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  1. Silver smasher is offline
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    #1

    Who is fitter- Defenders or attackers

    I have been watching lots of videos to help my table tennis development. I love to watch a good defender -particularly the way they move to take the ball below the table and usually on their backhand. They move a lot but don't put a massive amount of power into each shot.

    An attacker does not move very far but is putting a significant amount of effort into each shot. Some attackers are quite stocky and muscular in build but many defenders appear to be lighter on their feet and are able to move quickly. I would guess that many defenders have flexible bodies but do they have the strength of an all out attacker?

    It seems to me that the difference between all out attackers and top defenders is not just a matter of their brain, attitude and type of bat but also physical differences. This is particularly evident when there is a lobbing rally. The defender is moving smoothly over some distance and the attacker is using all their strength and endurance to smash every shot.

    The big question is - are attackers or defenders the fittest?

  2. Xylit is offline
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    #2
    I used to play very defensively until I have reached a level where one has to have a good ability to actually WIN points (and not make the opponent lose it). Personally, I find the more offensive playing style much more exhausting.

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  3. mart1nandersson is offline
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    #3
    Both (very good) attackers and defenders move a LOT. Try to focus on how a player moves rather than the game play and you'll notice this clearly.

  4. Simas is offline
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    #4
    I'd say attackers are fitter (don't have any normal experience in defensive gameplay though...). I think I could agree that atackers cover a little bit less distance when playing against defenders, but their upper body is working way way harder...

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    #5
    For me anyway, drilling say, forehand loop against underspin is much more fatiguing than drilling a backhand chop vs a loop.

    But that's without movement... I think generally defenders must have more enduring legs in the long haul. They don't need to be ultra quick, as some attackers are when running around the BH etc., but they must be able to continually move in and out. So it's less explosive movement, with more frequent reps.

    Having played both, I liken defenders (not necessarily modern ones who forehand loop a ton and attack) to marathoners and attackers to sprinters. There is a different kind of stamina required for each.

  6. yoass is offline
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    #6
    I doubt there's a generic answer to this generic question.

    At the top, athletes are as fit as they can be. Going from example, consider Ryu Seung-min and Joo Sae-hyuk. Both push the boundaries of physical possibility to the limit.

    Then again, attackers can be lazy up to a certain point. There have been stretches in the great JO Waldner's career where the physical aspect of his athleticism wasn't all that, but he got away with that with relative ease due to his extreme anticipation and touch skills, the quality and cunning tactics of his serves, blocks and kills. No defender, I think, could get away with that.

    (Far) below pro level, I see what happens as players age. There are more defenders among the older generations, but between a consistent defender and a consistent attacker a match often boils down to a battle of attrition. Sometimes the defender wears out first, but it's more often the attacker that just can't keep going and gets worn down. Because that's what defenders do...

    Style also enters the equation; Xu Xin obviously bounces across the courts with extreme vigour, and spends inordinate amounts of energy in doing so. It needn't be so; consider Oh Sang-eun or He Zhiwen's playstyle. Less visibly athletic, but that's only until you really look at the constant frenzy of small-stepped footwork closely.

    People talk about explosive force and demands on upper body movement. I find this a bit odd; explosive, yes, but when I look at the pro players all that explosiveness and agility is based in deep squats, forward balance, powerful legwork in combination with whip mechanics executed with admirable relaxation, supple shoulder/arm snaps. All that power is produced seemingly effortlessly, when Ma Long or Lin Yun-ju spins it, as far as the upper body is concerned, but we see immense power generated by legs, hips.

    I wouldn't be able to give either the edge over the other in fitness.
    Last edited by yoass; 11-07-2019 at 09:22 AM.

  7. Silver smasher is offline
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    #7
    Really interesting reply Yoass. Yes modern defenders and attackers are all extremely fit. As a mature attacker I struggle regularly lifting heavy backspin from a robot but it is not an issue playing at local league level. I wonder if fitness of attackers and defenders is more of an factor at the mid level where matches are long and aggressive but players are not full time.
    I also agree on you comment re Mr Waldner who had fantastic touch and control which compensated for possibly a less than perfect physique. I think that I will try to match his style- can anyone tell me how to play a brilliant winning shot while looking in another direction and walking off for a towel break.

  8. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #8
    Who is fitter NBA players in the western conference or the eastern conference?

    It really might depend on the individual player.

    BTW: I think Waldner was only fat and out of shape after he had a back injury. Waldner in his prime was in pretty good shape and could not be categorized as having "a less than perfect physique"; at least until after he had a back injury.

    Hard to say he is not in good shape in a match like this:

    Waldner v Kong Linghui 1987 WTTC

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 11-09-2019 at 06:46 PM.
    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
    Spin is Everything

  9. mart1nandersson is offline
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    #9
    I'm old enough to have this inner picture of the great J-O:
    Name:  2bfe7a59-0ce5-4b41-9554-e7ef4eaa74d2.jpg
Views: 46
Size:  13.5 KB

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  10. Simas is offline
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mart1nandersson
    I'm old enough to have this inner picture of the great J-O:
    Name:  2bfe7a59-0ce5-4b41-9554-e7ef4eaa74d2.jpg
Views: 46
Size:  13.5 KB
    Nice!

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