Coaching Tip of the Week: Shorten Stroke on Receive

(By Larry Hodges) Returning serves is all about ball control. In a rally, the incoming shot is usually more predictable than a serve, which has a much wider range of variation – topspin, sidespin, backspin, at all speeds, amounts of spin, directions, and depths. To control your return of serve, shorten your stroke. This cuts […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: Should You Experiment If You Have a Big Lead?

(By Larry Hodges) With games to 11, few leads are really safe. It only takes a short series of careless shots, and what seemed like a big lead becomes a big loss. However, if you do have a big lead, and the match won’t be over if you win that game, consider experimenting with different […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: Play Both Weaker and Stronger Players

(By Larry Hodges) Many players who want to improve make the mistake of trying to play mostly stronger players. The result is the opponent controls play, and all the player can do is react to the stronger player’s shots, or go for wild shots. A player may develop some shots this way, but it’ll be […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Use Quick, Deep Pushes to Set Up Your Attack

(By Larry Hodges) Many players use pushing as a neutral “sparring” shot. Instead, use it as a weapon. You do this by pushing quick, fast, heavy, and deep, usually to the opponent’s wide backhand, either deep to the corner or even outside the corner. (You should also sometimes aim to the backhand and at the […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: Use It or Lose It!

(By Larry Hodges) When a player finds a part of his game is not working as well as he’d like (because he hasn’t been practicing it, is getting older or slower, or because it simply wasn’t a strong shot to start with), the tendency is to use that technique less and less. Result? The technique […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: Letting an Opponent Control Play is Risky

(By Larry Hodges)   The next time you are in a close match, and are worried about making mistakes, and so play super safe to avoid mistakes . . . consider this. Letting your opponent control play is the biggest risk you can take in table tennis. You no longer have control over your fate. […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: The Forehand Down-the Line Block and Counterloop

(By Larry Hodges) When players loop to the forehand, almost invariably it is returned crosscourt, at least until you reach the higher levels. This can be effective, since it does give a wide angle to the forehand, and about 15.5 more inches going crosscourt then down the line. But it is so common that players […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: Use Both Sides of the Body When Forehand Looping

(By Larry Hodges) Most players think of forehand looping as a shot done from their playing side. So a right-handed player might think of rotating his right side around as he loops his forehand. However, this will limit your power as well as throw off your balance. You should use your other side as well. […]

Coaching Tip of The Week: Think Tactics, Then Let Go

(By Larry Hodges) Between points, think about what you want to do, especially at the start of the rally – what serve to use, what type of receives. Think about what shots you want to do during a rally against any given shot as well – looping, hitting, quick blocks, etc. Keep it simple. Your […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: Backhand Chopping in an Emergency

(By Larry Hodges) You are stuck out of position away from the table on your forehand side of the table. Your opponent quick hits the ball to your wide backhand, and you can’t possibly get to it and make an effective backhand drive. What do you do? You could reach out and “fish” the ball […]

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