Hi guys – in this video I just want to throw out something that I’ve noticed when working with some of my junior students and I think it might be worth mentioning to you guys.
What that is is the fact that I’ve noticed some of my guys, when they step away from the table, when they take that step back from the table, they play too soft and too passive. You know when you are up close to the table, you can use your opponent’s pace and feed off that pace – reflect it back to him – and it’s effective because he has less time. So he attacks, you block it, and you can use his pace to feed off that and put him under pressure.
But too often I see some of the juniors that I coach block one and take a step back, and now this next one they hit soft, soft – not a lot of pace, not a lot of spin, they are still just playing careful balls. I think the thing to keep in mind is that once you step away from the table tennis table, once you take that step away and you are no longer close, you give up time, you give up pressure, so if you’re gonna step away you better do something positive, whether you’re an attacker or a defender.
If you’re an attacker and you go from blocking/countering range and take that step back, you better be prepared to take a swing, and do something. Put some spin on – even if it’s just a fish and you heavy spin it but without really a lot of pace, you better do something positive.
As a defender, if I take that step away, I’ve got to be able to chop it, vary my spin, deceive my opponent and float it when it looks like a chop, I’ve got to do something positive with the ball, I can’t just gently retrieve the ball – I’m asking to get killed.
I’ve been working on this with my juniors – when up close playing your game, if you take that step back, do something positive with the ball – loop it, really put something on it. And I think no matter what your age that’s still a pretty good rule of thumb. Up close you can use your opponent’s pace, but if you step back, do something positive.
The flip side of that is that if you’re not prepared to do something positive when stepping back, then don’t step back – stay up where you can keep blocking. You shouldn’t be stepping back and hitting gentle balls. You’re much better off staying up, using the pace of your opponent, and blocking the ball where he’s got less time and it’s more pressure. Once you go back, do something positive with the ball. OK? Be aggressive, whether it’s topspin aggressive or just defensive varying of spin aggressive, you’ve gotta do something positive with the ball, you can’t just gently retrieve it because you’re asking for the next ball to get killed. Be positive, OK? Thanks.