I have the good, the bad(s) and the ugly(s) at Cary Cup. Yep, lots of bad and ugly.
The good - met new people, making new friends. Especially spending time with fellow Floridians like Kit(Tampa) and Chi(Orlando) whom I met at local tournaments 4-5 times a year.
That seem to be the only good I get from 2015 Cary Cup. The level of play was good but not as good as prior year with Eugene Wang and Li Kewei.
The bad - I never had a real practice, not even once after I moved to FL 6 months ago. That seems to effect my game, my touch and my movement. I still played well at 2014 NA Team in DC(3 months off from real practice) but now I seem to forgot how to win in crucial points, how to control spin and most importantly I forgot how to deal with spin. The guide shot on FH was a weapon but now a big hole. Plus with poly ball, sometime balls seems to slip from rubber and just dropped dead right there.
Also poly ball was More difficult to put spin on when opponents just pushed my chop back. Here's situation - Mr.A looped, I chopped, Mr.A pushed. The next ball I have to hit often bounced up and sat there. I need to move more and without some pace it was difficult to push and be safe.
The ugly - Lost to 13 years old girl 0-3. And to 9 or 10 years old boy 2-3!!! No. They played well and deserved their wins.
My old style would still work well if I had 10-15 hours a week to practice with 2250+ but I have to accept the truth and do my best with limited resource. Those days of bending my knees to the floor and reach for ball 5 feet away were gone. I need to stay closer to the table and be in control more. Another issue is stamina. With less practice, my stamina was decrease too. The old style was not a good fit for Cary cup nor NA team(10 matches+ a day)
Solution is to make the game easier and less movement.
BLOCKER - is it the answer? I don't know but it's the only option for me now.
At this point I'm testing Blade -Tuvalu. LP - Chaos and smooth - Elpis.
I have to say I didn't know who he was when I played this match. I just concentrate on my game and always play my best to win fair. After the first day, I went back to hotel, uploaded all videos to my computer and learn my own strengths and weaknesses. My defense used to be better than what I did on Saturday and I had to adjust and played to my strength.
I tried to play more of a "preventing" type and not "defending". Usually, I would have done both when I was in top form but now concentrate more on preventing. Instead of placing balls to make it predictable to defend now it tried to lock opponent attack. But his match I found out that he wasn't used to amount of underpin from my smooth rubber so I mixed some of heavy pushes to confuse him.
Balls has changed. I have moved to another city. My TT time was about 15 hours a week and now it's around 3 hours a week.
I used to practice with 4-5 regular partners rated 2250 - 2350 and sometime with 2000 players. Now in FL, the highest one at regular club hour is 2000 and the rest are 1600-1800.
Played last week at Broward TT near Miami and did OK, not quite my standard but pretty well considered how I have practiced lately
The match that drive me to change was against Richard Ciz. He simple exploited my weaknesses on touch shots on my FH side and I had no answer for that. I was thinking about changing something but I had my goal to chop on FH and not the guide shot(Chen Weixing's style) and it was a complete failure.
Now a week after this match and had watch these match many times....... here is what I'm thinking.
1. I'm really stupid to try things at tournament.
2. The guide style was what made me a 2300 chopper. I was never a well trained chopper who can chop FH all day. I had to find what will work for me. FH chop could work but with my resource right now(no time and no quality practice partner) I would go with what's easier. This style isn't bad at all - Chen Weixing does it, Ruwen Filus does it, Gionis does it..... many players do it. It doesn't require good and solid footwork like chopping's. Chopping is sexier but not for me right now.
3. The defensive sides became weaknesses both FH and BH. I watch videos and county how many points I won from chopping and points I lost from chopping. The answer wasn't pretty. In a more detail, footwork was disappointing, the chopping technique was poor and timing was non-existed. Need to find something easier with more forgiving.
4. I won more points from services and FH pushes. Need something very tacky on both side. I have to go more of a preventing more than defending.
Time to switch to new weapons - Actium(Tibhar blade designed by Nexy) or maybe ....... just maybe a Calix I or Lissom. Try these 2 years ago and still liked them. Chaos long pips and Demain II Plus.