Saturday, August 25, 2007

Not there yet

I'm officially recognizing the importance of competing -- how else do you get better?

If there's anything I lack it's a competitive spirit. I played Josh on Wednesday and got quite a whopping even though he's rusty. To tell the truth, I also was. I mean, I've been playing for several weeks longer than he has, gotten better and all, but I couldn't handle the tension that comes from competition. I always did better against him in the past.

Well, that's that. I'll be playing full matches from now on.

I'll also be starting a table tennis club at Mountain State. I've already got some signups and hope we can meet very often.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wednesday Aftermath

As usual, it was fun once again at the club. I got a Viscaria and I was finally able to beat Alan (just once, but it's something).

My backhand loop could be better but it's pretty strong. I still have that problem of flicking my wrists when looping from the forehand. I'm so used to flipping opponents' serves that I still try to flick away from the table. When I play in front of my mirror, my wrist remains perfectly stationary, but when I play, everything goes out the window as does my footwork practice.

The motto seems to be 'just retrieve the ball, damnit!' 

Josh revealed to me that he's completely clueless when I attack from my backhand because he doesn't even see it coming. Now if that isn't something, I wonder what is.

So here we are, with a very spinny racket with good control, and I'm hampered by my inability to handle it's speed. I'm going to start picking the ball right off the bounce from now on.

"Speed is your friend," Alan said to me when I told him I was still trying to get used to the speed. I'll keep that in mind.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Butterfly Viscaria

So I got the Viscaria this Wednesday, just in time to try it out.

It's has the highest spin among the Butterfly pro rackets (100), control of 100 as well, but the speed is about 95, which is just behind the Primorac Carbon -- not that 95 wasn't too fast for me.

I'm still trying to get the hang of handling it. My attacks are pretty unstoppable (when they do land ;-)) but for the most part, they fly too far.

The control isn't too far-hyped -- it's a very lightweight racket with a very good 'sweet spot' and speed aside, I think I did pretty good with it.

I suppose it's time to begin kicking butt with it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday Aftermath

Things were slow yesterday at the Y. Gary didn't show up (he's hurt), and neither did Alan, or Josh for that matter. An Asian guy and his Japanese girlfriend did turn up, but they couldn't really play well so it was down to Vito, Dennis and I on one table.

I'm beginning to hit a curvier, more spinny loop from my backhand, and both Vito and Dennis (I thought he was the wall!) couldn't handle most of them. I lob better now as well -- amazing what playing in front of a mirror, watching dozens of matches and playing only once a week can do.

I can't wait to play Alan and Josh next week.

PS: I recently had enough money to invest in a Primorac Carbon, or even a Viscaria but I decided to get a new hard disk -- and donate to some charities -- instead. What's the point doing the paying for a new racquet when you only get to use it once a week?

Monday, June 04, 2007


Skip left, hit. Skip right, hit. Skip left, backhand, skip right, forehand.

I'm standing in front of my mirror doing the 1-2-step, racket in hand, an image of a ball somewhere in my head but not in front of me. For some reason, the only thought that comes to mind is that if someone were to walk into my room at this moment, the person'd think I've finally gone crazy.

'You play like a robot,' Alan and Kip told me at the WV State Championships.

I know I play like one -- I hardly move, and stretching allows me to retrieve a lot of balls although my waist begins to protest after an hour or two... which is why I try to do the Falkenberg or the 1-2-step in front of my mirror nearly everyday. I don't stand in one place as much as I used to before, but I'm still a long way off from good footwork.

I'm getting there...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wednesday Aftermath

Today I didn't play any 'real' games -- just simple hitting. We got a lot more people at the club and for a while, I had to play gentleman and let others play. It was fascinating watching things from the side and I saw for the first time that if I'm ever going to play well, I need to do so with my glasses on.

My forehand loops are shaping up nicely, although I still miss about a quarter of the time when I swing. My backhand has gone down a little since I started trying so hard to put spin on the ball. I found out later that others have to deal with spin from me, and I actually do have a better topspin than I thought I had.

My rubber's holding up well. I might not need to change it in a very long while. During the week, I practiced spinning the many balls I had. My room is more cramped now since I rearranged it and I can't even do the one-two step in front of my mirror -- not to talk of the falkenberg.

Well, that's that for today. Next week I'll try to match Alan loop for loop.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wednesday Aftermath

We played tonight at the club and I managed to beat Dennis in three straight sets (I've never beaten him before). I watched Vito's game carefully and something tells me I can beat him -- if I play him when we play. I suppose Gary's been trying to tell me that for a while but I've refused to believe in myself.

Alan, our best player, trumped me badly. Every little flick, even when he blocked, and the ball was spinning uncontrollably -- I would foolish block instead of looping and the ball would fly off. The only person I've played who has greater spin is Dayo from Lewisburg. His serves are other-worldly. I used to pick them before, but I only began to pick them consistently when he had almost won the third game. At least I got in two backhand loops that caught him off balance.

The rubber on my racket is getting worn at the edges. I'll need to get new rubber some time soon, but I'll try to wear it out first.