January 8, 2024 - Move the Extra Inch

It’s not enough to move to the general vicinity of the ball. Table tennis is a game of precision, and almost moving into position is the same as almost making the shot. Instead, focus on that last couple of inches. Don’t lean and make a slightly off-balanced or awkward shot. Those last few inches of movement, often made as a last-second adjustment after getting close to where you should be, can be the difference between a high-precision and oiled machine . . . and a slightly rusty jalopy stroke that never seems quite perfect, though you’re never really sure why.

You can do this last second positioning either by stepping with either foot, or shuffling. The key is to expect to do it, not wait until you realize you have to, and then belatedly try to get into better position – and almost always ending up leaning and making a slightly off-balanced or awkward shot. Expect to make that last-second move, and it’ll become a habit.