If you want to win those tight games and beat your closest rivals there is one area of the game that you simply can’t afford to neglect, the short game! The short touch and the return of serve might not be the most exciting or glamorous skills to practice but it will be the difference between winning and losing against players of a similar level or in tight situations. Players with a better quality short game will be able to keep out their opponent more effectively and create more chances for themselves to play the first strong attack which can often be pivotal on the outcome of a match.
Often timing is the key to improving your short game, taking the ball early and just before the top of the bounce enables you to keep the ball shorter and tight to the net. So focus on this and build into into your training, even 5-10 minutes of short play in the warm up or at the end of your sessions can make a difference!
On the TableTennisDaily Academy we have a wide range of videos focused on helping you improve your short game:
A fantastic drill is to play short touch to touch with your partner and if the ball comes high or long enough to flick or topspin either player tries to take this opportunity, this encourages quality short play with the realistic match element of trying to stop your opponent gaining the first attack. So if you want to get the edge on your competitors make sure to focus on improving your short touch and returns to gain the upper hand early in the rally!