(By Larry Hodges)
Tip of the week: Covering the Wide Angles
Most players have trouble when an opponent attacks at a wide angle, whether it’s to the forehand or backhand. Here are five principles to help you cover them.
- Position yourself from the previous shot. That means if you put the ball to, say, the opponent’s wide forehand, he has an angle into your forehand. So you have to position yourself toward that side so you can cover it.
- Step to the ball. Many players lean or reach, but this greatly limits your range as well as the ability to make a good shot.
- Move in to block. Many players move sideways to cover the wide angles, which allows the ball to move away from you. Instead, move sideways and in and cut the ball off before it can get away from the table.
- Angle back. If the opponent angles you, he gives you the same or greater counter-angle. If he moves to cover it too much, you can catch him off guard by going down the line.
- Position yourself again. After moving wide to cover an angled shot, you need to get back into position quickly or risk leaving the table open. If you counter-angled back, then you don’t have to move too much as you need to cover his potential angled return – essentially a counter-counter-angle.
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