Strategy and Technique

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 2 weeks ago

Rajat Mallick

Rajat Mallick Asked 1 month ago

Dear Sir,

I have questions regarding 2 challenges I am facing:

  • Strategy:

I play with OX Long Pimples in my backhand. As Long Pimples players are scarce where I paly, I myself don't get much practice against them. Though I myself being a Long Pimples player and have a good understanding of the concept of Long Pimples but I have difficulty facing them in tournaments.

Could you suggest few specific different strategies to use in matches against them that I myself being a long pimples player can use. 

  • Technique:

I have developed quite a bit of control in my backhand OX LP. However I used to block topspin with it away from the bounce close to the body. Recently I changed it to perform chop block at the bounce and the results/consistency improved.

However for those slow topspin and loops which drops close to the net towards my BH, I am unable to reach to the bounce in time (if I am not predetermined which is bad). Previously for these balls I used to step significantly backwards, let the ball drop after reaching its top and then chop/slice it heavy with LP (However, most of the time it resulted in high and shallow close to the net return). 

Kindly guide me on what to do in this scenario.

Thank You

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 weeks ago

Hi Rajat,

Let's go through your queries one by one to help you improve your gameplay as a Long Pimples (LP) user. 

Strategy Against Other LP Players Playing against other long pimples players can indeed be tricky, especially due to the rarity and unpredictability in their playing style. Here are a few strategies you might find useful:
Mix Up Your Spin and Speed: Varying your spin and speed can confuse your opponent, just as the LP confuses regular inverted rubber players. Use your LP to chop but also mix in occasional no-spin pushes and fast attacks to disrupt their rhythm.
Attack Aggressively When Possible: Often, LP players have a more defensive style, which gives you opportunities to take the initiative. Use your forehand or even your LP-side to surprise your opponent with sudden attacks, especially on balls that are safer to hit (less spinny, higher, etc.).
Control the Rally: Try to dominate the placement of the ball, making it difficult for your opponent to create effective returns. Employ wide angles and depth variation to stretch them out and create openings. 
Understand LP Behavior: Since you also play with LP, leverage your understanding of how different strokes affect the ball when played with LP. Use this knowledge to anticipate and counter your opponent's possible returns.

Technique for Handling Slow Loops with LP Handling slow topspins and loops, particularly those close to the net, can indeed pose a challenge. Here’s how you can approach this:
Positioning and Anticipation: Work on improving your footwork and anticipation. Reading the opponent’s setup early can give you that crucial extra moment to position yourself optimally.
Adjusting the Stance: For slow loops that drop near the net, instead of stepping back, stay close and use a more upright stance. Try bending your knees more rather than leaning back, which allows for better reach and control over the table.
Soft Hands on Contact: When you chop block such balls, keep your hands soft to absorb the incoming spin and speed. This will help in controlling the return better and keeping it low over the net.
Practicing Specific Drills: Incorporate drills that focus on returning short, spinny loops with your LP. You can use a robot or have a training partner generate these specific balls repeatedly. Focus on refining your technique and developing a more instinctual response. 

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Thoughts on this question

Rajat Mallick

Rajat Mallick Posted 3 weeks ago

Thank You Sir.
Regarding facing LP players, I had instinctively used few of the points you have mentioned above such as "dominate the placement of the ball" for wide angles and depth variation and then "Attack Aggressively When Possible" on a consequent weak return always took initiative to open a rally. However, I was making many negatives and unforced error. Now upon you advise I'll do more of the same strategy (my consistency has improved in last few months) and add “no-spin pushes and fast attacks”

Regarding Handling Slow Loops with LP -  Reading the opponent’s setup early helps me to anticipate upcoming line of the ball. But how can I judge the depth of the ball by reading the opponent’s setup. Kindly guide. (QUERY 1)

Furthermore, when I touch with the softest touch, slow topspins and loops close to the net, ball simply pops out and flies of the table.
In this regard my complete equipment is as under:

Tibhar D.Tecs Grass, Butterfly Sardius (Used this combination for more than 2 years) and DHS Hurricane 3 (Started 3 months back, previously Butterfly Dignics 05 and 09c for 1 year each).

Previously I read one of your remarks (on an answer to a different question by someone else) that Sardius is too fast for OX LP. But as mentioned earlier I believe that I have moderate to good control with this combination. 

My primary reasons for selecting this combination was that Sardius is highest on Reaction property and Vibration Property on butterfly blade matrix which I thought will result in maximum spin reversal and wobble (both being my primary desire for having LP). As Sardius is highest on Reaction property and Vibration Property on butterfly blade matrix, I assumed that it would have least possible dwell time resulting in greater spin reversal.

Was my above reasoning correct (to some extent)? (QUERY 2)

I have able to have significant spin reversal (but could be more I guess) but not much wobble (if not none, most of the time).
(QUERY 3) Will a different ply be a better combination for Tibhar D.Tecs Grass for spin reversal and wobble without the sacrificing the attacking power of DHS Hurricane 3 on Butterfly Sardius (flat kill shot is like a bullet)

What are the specific techniques for achieving better spin reversal (QUERY 4) and wobble (QUERY 5) with LP?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 2 weeks ago

Query 1 - I think you have to just watch the flight of the ball once they make contact.

Query 2 - I think you are better to have a slower blade.  The faster blade will mean the ball will come through faster and not give the ball the opportunity to wobble.

Query 3 - See Query 2

Query 4 - As you contact the ball chop down on the ball at the same time.  This will give the ball more backspin.

Query 5 - For more wobble, contact the ball flatter and push through with the slower blade set up.

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