Adapting to more spinny environment

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 1 year ago


D K Asked 2 years ago

Greetings Team,

recently I started training in different clubs than only my one and I realized that in other clubs I encounter much more spinny environment. I have tested various aspects including even training in our hall and in another club's hall with the very same player (eliminating the spin creation skill differences), with our very same bats (eliminating material difference) at the space with the very same size (eliminating the subjective "less time" feeling of smaller halls) and with the very same balls (eliminating the difference in ball materials).

The only difference was the table. Both tables were equally used though our Butterfly table seems very....greasy soft and to me, it feels like it takes a lot of spin off the ball on bounce and the bounce tends to make rather silent smacking sound whereas tables of other brands (Andro, Donic, Joola, Cornilleau) in the other halls seem very springy, the balls are much more spinny after impact and the bounce sounds rather hard and banging also the ball seems faster there.

Have you any experience with dealing with such differences? I have even asked numerous professional players about our hall and even they see the difference.

I am not even sure how to deal with the difference. In our hall I can play with equal level players on par in terms of spin. But in other halls I am unable to control the game.  If my opponent uses slow spinny topspin I am completely unable to return. No matter if I chop, block or loop the ball does not go even close to the table, it always goes over the opponent head.

I have no idea what to do despite that I am aware of most techniques and mechanics of spin working. I know it will happen yet no matter what I do the ball still pops up.
I mean I am perfectly aware of most physical laws behind table tennis and I know how to adapt to spin. Normally I am the one who firstly tries to create such spins uncontrollable to my opponent.
But in the other halls...I rather feel like no matter how much I close my bat the ball's spin just forcibly kicks my bat open.

How could I deal with this?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 year ago

Hi Dan,

It sounds like you have done a bit of research on this one.  There are a lot of differences with the bounce of different tables.  Adapting is something that will happen over time.  There is no amount of spin that is not controllable.  If there is a lot of topspin, really focus on hitting forward or even down on the ball.  Aim to hit the ball into the net initially and see if you can make that happen.

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D K Posted 1 year ago

Not controllable spin -I meant not controllable for the concrete opponent.
Though,when I go can I slow down the game then?
Such a ball is very awkward for me,as it is very straight. If an opponent plays heavy slow topspin,I need to pull him in with spinny ball.

Nigel C

Nigel C Posted 1 year ago

DK, there will always be differences in the playing environment, different floors, tables, lights, balls, wall colour, even maybe altitude! Any of these can impact how the ball plays but even in your ideal venue you never have to think about how to hit a ball as it comes over the table. Your shots should be instinctive regardless of playing conditions. So it's practise as much as possible in these different venues, from what you have posted on this site I'm sure you have the skill needed but don't over think it. Eventually you will adjust. I've had the same issue at a tournament where the tables seemed so fast I was like a beginner when playing against the locals. I was just getting the hang of it when I reached my last match. Now I see it as a challenge and I'd like to go back to the same place and maybe beat players I lost to.


D K Posted 1 year ago

Nigel,for me,even walking is not instinctive,I need a conscious effort to move correctly. Though,I was rather pointing out that the difference between our hall,especially tables,and other halls,is far bigger than any difference between any two of the other halls,noticed and criticized even by professionals.


D K Posted 1 year ago

I am rather depressed that although I have the theoretical background to adapt,my body just does not obey.

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