In an effort to keep our players and guests of the All American Air Table Tennis Classic (AAATTC) well informed and up-to-date on this fun sport, we offer the following tips as approved by our very own Tournament Director Derek May:
Megaspin’s Table Tennis Tips and Tricks
- Mix up serves of different length and spin. Some examples of advanced serves include medium-long, deep, short, down-the-line, pure spin, pure speed, etc. Serves to the elbow tend to be very effective, since the receiver must quickly decide (and often does not in time) to use a forehand or backhand.
- Develop a third-ball attack. This is where you serve, the receiver receives, and you nail one in for a winner. An example is a short backspin serve, followed by a long push, then a powerful loop.
- Attack whenever you can, primarily on a long serve. It has been proven that the player to open the offense most often usually wins point, set, and match.
- Keep your eyes mostly on the opponent’s racket when receiving a serve. If you have ever seen World Champion Jan-Ove Waldner play, you can see that he makes a quick glimpse at how high the ball is tossed, then watches back down to the racket. If you keep your eyes on the ball, the server will baffle you with his deceptions.
- Mix up your returns when receiving. Most players too often tend to push, allowing their opponents to start the offense. Mixing up loops, drives, pushes, chops, etc. provides for excellent variation and a bewildered opponent.
- Choose your equipment wisely. If you are ready for professional equipment, begin with a medium-fast blade (rather than fast). A medium-fast blade allows you to rely more on technique than on equipment to get the ball over the net. It will also provide optimum control. The most important consideration for a blade, however, is that it provides good “feeling.” As for rubber try to get the “beginner” kinds for the beginning. The reason for this is because beginner rubbers are designed with less spin and speed, and this translates into easier returns of ‘spinny’ balls. Trying to return a sidespin serve will be a hair-pulling experience for a beginner if he/she uses an overly ‘spinny’ rubber.
- Forehands are the way to go. To hit forehands wherever you are on the table, you will need to develop good side-to-side footwork. But it never hurts to work extra on your backhand so that your opponent won’t know what hit him/her when you blast that down the line backhand smash! The best players are always two-winged, or being able to attack almost equally well on both hands.
- Find some cool serves to experiment with. Examples include a high, heavy backspin serve that bounces on your side near the net, on the opponent’s side near the net, and goes back over to your side. Or you can go about 20 feet to the side of the table and, standing sideways, nail the ball on the side so that it arcs back to the table and opponent. Not only is it a heck of a lot of fun, trying these serves also promotes the development of ‘touch’ and spin.
- Control your temper. When you are losing in a match, or have missed several shots in a row, don’t get mad, get even. Ask yourself what needs to be done in order to beat the problem that is plaguing your game. Then try the solution. If it doesn’t work, do it again. Until the match is over, you should never give up. If it is your turn to serve, then you are allotted a reasonable amount of time per serve to wait and think things over before you toss the ball. Take advantage of it.
Editors’ Note #10. Have a good time! Whether you can master 1-9 isn’t really as important to us as just knowing that you will come and enjoy yourselves as players and guests at our Fourth Annual AAATTC for charity! Hope to see you on February 9, 2013!