localized. This is attainable for most players if they focus on it. Mind you, it does't have to be as sharp as Brian's to be efficient, as long as it follows the same basic form.




Edited by Lestat - 04/18/2014 at 9:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenneyy88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 9:43pm
FH Counter- Starting position of your arm should be lower. The stroke path should be more of a rotational path, my old coach called it like a pendulum. Your contact point is too late, you have to hit it earlier. 

BH Counter- The stroke isn't a straightening of the arm but more of a rotation of the forearm around the elbow. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 9:54pm
Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.


  
 
 
I agree with you on a lot of stuff, especially the over-rated part, if you are talking about the mentality that footwork is EVERYTHING. BUT... not on this key point. Being LOW and balanced/ready, moving with efficient enough steps into a sufficiently good enough position to arrive on time and on balance... that counts for a LOT and can never be under-rated. It is a foundation that allows one to improve upon the stroke itself and get way better. One can argue that being in proper position/balance/on time can cover a LOT of error in the stroke itself.
 
When I first got to Korea, I was pretty much a self-taught dude who could hit maybe once a week if lucky. I could get to a ball and spin the daylights outta it, much better than their div 1 students (I showed up as a Div 4 city player). High level Korean coaches would look at my shot vs underspin and tell me my IMPACT was good, but everything else crappy. Looking back as I grew 3 levels and developed some footwork and better balance/ready position... I gotta say they were correct.
 
Having just a stroke doesn't cut it for much. Sure, that crap got me to 1600 USATT and Div 4 city with a fearsome topspin, but anyone who could control the ball and make me move for everything would be running me better than a Yo-Yo and win without cracking a sweat.
 
Time has shown me the more I learn and grow in level in this sport, the more and more I am deficient and do not yet know this sport or perform it well enough yet.
 
You properly emphasize the micro footwork, heck, I think that could also be held more important than it is. It is a big part of being in position, it helps one keep knees flexed and ready to move and adjust. Improving just the micro footwork counts for a LOT and sets the table to be efficient at larger steps. No one can move if they are not low, wide, and ready to move. Staying low and taking those micro steps are good training for the larger steps. It is what we do before exploding for the large ones. I believe it is very under-rated and under-taught.
 
Higher level players were always telling me to tiny hop between steps and such and early on, I never got it or what it did for me. Now, I do it without thinking about it.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ByeByeAbout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 9:58pm
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by davidwhang davidwhang wrote:

Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

By working on his stroke, his footwork will largely follow.



And here we disagree. You don't develop good footwork just subconsciously...that's why a lot of sports like basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis, and table tennis have drills for strokes and separately for footwork. Work on them separately and intentionally.


Yes, you get a higher level of footwork if you practice footwork drills. However, to improve your stroke, you need to improve your racket head speed. To make your stroke smaller and recover quicker, weight transfer and balance become issues. Getting into position in time to make the stroke is also an issue. Those all fees into your footwork even if you never explicitly practice it. The question is one of degree. The improved stroke will make you go.to the next level where you have to address footwork as long as you can't blow people off the table.


nl

some nice speed on those bh flick kills....very good.   too bad the knees restrict your movement as you could really cover a lot more territory simply by crouching...

regards
rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VictorK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 10:04pm
Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.



Lestat - I wasn't familiar with the term "micro footwork", but I think I understand what you mean by this.   However, IMO micro footwork is still part of footwork (you appear to equate footwork with "macro" movements), and I strongly believe that footwork is by no way overrated, at least not in the places/countries where I've trained.   As a matter of fact, I believe that footwork (both "micro" and "macro") is the most under-practiced aspect of TT, and it's the biggest detriment to progress for most players, including beginners and intermediate players.

BTW, I'm curious, where do you draw the line between "micro" and "macro" footwork?  Do one-step, step-around, step-in (e.g. for flick), basic shuffle belong into "micro" or "macro" category?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ByeByeAbout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 10:15pm
Originally posted by VictorK VictorK wrote:

Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Footwork is way overrated at intermediate level. Not saying it's not important, but most people can't even do a simple but precise forehand/backhand transfer and they're worried about footwork?

An amateur player with no dreams of becoming a regional champion should worry first about the stroke itself and the micro footwork that comes with it. Macro footwork should only come into the picture much later, if ever.



Lestat - I wasn't familiar with the term "micro footwork", but I think I understand what you mean by this.   However, IMO micro footwork is still part of footwork (you appear to equate footwork with "macro" movements), and I strongly believe that footwork is by no way overrated, at least not in the places/countries where I've trained.   As a matter of fact, I believe that footwork (both "micro" and "macro") is the most under-practiced aspect of TT, and it's the biggest detriment to progress for most players, including beginners and intermediate players.

BTW, I'm curious, where do you draw the line between "micro" and "macro" footwork?  Do one-step, step-around, step-in (e.g. for flick), basic shuffle belong into "micro" or "macro" category?



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2014 at 10:38pm
Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

There is no such thing as micro/macro footwork - it's just stuff you're making up. 
Good luck to the OP - hope he improves his game!

Yes, there is. NextLevel put it well, you might call it whatever you like but if you don't make a differentiation between positioning footwork needed to perform a stroke and footwork needed to reach out to a ball FAST, what do you actually know about footwork? Most amateur players with good knees could do the first well, very few the second.

You went for a coaching certificate so you've obviously considered coaching. You will learn this soon enough, hamper an adult player with distance footwork drills and they won't be back.

Having had a quick look at the OPs video, footwork in terms of mobility is not a problem for him. He's keen to move, his feet are fast enough and he looks eager to learn. He just doesn't know what to do with himself at the table. I recommend a bunch of sessions with a good coach, sooner rather than later.
We all have to go by our knowledge and our experiences - in my game footwork made a huge difference. As for Micro/Macro footwork - I've never come across this term till today, perhaps it's advanced knowledge that I don't have. 
I just wanted to let the OP know in my opinion footwork is the single most important aspect of the game. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tt4me Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 12:34am
Originally posted by ByeByeAbout ByeByeAbout wrote:

thanks for the upload

about 600-700 canadian (which is about 1700 american)

regards
rick
Much less.  1200-1400.  The OP is just getting the ball back and not setting up his shots.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mts388 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 1:43am
Originally posted by suds79 suds79 wrote:

Honestly I wouldn't get too caught up in rating. I think it can set preconceived notions in your head whether or not you're going to win or lose a match.

Since you asked, honestly you seem to be on the level with several players at our club so I would say 1200-1300. Not trying to be mean. Simply what I see.

I think 1400-1500 as stated earlier is a little on the generous side. Take Dave here from our club who is rated 1493 according to ratingscentral.com

He's in the bright red and a cerebral all around type of player.



Now onto the more important stuff. Takeaways from your game. 

I'm a penholder so that might effect my outlook but I'd like to see a little more aggression or power play. The good news is you're 15 so that'll come in time but when I first saw it I thought "strokes look a little robotic." Then a second later I'd see a pretty forehand. 

From your video:
Nice forehand. - 2:12 (good stuff)

Then at 2:22... ?  Why camp at the middle of the table passively blocking that ball in play? You're in position to rip that backhand or step around for a big forehand. You lost that point by the way when you were in prime position to finish it off. IMO you camp in the middle of the table simply blocking a pinch too much.

Your consistency looks pretty good to me as far as keeping the ball in play. That's a valuable skill to have.

Just my 2 cents.



Watching the video of Dave in the red shirt, I'd have to really stretch to call him a 1000 rated player. 

I don't think I saw a short serve in the match.  Every serve was long with very little spin.  Both players stood in the middle, 3 feet from the table to return the serves.  The whole match looked like a friendly warm-up. 


Edited by mts388 - 04/19/2014 at 1:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacekGM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 2:09am
Originally posted by tt4me tt4me wrote:

Originally posted by ByeByeAbout ByeByeAbout wrote:

thanks for the upload

about 600-700 canadian (which is about 1700 american)

regards
rick
Much less.  1200-1400.  The OP is just getting the ball back and not setting up his shots.



Exactly. We have much more effective 1200 players in our club.
(1) Juic SBA (Fl, 85 g) with Bluefire JP3 (red max) on FH and 0.6 mm DR N Desperado on BH; (2) Yinhe T7 (Fl, 87 g) with Bluefire M3 (red 2.0) on FH and 0.6 mm 755 on BH.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lestat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 7:43am
@BHman and VictorK

I'm not necessarily disagreeing, think we're approaching this from different angles. I'm just afraid of being too dogmatic about footwork to people who either don't have the time, inclination or the body strength to learn the game to a T. And maybe we should do a poll, I always thought people equate footwork used in a general way with moving around the table. Otherwise you would say stroke footwork. It's important to make a differentiation. These are not up and coming juniors, so no point in talking in absolute terms. Bottom line is, there's the easy part of the footwork, and the hard part of it - so there's footwork and there's footwork. Where the line is drawn it's up the the individual.

This is a very complex sport and has to be eaten in chunks. Some parts are independent from each other, others have to be built on top of a previous skill. This applies to everybody, let alone folks who are not looking to do performance. And if we agree with this much, we can also agree prioritising becomes important.

I'm not a coach but say I'm looking to evaluate an adult player. First I'm looking at stroke mechanics, stance and stroke footwork. Then, between this and falkenberg there's a TON of other stuff I can look at without bringing the player to their physical limits, including tactical stuff. For instance, I've seen enough players who can actually move quite well around the table, but often fail to lift their arm after looping underspin - and the second hit goes over the table? Or, instead of falkenberg, how about drilling fast forehand/backhand switch which could give you the possibility to return a quality shot without the run-around footwork? Or, shall we talk about serves and returns? All right, all players who load their serves aimlessly without knowing what the heck is supposed to come back, raise their hands! Hmm I rest my case.

I agree that positioning is key, but only if we're talking in absolute terms. A high level game can be achieved with relatively limited footwork. They can position very well, but within the limits of their body strength. I have examples around me and I stand by this statement. And let's not assume players do not move around the table at all, they're not encased in concrete after all. They do, just slower.

And one last thing, I'm 38yo with a 48bpm pulse at rest so I would consider myself pretty athletic. On top of that, I invest a lot of my time in this sport and half of my sparring partners are top notch. Yet, footwork drills executed correctly are pushing me to my limits so it does make me wonder about these poor souls coming here for advice and being prescribed footwork in a general way.


Edited by Lestat - 04/19/2014 at 7:44am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VictorK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 8:09am
>>>.... I always thought people equate footwork used in a general way with moving around the table. Otherwise you would say stroke footwork. It's important to make a differentiation....<<<


@Lestat - It appears that we agree on almost everything ... except your sentence that I quoted above.  

For me, the term footwork translates into any (small, medium, big) feet movement and repositioning that is done during a rally, and it starts with standing on the balls of your feet or doing tiny adjustments and goes all the way to a Falkenberg, and beyond.   If there's a perception that equates footwork with just the big movements around the table, I'm strongly against it, and I would love to have it eradicated from TT.

I'm with you on the importance of "micro" footwork, as I believe that the better players get at "micro" footwork, the less "macro" footwork they need to do during rallies, since they are more likely to stay balanced and not chase the ball all over the court.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 8:34am
Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:



Watching the video of Dave in the red shirt, I'd have to really stretch to call him a 1000 rated player. 

I don't think I saw a short serve in the match.  Every serve was long with very little spin.  Both players stood in the middle, 3 feet from the table to return the serves.  The whole match looked like a friendly warm-up. 

You have pretty tough standards. I hardly served short until I was 1700 and long serves still dominate my strategy. The key is I serve short once the player proves that my long serves are target practice. This is pretty rare at the lower levels with the exception of juniors who return all serves with their forehands or the rare junior with a powerful backhand loop that is spin oriented. Older players who were not trained in the short game are not going to have the patience to drop balls short repeatedly and it does take some athleticism to move on and out. If you take the amateur game seriously (and I plan to write that book on day because I think we need a serious way to keep older amateurs in our sport without stagnating their growth with ineffective drills), I think the approach should be to accept that amateurs will have severe gaps, bit the real question is whether they have any skills that would pose a problem for their opponents, mot whether they improve every table tennis skill they have. Better players have a similar approach, but more universal asthwy need to leave less weaknesses on the table.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 8:49am
Originally posted by VictorK VictorK wrote:


I'm with you on the importance of "micro" footwork, as I believe that the better players get at "micro" footwork, the less "macro" footwork they need to do during rallies, since they are more likely to stay balanced and not chase the ball all over the court.

I made this point earlier, because I guess where I differ with you and others who seem to agree with you is whether we put micro footwork into the stroke, which is where I believe it largely belongs, or whether we put micro footwork into the larger movements to play a ball that cannot be reached from where one stands, which is not where I think it belongs.  Both kinds of footwork are important, but would you recommend them all as being of equal importance to a player who needs to do something to get to the next step in table tennis?

The problem is that because people with your level of play don't make the distinction between micro and macro footwork, it confuses amateurs who don't have time to learn all the elements of footwork and think they are all equally important to playing effective table tennis.

If you refuse to make the distinction Lestat is making, then you may fail to see that there are players who can embrace elements of micro footwork in their practice and can even take that to a higher level because it enhances their stroke (on a good day,  when I play without abandon or face a chopper, I bend my waist, spread my legs apart on service return to stay low, rotate into the shot on both sides, do short strokes but full body turns on kills shots etc.), but who cannot consistently practice all the elements of macro footwork because of its demands on more joints and aerobic capacity.

As roundrobin pointed out, watching high level Paralympic players can inform people about what it takes to have an effective stroke.  Many of them have weaker forehands relative to full bodied loopers, but even then some of them hit/topspin very effectively regardless.


Edited by NextLevel - 04/19/2014 at 8:51am
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lestat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 8:52am
Originally posted by VictorK VictorK wrote:

>>>.... I always thought people equate footwork used in a general way with moving around the table. Otherwise you would say stroke footwork. It's important to make a differentiation....<<<


@Lestat - It appears that we agree on almost everything ... except your sentence that I quoted above.  

For me, the term footwork translates into any (small, medium, big) feet movement and repositioning that is done during a rally, and it starts with standing on the balls of your feet or doing tiny adjustments and goes all the way to a Falkenberg, and beyond.   If there's a perception that equates footwork with just the big movements around the table, I'm strongly against it, and I would love to have it eradicated from TT.

I'm with you on the importance of "micro" footwork, as I believe that the better players get at "micro" footwork, the less "macro" footwork they need to do during rallies, since they are more likely to stay balanced and not chase the ball all over the court.

Seems to be a question of using the right nomenclature. For may part, if I'm saying I'm doing a footwork drill I'd be referring to something that gets me moving around the table. Otherwise, it would be a forehand drill, or a backhand drill etc.


Originally posted by VictorK VictorK wrote:

I'm with you on the importance of "micro" footwork, as I believe that the better players get at "micro" footwork, the less "macro" footwork they need to do during rallies, since they are more likely to stay balanced and not chase the ball all over the court.

Yep, a quality shot from a well balanced position makes it more likely that the other player needs footwork Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 9:04am
haha Lestat, you ought to go to Korea and see what coach will do to you haha.
 
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You will get the living daylights smoked outta you once you graduate beyond the FH drive.
 
I like your approach to addressing old fat adults TT game with "chunks". I agree you cannot change the world in one day. You gotta work with what you got and correct things that give a big pay-off. At the same time, fundamentals are important and are a foundation for growth, so those cannot be ignored.
 
It is difficult for a coach or friend to take an overweight old dude with messed up tactics, strokes, footwork and poor knowledge and turn them into a holy TT terror in a few weeks. Just won't happen and you get it.
 
As much as I am at odds with the pundit crowd (at least on beginning equipment), I gotta agree that starting the new/old fat dude player off with a balance of working on the things with stroke (stroke itself, balance, recovery, use of body, power, acceleration, timing, impact zone, etc) along with the movement piece (ready position, balance, stance, the different movement techniques, bouncing back, small correction step, knee bend before opponent ball strike) starting with these things is the right way to go in my mind.
 
I realize just as you do that dumping it all on old fat dude in a session or two simply wont compute. You eat the enemy one bite at a time as part of a campaign being aware of what is ahead and attacking it in a small, efficient manner that later sees big results.
 
BTW, if anyone has seen me in real life out there or even the pics I post on the TT forums, I am an old, fat dude indeed.
 
Lestat, if you can maintain under 50 pulse at rest, you got some serious nice blood vessels and if you got the lungs and muscles to match that, look out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mhnh007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 9:32am
For me having good form includes what you call good micro foot work. Not everyone can have good form, specially if they are not athletic, and not training as a kid. Every coach will try to get you to have a good form, but good coach will try to get the best out of what you can do, while helping you to achieve a good form Smile.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote duchoangle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 9:42am
I think the OP has a similar style as I do, so I'll throw my bit into the mix for comparison.

This was my first USATT tournament, after which I was rated 1369. My opponent was 1412. I'm the guy in green. Match starts at 2:18.


A little over a year later, I played the same guy again in a collegiate tournament. I was 1700 at the time and my opponent was 1550.


It's hard to tell without a serious match, but the OP's level seems closer to my first video.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote murraylp2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 10:16am
Originally posted by duchoangle duchoangle wrote:

I think the OP has a similar style as I do, so I'll throw my bit into the mix for comparison.

This was my first USATT tournament, after which I was rated 1369. My opponent was 1412. I'm the guy in green. Match starts at 2:18.


A little over a year later, I played the same guy again in a collegiate tournament. I was 1700 at the time and my opponent was 1550.


It's hard to tell without a serious match, but the OP's level seems closer to my first video.

-Response to the video, I agree with you in that I normally play similars style (not so much in the video I posted as I did too much blocking), although when im in good form I would be happy to say im on level with you in the second video, but often worse than the first video. My forehand consistency varies so much so, thats probably something to work on.

I have to say a huge thank you to all the advice ive gotten so far! I really appreciate it and its helpful to get me on the right track
-In general response, I hope to play table tennis well through my adult-hood, although unfortunately due to no clubs nearby, I can only play 3 times a week for 2 hours with minimal coaching. Once im 18 (moving to city for university) I will be hopefully be able to play alot more (hopefully 6 days a week for 2-3 hours each day) as I really enjoy it and am dedicated to improving. I have been massively affected by the fact I didnt start playing till I was 14 (been playing 1 year and 7 months), coaching is very limited and I cant play enough a week.

-I usually use far more attacks on forehand on backhand, but though i was doing better blocking over the last few days. Luckily reading all the advice i now know to put more emphasis on attacks. Since then I have been able to attack 50% of my friends serves with forehand, and push the rest to set up an attack next ball. I have managed to score similarly on the score board and hopefully this will help my game improve.

Thanks for all the advice, really helping and I would really appreciate any more inputs!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2014 at 10:44am
Good stuff, murraylp2.

Best of luck with everything.  Your whole game will improve with time as long as you play and work on getting better weapons/strokes - some things will lag behind others significantly, but that is all we can do when we don't train 6 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You are right to focus on offense  - defense comes over time as you learn to do smaller strokes so your defensive strokes (blocks, short counters, lobs) tend to be smaller/safer versions of your offensive strokes.  Just work on generating more spin.  IF you look at duchoangle's two videos, in the first one, he was topspinning, but his opponent was often blocking it back unless he hit the first ball hard.  In the second video, sometimes, all he had to do was spin the ball once and the opponent blocked it off the table.

BTW, I watched the full ten minutes highlight reel - you did yourself an injustice posting this two minute version.  Your forehand is much better than this version gives you credit for, though you can still make it even better if you develop a down the line from the forehand and inside out shot from the backhand.


Edited by NextLevel - 04/19/2014 at 10:45am
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