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Challenge an Opponent’s Strength

By Larry Hodges Sometimes it’s a good tactic to go after an opponent’s strength. After all, his game is probably based on getting that shot into play, and so you are probably going to have to face it – so rather than have the opponent choose when he’ll use it, why don’t you pick the […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: How to Beat a MUCH Stronger Player

(By Larry Hodges) Let’s start with a reality check: A much stronger player (MSP) is going to beat you if he plays his level. That’s why he’s an MSP. But everybody has “off” days, and if you want to maximize your chances of knocking off a MSP (other than simply improving your own game, in […]

Coaching tip of the week: Be an Olympian – in Your Mind

(By Larry Hodges) If you think of yourself as an Olympian when you play, you’ll play better than if you think of yourself as some scrub at a club. But how can you psychologically pretend to be an Olympian, and how does that help? Great question – and here’s The Twelve Core Psychological Characteristics of Olympiansfrom […]

Top Ten Ways to Turn a Match Around

By Larry Hodges The first four are psychological, the rest are tactical ideas. 1.      Remember the mentality and feel of a great match you’ve played, and get back into that mode. 2.      Take ten seconds to stare at something in the distance to clear your mind. 3.      With nothing to lose, relax, have fun, and just play. 4.      Ignore […]

Judging the Depth of a Serve

By Larry Hodges One of the things coaches stress is that you should be aggressive against deep serves. (A short serve means that, given a chance, the ball would bounce twice on your side; a long serve would only bounce once.) Against a short serve, you can rush and angle the server by taking the […]

Wanting to Win Versus Hating to Lose

By Larry Hodges These are both great incentives in practice. Some want to win so badly that they’ll practice, hour after hour, to achieve their goals. Others hate losing so much that they’ll use it as incentive to train forever to avoid it. A little of both often helps. The problem comes when you have […]

Straighten the Belt, and the Rest Falls into Place

By Larry Hodges Imagine when playing that your body is a belt. If your feet are in the wrong position, or if your grip is off, then it affects everything in between. If your foot positioning and grip are both correct, then like a belt that’s been straightened, everything in between falls into place. Isn’t […]

Progressive Drills to Improve Rallying Skills

(By Larry Hodges ) Many players rally very well in drills, but not so much in matches. Once they get into a match, they not only lose consistency, but they also rally like a drill, hitting the ball right back at the opponent rather than trying to win the point with placement. Here is a […]

The Grinding Mentality – How to Play It and Against It

The Grinding Mentality – How to Play It and Against It (By Larry Hodges) The Grinder is a style of play, or really a mentality, where your single-minded focus is on not making any mistakes, and not giving the opponent any easy shots. This often means trying to stretch out rallies as long as possible, […]

Top Ten Things to Remember in Doubles

Top Ten Things to Remember in Doubles (By Larry Hodges, tabletenniscoaching.com/blog) Most players play doubles as if it were just a version of singles, but that’s a mistake. Doubles is actually far more complicated since there are two players on each side, so there are four different playing styles interacting, plus all the movement as […]

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