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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 08:16 
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I'm asking for one of my pennant teammates, who's a small boy. (It would be useful for me against some opponents, too!) He's a conventional 2-winged attacker, very consistent FH loops & smashes, knows to follow big hits with drop shots when the opponent has been forced back.

He has to cover a lot of ground relative to his size, and he's good at it, but older players still pick up on the fact that they can run him around by returning the ball to alternating corners of the table.

What are some things that he can do to counter this?

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 09:21 
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I'm 5'10" and pretty decent at covering the table, however mobility is my issue and I have players try do it to me as well so I try to do it them first. :lol:

The way to counter it is to hit the ball deep and low to the opponent's cross-over or to the wide angle that they are not covering. Deep shots make it more difficult for your opponent to hit the wide angles. Hitting to their cross-over sometimes causes them to give a weak return because they have to decide to use their FH or BH. Shallow high returns should be avoided as they make it easier for your opponent to hit the wide angles.


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 14:59 
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It is also worth noting that when you angle your return, you give your opponent the opportunity to return with even more angle. Countermeasures against angled returns would therefore be to keep it long and to the middle (which will often be the opponent's crossover point as already mentioned). Wait with the angled shot until the value (putting pressure on your opponent) is greater than the risk (giving your opponent an opportunity).


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 23:22 
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When his opponents hit the first ball to a corner, he can return it as wide or wider cross-court. That will make it nearly impossible for the next ball to be angled to the opposite corner.


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 01:22 
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Sometimes, it's impossible to avoid being moved to the corners so you (and the boy) need to train for this. I find the Falkenburg drill to be good for this. It helps you develop the footwork needed to cover the wide corners.


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 02:22 
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And penholders are going to place even deeper into the corners. Just try going against a Leftie penholder like XX :lol:


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 09:29 
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I don't think it's the size that is the problem, neither for your teammate nor for you. Try to train placing with the teammate and train the 2-side step as well as the 1-step and so on. Look at the chapter 'positioning and footwork'.http://tabletenniscoaching.com/node/86

Steffen Fetzner and most Asian players aren't that tall and as far as I remember most larger players do lack speed compared to the smaller ones. And, if I remember it correctly, most of these players trying to outplace the opponent are lame ducks with bad footwork and little movement.

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 12:35 
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keme wrote:
It is also worth noting that when you angle your return, you give your opponent the opportunity to return with even more angle. Countermeasures against angled returns would therefore be to keep it long and to the middle (which will often be the opponent's crossover point as already mentioned). Wait with the angled shot until the value (putting pressure on your opponent) is greater than the risk (giving your opponent an opportunity).


I kinda disagree. If you put a ball into a corner, especially with significant top and sidespin, the opponent is forced to hit the ball to the opposite corner, or if he/she is good enough, straight down the line to the other corner. Even if the ball comes down the line to the other corner, it's headed down the line, not angled away from you and is more reachable than a ball hit from the middle to that same corner (which will be heading away from you). And to put the ball down the line takes some doing, players at my level aren't that capable of doing it without missing a lot of shots, especially when there's sidespin involved. You do have to keep the ball long of course, short balls open a lot of possibilities.

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PostPosted: 17 May 2017, 17:33 
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I dont know if it will work, but playing shorter length loops and longer length loops unpredictably will make your opponent play safer returns right ?

Also if you can keep the height of the ball low as possible on all returns won't the opponent try to increase the height of his returns ?

We can't keep chopping or pushing forever to prevent the opponent from moving the ball around aggressively right ?

What would work effectively to negate the easy placement of ball in a rally ? Side-spin ? Top-spin ? Chop? Push ?

Until you can start strategizing on your opponent's weaknesses, I don't see how to avoid the opposing player playing to the corners.


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PostPosted: 17 May 2017, 20:43 
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How small is he? How old?

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PostPosted: 17 May 2017, 21:23 
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It could come down to where he places the ball himself, and this something he can control. Normally, what happens is probably that he runs a little too far to each side of the table to return the wide shots, and this oscillates out of control over a rally. I say "probably" because this what more experienced players make me do. I am not a small child but do have arthritis in both knees and one foot.

If we suggest that his normal shot is to the opponent's backhand (assuming both RH players), he should put himself in position (recover) to return a ball which will be to his own backhand. If, from this position, he reaches out with the bat, it should intersect the back line maybe 6 -9 inches to the left of the centre line. This would put him in a position to return a shot to his backhand, and single step to his right would put him in a position to a shot down the line to his forehand.

Alternatively, if he sends his own shot to the opponent's forehand, he should recover to a position slightly further to the right (expecting a return to the forehand side), where his bat would intersect the back line maybe 6-9 inches to the right of the centre line. He would then need to step to the left to return the opponent's down the line to backhand shot.

The recovery positioning should take place as soon as he hits the ball. Depending on his own size, of course, this will very often "magically" put him in position to return balls to either side of the table.

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PostPosted: 17 May 2017, 21:49 
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On my last trip to China, two months long, I concentrated most of my time on angle shots. The Seemiller grip is ideal for this, similar to penhold, no crossover. It helped me beat many players I could not beat before.

What got me started on this was women penhold players that were so good with angles. One of the keys is to hold the table. Do not back off. Seemiller grip and pen lend themselves to this because of no crossover point.

Defend against angles? My defense was to use it myself. :devil:


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PostPosted: 18 May 2017, 00:52 
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Give then PUN-TTA Hookshot :D

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PostPosted: 18 May 2017, 13:22 
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Baal wrote:
How small is he? How old?


8 or so, maybe a smidge over 4 feet/~120cm tall.

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PostPosted: 18 May 2017, 22:34 
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In 3 yrs at most, the problem will go away. Probably in a much shorter time with drilling. But the young age also places a limit on anticipation skills unless he is incredibly smart.

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