Service tactics to win cheap points

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.

“Is it ok to use illegal serves?”

During a recent coaching session, a player asked me whether it’s ok to use illegal serves. He said very few players have a legal serve in his local league. And umpires, who are usually other players, rarely enforce the service rules. He said his opponents have an advantage because they can serve however they want. What should he do? Continue to serve legally or use illegal serves too? Read on to find out my answer…

3rd ball attack training drills

You can win lots of points with strong 3rd ball attacks. You serve, your opponent returns, you attack. If all goes to plan, you win the point on the third ball. Even if you don’t win the point on the third ball, you are likely to be in control of the rally. To be a strong 3rd ball attacker you need to practice lots of different serve and receive routines. In this blog post I share a few 3rd ball attack training drills. Each drill below includes a diagram, step-by-step instructions and suggestions for making the drill harder.

How to make an existing serve even better

When coaching a player for a first time, they will often ask me to teach them new serves. They want serves which will bamboozle their opponents and win them lots of cheap points. But before I reveal my serving secrets, I ask them to show me their existing serves. And you know what? In most cases, the player already has a couple of decent serves, but they use them in a very predictable way. So before teaching any news serves, I always try to improve the serves they already use. In this blog post I reveal some of the things we work on (and you should do too)…

10 training drill ideas for the first five shots in a rally

In this blog post I share 10 training drill ideas for the first five shots of a rally. There are two drills each for service, receive, 3rd ball, 4th ball and 5th ball. Each drill includes a diagram, step-by-step instructions and suggestions for making the drill harder.

The quickest way to improve your win percentage

Table tennis rallies are short. In fact they are very short. Various studies over the years have shown that the average table tennis rally is anywhere between 3 and 5 shots. What can we do with this information? For me, it seems fairly obvious. If you want to increase the number of points you win, you should focus a lot of your training on the first five shots of a rally.