What to learn from playing the best players

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 7 years ago

chris Lee

chris Lee Asked 7 years ago

I played my first USATT Sanctioned tournament this past weekend. I played in an open and i was put in a group with various players of different levels. I played a player that was rated 2400 and 1850. I don't feel i'm anywhere close to that. I might be somewhere around 1000-1100 on my better days. 

When playing the 2400 player i didn't have any chance to get any points. I would lose all three matches with only one or two points. These points were made off his mistakes as well.

So when i'm playing players that are clearly better than me; is there anything i can learn from those experiences even though i'm not even competitive? I mean i did try my best during those matches.

Or is there anything i should strive to gain from those experiences?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Chris,

I think you can just see what types of serves work at all and what the better player does to some of the serves.

It is also a good chance to feel what it is like to receive some better serves.

Often these matches go very quickly but they are all good experiences and store some information in your database for future reference.

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Dakota Castleberg

Dakota Castleberg Posted 7 years ago

Another thing to keep in mind regarding tournaments is the fact that now that you're ranked(and should have access to your ranking soon), unless you choose to play way above your level, you will be playing people around your level. If you're ranked 1200 USATT, you will probably choose to play in the U1800 or lower divisions. This way you can still play against players who are better than you are currently, but you should be able to do more than just have the opponent make the mistakes for you to win points.

When I play guys who are ranked even 300 points above me at the club, the difference in ability is ridiculous. When this happened the first, time, I was in the exact same position you felt playing those better guys.

Dieter Verhofstadt

Dieter Verhofstadt Posted 7 years ago

Last year when I entered interclub competition as a non-ranked player (400/500 ELO points) I beat a player of 6 ranks higher (1100 ELO points). It was a bit of a fluke: he became stressed at the thought of losing while I went all out with full confidence. I haven't repeated this result to date, even with all the training and competition experience I got.

What can you learn from playing much better players: where your maximum playing level lies, when stripped of the fear of losing.

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 7 years ago

Good point Dieter. I love playing significantly higher ranked players, because when there's nothing to lose, there's no stress. I also find that better players are somewhat more predictable (as they can play all shots, they will use the most efficient on each ball) and their shots leave less options open for you. You also know that you cannot afford to play any sloppy shot without being punished immediately, so you have to try your best and take risks. So in a way the game is "simpler"!

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