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Breaking 2000 Paperback – February 8, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Table Tennis Achievements Publishing (February 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098528840X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985288402
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Larry B. Hodges on May 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished reading the excellent book Breaking 2000, by Alex Polyakov. The book is a first-hand step-by-step look at the strategic development of a player from near beginner to an advanced level. I don't think I've seen it covered like this anywhere else. Instructional books generally do a good job in teaching how to do each technique; this book shows the actual events taking place as the techniques were learned, how they were learned, and most important, why. (And on a related note, Alex's coach, Gerald Reid, who is mentioned throughout the book, came to several of our training camps back in the 1990s!)

Improvement in table tennis is rarely a steady upward progression; as you learn new things, your game often temporarily "regresses" as you learn the new technique, and so rapidly-improving players often go up a bunch, then down a little, then up, then down. If you chart their improvement, it's more of an upward staircase. And that proves to be the case with Alex - see his rating chart. (I created the graphic from the USATT ratings page. If you have a rating, just put in your name, and then click on "Chart Ratings" on the right.)

Here are some interesting quotes from the book. There are many more that are specific to the techniques he is working on, but these are some of the more general ones that caught my eye. I especially love the "I did not know what I did not know" statement - this is the bane of so many players, who often do not know that they do not know what they do not know.

"I know exactly how I was losing my matches during the tournament. I simply did not know what I did not know. My game consisted of simply reacting to the ball and hitting it if the opportunity came up.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is an excellent table tennis book; unlike any that I've ever read! What makes it unique is that it is the author's first-hand account of the insights and lessons he garnered from being coached (by his coach, Gerald Reid) and from his own experiences as a player. This is recounted (almost like a diary in a way) as Alex progressed from a TT tournament beginner to a USATT 2000-rated player. Since the book is written in a direct and conversational style, one can read it quickly and not get bogged down in overly-technical explanations of strokes. After you've read it, you'll find yourself going back to re-read sections, particularly those in the latter part of the book that Alex appropriately titles "My Thoughts and Experiences." This is the mark of a good TT book: that you use it as a reference book when you hit a snag in the development of your game (not just a once read, then shelved, book). The best quality of the book is that there is a strong theme of encouragement throughout -- that a player should focus on improving his or her skills, not obsess about ratings, approach the game analytically, and above all persevere! These messages are missing from other table tennis books that are written purely like instruction manuals, with little of the player/author's personality and personal experiences included.
As Alex writes at the end about reaching the 2000 rating level: "I have one piece of advice for you: do not give up. You can reach this level too." This is the spirit of the book and I'd say it's a must-have for any serious player's library of table tennis books!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Inspiring story and also very good on the psychological approach necessary to move up through the table tennis ladder. The sport is one of the complex games played (I have played many) and many otherwise good players fail to move up because their long-term strategy is flawed.

This is a good book to read for to strengthen one's strategy - but it is a little short on specific techniques. At any rate, I believe that it is worth reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me begin by stating the obvious - if you want a tasteless, uninspiring book on deep technicalities of the sport, look elsewhere. There are better books if technique or tactics is your sole objective.

However, if you are like me - an average table tennis player who does NOT train 10 times a week, look no further. Alex in this book describes his own journey to the coveted USATT 2000 level and through it, gives very insightful pointers on how to improve as a player. In my opinion, that is something no other table tennis book does. I never needed any motivation but this book helped me understand how to improve my game at various levels of play - what to expect and how to tackle it. In that sense, its extremely inspiring.

Easy to read, easy to apply.

I just broke USATT 1800 today and I would say, my story is very similar to Alex's and I hope to reach 2000 soon like him.

This is my first and only review on Amazon. This book deserves it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this was an exceptionally useful and interesting book. My review is from a coaching perspective. Many of the trials and tribulations the author faced in his quest for 2000 are exactly the same as we all - and my students face. Some deal with them well, and some... not so much. Being able to better explain some of the common pitfalls and letting them know that everyone experiences them is great. I also like that the importance of solid fundamentals is stressed - which helps me explain why learning the basics is REALLY important.
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