Coaching Tip: 2-2-1 Placement Rule

Where do most players block best? On the backhand. Where do most players attack the most? To the opponent’s backhand. This never made sense to me.

When attacking there are three places you should normally go for: the wide forehand, the middle (the opponent’s crossover point between forehand and backhand, usually around the elbow), and the wide backhand. Most beginning and intermediate players probably attack to the backhand twice as often as to the forehand, and almost never to the middle. We’ll call it the 1-0-2 rule, i.e. they proportionatly go once to the forehand, zero times to the middle, and twice to the backhand.

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Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang Talk to Bay Area TV About London and the World Games

Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang

Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang talk about their road to London in this Bay Area TV interview. Ariel Hsing & Lily Zhang are two exceptional table tennis players with Olympic Dreams. We are very proud of our young stars. What a great example of youth in our sport. Good luck to our Olympic hopefuls!

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Coaching Tip: Grip and Stance

Let’s do a thought experiment. Hold a piece of paper so you hold the top with one hand, the bottom with the other. Now twist the top. Notice how the entire piece of paper twists? Now twist the bottom. Same thing. How does this relate to table tennis?

Now imagine holding a table tennis player in your hands. (You are either very strong or the player is very small.) Hold his playing hand in one hand and his feet with the other. Twist his playing hand and his entire body twists. The same if you twist his feet.

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Coaching Tip: The Great Scourge of Table Tennis Footwork – Leaning

The ball goes to your forehand, you lean that way, and . . . suddenly you can’t move. And so you lean more, and perhaps you are able to making a flailing, off-balance return. Then you watch a top player move to the ball, and while in perfect position, he makes a perfect forehand. What goes through your head? “He has a better forehand than me.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

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Coaching Tip: Fixing the Biggest Weakness in Your Game

Everyone has a “biggest weakness” in their game, almost by definition. Beginning and intermediate players may have many weaknesses, but there’s probably a biggest. Even great players don’t do everything great – it’s all relative, and their biggest weakness might be something that would be a powerful strength for an intermediate player.

So what should you do about this “biggest weakness”? FIX IT!!! So how do you go about doing that?

The first step, of course, is really identifying this biggest weakness. Is it a stroking technique problem? Footwork? Weak serve or receive? Choking under pressure? Analyze your results and figure it out. Perhaps watch videos of yourself playing, and compare what you do with what top players do. A coach or top player might be able to help out in this analysis.

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