One of the biggest differences between players at any level and players a little below them are their blocking skills. When watching two attackers of about the same level play, often the quickest way to judge who is the stronger player is by whoever handles the other’s attack better, i.e. who blocks better. Or watch the best players in the world, especially the Chinese, and when they aren’t counterlooping, watch how proficient and consistent they are blocking. Spectators often see the flashy attack shots, but often the biggest difference between these top players and those a level weaker are their blocking games. Here are twelve tips on improving your blocking game. (These are primarily for inverted and short pips players.)
Tahl Leibovitz first picked up a table tennis racket at the South Queens Boys Club when he was 14 years old, but his talent in the sport did not come easy. With benign bone tumors throughout most of his body – including his playing arm, it was difficult for Leibovitz to play. “Table tennis kept me out of trouble, and it had a strong mental component that I continue to enjoy.” Leibovitz says he will continue to play by this motto: “In order to succeed, one must dare to fail.”
Once a player has mastered all four aspects, he might feel that he should be in good position for every shot. This is merely wishful thinking! The world’s best players have perfected all four of these footwork elements, yet they are still often caught off-balance. However, when they aren’t in perfect position, they are able to adjust their technique to fit the shot.
It’s a common mistake for beginning players to develop their attacks, but not their defense. You need both. The problem comes about because a beginning player usually starts out learning to hit forehands and backhands, and once developed, these are primarily offensive shots. These are important shots when attacking, but what about when the opponent attacks?
About a month ago I picked up two sheets of Q1 XD from Tibhar to try them out. I had played with the Q1 original sheets before and the sponge was too soft for me. When I played with XD, which has a harder sponge, I was really impressed with the consistency of the trajectory that the ball enters and exits the rubber. I was also impressed with the amount of spin the rubber generates, even though it doesn’t look or feel grippy.
Yahao Zhang, 2012, U-21 US National Champion tells how how important matching the right table tennis equipment to the style of game you want to play. In order to play your best game, you’ll need to know how your equipment will affect the ball. In this article Yahao will focus on the thickness and hardness of sponge and the way it affects your shot quality.
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