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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2017, 23:50 
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Title says it all. For those of you who are defenders, what kind of strategies do you use in match play? I’m currently at a stage where everything I do in match play is based on instinct and predicting where my opponent is sending the ball; do you guys have a relative strategy for games in general? What kind of tactics do you use?

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2017, 03:47 
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I play modern defence, this is what my tactics usually are:

Recieving:

1) If they serve short to my BH (LP) most cases I try to rush the opponent, off the bounce, so they don't have much time to react and they usually make mistakes. I also sometimes attack with my LP which usually hits them unexpected.

2) Bassicly whatever comes to my FH I attack.

3) Depending on what serves they do, I sometimes move more towards my FH corner, twiddle so I have inverted on my BH, and then recieve like any attacker would ( twiddling back after).

Match play:

Pretty much, I try my best to get them looping to my pips, where I chop as heavily as possible to force them into weaker loops. Whenever something comes to my FH, I spin as hard as possible wide, this scares the opponent, making them not want to hit to my FH, and play to my pips. If they try to get away with just playing high spins, very slow to my pips, which can be a struggle to chop, I come round the corner and aggressively attack with FH. All of this, after a set or two getting used to their tactics, I've got them into most choppers practical situation of the opponent trying to spin as hard as they can to the BH (LP) which keeps coming back to them, forcing them into errors quickly.

A commen problem for choppers is people touching short after a chop and bringing you in, expecting a push back. If you can build up a strong pimple attack, or be able to twiddle and flick, this will really put your opponent off, and you'll find they will do it less, again, them ending up just spinning to your pips.


Hope I helped!

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2017, 09:26 
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Even if I don't consider myself a defender while actually using a Yinhe 955 next to the CJ8000 I do think that strategy is the key to success. Here's one of it: Usually I try impress with the forehand quite early so the opponent will prefer to get the ball on my backhand first. My serve is quite simple here, medium to short in his forehand or at the middle and narrowly over the net with some variations in spin. Having the return on my pimple gives the opportunity to put the ball on the persons' position or on the edge, from where the return often results in an attacking opportunity for me. Of course, I can't use this move all the time but the ratio of success is still kind of stunning.

(the most annoying as of lately are some new club-members wanting me to play more calmly and with more focus on defense when noticing the pimples - one said to me that I can't smash with it and I would have to use the CJ8000 instead, which is bollocks, simply put)

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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2017, 06:39 
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Get the ball back on the table one more time than your opponent. (sorry, but it had to be said).

Don't let your opponent get into a rhythm unless it is to your advantage to set them up for a sucker ball or your surprise shot.

Focus on what they are (relatively) bad at. This is where you will often use the first game of a match as a sacrificial game. You may lose it but have hopefully gained valuable information on your opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

Written from the point of view of a retriever, which is not a million miles from being a defender.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2017, 02:13 
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Thanks, guys; I'll be sure to keep your advice in mind. ModernDef, I notice you said that you attack with your LP; I use an SP (see my signature), because I wanted to be able to attack with my BH and also because I used to use double-inverted. How do I incorporate SP attacking into my game? I will say that Yuto Muramatsu is one of my inspirations for my decision to become a defender, as well as Joo.

EDIT: To be more specific, how do I set up opportunities for attacking with my SP on my BH? What's the technique I should use? Finally, how can I recognize that the opportunity to attack with my SP is present?

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2017, 20:46 
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At my level, I'll get a lot of unforced errors from simply twiddling and pushing heavy with inverted occasionally on the backhand side. Fairly low risk shot. If they do return it, you've now reintroduced spin to the rally and can use the pips to attack!

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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2017, 04:27 
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Sorry, didn't notice you were using SP. Assuming you chop with them, this is what I'd say (btw I'm no expert on sp, but I know the concept.)

A huge advantage of using SP is returning serve. A huge problem LP players have is that, as it's difficult to attack and pushing usually gives a float. So with the SP advantage, do what you feel comfortable doing but also remember you can attack.

When chopping, this is my idea. If someone brings you in (touch or push), this is a huge opportunity to attack. They'd expect a push back usually, but a flick (or whatever it's called with SP) will suprise them. So overall, my advise would be, keep on chopping, counter with SP on BH if they're just rolling the ball to it, and attack with SP when brought in.

Hope I helped

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2018, 06:51 
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So, I've been watching videos of Yuto, and one thing I've noticed is that placement is extremely important in terms of how much time you give yourself to get into position to chop, as well as knowing where the next ball is going to come (obviously you can't always know, but it helps), and boy, I'm going to try that out. For instance, if my opponent is positioned in their BH side (assuming they are right-handed), I serve to their deep FH corner and I'm pretty sure the next incoming loop (if they loop the ball) will most likely to be to my FH corner, which I've seen happen in Yuto's games, and he'll move to his FH side accordingly and chop with his BH, something he seems to do a lot (i'm talking about matches of him back in like 2012, 2013) Just thought i'd share this. And assuming the opponent is always trying to loop the ball instead of being a pusher, always make sure placement of your pushes are not towards a place where they are already in position to loop and kill the ball; for example, push to their elbow and make them side-step a bit make time and then they will loop, and you are in position to chop. Arrrrgh, i feel like a noob, because this is just a theory and if it's right, i don't know why I didn't realize this before.

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2018, 09:11 
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At lower levels you don't worry too much about placement, since hitting the table at all is a victory!

Moving up the ladder then you have to worry about placement and such much more. There are relatively known strike zones where if you hit to x then opponent will most likely hit to y. As you are talking about. Such as hitting to backhand corner will have them hitting to your backhand corner from 2 righties. My doubles partners hate me when I do that :D Under pressure the zones are more reliable, as they represent the highest margin shots.

Similar to how it you hit a really heavy wristy and low chop... odds are they will try to push it, or loop and fail!

I just try to make them move. As most people are comfortable doing one shot from one spot, and if you make them move to reach the ball... then their odds of performing that shot well go down drastically. Very important for blockers as well.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2018, 00:16 
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skilless_slapper wrote:
At lower levels you don't worry too much about placement, since hitting the table at all is a victory!

Moving up the ladder then you have to worry about placement and such much more. There are relatively known strike zones where if you hit to x then opponent will most likely hit to y. As you are talking about. Such as hitting to backhand corner will have them hitting to your backhand corner from 2 righties. My doubles partners hate me when I do that :D Under pressure the zones are more reliable, as they represent the highest margin shots.

Similar to how it you hit a really heavy wristy and low chop... odds are they will try to push it, or loop and fail!

I just try to make them move. As most people are comfortable doing one shot from one spot, and if you make them move to reach the ball... then their odds of performing that shot well go down drastically. Very important for blockers as well.

Well, I find that making my dad move around when we play and ensuring specific placement of balls (mostly pushes and serves) are important for me to not only get into a chopping rally (or any form/shape of a rally) at all, but also ensuring that my dad doesn't just power loop every thing every single time, because I keep pushing long to his FH corner where he's in position to loop :?: He's a leftie too, so that doesn't really help, and a penholder at that.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2018, 00:20 
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Plus, I really played much better when I put that newfound knowledge in to play yesterday. I had more time to get into position for chopping, and I even got into some counter-driving (I discovered yesterday I don't really loop the ball) rallies as well in MATCHPLAY. In practice, you can do anything, but matchplay is totally different as we all know. It used to be matches where points would always end with one serve, or at the most, 4-5th ball played in one rally during matches. Now, I think the most balls we've ever gotten up to played in a rally during a match is 7-8. Lol.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2018, 01:07 
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To get into chopping rallies I kind of think of the first ball or two as bait. You have to put it out there, hoping to get into the chopping game, without it being too weak or placed badly where a kill shot can be delivered against you. Once you can dictate a bit where they will be looping to, even if it's hard and fast you'll be ready to at least chop at it.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2018, 01:27 
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skilless_slapper wrote:
To get into chopping rallies I kind of think of the first ball or two as bait. You have to put it out there, hoping to get into the chopping game, without it being too weak or placed badly where a kill shot can be delivered against you. Once you can dictate a bit where they will be looping to, even if it's hard and fast you'll be ready to at least chop at it.

yeah, that's exactly why I started to really focus on placement, not just randomly pushing it long, hoping that i can get into a chopping rally, 'cause the opponent will always either push back, or loop if they are a conventional player.

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PostPosted: 30 Mar 2018, 06:56 
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Hi Dan. I have always found playing as a defender both interesting and a lot of fun. I am a bit of an anomaly though. I was taught/introduced to the game by a friend who played penhold, so he had me play penhold. But while he was an attacker, somehow I developed into a chopper, a defender. I gave up the game and then I returned to it after about 20 years and joined a local club where they pointed out the flaw in my style. A penhold defender is almost silly because of the explosive power of the forehand. So I changed my game drastically and became an attacker. So much that I now love to attack and will attack anything long, even underspin serves.

But I now love to play a mix of both styles as well. I play at a local club where I am a member (not very high level) but more for the fun and not to get into any rankings etc.

My technique is simple. I rely purely on variation. I love to play close to the table as a punch blocker and I like to win points through placement, aiming for the corners (which I am pretty good at). At the same time I like to mix defensive chops with offensive loops (I know sounds crazy) and I am ready to move and turn backhands into forehands to attack or move back from the table to attack.

I am sure I would get destroyed at higher levels but at my level it works great because I move well enough and my blocks are flat and consistent and being penholder, the wrist movement to get the angles is almost natural. So variation it is. Left to right chops mixed with loops and varying the length of my return.

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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 03:32 
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One thing I try to do is to keep chopping in the middle of the table. A lot of attackers are not comfortable with the ball coming after their elbow. It requires for them to move and go around to attack efficiently. But on another hand, it greatly helps me with predicting their loops because of the limited angle choices. Please note that I use SP so spin variation is essential for me (from underspin to no spin and also sidespin).
Also by keeping my opponents more or less at the center of the table, it allows me to counter attack more successfully in the corners.

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