gHey Dan and Tom,
- I go completely blank during matches and can’t think of what to do to win points. What do you suggest I should do?
2. Additionally, I can’t differentiate between the shovel sidespin-backspin and the shovel sidespin-topspin services. Can you suggest something I can do to differentiate between the two?
3. I can’t think of what my strengths are apart from my loopy forehand topspin. Can you suggest how to figure out stren
Yes this is a common problem that players find and takes time to get out of. The best way to think more clearly in matches is to really develop a game plan and understand your strengths and weaknesses which you said you struggle with in point 3. To do this I think the best way is to video record a match of yourself and look where you are winning and losing most of your points and what strategies work well for your style.
As for point 2 on the shovel serves it can be hard to read the spin when players disguise it well. The best way is to really focus on the contact the opponent makes on the ball and the first bounce on the table. If it skids through lower the it’s usually backspin and if it comes through faster and bounces up more then it’s usually topspin, this isn’t always wasy to pick up on and needs practice.
Also really try to comit to a return and choose what you think it is early, getting stuck in between returning a backspin and topspin is a common mistake and means you never really learn from your mistakes as you aren’t choosing a return. So pick what you think it is and return accordingly and then learn to adjust from your own mistakes.
Anything else on these points feel free to get back to me here 🙂