Beat Your Friends
By Samson Dubina
Sometimes, beating your regular training partners, fellow club members, and best friends in table tennis can be very difficult because it seems that they know your every move. They can predict that your forehand flip will go crosscourt, they can predict that backhand serve will go long to the middle, and they can predict that you will block to the corners. They know your every move because they have played against you hundreds of times. There are 2 solutions to overcome these problems:
#1 You must realize that you know your friend’s game as well. Think about his common patters and develop strong strategies against these predictable patterns.
#2 You must be able to slightly adjust your shot selection and ball placement enough to mess him up. For example, if your backhand block usually goes first to the backhand, then to the wide forehand, then back to the backhand… try to mix it up by blocking to the middle. If your forehand flip usually goes crosscourt to his forehand, try to slow the pace and play down-the-line instead. These subtle adjustments will really work. If your friend was playing against a total stranger, then he would be forced to really concentrate on where the next ball is going. However, he will assume that you will play as before and your changes will really throw him for a loop.