Coaching Tip of the Week: Three Spots or Two? wide angles,the middle.
Site Products
Most players go through the following sequence during each shot of a rally:

Coaching Tip of the Week: Three Spots or Two?

Coaching Tip of the Week: Three Spots or Two?

(By Larry Hodges)

When a coach refers to “playing the three spots,” he’s referring to playing both wide angles, and the middle. (The middle is not the middle of the table; it’s the mid-point between the opponent’s forehand and backhand, usually around his playing elbow.)

In any match, you should be playing all three of these spots. The only question is how often to go to each spot, and what types of shots to each. For example, a weak ball to the middle makes it easy for the opponent to set up his best shot (such as a big forehand or backhand loop), and so going to the middle is mostly effective when you attack it. Against a player with a big forehand, you’d only go to the forehand when the opponent is out of position or to draw him out of position. And so on.

But many players are what I call “two-spot” players – players where you mostly want to focus on two spots. For example, against a player with a big forehand but a weaker backhand, you might want to pin them down on the backhand by attacking that side. But if you only go to one spot, then the opponent’s weaker side might just get warmed up and won’t be so weak. So it’d be better to go to the backhand and middle (perhaps a touch to the backhand side, to avoid that big forehand), and force the opponent to move side to side with his weaker backhand.

If you play a player with the Seemiller grip or convention penhold – these players use only one side of their racket – they often have less middle weakness, and so you might focus on going to the wide corners. (This is almost always true against a Seemiller player. Some conventional penholders can be weak in the middle.)

Against a player with a strong backhand but less powerful forehand, you might focus on moving him around on the forehand side, and so focus on going to the wide forehand and middle (perhaps slightly to the forehand side).

So try to find out in matches what type of an opponent you are facing, one where you want to go regularly to all three spots, or focus on two.

Latest News

World Team Championships: Portugal’s Upset, China Rolls, France Over England

October 6, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins, photo ITTFWorld) We are down to the Final 8 at the 2022 ITTF World Team… Read More

World Team Championships: Neither US Squad Advances

October 4, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins, photo USATT) When the 2022 ITTF World Team Championships Finals began this week in Chengdu,… Read More

World Team Championships: Men Top Puerto Rico

October 3, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins, photo USATT) When the 2022 ITTF World Team Championships Finals began this week in Chengdu,… Read More

Coaching Tips of the Week: The Larry Line

October 3, 2022
(By Larry Hodges) Many matches are decided in the rallies. The Larry Line (can I copyright that?) is… Read More

WAB CLUB FEATURE: Silicon Valley Table Tennis Club

October 2, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) The Silicon Valley Table Tennis Club was founded in 2011.  The club features professional flooring,… Read More

Isabella Xu Won The 2022 Badger Open – Under 2400 & Womens Open

October 2, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) The 2022 Badger Open, give doble great victory to Isabella Xu, she won the… Read More

Aditya Sareen Won 2500 Westchester September Open

October 2, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) Aditya won the Under 2500 at Westchester September Open. He also defeated Tao Wenzhang… Read More

World Team Championships: New Faces for TeamUSA

October 1, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins, photo USATT) The 2022 ITTF World Team Championships Finals is underway in Chengdu, and both… Read More
View All News

Get the latest from Butterfly

Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.