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Coaching tip of the week: Take the Shot

(By Larry Hodges) Many players hesitate in taking an aggressive shot because they are afraid of missing. On the contrary, if you are afraid of taking a specific shot, then (unless it’s a championship match), any good coach will tell you that’s a reason to take that shot, so you’ll learn to do it under pressure – […]

Tip of the week: Learning to Win

(By Larry Hodges) One of the most common problems players face in their table tennis is the inability to recognize the difference between learning the shots, and learning to win. There’s a big difference. Many players have a good idea of what to do out at the table – but just don’t have the strokes. […]

Tip of the Week – Six-Step Training Progression

(By Larry Hodges) Developing your table tennis game is a steady progression from the simple to the more complex. Many players, however, get stuck at the beginning or intermediate stage, and never move on toward developing the more advanced parts of their game. It’s a common syndrome–players spending year after year trying to completely perfect […]

Should You Play Differently at Deuce?

(By Larry Hodges) The simple answer is Yes and No. Yes, as in there’s no point any longer on holding back on anything tactically. If you have a tactic, serve, or other shot that the opponent has trouble with, which you’ve been using sparingly so he wouldn’t get used to it, now’s the time to […]

What to Think About Between Points . . . and What NOT to Think About

(By Larry Hodges) This is a simple one. Between points, your only thoughts should be tactical. Don’t think or worry about the score, about how important the match or the next point is, about nets and edges, or anything else except tactics. The very act of thinking about your next tactic should clear your mind […]

Why You Should Develop a Backhand Loop

(By Larry Hodges) Many players never develop a backhand loop. Some rely on the forehand loop, and so mostly push on the backhand, with the idea of pushing back wide to the backhand to take away the opponent’s forehand loop. Or the player may instead develop a backhand drive (i.e. more of a hit, less […]

Tip of the Week – Recipe for Table Tennis Success

(By Larry Hodges) Who knew that cooks could be so good at table tennis! With a little tongue in cheek, and yet the touch of truth, here are fifteen ingredients to table tennis success. 1.      Put in lots of practice thyme. 2.      Always turnip on time for practice. 3.      Lettuce be thankful for all the hard practice you’ve […]

Tip of the Week: First Block and First Counterloop

(By Larry Hodges) Do you often have trouble blocking or counterlooping against your opponent’s opening loop against backspin? If you are like most players, of course you do – and there’s a simple reason for it. Most players practice blocking and counterlooping in rallies where they start the rally by serving topspin. And so they […]

Tip of the Week: Playing Short Pips on the Forehand

(By Larry Hodges) Now that Sweden’s Mattias Falck made it to the final of Men’s Singles at the Worlds using short pips on the forehand, there’s going to be a sudden increase in players playing this way. I think that’s a very good thing – I miss the days where there were far more contrasts […]

Coaching tip of the week: Rope-a-Dope Defense

(By Larry Hodges) Suppose you are playing a relentless counter-hitter, who plays every really bang-bang, and you are struggling to stay in these rallies. Point after point ends with either you missing or making a weak return the opponent smashes. How do you get out of this? There are three main ways. First, attack first […]

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