MIX UP YOUR SERVES Mix up
serves of different length and spin. Some examples of advanced
serves include medium-long, deep, short, down-the-line, pure spin,
pure speed, etc. Serves to the elbow tend to be very effective,
since the receiver must quickly decide (and often does not in time)
to use a forehand or backhand.
DEVELOP A THIRD BALL
ATTACK Develop a
third-ball attack. This is where you serve, the receiver receives,
and you nail one in for a winner. An example is a short backspin
serve, followed by a long push, then a powerful loop. If you haven't
mastered the loop, then be position to attempt to win the point on
the third time the ball is struck. This is called the third-ball
attack. It takes practice, but it is effective.
ATTACK WHEN YOU CAN Attack whenever you can,
primarily on a long serve. It has been proven that the player to
open the offense most often usually wins point, set, and match. In
today's game of table tennis, a defensive player cannot effectively
defend the high speed and spin attacks of their opponents. This is
why you MUST learn to attack, attack, attack!
WATCH YOUR OPPONENT'S
RACKET WHEN THE BALL IS STRUCK
When receiving a serve, keep your eyes mostly on
the opponent's racket. If you have ever seen World Champion Jan-Ove
Waldner play, you can see that he makes a quick glimpse at how high
the ball is tossed, then watches back down to the racket. If you
keep your eyes on the ball, the server will baffle you with his
deceptions. By watching the racket, you can better determine what
sort of spin is being imparted on the ball. Be sure to watch the
exact movement of the racket as it makes contact with the ball.
Watch which way the blade of the racket is moving when contact is
made and the angle of the impact. This takes practice, but it will
improve your game, especially against players who put a great amount
of spin on the ball during serves and volleys.
MIX UP YOUR RETURNS When receiving, mix up
your returns. Most players too often tend to push, allowing their
opponents to start the offense. Mixing up loops, drives, pushes,
chops, etc. provides for excellent variation and a bewildered
opponent. Don't keep hitting the same return to the same place on
the table. If you do, your opponent will be waiting with racket in
hand, to take advantage of you. Practice returning serves and
volleys in many different directions, speeds, and spins. This is a
good strategy and you will learn how important it is as you improve
ACQUIRE A SENSIBLE
TABLE TENNIS RACKET & RUBBER If you are
ready for professional equipment, begin with a medium-fast blade
(rather than fast). A medium-fast blade allows you to rely more on
technique than on equipment to get the ball over the net. It will
also provide optimum control. The most important consideration for a
blade, however, is that it provides good "feeling." As for rubber
try to get the "beginner" kinds for the beginning. The reason for
this is because beginner rubbers are designed with less spin and
speed, and this translates into easier returns of spinny balls.
Trying to return a sidespin serve will be a hair-pulling experience
for a beginner if he/she uses an overly spinny rubber.
BACKHANDS--YOU NEED BOTH Forehands are the way to go. To
hit forehands wherever you are on the table, you will need to
develop good side-to-side footwork. But it never hurts to work extra
on your backhand so that your opponent won't know what hit him/her
when you blast that down the line backhand smash! The best players
are always two-winged, or being able to attack almost equally well
on both hands.
Practice your forehand and your backhand. Most players win with
their forehand shots, but a weak backhand can cost a player many
games. Get a partner to practice backhand strokes until you feel
comfortable. Keep practicing, it is worth the effort.
DON'T GIVE UP IF YOU
ARE LOSING A MATCH When you are losing in a
match, or have missed several shots in a row, don't get mad, get
even. Ask yourself what needs to be done in order to beat the
problem that is plaguing your game. Then try the solution. If it
doesn't work, do it again. Until the match is over, you should never
give up. If it is your turn to serve, then you are allotted a
reasonable amount of time per serve to wait and think things over
before you toss the ball. Take advantage of it.