As you progress from an intermediate player to an advanced player, you will start playing more and more loopers. These are players who like to play big topspin shots (loops), whenever they can. If you push a ball, they loop! If you block a ball, they loop! Even if you topspin a ball, they loop! What the heck are you supposed to do against this looping onslaught? Do not despair. Loopers are not unbeatable. Here’s a few of my favourite tactics to use when playing a looper.
When I first started playing table tennis, I bought the basic Practice Partner 100. A good entry level robot which is not that expensive. But it had a very limited range of spins and drills. I wanted a robot which was able to replicate more realistic spins and sequences of balls. It took a while to decide on which robot to buy. I went on table tennis forums and decided in the end that the Butterfly Amicus Professional was the one that would do virtually everything I wanted. I have had the robot for a few months now. Here’s my ‘for’ and ‘against’ appraisal.
Last week I received a panicked email from a player I coach. In her own words, she was “completely muddled with all the different pieces of advice from different people”. She was beginning to doubt if her fast, attacking topspin game was the right way to play. An experienced player had told her she should play slow and spinny. A coach said she should flat hit rather than spin the ball. Another coach gave her some tactical advice which was the opposite to the advice she had received from a completely different coach. How was she supposed to make sense of all this? Read on to find out my advice…
A lot of players at the intermediate level struggle to attack backspin balls. It’s one of the key skills which prevent them from playing at a higher level. I’ve faced many opponents who are great at attacking a topspin or a blocked ball, but give them some backspin and their attacking game falls apart. If only they could learn to attack these backspin balls too, they would be quite formidable. In this blog post, I share my seven step plan for getting much better at attacking backspin balls.