Discuss

Do you need help with your table tennis game? Post a topic and get advice from Tom Lodziak and other forum members.

Notifications
Clear all

How was your latest league match?

17 Posts
5 Users
3 Likes
308 Views
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

How did you get on in your latest league match? I played last night. 3 matches. 3 losses! Ouch. Two matches I lost 3-2. This is becoming a bit of a habit. I played OK though. Lots of attacking intent. In my 3rd match, I actually felt I played one of my best matches ever, by lost 11-9 in the fifth. 

What about you? Did you win or lose? Did you play well? What do you need to improve?


   
Quote
borderline955i
(@borderline955i)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 4
 

Hi, I played last night too. 3 matches. 3 wins! Ouch. Why ouch? Due to signing up late with a team this season I'm playing in a lower division than usual and am not enjoying it. I'm expected to win every match and end with a 100% record. Because I'm playing players I've regularly beaten before there is no pleasure in winning and just a dread I am going to lose at some point. I'm dropping sets here and there when I shouldn't as the motivation to play at my best just isn't there. Any tips for making the best of this situation?


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

@borderline955i That's an unusual situation you find yourself in. It is tough when you are playing to meet others expectation. However, look at the positives. You have a season when you are stronger than your opponents. This gives you an opportunity to try something new. Is there a shot / serve you are developing, but haven't used much in matches yet? This could be a good opportunity to start using this shot. What part of your game needs the biggest improvement? Or if you could change one part of your game to compete at a higher level, what would it be? If you can work this out, then you could focus on this during this season. Forget about others expectations of you. If you lose a game or two, so what? If you can use this season to improve something, then it will have been a useful experience.


   
chung.lao reacted
ReplyQuote
borderline955i
(@borderline955i)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 4
 

@tom-lodziak Thanks for replying Tom. Yes, I have a few things I'd like to develop so will give it a try. I need to attack more and work on my pendulum serve. Playing to 'not lose' has taken the edge off my game and put me in a negative frame of mind. I'll use your suggestions to turn it around. By the way, I bought your book the other week and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so refreshing to read a Table Tennis book that doesn't try to turn you into Ma Long and to perfect your 'technique'. I've always been told I'm unconventional and awkward to play against but it works for me. One comment after I won a match against a much higher ranked player sums it up; he walked off the court and said to his friends 'I bet he's never had a coaching session in his life'. But I won 3-0! Anyway, love the book and the tips are already working. Cheers, Tom.


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

@borderline955i Ha! that's brilliant. It is obviously a table tennis crime to have unconventional technique! I think you can gain such an advantage by being a little unconventional, so embrace it and just smile to yourself when someone moans. And thanks for reading the book.


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

It's been a very poor start to the season for me. 1 win out of 9. Four of these losses are to players I have beaten before. In my defence, I have been experimenting with a different playing style - more aggressive attacking - but it hasn't quite worked for me. Too many unforced errors.

This week, I made a change. I went back to my all-round style - mixing up pushes, blocks and attacks - and it worked much better. I won 2 out of 3 against the top team in the league, beating a player I had never beaten before. Pretty happy with my performance. One of those rare evenings where everything seemed to work!


   
ReplyQuote



Nev57
(@nev57)
New Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 4
 

I feel your pain Tom . Despite having prepared well in the summer , work and study has interrupted my training rhythm and for practical reasons I’m also in a lower division than I was last year . Like borderline I’m expected to win ( though I suspect that pressure is from me as much as anyone else ) . 

I’ve played two matches and one local day tournament . First match I won all three . One day tournament I lost to someone well below me but beat someone from division 1 above me and generally played well against higher level opponents . 

But last night a horror show against another team in my own town where I lost all three which I feel I should win . Possibly one of my worst nights ever . I am playing with a new slightly quicker blade, but I don’t think that’s the reason . It felt like choking I assume feels like . I was driving with the handbrake on  all night , stiffening , not playing my shots fluidly  properly, and feeling stuck to the spot movement wise. This sometimes happens despite relaxing and pep talking myself beforehand . Back to the drawing board - I would like to play with the uncaring abandon of a 10 year old - any suggestions ! I suspect I need to set different goals than winning for the season - and use it to practice relaxing and develop / play the game I want to play .

Glad to see things have picked up for you ! 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Nev57

   
ReplyQuote
Freax
(@freax)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 5
 

I played 3 matches on monday (doubles and 2x singles). I've never really enjoyed doubles and we had trouble not getting in the way of the other one 🤣 

Then in the singles, I got beaten by a 80-year old because I'm not used to playing against antispin rubbers and I forgot to look at his racket so I didn't know that he had an antispin rubber until I saw that from the way he played. The worst of all, I wasn't patient enough. I really like to attack a lot and playing against an antispin rubber was very uncomfortable as I don't enjoy being patient.


   
ReplyQuote
IB66
 IB66
(@ib66)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 20
 

I played 2 matches this week, 1st played 3 singles - won 1 lost 2, played the doubles which we won.

2nd match last night, 3 singles, won 1 lost 2, played the doubles which we won.

At present, I'm not playing very well, singles played 18, won 5, lost 13 = 27% win rate. 


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  
Posted by: @nev57

But last night a horror show against another team in my own town where I lost all three which I feel I should win . Possibly one of my worst nights ever . I am playing with a new slightly quicker blade, but I don’t think that’s the reason . It felt like choking I assume feels like . I was driving with the handbrake on  all night , stiffening , not playing my shots fluidly  properly, and feeling stuck to the spot movement wise. This sometimes happens despite relaxing and pep talking myself beforehand . Back to the drawing board - I would like to play with the uncaring abandon of a 10 year old - any suggestions ! I suspect I need to set different goals than winning for the season - and use it to practice relaxing and develop / play the game I want to play .

This 'choking' feeling can happen, especially when playing someone you are expected to beat or someone who is the same level and it is uncertain who will win. Were you trying to play in a different way to usual? Were you trying to avoid defeat, rather than playing to win?

When I experience high levels of tension, I find it helps to focus on my opponent, rather than me. I try to switch on my tactical brain and use tactics which make it hard for my opponent to play. If I focus too much on myself and my own technique, I get even worse! So I externalise my thoughts. My opponent is not so good. What are his/her weaknesses. How can I exploit these? Sometimes this means I have to play a bit ugly. But if this helps me win a few points, then I start relaxing more.

This works for me (sometimes!), but we are all different. I don't have all the answers, but if you can find a method to fall back on when you the tension gets too much, then you have a better chance of turning a game around.


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  
Posted by: @freax

Then in the singles, I got beaten by a 80-year old because I'm not used to playing against antispin rubbers and I forgot to look at his racket so I didn't know that he had an antispin rubber until I saw that from the way he played. The worst of all, I wasn't patient enough. I really like to attack a lot and playing against an antispin rubber was very uncomfortable as I don't enjoy being patient.

Antispin can be tricky to play against. There are two general approaches I have seen which work. Some players just blast through them. An antispin shot, whether push, block or drive, just doesn't have much spin. So if you imagine every ball is just a floaty, no-spin ball and then attack (topspin or drive) with a more forwards motion. Don't lift the ball too much, as it will usually go off the end.

Another approach is to be patient and wait for the right ball to finish the point. This is the approach I usually take. I'm happy to use pushes and controlled attacks and move the player around. And when his shot is suitably weak, then I will play with more power. 

Which approach is best for you? Well maybe a bit of both. You say you like to attack - well keep doing this - but maybe take a more controlled attack approach and focus on ball placement. This may give you more success next time. 


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  

@ib66 What aspects of your game are not quite working at the moment? Are you playing well, but not getting the results? Or just not playing well?


   
ReplyQuote



Freax
(@freax)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 5
 

@tom-lodziak The scores were pretty close and I managed to get at least a set in each of the sinlges matches. Playing more passively and thinking more about the placement would make me win. It's just that I don't like the competitiveness. I love table tennis but there is a big difference between playing to win the points and playing to have fun. If I play to win the points, I get half of them just from my serves alone and then I lose because I try to perform techniques I haven't trained enough to do reliably. But pushing-only game is boring for me. I just want to improve my attacking game so that I can get to a higher level where aren't as many antispin players 🤣 

Maybe more patience, placement and sidespin (to have more fun and to make the old guys move) could make a recipe for victory 🙂


   
ReplyQuote
IB66
 IB66
(@ib66)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 20
 

@tom-lodziak 

I’m lacking confidence, especially with backhand open up v backspin, as you know when it’s good, it’s good !!!but consistency is poor. Also BH top spin is letting me down. I’m hitting too hard when it’s not necessary. When I do open up with FH v back spin it’s fine. 

I’ve not really had any chance to practice with players of a similar standard, last night was the 1st time in months that I actually had a session for 45 minutes with one of the better players at the sessions we run, confidence started to return. I need to ensure that I get more high quality practice in.

I’ve mainly been coaching beginners at SPINS, so feeding multi ball and trying to get them to play a rally with me because they are not at the stage where they can rally with each other. This can lead to not moving quick enough because the pace is slow, also ball height over net and bounce height is high, so instead of killing the point off you just put the ball back in play because that’s the idea behind coaching beginners!!!

It seems that this then carries over to matches, so when the pace is slow and an easy ball comes, I either just put the ball back in play with no quality or try and finish the point by hitting too hard!!!

I’ve also had some good games against better players that I’ve lost 2-3. Played well, but got off to a poor start in the 5th and couldn’t get back to them. 
Also the occasional end has been terrible, in one match I played ok, was up in ends 1 & 2 but lost 9-11 & 9-11 then lost the 3rd 11-1 !! Had a couple of similar scores in other matches as well.

It’s a mixture of playing well and not getting the result and just playing badly!!!


   
chung.lao reacted
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  
Posted by: @ib66

I’ve mainly been coaching beginners at SPINS, so feeding multi ball and trying to get them to play a rally with me because they are not at the stage where they can rally with each other. This can lead to not moving quick enough because the pace is slow, also ball height over net and bounce height is high, so instead of killing the point off you just put the ball back in play because that’s the idea behind coaching beginners!!

Yes, this is tough. I have the same issue. It is very easy to fall back to a 'coaching mode' when playing.

I don't think you should be too hard on yourself. You've had a tough six months with the knee injury. And then you nearly knocked yourself out with the doubles collision. Your game is strong. You have good touch. Your serves are very strong. Your consistency will return. If you can stay fit, I'm sure your performances will improve in the second half of the season. 


   
ReplyQuote
Tom Lodziak
(@tom-lodziak)
Member Admin
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 58
Topic starter  
Posted by: @freax

Maybe more patience, placement and sidespin (to have more fun and to make the old guys move) could make a recipe for victory 🙂

Yes! You can still attack, but a bit more patience is absolutely fine. You don't have to attack every ball at this stage. As you are still developing your attacking shots, it's fine to wait for the right ball to attack. This will help build your confidence in your attacking strokes and then you are likely to use them more often. And focusing on ball placement is always a good idea. It's how I win most of my points.


   
ReplyQuote
Nev57
(@nev57)
New Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
Posts: 4
 

@tom-lodziak thanks , playing not to lose rather than to win is possibly one aspect and being too passive  . Actually on reflection this has not been a bad experience as it has doubled my resolve to never let that happen again and in future I will ( opponents and tactics allowing ) just go all out to win! And if it ends in glorious defeat so be it !

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Nev57

   
ReplyQuote
Share: