Cary Cup 2011

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Larry Hodges
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Joined: 11/19/2010

Anyone else going to the $11,000 Butterfly Cary Cup in Cary, NC, March 18-20? I'll be there, but only playing the hardbat event and coaching. (I'm the defending champion in hardbat, but I normally play with sponge.) There's a large contingent of us coming down from Maryland.

-Larry Hodges

deriderj
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Joined: 03/20/2011
Re: Cary Cup 2011

There were several players from Minnesota that participated in the Cary Cup.  One of the players who is around 2350 but moving up quickly was torn apart by a woman player who I think was named JiaQi Zheng 2542 (pen hold pips forehand and Tenergy 05 on backhand side).  At one point the MN player was down 9-1 in the first game, when in his words, "I capitulated and realized that this was really happening".  Odd thoughts from someone that hasn't lost a match in six months playing against the mere mortals here in Minneapolis. 

The MN player I talked with could not have been more impressed with the quality of play at the tournament.  One observation he had was that the major difference that he saw in the good vs. the best players was variability described for example as the ability to return a given serve 3 or 4 different ways or the ability to block a ball hard and fast, with topspin or with an energy absorbing touch shot.  This variability isn't something that the MN player sees on a daily basis and it resulted in more losses than expected, sometimes humbling ones. 

From a coaching perspective I think the previous paragraph is quite meaningful in that the majority of drills used (that I use) are quite repetitive with little variation and perhaps I need to rethink how to incorporate at least some variability into even the most common of drills to ensure that drill time is as productive as possible.

DISCLAIMER: I read that there were some players from MN that did not comport themselves well after enduring bad losses at the Cary Cup and I want to state that the while I like and respect the players in question, the bad behavior exhibited by those players is solely owned by those players and that uncontrolled behavior or acting out is definitely not a "Minnesota thing" as was stated on another forum.

I cannot say that I have not tossed a paddle into my bag with ill intent or muttered a bad word or two following a particularly embarrassing loss but I promise you that good sportsmanship and friendly competition is more than common from all the players here in MN and that includes the MN players that temporarily lost control of their emotions at the Cary Cup.

Larry Hodges
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Re: Cary Cup 2011

Hi Deriderj,

Yes, there was a 2350 player from Minnesota who, while very friendly, was rather foul-mouthed and didn't take certain losses too well, especially after his opponent got a number of nets early in one game. I debated whether to say anything to him as I didn't really like that type of language used at a tournament around the 13-year-old I was coaching, and other kids there, but decided against it. While I'm sure they hear far worse at school, I don't want them to think that's acceptable language at tournaments or clubs. I spoke to a couple of the kids there and warned them that if they ever spoke like that I'd tie them to a wall and pelt them with golf balls, or something like that.

From a coaching and tactical point of view, it's extremely important to have multiple responses to any given serve or other shot. If you only have one, you are both predictable and unlikely to have the response in your one-shot reportoire that will cause the most trouble to an opponent. For example, I tend to serve short to the middle or backhand because if I serve short to the forehand, and the opponent flips down the line to my backhand, I have difficulty with that shot. But if my opponent doesn't have that shot in his repertoire - and a surprising number do not - I lick my lips and serve short to the forehand, and prepare to feast on the next ball with my forehand. Plus, of course, if you are predictable, any smart opponent will jump all over this.

If you've ever seen someone who has great shots but for some reason struggles against players with weaker shots, the two most likely causes are weak return of serve, and predictable shots that his opponents capitalize on. Happens all the time. To this day I'm still stunned at how few people make even the slightest attempt to disguise their shots, such as aiming a push one way and at the last second going the other way. And so you can anticipate what they will do before they even start their forward swing.

Boneman
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Joined: 01/18/2011
Re: Cary Cup 2011

That's a bit of a ride for the olde Boneman... I'm hoping someday, somewhere there will be an hardbat event that's somewhat propinquitous to my locale....  Actually... my locale would be SW Florida if the real estate market weren't in the hopper....  and that would be close enough to Lakeland which I believe is where Ty Hoff, et.al., has all that hardbat / LIHA stuff goin' on....

:-S

 

Best of luck in the hardbat event!

Later!

Boneman
Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA
80421