Coaching Tip of the Week -Use Top Players as Models For Your Technique
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Larry Hodges

Coaching Tip of the Week -Use Top Players as Models For Your Technique

(By Larry Hodges)

If you want to reach a high level of play, then you need a lot of high-level techniques. You don’t have to invent these on your own – there are a huge number of top players who have already developed these techniques.

Suppose you want to develop or improve your forehand loop. Then find a top player whose technique roughly resembles the way you want to play . . . and copy it!!! (Ma Long wouldn’t be a bad choice, but just about any top player would do. Youtube is your friend, as are table tennis pages that post such videos.) Similarly, for every technique you have, you should have a specific top player that you emulate. That not only helps you improve your shots as you watch and learn how they do it, but also allows you to regroup when your shots are off – just watch the top player do it and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get your own shot back.

This doesn’t mean you can’t invent a few things yourself. While you should emulate the technique of top players, you can also have a few personalized techniques. You might add something of your own to a serve or some other technique, just to be “different” – which means an opponent has to adjust to something different. (Serves especially are the “trick” part of table tennis, where you can be extra creative.) You might also be creative in how you apply those techniques tactically. But for the large majority of your technique, copy the top players. Those techniques work. That’s why they are top players.

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