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Table Tennis Tip: A Levels Approach to Tactics

By Larry Hodges, USATT Hall of Famer and National Coach

I like to divide tactics into five levels. First, think of your game and your opponent’s game as a combination of strengths, average aspects, and weaknesses. Then there are nine possible combinations, divided into the five tactical levels.

Level 2 tactics

  • Your strengths against opponent’s weaknesses

Level 1 tactics

  • Your strengths against opponent’s average
  • Your average against opponent’s weaknesses

Level 0 tactics

  • Your strengths against opponent’s strengths
  • Your average against opponent’s average
  • Your weaknesses against opponent’s weaknesses

Level -1 tactics

  • Your average against opponent’s strengths
  • Your weaknesses against opponent’s average

Level -2 tactics

  • Your weaknesses against opponent’s strengths

Next time you play a practice match, why not analyze your game and your opponents, and the tactics you use, and see what level tactics you are using? Are your tactics positive, or are you falling into negative territory?

Updated: March 2, 2012 —
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