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Throw a Curve Ball
You have heard the expression many times, “My boss threw me a curve ball,” or “my day threw me a curve ball.” The expression basically means, something happened that you didn’t expect. In a close table tennis match, it is important to “throw a curve ball” to your opponent; something that he doesn’t expect. At the same time, it is critical that you do something that you can reasonably achieve.
Here are some suggestions:
-Serving from a different location
-Receiving in a different fashion
-Changing the pace on a loop or block
-Adding subtle amount of sidespin
I would NOT suggest doing these things:
-Playing with the opposite hand
-Playing mind games with your opponent
-Playing a trick shot (behind the back or between the legs)
Many table tennis matches have been won or lost from a strategy change at 9-9 in the final game. Choose wisely what you hope to do and be willing to adjust if you opponent receives it easily. Throughout your practice sessions leading up to the tournament, try to spend at least 20-30 minutes per day training this “curve ball.”