Any adult who has played competitive table tennis at any level has faced the unnerving and unglorified challenge of trying to beat a junior player. And not just any junior player. A junior who has been coached. A junior who has good technique and some great shots. A junior who plays without fear. It’s a difficult situation. There is no glory in beating a junior, but if you don’t try your best, you can easily get beat. In this blog post, I’ll give you some tactics on how to beat a good junior player.
Some players have a very strong side (i.e. forehand) and a relatively weak side (i.e. backhand). They are often called ‘one-wing attackers’, as they will only attack with their strong side. Most commonly, the strong side is the forehand. We’ve all faced this type of opponent. No matter where you put the ball, they seem to be able to attack with their strong side. Play the ball to their weaker backhand, they step around and whizz a forehand past you. Try to catch them out with a ball to their wide forehand and they quickly step across and whizz another ball past you. Here some tactics to beat this type of player…
One of the benefits of having a table tennis table in my garage, is that I get to practise my serves a lot. I spend time practising my favourite serves – the ones I always use in matches. I also spend some time experimenting with different service actions and spin. As a result of all this practice, my service game is quite strong. I usually win lots of points on my serve and my service tactics get me out of trouble when other parts of my game aren’t working quite so well. In this blog post I share some of the service tactics which help me win cheap points.
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.
Playing a very good blocker is like playing a brick wall. Everything comes back. They seem to know where you’re going to attack even before you’ve played your shot. You put all the effort in, topspinning this way and that way, but the ball keeps being returned. By the end of the match you’re exhausted and dripping in sweat. You look across the table and your blocker opponent is as fresh as a daisy. So what can you do to beat a blocker? Here’s my list of top tactics you should use…
One of the more awkward playing styles in local league table tennis is the big flat hitter. Rather than attacking with topspin, they prefer to hit through the ball with a very flat contact. You play a slightly loose shot and then BHAM! The ball gets smashed past you. You trudge off to the back of the hall to collect the ball. Next point, BHAM! The ball flies past you again. What should you do when playing a big flat hitter? In this blog post, I share a few tactics to help you win more points.
One of the trickiest opponents you will face when learning to play table tennis is the player who uses long pimples. I vividly remember my first match against a long pimples player many years ago. I simply didn’t have a clue what was going on. My pushes were popping up high. My blocks were going into the net. My attacks were all over the place. But over the years, I have got used to long pimples and now win many more matches than I lose. In this blog post I share a few tactics to help you win more points against the tricky long pimples player.
In local league table tennis, especially in the lower divisions, you’ll often have to play against pushers. These are players who don’t seem to do much else other than play forehand pushes and backhand pushes, over and over again. If you struggle against this type of player, here’s some suggestions to help you win more points.