More on Kjell Johansson
Table Tennis Tactics and Acronyms
I'm now hard at work on my new book, with the working title "Table Tennis Tactics: A Thinker's Guide." (Alternate titles: "A Thinker's Guide to Table Tennis Tactics" or "The Tao of Table Tennis Tactics." The advantage of the working title is that if the title starts out with "Table Tennis Tactics," it'll come up higher in online searches for table tennis and tactics.) I plan to have the first draft done by the Nationals in December. Here's a tidbit - recently I realized that all tactical thinking comes down to WEAR - Watch, Experiment, Analyze, and Remember. So WEAR your tactics with pride!
My other favorite table tennis acronym is on how to SPUR the growth of USA Table Tennis. Show the sport; get the masses to Play; get them to join USATT; and get them to Rejoin.
Tactics against a certain player
Here are examples of the tactics I use against a top player I play somewhat regularly. No, I won't give the name of the player, but it gives an example of the type of tactics you can use in a match. You'll note that most of the tactics are service tactics. That's the norm since those are what you have the most control over.
- Short pendulum serve to forehand and sometimes middle with changing spins forces mistakes and weak returns if not overused. Start out by using deceptive spin. Later go to more spin, which is less deceptive, but the increase in spin (especially side-top) catches the player off guard.
- Tomahawk serve (side-top or side-backspin) short or half-long to FH. Return is almost always toward my forehand, setting up my loop. Hold back on this serve so opponent doesn't get used to it. It's the go-to serve at the end of a close game.
- Fast no-spin to elbow. This draws the player toward the middle with a backhand receive, and sets me up to hit an aggressive backhand to the now open wide backhand.
- Short no-spin serves to middle cuts off the angles and keeps the player from pushing too heavy, and so sets me up for a loop, often off the bounce since I don't have to worry about the angles. Sometimes vary this with a short heavy chop serve, which will usually be pushed back heavy, which I loop slow and spinny deep to the wide corners.
- After any serve and loop that goes deep on the table, be ready to smash or loop kill the next ball. Don't hesitate.
- Sudden but occasional deep chop serve to the backhand often catches the player off guard and is pushed back, even though the player has a nice backhand loop. Watch closely how the player is receiving so I see quickly if I'm going to get a push or loop return.
- First loop should be varied to the wide corners and middle. If I make it look like I'm going to the forehand, the player often reacts too soon, leaving backhand side open.
- When receiving, look to aim to the backhand with a push return, then at the last second change directions and push either wide to the forehand (to draw the player out of position) or to the middle (to make the player choose forehand or backhand and draw out of position).
- In backhand exchanges, look for chances to play aggressively to the wide backhand and at the elbow. Stay out of the middle backhand area and never go to the forehand unless I have an extreme angle or the player is out of position.
- If the player hits a ball short in a rally, take it aggressively mostly to the wide forehand, since the player tends to leave that slightly open.
- In fast exchanges, look for chances to suddenly chop. This throws the player off and gets me out of fast exchanges that the player is good at.
- Lob and fish side to side with varying spin and height to force errors, and look for chances to lob to wide forehand to get a smash to my forehand to counter-attack or lob or fish with lots of spin.
Volunteers needed for 2012 Olympic Trials
The 2012 USA Olympic Trials (Feb. 9-12) and North American Olympic Trials (Apr. 20-22)will be held in Cary, NC. If you'd like to volunteer, play, or just spectate, visit their home page. Here's the text from the invitation latter I received.
"As you have hopefully heard, the US and North American Olympic Trials in Table Tennis are coming to Cary, North Carolina in February and April of 2012. This is an exciting event that will feature the best table tennis players in North America as they qualify to compete at the Olympic Games in London. We are now beginning to accept applications from local citizens who want to volunteer at the Olympic Trials. The volunteer application is now available on our website at www.cary2012.com. Available volunteer opportunities include venue operations, hospitality, and transportation. Volunteers will receive a commemorative tee shirt for their participation.
"Additionally, we still have a special opportunity to be among the first to purchase the limited availability Friends of Table Tennis package. For $75, you receive all-event admission to both the U.S. and North America Trials, as well as admission to a special VIP reception featuring the country's top players. Seating is limited, so purchase your Friends of Table Tennis package today! Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.cary2012.com or the Cary Arts Center Box Office."
Denver Bronco Table Tennis Player
Quarterback Tim Tebow plays table tennis - see pictures and video!
Funny and spectacular table tennis
Here's both a funny and spectacular table tennis video (4:28). I love the part where the players are rolling in the tables. And don't miss the behind the back blocks at 1:29, 1:36, and 2:17, or the penguin at the end!
Table Tennis Nation to Settle Occupy Wall Street
Yes, with Marty Reisman involved, all problems will be resolved. Here's the story. "Not since Lorne Michaels offered The Beatles $3000 to appear on Saturday Night Live has such a compelling offer been made to solve an ongoing national and international crisis."
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