For table tennis players, coaches, officials, brands, shops and our beloved sport in general, 2021 was definitely not an easy year. Nevertheless, there were also rays of hope from time to time. We would therefore like to review the year with you. What happened to us? We wish a lot of fun to read the article and a Merry Christmas to all pimples players of the worldwide Sauer & Tröger family!
More successful with long pimples: 4 tips and 1 exercise!
Small change, big effect:
If you want to play really successful with long pimples or an antitop, you should act as variable as possible. In the following, we will explain to you which possibilities there are to play variably and how you can also use it in training.
1. The pace change: Faster vs. Slower
There are many players who have a good command of a stroke technique, but who always perform it at the same pace, possibly always playing the ball in the same place. Here we would like to emphasize that simply holding the ball can also be a stroke technique.
No matter how good you are at this technique, your opponent will find your game calculable after a while because of the consistency and will be able to adjust well You will eventually lack the means to move up a gear You do not exhaust your potential to the fullest. Play the same technique consciously a little faster and then a little slower. You will notice massive differences.
It is important that you do it consciously and that you focus on the change of tempo and rhythm.
The variability will cause your opponent to produce significantly more easy mistakes. It will take much longer until he feels that he has adjusted to your playing system. This works up to the highest levels of play. The difference in speed does not have to mean that you work in extremes and play the ball 100 per cent one time and then only very slowly at 5 per cent Even small differences are enough to bring about a change in rhythm, for example, sometimes 60 and sometimes 70 percent. Irrespective of this, it is extremely difficult to play a ball with pimples safely at 100 percent anyway.
2. The ball meeting point: Earlier vs. Later
Of all the tips mentioned, this is the one with the greatest effect. If you follow this tip, your game becomes much more dangerous and less predictable for your opponent. It will also make your dangerous game look effortless and easy for outsiders:
Take the ball after it bounces up on your side of the table, sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes a bit later In the early version, this can be done almost volley (drop kick) You have already changed your playing rhythm massively and can also do this with loose and safe shots Many players believe that in order to play more dangerously, they have to play a shot incredibly firmly. This leads to a significantly higher error rate. If you simply take the ball a little earlier, the ball will also get to the other half of the table faster With the big difference that now a loose and safe shot is absolutely sufficient. In addition, if you take the ball earlier, you have the opportunity to play the ball at more extreme angles
3. The horizontal position: Longer vs. Shorter
Similar results can be achieved if you let the balls drip off a little longer and sometimes very easily a little shorter or half-long. Often your opponent makes the mistake of not making the necessary step forward on the half-long ball
4. Vertical placement: From left to right
Play not only on one point, but sometimes parallel, sometimes diagonal, sometimes in the middle or on your opponent’s elbow. Especially in the middle of the table or on the elbows, many players have problems, because they have to decide whether they have to play the incoming ball with their forehand side or with their backhand side. In combination with the variants play faster vs. play slower or take the ball earlier vs. later, the change of position is a real game-changer which makes your game system much more effective And all this is basically already possible if you do not learn any new techniques at all, but if you simply use the existing ones more profitably.
But now to the exercise:
1. Step: Have your training partnerrepeatedly play the ball to a predetermined area of the table. If you, for example. play a pimple on the backhand, then let the ball bspw. back to the middle of the backhand side. Something is going wronghere, and you should not be discouraged by the behaviour of such aclub mate, but try to develop yourself and your game. We would liketo emphasize that it is important to focus when practicing thestriking technique. In a training session, use only one strikingtechnique. But train them very consciously and intensively. Tryingeverything at once would not lead to success. First of all, you chooseone of the above-mentioned focuses that you would like to train: forexample, you can play the ball a little faster or a little slower with thetechnique of your choice.
2. Step: If this works well, your opponentwill be able to play the balls over a larger area (for example, overyour entire backhand half). In the adult sector, only a few clubs offerstructural training such as a course. Therefore, I would like topresent here first, simple exercise approaches, which you can useeven if no training partner wants to participate. However, structuredtraining is already helpful if you do it for example only 15 minutes atthe beginning of the training. And for that, as a rule, some playerscan be won over. An interesting observation in passing: many aplayer gets terribly upset about his performance game after gameand at the same time smiles at his club colleague who is going on acourse, who wants to train structured exercises or who is simplydoing serve training in order to improve.
3. Step: If you are successful, you can try to mix differentrecommended tactical variants. For example, you play the ball alittle faster or slower and then a little earlier or later in the next rallyBut you should only take the third step if you are sure that 1 + 2 work well. We often experience it that everything is done at onceand there is not much distinction between the strokes. We want tosharpen your consciousness so that you focus on only one stroketechnique in a training session.
From practice: Even if your trainingpartner is not willing to train this in a structured and patient way, you can simply decide to implement this advice in a training game. At the beginning you should be aware that the end result of thegame does not matter for the time being. As a rule, you will makemore mistakes at the beginning when you get new impulses andchange your game. However, your game will become moresuccessful in the long run. Now we wish you success on your way tomake your game more varied and successful. Enliven your gamewith new impulses! Your motivation, your gaming fun and last butnot least your results will thank you for it.
In conclusion, all we cansay is: Even if the contents of the article do not apply to you, you canpass on the tips to your club colleagues who play with Long Pimplesor Antitop. They’ll thank you very much.
(The article wascommissioned by the Association of German Table Tennis Trainers)
Greetings from the Sauer & Tröger Team
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