Learn how to counter-attack (and take your game to the next level)

One of the players I coach likes to finish our coaching sessions with some match-play. We have some good games. I usually come out on top, but it’s close. After we finished one week, he said he found it difficult when I attack too much. He goes into automatic blocking mode and becomes too passive. So during our next session we worked on options for counter-attacking. When we played a few games at the end – he blocked less and attacked more and I found it much harder to win points. So for your benefit, here’s a couple of things we worked on, plus a simple training drill you can do.

How to get more speed and spin on your forehand topspin attacks

Some table tennis players have blistering forehand attacks. Blink and the ball is past you. Other players have steady forehand attacks. They can get the ball on the table consistently, but their attacks lack the speed and spin to really give you any trouble. What are the strong forehand attackers doing, which the weaker forehand attackers are not? Here are my tips on how to get more speed and spin on your forehand topspin attacks.

Tactics for beating a looper

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.

7 step plan to improve your forehand topspin

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.

5 training drills for switching between forehand and backhand strokes

Switching from backhand to forehand strokes, or forehand to backhand strokes, is a key skill in table tennis. During matches, the direction of play switches frequently. Rarely will your opponent play the ball to the same position for two consecutive shots. In this blog post, I explain how to improve switching between forehand and backhand strokes and share five simple training drills. For each training drill, there’s a video demonstration featuring myself and Nila, a player who I coach.

How to play great forehand attacks from the backhand corner

Most professional table tennis players love to attack with their forehand from all areas of the table, including the backhand corner. They have the ability to step around the backhand corner, attack with their forehand and then effortlessly recover to play a forehand attack from the opposite corner. They make it look so easy. So what can we learn from the professionals? In this blog post, I explain how to play strong forehand attacks from the backhand corner, highlight common mistakes to avoid and share two simple training drills to help you improve.

How to get forehand topspin in to your match-play

Many players at the beginner and improver level find it difficult to play forehand topspin strokes against backspin balls during match-play. They might be able to do it in training drills but when it comes to matches it doesn’t work. In this blog post I explain a simple idea for playing more forehand topspins.

You’re never too old to learn topspin

I love showing players I coach how to play topspin shots. It’s one of the things which makes me happiest as a coach, especially if the player I’m coaching is an older player. You sometimes hear coaches say that if you haven’t learnt topspin by a certain age, you should forget it. It’s too technically … Read more