Tomokazu Harimoto talks about TENERGY #3
(Courtesy of Table Tennis World)
TENERGY 05 is easy-to-use rubber when power is gained
Tomokazu changed the forehand rubber to TENERGY 05 in September 2016. He believed the nature of the rubber he had been unable to use one and a half years earlier was dramatically different; he felt the difference at the very first stroke. He had grown in height by nearly 10cm, the size of his shirt had changed from S to L; his body was turning into that of an athlete. When he made a topspin stroke, the ball went faster without changing the sensation; he felt the difference especially with topspin against backspin play. He became able to succeed with just one topspin; decisiveness of the forehand increased. It was an aspect he thought he had been lacking.
“I felt TENERGY 05 was easy to use without any uncomfortable feeling after changing from TENERGY 80. The equipment with which you feel easy to use at that point is the best. I think I could not have played well, my performance being dictated by the rubber if I had forced myself to use TENERGY 05 one and a half years ago. The appropriate rubber is the one with which I do not make the most errors, the one in which I have no concerns. Conversely, now I feel TENERGY 64 is difficult to use. I think my easy-to-use equipment will change according to the increase in my power,” says Tomokazu.
Yu knew the importance of selecting the most suitable equipment along with the player’s growth. Many players focus on improving their techniques without questioning their equipment when they are small. They might not have another choice because there are few who can advise on equipment professionally when compared to techniques. Tomokazu, however, grew up to be called a prodigy without interference in his development thanks to his father’s guidance to use appropriate equipment at appropriate stages step by step.
How does Yu judge the time to change the equipment by observing a player?
“Once getting used to the rubber, he becomes aware of its potential; the more he is used to it, the more he requires. It is also apparent to me and he sometimes tells me he wants more speed, for example. The more power he gains, the more speed and stability he achieves because he becomes able to make the ball dig into the rubber even with a hard feeling,” says Yu.
“Tomokazu himself felt the lack of speed in half a year after starting to use TENERGY 80. Therefore, I let him try TENERGY 05. He could not hold the ball due to lack of power; so he could not execute the strokes as he wished because the ball did not dig into the rubber sufficiently. However, I changed his rubber before the All Japan Cadet Championships and the World Junior Championships because I thought he had gained enough power in recent months. He accustomed himself to the rubber earlier than I had expected. I think TENERGY 05 is suitable for him the most now,” Yu explained.
His success at the World Junior Championships certifies that his choice was correct, TENERGY 05 for forehand and TENERGY 05 FX for backhand.