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View Full Version : You Think Table Tennis is not a Sport Then Watch This



TTLondon2012
02-01-2013, 05:25 PM
I made this tribute to those people who think table tennis is not a sport :) Enjoy guys :)

http://tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/images/malongttvid.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8rrJOP3w6o

TTReport
02-01-2013, 06:25 PM
Great mix TTLondon!

UpSideDownCarl
02-01-2013, 07:31 PM
Nice video. Thanks for posting it. Fun to watch. I notice you put several of the rallies from the Top 10 Best Shots of the Year 2013 in there.

As far as the subject, Table Tennis is a sport. In training, the amount you work can be pretty intense, especially with Multiball. But, there is a caveat to this. Table Tennis, in my opinion takes a higher degree of technical skill than most sports. But, and here is the caveat, the amount of force needed, and therefore strength, is less than in many sports. I personally don't think this is a bad thing. If you watch those long rallies in the video, even when one player is looping or smashing, the force used is contained. They are not swinging all out most of the time. There is a high degree of control to what they are doing. Truthfully, that would be the case in many sports. But, because the ball is so small and so light, and the spin that is put on the ball comes from the acceleration of the stroke, which is different than the force needed to move a larger object, what is needed is the ability to go from slow to fast, not the ability to move a heavier object. Also, what is needed is the touch and finesse to get the right contact to spin the ball. Then the spin of the opponent's ball helps your speed, power and spin.

What am I saying. You need a high degree of technical detail to master table tennis--and an amazing amount of precision to contact a little ball that is spinning at a very high rate, curving as a result of the spin, going at a decent pace, and coming from a fairly short distance away--in order to contact just a small part of the edge of that little ball and spin it back. But, it is a SPORT that older players can still be competitive in because it does not need an amazing amount of strength and force. It does require quickness to reset after your stroke and move to the ball; Good eye-hand coordination to track the ball and set up in the right place for the next shot; and a stroke that has good acceleration, the ability to go from slow to fast quickly, for a stroke that produces high levels of spin.

However, you do not have to be in great shape to play table tennis at a decently high level and you do not have to be that strong. I know, some of you are going to say, "what is he talking about?" I will start with the pros. Jorgen Persson, who I love as a player, is 46, soon to be 47 and he is #78 in the world. He Zhiwen is 52 and is ranked #66. Werner Schlager is 42 and ranked #46. Zoran Primorac is 44 and he is #80 in the world. I used the current world rankings as of 1/5/2013. There are very few sports where an athlete who is over 40 could be in the top 100, to be over 50 and in the top 100 is unheard of in most sports. Even in golf, the old guys don't have the power to drive the ball with the youngsters, so they have the seniors tour.

This is also why the women are closer in level to the men than in any other sport. Now when you watch the men's game, the back up and loop from mid-distance using as much of their power as possible, at the highest levels. Most of the women do not have that kind of strength and so the women's game is very different. They stay close to the table and it is a very fast paced game with more smacking the ball and less heavy looping. An amazing amount of quickness is needed but not as much strength.

This is also why you can have a fat old man in his sixties, who looks like he is in fairly bad shape, but really knows how to play table tennis, and can play at a fairly high level in tournament play.

Now I don't think this is a disrespect to Table Tennis, nor do I think table tennis is any less of a sport because skill is more of a factor than force. In fact, I think this one of the things I love about the sport is the degree of technical difficulty that means you can keep working on your technique and keep working on things and improving. Good cardio helps with footwork and improving technique. But, it is not a game breaker. He Zhiwen hardly moves at all and he plays amazing for a guy over 50.

So, Table Tennis is a sport. But it is not a sport where pure force is a large determining factor. It is a sport where technique, quickness and touch are the most important factors. From that standpoint, it is one of the most challenging and hard to master sports there is. From the standpoint of sheer force, even golf where they sit in carts and have someone carry their clubs, requires more force on impact. :)

In my opinion, hitting a baseball requires the most precision and is the most challenging feat in all of sports. This is reflected by the fact that, a batter gets 3 strikes (three chances) to get 1 hit and an excellent batting average for a player for a season is 300 which equals a 30% success ration with three tries for on successful attempt. The rest of the sport, not quite so much precision is needed, so the sport as a whole is not high up there on the chart in terms of technical skill needed. But, batting, which you only do an average of 4 times in one game, takes a lot of skill.

As a whole, I would say Futbal (Football), or what we call Soccer in this backward country, takes more skill than any other sport. I would also say it is probably the most physically demanding with how much running all the players have to do, for the entire game.

As a whole, in terms of technical skill, Table Tennis is second only to Futbal, in skill required to play. But Table Tennis does not require as much force and physical strength as many other sports.

That is, at least, my two cents on this subject.

UpSideDownCarl
02-01-2013, 07:47 PM
Here, Adam Hugh is one of the best players in this region (USA East Coast). He is one of the guys who was competing to qualify for the to play in the Olympics for the USA. He is playing Richard Dewitt who is sort of fat, sort of out of shape, okay not sort of, he is fat and out of shape. And he is not young as can be seen. Nobody would look at him and think he is an athlete. But he is doing something that gives Adam Hugh some trouble even though Adam wins. He is not able to look like he does against a player who will just loop at him. Richard Dewitt is not playing with pips. But he plays with old, sort of dead rubbers and gives his opponents dead balls that often look like they have spin on them.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7Xx57tYKsE

Dan
02-02-2013, 11:06 AM
Here, Adam Hugh is one of the best players in this region (USA East Coast). He is one of the guys who was competing to qualify for the to play in the Olympics for the USA. He is playing Richard Dewitt who is sort of fat, sort of out of shape, okay not sort of, he is fat and out of shape. And he is not young as can be seen. Nobody would look at him and think he is an athlete. But he is doing something that gives Adam Hugh some trouble even though Adam wins. He is not able to look like he does against a player who will just loop at him. Richard Dewitt is not playing with pips. But he plays with old, sort of dead rubbers and gives his opponents dead balls that often look like they have spin on them.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7Xx57tYKsE

Wow! Richard Dewitt is just like a player I know who I use to play a lot in the league! It reminds me just like this match. I play just like Adam and this guy I use to play against plays just like Richard. It's so hard to play against this type of player as they will stand right close to the table and give you dodgy balls and place you all around the table with big counters :)

The guy I played against he also had a huge forehand slap so it was a nightmare if I spun the ball to high :)

A tip to play against this guys tho is to place the ball into their crossover/elbow as they will struggle to move to get this and they won't be able to give you such a hard ball placement. Adam should have done this more. To often he was playing crosscourt and easy to predict for Richard.

Great match i enjoyed it :)

UpSideDownCarl
02-02-2013, 01:06 PM
I have also seen guys lob at him and he will miss after 5 or 6 and against lobs his attack is not so effective. I guess the lob is also safe because it is not going to end up in the net. :) hahaha. When Richard was younger he was a looper. He went to train in Sweden.

But it is great how you can be really physically fit and talented and do all the full strokes and get to a high level, but you can also be older and not in such good shape and just know how to play and still play at a pretty high competitive level in table tennis. Skill is what is important rather than it being just about power and strength.