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Coaching Tip Of The Week – Five Ways To Force An Opponent Out Of Position

(by Larry Hodges) One of the best ways of winning a point is to force an opponent out of position. There are many ways of doing this. (Many start with serve.) Here are some of the best! (Note that “middle” means the transition point between forehand and backhand, roughly the playing elbow.) Attack middle, then […]

Coaching Tip Of The Week – Consistent Contact Leads to Consistency

(by Larry Hodges) There’s a stereotype of Chinese table tennis coaches that they often do just two things during a practice session – watch the player’s feet and listen to the contact. (I often do this as well.) The latter tells the coach if the player is making good contact. Top players contact the ball […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Never Decide If You Have to Move

(By Larry Hodges) There are so many snap decisions a player has to make while playing that it’s mind-boggling that players often increase the mind-load by adding unnecessary decisions. In table tennis, there is never a decision on whether you have to move; you always move – or more specifically, you always assume you have […]

Coaching Tips of the Week: How to Stop a Simple Third-Ball Forehand Attack

(By Larry Hodges) A common tactic for forehand loopers with good footwork is to serve short (often to the middle, to cut off the extreme angles), and when the receiver predictably pushes long to the backhand, the server simply steps around and forehand loops – either winning the point immediately or dominating the rally from […]

Coaching Tips of the Week: Keep the Ball to the Extreme Angles in Practice

(By Larry Hodges)   I remember something USATT Hall of Famer Ricky Seemiller once told me at one of my first training camps: “Amateurs practice to the middle forehand and middle backhand. Top players practice to the wide angles.” What does that mean? Many players get in the habit of warming up and practicing their […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Do You Receive to Set Up Your Game?

(By Larry Hodges) Most players learn early on to serve to set up their game. However, many do not do this with their receive. They will instead focus on just getting the serve back in the most consistent way they can that doesn’t too easily set up the opponent. This works to an extent, but […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Pavlovian Response and Table Tennis

(By Larry Hodges) In last week’s tip I wrote about toweling. In it, I mentioned the Pavlovian Response, also called Classical Conditioning. It’s not just towel breaks. You should develop the same routines before matches, and before every point, both serve and receive. If you do so, you’ll develop that Pavlovian response that prepares you for the match […]

Coaching Tip of the Week -A Table Tennis Player’s Guide to Toweling

(By Larry Hodges)  According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” The link above gives some of the many ways a towel helps, such as (I’m not making these up!) “use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; […]

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