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ttEDGE Blog

It's been quite a while since my last blog entry. I guess life has caught up with me recently and my priority list has had to change out of necessity. I married my girlfriend Danni last Saturday in a small ceremony on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne. Just 25 or so nearest and dearest gathered at a lovely winery / restaurant for the ceremony and then a meal together.

Table tennis has taken a backseat for me over the past few weeks as I've been focusing on work. Training has been very difficult as one of my training partners has moved to Brisbane and another is on holidays overseas. My third partner is heading overseas for a few months of training later this month so I'll be taking a long involuntary break. It's a sad state of affairs at the top of the sport when the top players can't find anyone to practice with, and unfortunately no one really seems to care enough to do something about it.

Several of our Platinum members have been asking me questions recently around equipment and what would be right for their game. I understand how difficult it is for players it is to navigate through the myriad of blades and rubbers whilst trying to sort out the marketing from what's real. The truth is that many product descriptions are directly deceptive and other descriptions are innocently incorect. What one brand calls an OFF blade is allround blade for another. There are such big differences between Japanese and German (Tensor) rubbers that it's like comparing apples with oranges.

My blocking game has never really been up to the task. The consistency is poor and I feel like the ball could just as easily just into the bottom of the net as off the end of the table. I just can't seem to see the flight of the ball and get my timing right. At times it can be embarrassing when training with the really top players and my blocking is too inconsistent. I know what to do in theory and what it should look like but I can't get it right.

We've had a good response from our new MyCoach service that we announced a couple of weeks back and have been hard at work analysing the first videos that have been sent in. This page explains in more detail: ttEDGE MyCoach

I had a day of ups and down yesterday during the qualifying stage of the World Cup in Liverpool. I finally got hold of the German Olympic team shirt from my friend Patrick Baum that we didn't quite manage to do in London. From the start of my first match I felt slow, had difficulty moving and lacked consistency. I played Pierr-Luc Theriault from Canada who at just 18 is certainly a name for the future. I did some training with him during my preparations for the London Olympics when the Canadian team came to train at the Werner Schlager Academy in Vienna.

A quick blog before I head off to bed. My 3:30am wake up this morning has taken its toll and I'm buggered (Australian way of saying very tired). I'm a little worried about tomorrow. I don't expect any sympathy or even understanding but I'm getting too old to put on a fake smile so I'll just put it out there.

I arrived in Liverpool, England today after 26 hours of flying from home in Melbourne. Doing this blog is a good way of keeping my eyes open in an attempt to minimise the effects of jetlag. It usually takes me 4 or 5 days to get over jetlag but on this occasion I've got a day and a half. The flights ran smoothly and I even managed to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep on the way over.

I leave for England and the World Singles Cup in Liverpool in a couple of hours. The tournament doesn't come at the best time for me to perform terribly well - I had a month off after the Olympics and have eased myself back into training over the past 3 weeks. However it is has been a struggle and I am doing my sessions early in the morning before work which doesn't necessarily mean that I get the most out of them. I've focused on getting back into the swing of things at work and have been consumed by a data analysis project that we have just started running.

After quite a few recent blogs focused on tournaments, results and what I’ve been doing, I’ll be shifting the focus to more tactical and educational musings. Having gone back to full-time work after the excitement and bright lights of the Olympics, I am now back into the daily grind of trying to fit it all in. I am training mostly in the morning with a 6:30am start and 8:30am finish before I rush off into the traffic and try to make it to my desk by 9. I’m trying to do 4 – 5 table tennis sessions per week.