Pledge Your Support for Table Tennis on USA Network TV!

Reflex Sports and Alpha Productions, two well known names in US table tennis, are planning a series of action-packed, fast-paced 1-hour shows of World-Class Table Tennis for broadcast on U.S. Network TV! Including action from the WTTC, World Junior Championships, World Cup, Pro Tour, European Championships & more! Read about the shows and how your pledge can help make this happen!

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Coaching Tip: The Backhand Loop and Hit One-Two Punch

In a game dominated by forehand looping, many players forget there’s another side and other point-winning shots. One of the best is the backhand loop followed by a backhand hit – a devastatingly effective one-two punch. It doesn’t even have to be a backhand smash – quick, well-placed aggressive drive will usually win the point or set up an easy follow.

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The Physical Aspects of Your Table Tennis Game: Endurance; Speed; And Strength

To me being in great physical shape is a very important component to a successful table tennis game. There are many aspects to the physical game but today I am only going to cover the ones I believe are the most important for table tennis: Endurance; Speed; and Strength. My name is Seth Pech and I’m currently living in Rissen, Germany. I play at a club in Moorage and will soon play the 3rd spot in our club’s Hamburg 5th league team.

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Coaching Tip: Serving Short to Forehand and Long to Backhand

Want to twist your opponent into a pretzel? You can do so with one of the most common serving combos in table tennis: short serves to the forehand and long, breaking serves to the backhand.

Short serves to the forehand are usually more awkward to handle than short ones to the backhand. This is because the wrist is freer on the backhand side to adjust the racket angle, and also because contact is made in front of you, right in front of your eyes, instead of to the side with a forehand receive. Long serves to the backhand are usually trickier to handle than long ones to the forehand. This is because most players loop better on the forehand side, and because you have a bigger hitting zone on that side than on the backhand side, where a breaking serve can be awkward to handle.

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Coaching Tip: Backhand and Forehand Playing Distance

At the intermediate and advanced levels (below world-class level), the most common rallying style combines forehand looping and backhand hitting. These players often attack backspin by looping from both sides, but once in a fast topspin rally mostly hit on the backhand side. It’s simply easier for most to loop in a rally on the forehand side because the body isn’t in the way, so you have a huge hitting zone. On the backhand side, players are often cramped as they try to backhand loop a fast incoming ball, so hitting is easier and more effective. This often means trying to hit the backhand close to the table while looping the forehand from farther back. How can a player handle this?

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Coaching Tip: Complex or Simple Tactics?

Far too often players don’t think tactically, believing the game is too complex for them to play and think at the same time. And it’s true that you shouldn’t be doing any conscious thinking during a point. But between points a smart player does think tactically. The key is to keep it simple.

“Tactics isn’t about finding complex strategies to defeat an opponent. Tactics is about sifting through all the zillions of possible tactics and finding a few simple ones that work, and developing reflexive tactics to cover other situations.” (That’s the opening of my upcoming book, “Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers.”) What does this mean?

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