Tip of the Week: Always Have at Least Two Options
Site Products
Tip of the Week: Always Have at Least Two Options: Crystal Wang – Photo courtesy of ITTF / by Thorsten Gohl

Tip of the Week: Always Have at Least Two Options

Tip of the Week: Always Have at Least Two Options

by Larry Hodges
Larry Hodges

Many players have multiple options for most situations, but only one for some. For example, against a deep, spinny serve to the backhand, many players will only back drive it crosscourt. Or against a backspin serve to the backhand will almost always push it crosscourt. (Crosscourtitis is a curse many players have – there is such a thing as down the line, and you should learn to use it.)

When you have only one option off something the opponent does, then the opponent no longer has to worry about anything but that one option. And since a player with only one option usually only has that one option because he’s not particularly comfortable with the incoming shot, it usually means the one option he uses isn’t very strong. But even if it is, it loses its effectiveness when the opponent knows it’s coming.

Even if the opponent isn’t a “thinking” opponent, i.e. one who figures out opponent’s weaknesses (such as predictability), most players are instinctive, and subconsciously pick up on these things. They may not realize it at the time, but they often are reacting to this predictableness.

So examine your game, and find places where you generally do the same thing over and over. It’s possible that this works against some players, or even most players your level – but it probably doesn’t work against stronger players, and presumably they are the ones you are hoping to learn to beat. So make sure that in every situation, you have at least two options.

Here’s an example. During my playing career I often liked to give big breaking sidespin serves deep to the backhand, so that the ball would break to my right, away from the righty’s backhand. Most would reach for the ball and make moderately aggressive shots to my backhand – but I’d already be over there, just waiting for this shot with my forehand. The ones that gave me trouble would either take it down the line – often doing so a bit more quickly and catching me – or would simply mix in a chop now and then, which would completely throw me off, since I was generally a step back, waiting for that topspin return.


Latest News

Triangle’s 2022 Butterfly September Tournament

September 25, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) Triangle Badminton and Table Tennis Club hosted their Butterfly September open last weekend.  There were… Read More

Pan Am U11 & U13 Results: Team USA’s Strong Results in Santo Domingo

September 25, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins, photo USATT) The 2022 ITTF Pan American U11 and U13 Championships were held this week… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Yu Di – The Forehand Smash

September 23, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Butterfly Training Tips, Yu Di is working with Risheetha Bhagawatulaa on the… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips With Nandan Naresh – Forehand Loop Side To Side Footwork

September 22, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Butterfly Training Tips, Nandan Naresh is executing the forehand loop while working… Read More

Butterfly Spin & Smash October Open – Saturday 1, Sunday 2, 2022

September 21, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) USATT Sanctioned 2-Star Table Tennis Tournament with $2,525 in Cash Prizes! Saturday, October 1… Read More

Butterfly Ask The Experts No. 426- Equipment Suggestion

September 19, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) Butterfly Table Tennis Question and Answer Question: I want to downgrade on my blade… Read More

Coaching Tips of the Week: Blowing Ball in Air

September 19, 2022
(By Larry Hodges) We’re going to have a little fun this week. There’s more to table tennis than… Read More

World Championships Preview: Changing of the Guard for Germany?

September 19, 2022
(by Steve Hopkins) No Boll, no Ovtcharov, and no Franziska?  Germany announced last Friday that their squad for… 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.