Table tennis is a sport full of variety and different playing styles which is part of what makes it unique and interesting to us. But understanding and developing your own style and using this to your advantage is something that a lot of players don’t give much thought to. It’s easy to get drawn into copying the top professional players, which of course has some benefit in terms of learning correct technique etc, however it’s important to understand we can’t all play like Ma Long, nor will it help to try!
So how can you develop a game style that suits you and works best for your skill set? Well the first thing to be clear about in your mind is what exactly are your key strengths in you game, are you fast? Do you have a strong forehand attack? Do you win a lot on your serves? Can you block and control the ball well? Ask yourself what am I best at and what wins me points in matches, this is a good place to start on developing your game plan. If you aren’t clear on your strengths in your mind how can you execute a game plan or tactics that are geared towards setting them up.
Writing a list is a good way of doing this, so first list your biggest strengths then move on to what you feel are your biggest weaknesses/areas you could improve. If you struggle with making these lists yourself then ask a teammate or other club member who knows you well to help. Understanding this gives you a good framework to develop a clearer game style and strategy, for example if you know you are strong in the short game and touch play it doesn’t make any sense to use a lot of long fast serves. So now you can start to be able to think about all aspects of the game and getting your strengths into play and what to do to limit the opponent’s chances to exploit your weaker areas.
Now this isn’t to say you won’t work on improving those areas of weakness in your game but it’s also important to be aware of them and pay in such a way that gets the best out of your current capabilities. Every player is different and will like to approach the game in a unique ways that work for them. You can look at elements from other players games and try to build them into yours or even adapt it to fit your style if you feel it would benefit you.
So take time to work on, understand and develop your own unique style that works for you and you’ll soon find you are more confident in match play as you have a clear structure and tactical plan that you can follow and fall back on even in high pressure situations!
At the TableTennisDaily Academy we have over 100 coaching tutorials covering technical, tactical and psychological aspects as well as in depth match analysis. As a member of the TableTennisDaily Academy you’ll also have full access to our “coach corner” which gives you the ability to ask questions that professional coaches Dan and Tom will answer. Whatever your questions, get swift and reliable coaching feedback you can trust right at your fingertips. You can even post videos of yourself in action for Dan and Tom to analyse, they will provide specific advice to help you take your game to the next level! So what are you waiting for, join today!