April 11, 2011 - The Value of Down the Line

The Value of Down the Line
By Larry Hodges

Crosscourt. It's so much easier to hit that way. Most often you get to hit the ball back the way it's coming, and it's easier to hit that way than re-directing it down the line. You've probably hit so much forehand-to-forehand and backhand-to-backhand that it's more natural to you. And you've got 15.5 more inches of table than when hitting down the line. (Do the math.)

But guess what? Your opponent also likes those crosscourt shots, and he's probably already setting up for it. Watch that split second of absolute horror on his face as he realizes you are going down the line - or at least a look of apprehension - and you'll know the value of down-the-line shots.

Oh, and when you warm up, hit some forehand-to-backhand and backhand-to-forehand. It's a big table out there; use both sides of it.