Am I the only one who still doesn't see the point of mini-tennis

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
When I first came down here in January, the hardest part about playing in 100F and high humidity was the cardio load. Your heart has to work 4x as hard as normal just to pump blood to your skin surface for cooling.
I think our different sweating must have something to do with it. I was an 8/10 on the sweat scale … apparently 10/10 on forehead:mad: … and I think that worked in my favor. Also knowing how to manage/pace yourself in a match. Always take your changeover time … even early when you aren’t feeling it yet. Stay ahead with water on changeover … often too late later.
 

nyta2

Professional
What would these entertaining mini threads be without the “you just can’t f***ing do it because you suck and your mom doesn’t love you” comment. 8-B

How you doing? Hope you survived this last year of Walrus.
haha, i get triggered when folks make "mini tennis is pointless" comments when they can't do it.
i'm doing well bbp, been playing/teaching quite a bit (teaching 6h/w is "alot" for me :p) through this covid-year... popularity of tennis has really picked up.
 

nyta2

Professional
I hit with a top 100 female during the lockdown, my friend. She sat down for a cigarette after her match. They are people like us who have no idea what they are doing.
that's impressive.
what was her opinion of mini tennis :p
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I hit with a top 100 female during the lockdown, my friend. She sat down for a cigarette after her match. They are people like us who have no idea what they are doing.
Hey, not everyone does the same to prep. I get some people personally don't find value, and some do.

The point being, back to the original questions about the point of mini tennis is, there is a point to it. Even if someone doesn't find value themselves, that doesn't mean it doesn't have a function.
 

DCNJ

New User
Of course, you can. the ball is flying 20 km per hour and you do not decelerate.
Please don't just make things up to argue against. Or maybe you're just being incredibly hyperbolic here, but in any case, that's usually a sign that the person doing such things knows they're wrong but can't come around to admit it.

I don't think anyone was saying that the pace of balls with mini tennis were the same as the past for baseline rallying, so I don't even see the point of your gross exaggeration. I had even made the analogy to starting serving not close to 100% so those first serves will be slower than 'normal'. So the balls in mini tennis are slower than normal. Done correctly, the strokes are still full, correct strokes, emphasizing topspin, but just like the first serves attempted, not performed with 100% effort/speed.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Please don't just make things up to argue against. Or maybe you're just being incredibly hyperbolic here, but in any case, that's usually a sign that the person doing such things knows they're wrong but can't come around to admit it.

I don't think anyone was saying that the pace of balls with mini tennis were the same as the past for baseline rallying, so I don't even see the point of your gross exaggeration. I had even made the analogy to starting serving not close to 100% so those first serves will be slower than 'normal'. So the balls in mini tennis are slower than normal. Done correctly, the strokes are still full, correct strokes, emphasizing topspin, but just like the first serves attempted, not performed with 100% effort/speed.
Disclaimer: I just enjoy these mini debates ... for fun ... not serious, just right. 8-B

Nah ... the analogy to warming up serve with easy serves is hitting easy warm-up baseline shots (which we did fine for decades before the evil 8-B mini tennis concoction). We warm up serves from where we serve, and should warm up baseline strokes from where we hit them.

This is for brother @nyta2 :

The reason many "modern" rec players can't warm-up with easy baseline strokes is they ... wait for it ... "they can't do it". They got suckered into the "spin" Nadal holy grail ... hitting big spin to safe targets. They never learned arm/rhs control ... being able to control targets, trajectory and pace with advanced skills. They are left only with a poor man's rec player version of Nadal only able to hit one pace spinny balls to the middle of the court. It is simply unfair to ask these players to have enough control to hit 25-50% warm up rallies from the baseline ... they just can't do it. 8-B
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Hey, not everyone does the same to prep. I get some people personally don't find value, and some do.

The point being, back to the original questions about the point of mini tennis is, there is a point to it. Even if someone doesn't find value themselves, that doesn't mean it doesn't have a function.
Well yeah ... even jello has a point for some people. 8-B
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
haha, i get triggered when folks make "mini tennis is pointless" comments when they can't do it.
i'm doing well bbp, been playing/teaching quite a bit (teaching 6h/w is "alot" for me :p) through this covid-year... popularity of tennis has really picked up.
Glad to hear you are doing well ... stay triggered my friend. 8-B
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Hall of Fame
This is for brother @nyta2 :

The reason many "modern" rec players can't warm-up with easy baseline strokes is they ... wait for it ... "they can't do it". They got suckered into the "spin" Nadal holy grail ... hitting big spin to safe targets. They never learned arm/rhs control ... being able to control targets, trajectory and pace with advanced skills. They are left only with a poor man's rec player version of Nadal only able to hit one pace spinny balls to the middle of the court. It is simply unfair to ask these players to have enough control to hit 25-50% warm up rallies from the baseline ... they just can't do it. 8-B
1,000%
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Like there is always room for Jello, there is always room for mini tennis.

Amiright?
You are right a lot ... just not this time. 8-B

Have you ever wondered why the only place offering you Jello is the hospital. It is good for their business model ... cheap and creates new patient disease.

I could see hospital hallway mini tennis being a good post hip replacement rehab.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
25 years of daily torture. I do hear the nerve endings dull with age, though. : - )

The thing is, people here do warm up with mini volleyball in fact. Until they are 20 and they know better.
Don't think it's a matter of knowing better. Could be that they advance past the point where they are driving benefit from it. How about the other version of mini-volleyball = "peppering" (no net)? Did you outgrow that as well?

How are your ankles, fingers & hitting shoulder? Most prolific volleyballers I know have had problems with one or more or one of those. V'ball did not results in injuries to my knees. But I did get a few finger sprains and, a more serious, finger dislocation. A couple of ankle sprains as well.

But the most serious volleyball injury I sustained was damage to my rotator cuff in my spiking shoulder. A lot of vb players get ligament issues, nerve impeachments or rotator cuff issues. My shoulder damage was so bad that I switched from spiking left-handed to right handed. However I could serve either left- or right-handed.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I hit with a top 100 female during the lockdown, my friend. She sat down for a cigarette after her match. They are people like us who have no idea what they are doing.
Doubt that. Just because she has a bad habit doesn't mean she doesn't know what she's doing. If she is/was truly top 100, she was doing a whole lot more right than wrong. Top players will still have some flaws, but for the most part, they know what they're doing... and they often have a coach who knows even more.
 

cha cha

Professional
Don't think it's a matter of knowing better. Could be that they advance past the point where they are driving benefit from it. How about the other version of mini-volleyball = "peppering" (no net)? Did you outgrow that as well?

How are your ankles, fingers & hitting shoulder? Most prolific volleyballers I know have had problems with one or more or one of those. V'ball did not results in injuries to my knees. But I did get a few finger sprains and, a more serious, finger dislocation. A couple of ankle sprains as well.

But the most serious volleyball injury I sustained was damage to my rotator cuff in my spiking shoulder. A lot of vb players get ligament issues, nerve impeachments or rotator cuff issues. My shoulder damage was so bad that I switched from spiking left-handed to right handed. However I could serve either left- or right-handed.
Yes, we pepper. Everyone in the world peppers. At 9 metres apart, because that is the correct distance for volleyball. 9 metres, not 4.5.

As for the body, everything hurts. Multiple fractures of both ankles, dislocated disc, torn meniscus and LCL on the same leg, tennis elbow, wrist issues, fingers, of course. You just cannot avoid those if you are serious about your sport. The people here who take a year off for some puny elbow pain are precious. : - )

I have a lot of respect for ambidextrous individuals. I have tried tennis and volleyball with the opposite limbs a time or two for fun, and it is beyond my imagination
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
@Bender is smiling inside baiting me back into this :mad:

I think there is a fallacy in the belief that mini is a warm up easier on the body than easy pace baseline warm up. You learn a lot about tennis contact strain/pain if you ever have to start hitting after serious tennis elbow.

First back hitting after months layoff from tennis elbow (I used light hitting as rehab), it was interesting that full baseline strokes did not hurt at all, but volley and mini was mild pain. I think it's because on a full stroke, mass/rhs does the work through contact. Add more grip pressure for volley and mini ... less rhs ... wrist and elbow impacted more from contact. Yes ... some players grip and skill have allowed them to reduce mini contact impact by grazing spinny contact, but that player is also good enough to hit grazing spinny baseline strokes with more rhs (than mini) letting the raquet do the work. So if the case one is making for mini is best/lowest arm/elbow/wrist warm up ... I think it's even better from the baseline for the spinny sw player, and no-brainer for a flattish player with conservative grips.

If you are talking about lower body warm up ... compare mini to a couple minutes of dynamic stretching, or jumping on a stationary bike or treadmill. Also a no-brainer ... go with the dynamic stretching.

The get a head start on timing thing ... spacing, right frame of mind ... makes no sense to me either (but @ChaelAZ will tell you that's because I am an old fossil and not very bright 8-B ). True ... but I can warm up from baseline with speed and trajectory control from first swing ... even if wife was yelling at me when I left the house. Whatever my "mindset" is ... it gets better the moment I step on a tennis court. A chat with three other guys at the net for 5 minutes of mini can swing both ways on mindset/mood. 8-B

So ... dynamic stretch before ... easy baseline, volleys, overheads, serves (in that order) ... play ball. We worked all this out decades ago. Mini warm up is like the new bathroom exhaust fans that now include Bluetooth speakers. I'm crapping for a couple of minutes, there is fan noise ... but you know what would help ... sitting here longer in the vapors with Hotel California blended in with the fan noise. :eek:

How did I do @Bender ? I know this is what you hoped for son. 8-B
 

cha cha

Professional
Doubt that. Just because she has a bad habit doesn't mean she doesn't know what she's doing. If she is/was truly top 100, she was doing a whole lot more right than wrong. Top players will still have some flaws, but for the most part, they know what they're doing... and they often have a coach who knows even more.
She does not have a bad habit. Someone offered, and she said yes.
Fantastic work ethic but absolutely no idea what they are doing, especially women. Men are more target oriented, but majority of top Czech women follow what their fathers say to a point. Until they find a trainer to follow to a point. Good or bad. And make absolutely sure some trainers are stuck 40 years in the past.
 

DCNJ

New User
Disclaimer: I just enjoy these mini debates ... for fun ... not serious, just right. 8-B

Nah ... the analogy to warming up serve with easy serves is hitting easy warm-up baseline shots (which we did fine for decades before the evil 8-B mini tennis concoction). We warm up serves from where we serve, and should warm up baseline strokes from where we hit them.
If I'm going slower because I'm warming up, I'd rather be closer to the net so that I can use the same stroke (just slower) rather than being from the baseline and having to open up the face of the racquet more, or having to otherwise change my swing.

With the serves, I'm not worried about hitting it so the other side can hit, since that's usually not a thing. Hence if I hit into the net or long on the warm up for serves that's fine. We're not expecting to rally.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
If I'm going slower because I'm warming up, I'd rather be closer to the net so that I can use the same stroke (just slower) rather than being from the baseline and having to open up the face of the racquet more, or having to otherwise change my swing.

With the serves, I'm not worried about hitting it so the other side can hit, since that's usually not a thing. Hence if I hit into the net or long on the warm up for serves that's fine. We're not expecting to rally.
I don’t change my baseline warm up stroke … just swing easier and adjust trajectory as required. But that is kind of the point of my earlier post … my normal game involves variation in pace, spin and clearance over the net … no variation in rf other than 1hbh slice. A warm up baseline stroke is just one of the variations.

I actually find warming up from between service line and baseline semi-useful 8-B … I find that to be real match mechanics where I do not in mini.

Good point about serve warm up … not a cooperative thing, at least not until opponent is already warmed up and he starts annoyingly hitting ros at you rather than just collect and then hit you the balls.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Of course, you can. the ball is flying 20 km per hour and you do not decelerate.
What? Don't know what you are trying to say here. You should not be dinking balls for mini tennis. If you are decelerating your swing into the ball, you are doing it incorrectly.

Balls should be hit at moderate pace and, like any other groundstroke, you should accelerating, not decelerating, into the ball. Deceleration happens later, just like all regular serves & ground strokes. A generous amount of topspin is often imparted to the ball for mini, so the racket head speed is actually fairly fast (even tho the ball speed is moderate)

A number of videos in this thread and other similar threads have been posted of pros engaging in many tennis. Where are they decelerating?

Here is a video of Justine Henin that was posted a while back. We can see that she had started hitting fairly close to the service line. (Eventually she moves back to the BL). Where do you see her to decelerating her racket? Take a close look at how fast she is actually swinging the racket.

 

Curious

Legend
What? Don't know what you are trying to say here. You should not be dinking balls for mini tennis. If you are decelerating your swing into the ball, you are doing it incorrectly.

Balls should be hit at moderate pace and, like any other groundstroke, you should accelerating, not decelerating, into the ball. Deceleration happens later, just like all regular serves & ground strokes. A generous amount of topspin is often imparted to the ball for mini, so the racket head speed is actually fairly fast (even tho the ball speed is moderate)

A number of videos in this thread and other similar threads have been posted of pros engaging in many tennis. Where are they decelerating?

Here is a video of Justine Henin that was posted a while back. We can see that she had started hitting fairly close to the service line. (Eventually she moves back to the BL). Where do you see her to decelerating her racket? Take a close look at how fast she is actually swinging the racket.

Had never paid attention to Henin’s forehand. What a beauty! Doesn’t need to close the racket face on take back unlike the majority today.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Yes, we pepper. Everyone in the world peppers. At 9 metres apart, because that is the correct distance for volleyball. 9 metres, not 4.5.
Perhaps you regularly pepper at 9m but I only rarely have ever seen anybody doing it at that distance. In watching pro, varsity players and top collegiate players, I have usually seen them peppering at 6m (20 ft) or less. Frequently, intermediate and advanced players are peppering at distances less than 4.5m. Sometimes, it's even a bit less than 2m (5-6 ft).

In addition to warming up the body & v'ball skills, pepper drills are used to establish your timing and rhythm, facilitate your hand-eye coordination, improve sustained focus & conditioning and to work on good technique.

Reduced distance or not, peppering is performed without the net. So, while the physical distance might not always be less than normal, the height parameter is quite a bit less than actual volleyball play. Players are not normally taking a running approach & jumping.

Like mini tennis, spiking in v'ball peppering is not done at full speed -- especially when starting out a peppering drill. Players usually start at a moderately slow, controlled pace. As they develop a rhythm, players will often increase the speed on their spikes during a peppering session. But it is normally done in a controlled, cooperative manner. The goal of peppering is not to "win the warmup".
 

cha cha

Professional
What? Don't know what you are trying to say here. You should not be dinking balls for mini tennis. If you are decelerating your swing into the ball, you are doing it incorrectly.

Balls should be hit at moderate pace and, like any other groundstroke, you should accelerating, not decelerating, into the ball. Deceleration happens later, just like all regular serves & ground strokes. A generous amount of topspin is often imparted to the ball for mini, so the racket head speed is actually fairly fast (even tho the ball speed is moderate)

A number of videos in this thread and other similar threads have been posted of pros engaging in many tennis. Where are they decelerating?

Here is a video of Justine Henin that was posted a while back. We can see that she had started hitting fairly close to the service line. (Eventually she moves back to the BL). Where do you see her to decelerating her racket? Take a close look at how fast she is actually swinging the racket.

Are you people blind?

She fashions an artificial half follow through, yes, but she needs to force herself to hit like an absolute sloth in the mini.
 

cha cha

Professional
Perhaps you regularly pepper at 9m but I only rarely have ever seen anybody doing it at that distance. In watching pro, varsity players and top collegiate players, I have usually seen them peppering at 6m (20 ft) or less. Frequently, intermediate and advanced players are peppering at distances less than 4.5m. Sometimes, it's even a bit less than 2m (5-6 ft).

In addition to warming up the body & v'ball skills, pepper drills are used to establish your timing and rhythm, facilitate your hand-eye coordination, improve sustained focus & conditioning and to work on good technique.

Reduced distance or not, peppering is performed without the net. So, while the physical distance might not always be less than normal, the height parameter is quite a bit less than actual volleyball play. Players are not normally taking a running approach & jumping.

Like mini tennis, spiking in v'ball peppering is not done at full speed -- especially when starting out a peppering drill. Players usually start at a moderately slow, controlled pace. As they develop a rhythm, players will often increase the speed on their spikes during a peppering session. But it is normally done in a controlled, cooperative manner. The goal of peppering is not to "win the warmup".
Once again, man, this is the third time in this thread only that you are explaining to someone who has been paid to play volleyball how volleyball is done. : - )
I am getting tired of repeating myself.
Everyone I have ever met peppers from 9 metres. Because we do not want slow shots. Because slow shots have no control. That is also why mini tennis is tragic. For the tenth time.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Are you people blind?

She fashions an artificial half follow through, yes, but she needs to force herself to hit like an absolute sloth in the mini.
Nope. She is not decelerating the racket until after contact. They are not dinking or severely truncating their follow thru. Plain and simple. Ditto for videos of other pros hitting short court (mini). These are not their fastest swings but their follow thru is still complete (fairly full).

The reduced ball speed (moderate-to-high spin) in mini tennis is really not all that different from the reduced spiking speeds that most players execute while peppering (especially with the early stages of a pepper drill). I see a very strong similarity between short court tennis and v-ball pepper drills in this respect.

And, you still seem to be missing the point of short court hitting. It is NOT meant to simulate their normal rally strokes. Reading comprehension?
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Once again, man, this is the third time in this thread only that you are explaining to someone who has been paid to play volleyball how volleyball is done. : - )
I am getting tired of repeating myself.
Everyone I have ever met peppers from 9 metres. Because we do not want slow shots. Because slow shots have no control. That is also why mini tennis is tragic. For the tenth time.
You cannot assume that your experience is the same as everyone else's.

Again, you are giving us the perspective of an elite player in your area. I am telling you what I have seen from multitudes of intermediate & advanced players on the west coast of the United US (California). From what I've observed here, a vast majority of players are doing their pepper drills significantly closer than 9m (30 feet) apart.

While I may not have achieved your level, I have been playing volleyball longer than you have been alive. Low level recreational since the late 60s. Much more competitive level in the 1980s in my 30s & 40s. I have watched, in person and on aTV, a considerable amount of high level volleyball played.

In the 90s & 00s, I was attending numerous volleyball matches several D1 schools: Stanford University, Santa Clara University and San Jose SU. Once in a while I would see them 25-30 ft apart while peppering. But a bulk of the time they were not much further apart than us rec / amateur players.
 
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cha cha

Professional
This is the beauty of the internet. Three times a week, I have a former national team member screaming at me from the sideline that I missed because I slowed down, yet I am getting schooled here by someone who has seen volleyball. : - )
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
This is the beauty of the internet. Three times a week, I have a former national team member screaming at me from the sideline that I missed because I slowed down, yet I am getting schooled here by someone who has seen volleyball. : - )
Do you not get that we are primarily talking about the utility of mini tennis fo rec / amateur players? Not elite players. (Even tho some pro players still use it)

Your own (high-level) experience does not necessarily correlate to the experience or needs of the bulk of amateur players. What applies to you, at your level, doesnt necessarily apply to the rest of us peons.

This reminds me of the PhD (research) college professor who cannot relate to their freshman and sophomore students -- because they are operating on a very different level of thinking and experience. They've lost touch with those still learning at a lower level. These PhD profs often employ a student teaching assistant who is much more capable of relating to the lower level of their students.
 

nyta2

Professional
What? Don't know what you are trying to say here. You should not be dinking balls for mini tennis. If you are decelerating your swing into the ball, you are doing it incorrectly.

Balls should be hit at moderate pace and, like any other groundstroke, you should accelerating, not decelerating, into the ball. Deceleration happens later, just like all regular serves & ground strokes. A generous amount of topspin is often imparted to the ball for mini, so the racket head speed is actually fairly fast (even tho the ball speed is moderate)

A number of videos in this thread and other similar threads have been posted of pros engaging in many tennis. Where are they decelerating?

Here is a video of Justine Henin that was posted a while back. We can see that she had started hitting fairly close to the service line. (Eventually she moves back to the BL). Where do you see her to decelerating her racket? Take a close look at how fast she is actually swinging the racket.

people who do mini, and insist they are decelerating their stroke (which is bad),... well they are :)
folks who need to decelerate are still taking the same backswing they take from the baseline... which i think is bad (i don't want to decerlate the racquet through contact, that's a bad habit IMO)
the key point they miss is to take an abbreviated backswing, which allows you to still accelerate with the hands through the stroke,
which is really \ the part i'm trying to warmup during mini (the "brushiness" {windshield wiper, "release", etc...}, feel for the ball at contact)
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
.. I am getting schooled here by someone who has seen volleyball. : - )
Condescending much? Disingenuous criticism.

I had already indicated that I have played volleyball longer (50+ yrs) than you have been alive. Altho not at your level, I was playing a considerable amount of competitive volleyball in my 30s & 40s (in the 1980s & 90s) -- in leagues, tournaments (and competitive open gyms). Mostly 6-man (indoors) but also some 2-man and 4-man. Some of the 2 & 4-man was outdoor on grass & sand.

Altho it was not my really specialty, I had played quite a bit as a setter in both 5-1 and 6-2 formations. Many teammates & opponents had been collegiate team players. So no lack of experience or insight on my part.
 
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Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
people who do mini, and insist they are decelerating their stroke (which is bad),... well they are :)
folks who need to decelerate are still taking the same backswing they take from the baseline... which i think is bad (i don't want to decerlate the racquet through contact, that's a bad habit IMO)
the key point they miss is to take an abbreviated backswing, which allows you to still accelerate with the hands through the stroke,
which is really \ the part i'm trying to warmup during mini (the "brushiness" {windshield wiper, "release", etc...}, feel for the ball at contact)
I guess some people would go crazy if they followed this advice: :-D
 

RyanRF

Professional
Something I've noticed as I get more experience with UTR matchplay against a wide variety of opponents:
  • Older and late-starter recreational players (such as myself) usually have worse technique on the groundstrokes and therefore struggle with topspin mini-tennis. They will have difficulty controlling depth and net clearance, or instead revert to chipping/blocking the ball.
  • Younger players who were exposed to early coaching have better technique on groundstrokes and are very comfortable with topspin mini-tennis. They can do this all day long.
Now being better at mini-tennis doesn't necessarily translate into wins. A lot of these kids with great technique and steady topspin off both sides have other holes in their game that I can exploit. However in my experience skill in mini-tennis does tend to translate into consistency in rallies. When my opponent is very comfortable at mini-tennis, I know that they aren't going to shower me with unforced errors from the baseline. I can't simply play fetch and wait for them to mess up. I have to overpower them, or rush the net, or draw them in, etc.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Condescending much? Disingenuous criticism.

I had already indicated that I have played volleyball longer (50+ yrs) than you have been alive. Altho not at your level, I was playing a considerable amount of competitive volleyball in my 30s & 40s (in the 1980s & 90s) -- in leagues, tournaments (and competitive open gyms). Mostly 6-man (indoors) but also some 2-man and 4-man. Some of the 2 & 4-man was outdoor on grass & sand.

Altho it was not my really specialty, I had played quite a bit as a setter in both 5-1 and 6-2 formations. Many teammates & opponents had been collegiate team players. So no lack of experience or insight on my part.
I may not have played at your level, but I was a spiking force of nature in my junior high lunch hour league.
 

nyta2

Professional
No, an abbreviated backswing is not a bad habit. One should be taking a backswing appropriate for the speed and depth of the incoming ball. Shorter backswings for fast serves, for half volleys and for taking other "deep" balls on the rise.
personally I learned to take an abbreviated backswing after coach pointed out I was missing my approach shots because i was taking a backswing appropriate for the baseline
 
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