May 30, 2011 - Play Into the Weird Stuff


Suppose your opponent has something that gives you problems. It could be a weird shot, like an inside-out or a sidespinning loop, or an extra-flat backhand, or a playing surface that gives you trouble. Should you avoid it? That's probably the first inclination, and if it's something you truly can avoid, then that might be the best strategy. But won't your opponent be trying to get whatever gives you trouble into play? You are probably going to have to deal with it. And the last thing you want to do is to still be having trouble with it near the end of the match, and lose because of it.

Instead, find chances to play into it when you are ready for it, and get comfortable against it. When you can do that, then you can play tactics to avoid it, knowing you'll be ready for it when necessary.

Here's one tip that may solve most of your problems with "weird" surfaces and strokes. Keep the ball deep on the table, and you'll have a lot more time to react and your opponent won't be able to angle you much. It's those short balls that come back quick and angled that cause most of the problems.