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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Tip of the Week: Proper Use of the Free Arm

A lot of problems arise when players don’t use their free arm properly. It’s a major problem with a lot of players. Here are two common problems.

First, many players let their free arm just sort of hang down instead of holding it up as a counterbalance to the playing arm. Every time they stroke the ball there is no counterbalancing arm to act as a counterweight, and so they are thrown slightly off balance with each shot. Worse, they become so used to this they don’t even realize it is happening. The cure –

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Coaching Tip – Opening Up the Forehand Zone

A lot of players have good forehands in practice, either looping or hitting. But once a game starts, they stand facing the table, which is a backhand stance, and while their backhands are fine, when the ball goes to their forehand they mostly face the table, bringing their arm back to stroke rather than turning sideways. This leaves them with an awkward forehand stroke. They have only a small hitting zone, and this small hitting zone is jammed over the table. They have no time or space to actually do a normal forehand swing, and so end up blocking or doing awkward strokes. Their stroke in almost entirely with the arm.

Afterwards, they go to the table and spend hours practicing their already-good forehand, never understanding why they are unable to use it in a game situation.

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