One of the so-called axioms of table tennis is this: Against balls to your middle, if you are close to the table or rushed, favor your backhand; if you are not close to the table or have time, favor the forehand. It’s a useful guideline for most players. (Note – a ball to the middle is a ball hit at the transition point between your forehand and backhand, usually the playing elbow.) However, if you have a strong forehand, you might want to cover the middle with it, even when rushed or close to the table. How do you do this? You have two options.
In this modern game of topspin, many players battle to see who can get more topspin on the ball, with more speed and more consistency. After all, isn’t that what tends to win games? Yet you might want to consider whether you want to join in this escalating topspin battle every single point. Why not throw an occasional changeup at them – a “dummy loop” – and watch them mess up? Go for less spin, and mess up your opponent’s consistency!
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.”
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.
Once you get past serve & receive, the basic rallying shot at the highest levels is counterlooping. Some do it from way off the table, others from close to the table (often taking the ball on the rise), while most take it somewhere in between, sometime after the top of the bounce (around table level), from five to eight feet back. It’s mostly done on the forehand side, but some do it on the backhand side as well – especially the best players in the world, who often backhand counterloop off the bounce. (Spectators often don’t even realize it’s a counterloop as it happens so quickly, and think it’s just a backhand block.) For this article, unless noted otherwise, I’m mostly talking about forehand counterlooping.
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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