The Attacking Mindset in Table Tennis

Newgy Robo-Pong

If you are an offensive table tennis player, there are two aspects of the game that you need to master.

The first aspect is - Creating the opportunity to attack first.  I hear many table tennis club players telling themselves throughout the night, “Just use your attack!”  Well that sounds nice, but how are you going to create the opportunity.  There are several ways.

  1. Try to loop long serves
  2. Try to loop half-long serves
  3. Try to serve short and push short so that your opponent can’t easily loop first
  4. Try to loop most of the long pushes
  5. Try to loop most of the flips

After you make the opening attack, try to continue attacking by following up with another ball and another ball.  Against a good table tennis player, it will likely take 3-4 strong attacks to win the point.

The second aspect is - Being consistent in your attack.  Even if you can create the opportunity to attack, that doesn’t mean that you will win; that merely means that you have the ability to attack.  Your target should be to make 80-90% of your attacks on with both your backhand and your forehand.  If you are making 100% of your opening attacks on and still losing, then you possibly need to give more spin variation, speed variation, and placement variation.  If you are inconsistent on your attacks, then consider adjusting your technique in the following ways.

  1. Try to move into position better
  2. Try to read the amount of spin that your opponent is giving you
  3. Try to adjust the height of your backswing based on the spin and based on the height of the ball
  4. Try to adjust the length of your swing based on the speed of the ball
  5. Try to adjust your racket angle based on the spin on the ball
  6. Try to focus on spin as your primary weapon and use speed as your secondary weapon

You should significantly see your attacking game improve if you focus on these key areas. Good luck!

Samson Dubina

 

 

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What to Do When You Can’t Stop Your Opponent in Table Tennis

Newgy Robo-Pong

Your table tennis opponent is attacking your short serve and you are frustrated that you can’t stop him or her from attacking your serve.

What should you do?

Well, you must realize that with modern equipment and modern strokes, he or she will likely be able to attack all of your serves - regardless of how spinny, low, or short you serve. 

The first key is to serve in such a way that he or she can’t tee-off hard on your serve.  By mixing up long, short, and half-long serves it will be very difficult for him or her to attack strong.  Also, if you serve very low, heavy backspin short to the forehand, your opponent probably won’t be able to produce much spin on the flip.  If you serve to the backhand short, your opponent might be able to generate spin using the wrist – similar to Zhang Jike.

The second key is to learn how to attack the flip.  If you merely block the flip, then your opponent will likely finish you off with a strong loop.  If you are able to start your racket high, shorten your backswing, and loop with good control, then you will likely take the attack away from your opponent and he or she will usually block the next ball.  Avoid blocking flips AND avoid hitting too hard against flips.  Because the flip is so close to you, you don’t have much time to adjust to the various speeds, spins, and trajectories.  So, watch where your opponent is flipping, adjust with your feet, start your hand high, and loop with control to a good location.

There is no reason to get frustrated trying to completely STOP your opponent from flipping your serve, instead, serve in such a way that he or she cannot flip hard and BE PREPARED to attack their flip.  A good example of how to attack flips can be seen in Dimitrij Ovtcharov’s match against Zhang Jike at the 2014 World Table Tennis Championship.

Samson Dubina

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That One Shot in Table Tennis

Newgy Robo-Pong

There is one shot in table tennis that will really hurt you.  But before I tell you what the shot is, I’ll first make a couple of observations about your body positioning.

If you attack with your forehand from your forehand side, it doesn’t really matter where you attack.  You should mix up your placement – wide forehand, wide backhand, and middle transition.  Because your body is centrally located in relation to the ping pong table, you will likely be able to recover quickly for the next ball.

If you attack with your backhand from your backhand side, it doesn’t really matter where you attack.  You should mix up your placement – wide forehand, wide backhand, and middle transition.  Because your body is centrally located in relation to the table, you will likely be able to recover quickly for the next ball.

However, if you step around the backhand side and use your forehand, your placement is absolutely critical.  Most Ohio club table tennis players step around the backhand side and use their forehands to go down-the-line to the opponent’s forehand.  If the opponent doesn’t touch the ball, this works.  However, if the opponent does return the ball, it is very difficult to cover the wide forehand.  When you step around the backhand side to use your forehand, I recommend that you hit a winner.  Go for it!  If you want to hit a weaker ball, then stay with your backhand.  And when you do use your forehand from that position, make sure that you are very, very tricky on your placement.  If not, your opponent is sure to catch you on the wide forehand.

Samson Dubina

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