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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 20:19 
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I think sometimes people focus too much on getting winners in a match, often taking chances to do so and this leads to erratic play resulting in low confidence. Concentrating on the BIG points [the ones you remember after playing], where its really the 'little' points that win a match.
Here are some tips that are useful for generating errors and openings from your opponent without going for the big strokes..

Hope they are useful for anyone out there.....

#1 Disguise - an obvious one covered ad-infinitum - if your opponent doesnt know whats on the ball then he's more likely to make a mistake - best opportunity is on the serve, however other useful things to disguise are pushes [chop and float], flicks/flips [wait till last minute and vary the angles]. If you ever get caught in push-to-push rallies waiting for the opening, then try pushing some with a loose wrist and some with a fixed wrist - this will vary the spin on the ball and hopefully, if not read correctly by your opponent, will result in an error or opening.

#2 Making your opponent move to the ball - this one is valuable and is often overlooked in tactical play - by making your opponent move to play the ball you are making his shot more complicated - giving him less time to be aware of you and less time for his brain to think tactically. In my opinion all returns should either be to the crossover, or to a point where your opponent has to move or stretch to play the ball. An excellent place to play the ball is not to go too wide, but to go for 1/2 step wide - this will cause your opponent to either stretch to play the shot, or make a modified short step to get in position or even better get caught doing both :). Often when players are forced to move they can make a mistake of returning the ball to a point on the table that exposes the wide angle - when forcing an opponent to move - watch for this and be prepared to exploit it.

#3 Changing Pace - when people play each other they learn from each other, they pick up pace, spin and angles and compensate for them - to keep your opponent under pressure its a good idea to change the pace and spin on the ball - often a hard block followed by a soft block will get a mis-timed stroke from your opponent. As a side - i know a lot of players that love pace on the ball - they feed off it - by simply being aware of this and slowing the game down you can take away their best weapon often leading to mis-timed strokes followed by low confidence.

#4 The Crossover - I'm tall and have long arms and legs and a massive crossover point - most people I play rarely attack it - in my opinion this is one part of the game that everyone knows they should do, but they rarely do it - lower and intermediate players can play to the crossover easily, however it takes a fairly accomplished player to cope with a decent attack to the crossover - things like this can seriously change the outcome of a match.

#5 Stretching - Getting your opponent to stretch his arms to full extent is an excellent way of forcing an error - on a full or near full stretch muscles tighten and lose flexibility and control. A good way of doing this is playing a short ball when your opponent is a good step away from the table - this forces him to rush in, arm extended and play a shot [moving and stretching] - which increases the chance of error.

#6 Self awareness - being aware of how and why your opponents are taking points of you is one of the most important things you can learn - once you are aware you can adapt, if you can't adapt during the match you can go away after the match and practice techniques to adapt in the future.

#7 Last but not least - Take Your Time! - dont go for low percentage shots [even if they are fun when they come off] - pressurize your opponent and wait for valid openings, when an opening comes, hit the ball with purpose and control and never go for 'all or nothing' shots as they often lead to nothing.

hope this helps anyone out there...


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 21:03 
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Very good post bollsbro .Im a type of player that needs to remind myself about the little points . When you watch tennis they alays state "the unforced errors" but in Table Tennis we don't !
Thinking about placement and making your opposition move are so important

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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2009, 21:39 
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Many of these things are exactly the type of things that I'm trying to work on to get over the top against all the guys that I'm losing to in 5 game matches. Great post!

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2009, 08:07 
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Great post!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2009, 11:18 
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Great reminder post of the things we often neglect but should always do.

thanks very much for the info :D

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2009, 15:27 
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Yep, good reminder tips, I especially need to remember NO. 7, I have lost too many points by hurry up and miss the ball when it is my turn to serve.


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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2009, 05:13 
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bollsbrother wrote:
I think sometimes people focus too much on getting winners in a match, often taking chances to do so and this leads to erratic play resulting in low confidence. Concentrating on the BIG points [the ones you remember after playing], where its really the 'little' points that win a match.


Halleluljah :roll: the general idea is enough for most if they take it on board, no need to write the book :lol: although some good tips, I can imagine some players playing their next matches/practice with their brains exploding :lol: Oh one tip I've always preached, don't worry too much if the other guy hits the ball past you, its going to happen if that's what he's trying to do, and the worry of this often forces players into unforced errors because it somehow feels better to go for a winner and miss.

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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2009, 18:46 
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Quote:
Oh one tip I've always preached, don't worry too much if the other guy hits the ball past you,


I would go further and say that when a guy blows certain shots by me I say to myself that's excellent. I hope he keeps trying to do that!

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2009, 00:47 
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Nice post Bollsbro.

And I agree with you Baal. If someone is incline to blast it past you, often its possible to put the ball where its a dubious option to attack it hard and a fair chance they will miss when they do. Of course, some people are good enough not to miss, or not to be sucked in and only blast when they have a high success chance. But you can't do much about them, and if you're playing them, you're likely to be pretty good yourself lol.

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PostPosted: 04 May 2009, 10:53 
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Quote:
But you can't do much about them,


I was once playing with Eric Owens back when he lived in Houston and I would bribe him to play with me. At one point I stepped around and hit a very hard inside-out forehand loop (or so I thought) to his backhand corner. He ripped -- ripped in the truest sense of the word -- a huge topspin backhand counterloop down the line right into my backhand corner. I think I said something along the lines of "come on, that can't be for real" and his reply with a smile was "actually that felt pretty comfortable". To prove it to me, he did about four more times. :roll:

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PostPosted: 29 May 2009, 00:31 
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bollsbrother wrote:
I think sometimes people focus too much on getting winners in a match, often taking chances to do so and this leads to erratic play resulting in low confidence. Concentrating on the BIG points [the ones you remember after playing], where its really the 'little' points that win a match.
Here are some tips that are useful for generating errors and openings from your opponent without going for the big strokes..

Hope they are useful for anyone out there.....

#1 Disguise - an obvious one covered ad-infinitum - if your opponent doesnt know whats on the ball then he's more likely to make a mistake - best opportunity is on the serve, however other useful things to disguise are pushes [chop and float], flicks/flips [wait till last minute and vary the angles]. If you ever get caught in push-to-push rallies waiting for the opening, then try pushing some with a loose wrist and some with a fixed wrist - this will vary the spin on the ball and hopefully, if not read correctly by your opponent, will result in an error or opening.

#2 Making your opponent move to the ball - this one is valuable and is often overlooked in tactical play - by making your opponent move to play the ball you are making his shot more complicated - giving him less time to be aware of you and less time for his brain to think tactically. In my opinion all returns should either be to the crossover, or to a point where your opponent has to move or stretch to play the ball. An excellent place to play the ball is not to go too wide, but to go for 1/2 step wide - this will cause your opponent to either stretch to play the shot, or make a modified short step to get in position or even better get caught doing both :). Often when players are forced to move they can make a mistake of returning the ball to a point on the table that exposes the wide angle - when forcing an opponent to move - watch for this and be prepared to exploit it.

#3 Changing Pace - when people play each other they learn from each other, they pick up pace, spin and angles and compensate for them - to keep your opponent under pressure its a good idea to change the pace and spin on the ball - often a hard block followed by a soft block will get a mis-timed stroke from your opponent. As a side - i know a lot of players that love pace on the ball - they feed off it - by simply being aware of this and slowing the game down you can take away their best weapon often leading to mis-timed strokes followed by low confidence.

#4 The Crossover - I'm tall and have long arms and legs and a massive crossover point - most people I play rarely attack it - in my opinion this is one part of the game that everyone knows they should do, but they rarely do it - lower and intermediate players can play to the crossover easily, however it takes a fairly accomplished player to cope with a decent attack to the crossover - things like this can seriously change the outcome of a match.

#5 Stretching - Getting your opponent to stretch his arms to full extent is an excellent way of forcing an error - on a full or near full stretch muscles tighten and lose flexibility and control. A good way of doing this is playing a short ball when your opponent is a good step away from the table - this forces him to rush in, arm extended and play a shot [moving and stretching] - which increases the chance of error.

#6 Self awareness - being aware of how and why your opponents are taking points of you is one of the most important things you can learn - once you are aware you can adapt, if you can't adapt during the match you can go away after the match and practice techniques to adapt in the future.

#7 Last but not least - Take Your Time! - dont go for low percentage shots [even if they are fun when they come off] - pressurize your opponent and wait for valid openings, when an opening comes, hit the ball with purpose and control and never go for 'all or nothing' shots as they often lead to nothing.

hope this helps anyone out there...



THIS is VERY helpfull indeed i will actually print this out and read it every match i play =]

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PostPosted: 29 May 2009, 08:10 
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I should tattoo these on my forearm as a constant reminder whenever I start a new point! :lol: I've been having trouble especially with #7. Early game nerves is currently an issue for me and I tend to hurry every shot and make lots of unforced errors.

Just one question about hitting to an opponent's crossover point. I'm guessing that it's the point where they have to decide whether to play a FH or BH return right? So do you have to be aware of their bat position, or it doesn't matter as long as you hit hard/fast to that crossover point? Roughly where is the point you are aiming for? Elbow?

Thanks for the great tips! You should come up with 3 more to make 10 tips, and we should get 2 TT blades and inscribe them like the 10 commandments! :lol:

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PostPosted: 29 May 2009, 16:09 
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Nerves are part of the game and need to be approached and treated like anything else. If you had a poor backhand drive, you would spend practice time focusing and practicing it until it was part of your game. It should be the same for nerves - you need to focus and practice controlling them away from the match table - personally I find that distraction works - if you feel your getting nervous [probably about thinking about the next match too much or playing someone you always lose in 5 to e.t.c.] - then think about something else. get your mind trained and acquire mental techniques just like acquiring new shots into your game.

Yup - the crossover is usually the elbow, however people do have mad ways of coping with balls put here and some can cope with them rather well - best tip is to put a few balls in this area in the knockup [by accident ;0) ] and see how they cope.


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PostPosted: 29 May 2009, 16:48 
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bollsbrother wrote:
#3 Changing Pace - when people play each other they learn from each other, they pick up pace, spin and angles and compensate for them - to keep your opponent under pressure its a good idea to change the pace and spin on the ball - often a hard block followed by a soft block will get a mis-timed stroke from your opponent. As a side - i know a lot of players that love pace on the ball - they feed off it - by simply being aware of this and slowing the game down you can take away their best weapon often leading to mis-timed strokes followed by low confidence.

#4 The Crossover - I'm tall and have long arms and legs and a massive crossover point - most people I play rarely attack it - in my opinion this is one part of the game that everyone knows they should do, but they rarely do it - lower and intermediate players can play to the crossover easily, however it takes a fairly accomplished player to cope with a decent attack to the crossover - things like this can seriously change the outcome of a match.


I played a match last night -- fun match, granted, but this guy felt like he has a relatively small crossover because of the nature of his sideward stance. A wee-bit vunerable on wide angles, also because of this, though.

I should have thought about #3 instead of #4, because he was feeding off the pace I was hitting with -- found out the very hard way that he's quite the accomplished counterhitter with equipment to match. :drunken:

After that, I watched him play against other people -- especially the younger ones like me (hard-headed :lol:) -- seems like the same thing happened to them. :eye:

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PostPosted: 29 May 2009, 18:28 
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Yuzuki wrote:
I played a match last night -- fun match, granted, but this guy felt like he has a relatively small crossover because of the nature of his sideward stance. A wee-bit vunerable on wide angles, also because of this, though.


A sideways stance allows someone to move in and out fairly well, but limits their sideways movement - forcing them to turn and move will pressurize their footwork and should get errors - think of this next time you play him and get the ball fling along paths that make him move - you might be suprised at how he copes - if he handles this as well as balls to the xover then give him a pat on the back as he's a pretty accomplished player.


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