Crafty veterans

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 10 years ago

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Asked 10 years ago

Hi Alois

The challenge for us poor div 2 Canberra players is that, whenever we go and participate in interstate competition, we almost invariably come across LP/antispin players with tricky styles that we don't have a chance to practice against in Canberra's internal competition. Before we even start to figure out their styles, we're down 0-2!

These are not the classic choppers you see in division 1.  These are old, experienced and crafty players who have perfected a style designed to frustrate and stymie those (relatively) young pups who are used to topspin-to-topspin fast rallies.  These involve staying close to the table, twiddling, chop blocking, using spin reversal, and sometimes even doing "looping" strokes off junk rubbers which have no topspin.  Ideally, if we could have someone like that to practice against in Canberra, it would be perfect.  But for some reason, these type of players seem to naturally migrate to the milder climate of Melbourne and Sydney where they lay in wait for unsuspecting Canberra players to venture.

What would you recommend is the best way to prepare ourselves? (I'm speaking primarily with the NSW Country Championship in 2012 in mind)



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Ji-Soo,

I would like to give you an answer that is going to fix the problem easily for you but the advantage a long pimple player has is that they rely on lack of experience against that type of ball.  They are not doing anything magical, but the unsuspecting player hasn't seen that response enough to be able to deal with it in a match situation.

The only way to fix it is to get a sheet of long pimples and share it around during training.  You could just do 10 minutes each with it each time you hit and you will find that you will start to egt the feel of i better.

On the day of playing them it is important to hit against them as well.  You need to get into the groove of hitting against that type of ball before you step out onto the court for a match.

Sorry the answer is the same... more training required! 

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Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 10 years ago

Oh well, never any easy answers in table tennis!

Just wondering, Alois, if you were playing against such a player, would you:

A) be keeping in mind which side is which, keeping track of twiddles, keeping track of what the spin must be doing given each stroke

B) be so experienced against them that you'd just automatically play the right stroke regardless of their tricks


C) be generating so much of your own spin that subtle variations in spin didn't really make any difference.

I think I understand the effects of LPs and antispin, and I am comfortable playing against the traditional chopper, but it's the tricky close-to-table players who often make me unsure of myself with their unorthodox styles.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 10 years ago

Hi Ji-Soo,
After a while you naturally keep a track of which side they are using for each shot and you will see immediately either by seeing the rubber or seeing the effect off the bat.  This is very much a learned thing though. 
You shouldn't work with too much spin against the pimples unless they really can't cope with it.  They can't generate their own spin so you can dominate them by dictating what spin is on the ball all the time.
I think a good backspin ball is useful because you will get a topspin ball back a lot of the time unless they can attack well with the pimples.  You can use the topspin ball to make a strong attack.

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