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Coaching Tip of the Week: Sometimes Challenge an Opponent’s Strength

(By Larry Hodges) Sometimes it’s a good tactic to go after an opponent’s strength. After all, his game is probably based on getting that shot into play, and so you are probably going to have to face it – so rather than have the opponent choose when he’ll use it, why don’t you pick choose those times? For example, […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: The Grinding Mentality – How to Play It and Against It

(By Larry Hodges) Here is how I would describe the “grinding” mentality. It means a willingness to play as many shots as needed, never missing, while refusing to make a single weak return, whether pushing, chopping, or counter-hitting, with a focus on returning anything that’s not smashed or loop-killed, and relying on your reflexes to […]

Coaching Tip Of The WeeK: Tactics at the End of a Close Game

(By Larry Hodges)  Many think that, at the end of a close game, they should change their tactics because of the score. I remember one player assuring me that, “When it’s close, everyone knows you should play safe.” When I asked him why that would be the right tactic, he said, “If you play safe, […]

Coaching Tip Of The Week: Ten Table Tennis Truisms: Larry’s Laws

(By Larry Hodges)  If you can’t do it in your sleep, you can’t do it consistently in a match. Practice everything in your game, but focus on your strengths and weaknesses. Remove the weaknesses and turn the strengths into overpowering ones. At the higher levels, if you can see it, loop it; if you can’t […]

Tip Of The Week: Practice Attacking the Middle in Rote Drills

(By Larry Hodges) One of the toughest things to make a habit of in a match is attacking the middle. (That’s the midpoint between backhand and forehand, roughly the playing elbow.) There are two primary reasons for this. First, it’s a smaller and moving target than the corners, which are easier to attack. But there’s […]

Tip of the week: Proper Forehand Technique – Circling and From Side

Tip of the week: Proper Forehand Technique – Circling and From Side By (Larry Hodges) Here’s a video (3:56) of all-time great Ma Long looping forehand, including slow motion. (It starts with one backhand loop – which you should also study! – and then goes to forehands.) Note in the video how he basically rotates his […]

Tip of the week: Drill the Fundamentals and the Specifics

Tip of the week: Drill the Fundamentals and the Specifics (By Larry Hodges) It is important to drill the fundamentals into your game until you can do them in your sleep. But often players forget to practice specifically what they do in a match. For example, I know a player who likes to counterloop with […]

Tip of the week: Fundamental versus Creative Tactics

Tip of the week: Fundamental versus Creative Tactics (By Larry Hodges) Fundamental tactics are the standards used against specific playing styles. If you are playing a chopper, fundamental tactics include attacking the middle (roughly the elbow, the transition point between his forehand and backhand chops), moving him in and out, giving dead balls to a […]

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