Video Review Before Tournaments

October 16, 2013

RGIII Response Video

We're up to 689 views (as of 10AM EST) on the RGIII Response Video (1:15). Let's make it go viral!!! (I blogged about this yesterday.)

Last night I posted it two Washington Redskins forums, The Hogs forum and Extreme Redskins forum. I also posted it several times on Facebook, on my page and on the pages of the four players, with requests for others to repost, and it's been reposted by a number of people. (So should you.) It's also on the USATT web page and on the USOC web page. Today I plan to send it to some local media.

Video Review Before Tournaments

On Oct. 26-27 I'll be coaching at the 4-star South Shore Butterfly Open in Indiana. This means lots of practice for the players going there over the next ten days. For me, it means video review. I'll be coaching three top players, so I'm spending more and more time watching them in practice so I'm ready to coach them. More importantly, I'm about to hit the video screen soon to study video of their recent tournament matches. This is where you really learn a lot about a player. You can learn a lot by watching them play locals, but they are used to playing those locals, and so it's not the same thing. To properly prepare to coach someone in a tournament you need to see what they do against players they are not used to playing.

For example, one of our local top players tends to do a lot of very short serves. Players get used to this and expect it, and so are comfortable against it. Another likes to serve long a lot, and again, players are used to it and are ready for it. But against a player they are not used to, they have no clue what's coming next, at least at the start, and so their comfort zone is lower. Often they fall back on something simple like flipping all the serves, or pushing all the backspin serves back long. (When coaching top juniors, the first thing that goes when they play a new player is their short game - they may do it well against players whose serves they are used to, but they aren't so comfortable doing it against a new player. So I usually have to remind them to bring that receive into play.)

There are also rallying tendencies. A player may not hesitate to counterloop against players they are used to playing, where they probably react very quickly to shots since they are so used to the opponent. But there's often some hesitation when playing a new player. Often you have to remind the player to play "free," and just let himself go and do what he does in practice. There are also the never-ending reminders to attack an opponent's middle. (I think players forget this in matches because so many practice drills involve going into the practice partner's backhand or forehand corner, and so they naturally do that in matches as well. They all do drills to the middle as well, but the majority of practice shots generally go to a corner.)

I also watch videos of likely opponents, but for a tournament like this, there are just too many possible opponents, and so I instead will mostly rely there on memory of past matches, watching them at the tournament, and my rather lengthy file of notes from past matches.

Great Rally at Japan Open

Here's a video (35 sec) showing a great rally at the Japan Open between Japan's Jun Mizutani and Taiwan's Chen Chien-An.

Ping-Pong Ball Fire Pit

Here's a video (2:09) of what happens when you fill a fire pit with ping-pong balls and light it. Wait'll you see how high the flames go!

Hold On to Your Racket

Here's a video (56 sec) of USA's Erica Wu and Lily Zhang at the worlds against Ai Fukuhara and Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan. As Erica goes for a shot, her racket hits Lily in the leg and goes flying! She gets great distance. (I may have posted this once before, but let's watch it again.) 

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