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    1. Top | #1
      Peter Knott is offline
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      Calling all 'TALL' Players!

      Hey guys! Im 6'3 and love table tennis. I train 15 hours a week and try to improve each and every week. But recently i have found that i'm having trouble with a few things... Firstly, footwork and position. I don't know why, but i feel like when ever the ball is hit to my body or elbow poistion I find it really really difficult to either move and counter attack and have resorted to either block on my forehand side close to my body, or move for a back hand shot(therefore exposing my back hand side of the table). How to i over come this? I've tried focusing on my footwork alot, but i can't understand how to attack these shots as a tall player. Also as side note, my play style is very similir to vladimir samsonsov (No were as good though haha) but i like to play a bit further behind the table and when in close, I like to block shots etc. Anyways, just venting. Any advice for a tall player as myself regarding playstyles and techniques, pls let me know. you guys are the besttt!

    2. Top | #2
      htfu is offline
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      yeah, being tall is a problem for close to the table play and in general due to the distance that the nerve impulses have to travel. work hard on footwork and leg strength ... maybe stand a touch further back to give yourself a tiny bit more time to react. there is always the "loose as much body fat as possible", you know power to weight ratio

    3. Top | #3
      iammaru is offline
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      I'm not a tall player but with my experience, I think tall non-professional players should play like Samsonov. A little far from the table, the strokes must be compact and controlled (unless you go for a kill shot) so that the recovery time is as short as possible and you have more time to anticipate and move to the next ball. When you play further from the table, it's much harder for the opponents to target/find your elbow.

      Another style for tall player is Liam Pitchford's style but he is very fast especially for someone his height and it's hard for us to copy his style. Liam plays pretty close to the table with aggressive style and use his long reach to attack short balls. When the ball comes to his elbow, he moves fast and squat down to hit the ball with his forehand, it's not easy.

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      yoass (07-09-2018)

    5. Top | #4
      yoass is offline
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      I'm just about 6ft, and yes, length does emphasize strong footwork — while also working a bit against developing it, due to the temptations of long(ish) reach.

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      Suga D (07-09-2018)

    7. Top | #5
      CroneOne is offline
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      You are good to keep working on footwork. Im in the same boat. I notice though that if I really remind myself to keep the toes bouncing and feet moving during a point (especially right after the opponent hits) that the middle isn't a huge problem to cover. It's when auto pilot kicks in and the feet stop moving I get burned on elbow shots. If you are taking fh blocks close to your body it sounds like not enough time to get into a fh position. How about a tiny shuffle to your right and hit a backhand. Find a partner to hit balls to your elbow and practice.

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      Andy44 (07-09-2018)

    9. Top | #6
      NDH is offline
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      I'm 6ft 4 - I rarely work on footwork (I probably should).....

      Some thoughts though.

      Standing close to the table for quick exchanges are not going to end well for you - You can block, and punch on the backhand, but if you are playing someone decent, you'll always lose out here.

      I stand 1 to 2 metres back from the table, and use my wingspan to attack - You don't need to do compact movements, if you are decent at looping from both wings, do it.

      Standing a little further back also negates the need for excellent footwork - You aren't going to get pinned in the crossover/elbow area, and you can move your body for a good attempt at a forehand or backhand.

      Good luck!

    10. Top | #7
      Ilia Minkin is online now
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      I don't think that if you are tall, you necessarily have to play far from the table. I am 6ft 1 and I like to play to close to the table, spinning the balls on the rise. Especially on the BH. I don't know why, it just feels good for me. I do back off from the table if forced to, but I generally prefer to not to.

    11. Top | #8
      yoass is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ilia Minkin View Post
      I don't think that if you are tall, you necessarily have to play far from the table. I am 6ft 1 and I like to play to close to the table, spinning the balls on the rise. Especially on the BH. I don't know why, it just feels good for me. I do back off from the table if forced to, but I generally prefer to not to.
      It's exactly the same for me. But I really do need to keep moving.

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      Ilia Minkin (07-09-2018)

    13. Top | #9
      langel is offline
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      My son is a taller. He feels very comfortable near the table with his wide arm range. But I noticed that when I put him under preasure, especially when I'm targeting to his body, he tends to step back and preffers to meet the ball round his knee rather than near the elbow.

    14. Top | #10
      Kristoffer is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Peter Knott View Post
      Hey guys! Im 6'3 and love table tennis. I train 15 hours a week and try to improve each and every week. But recently i have found that i'm having trouble with a few things... Firstly, footwork and position. I don't know why, but i feel like when ever the ball is hit to my body or elbow poistion I find it really really difficult to either move and counter attack and have resorted to either block on my forehand side close to my body, or move for a back hand shot(therefore exposing my back hand side of the table). How to i over come this? I've tried focusing on my footwork alot, but i can't understand how to attack these shots as a tall player. Also as side note, my play style is very similir to vladimir samsonsov (No were as good though haha) but i like to play a bit further behind the table and when in close, I like to block shots etc. Anyways, just venting. Any advice for a tall player as myself regarding playstyles and techniques, pls let me know. you guys are the besttt!
      Hey Peter

      I'm 192 cm - 6 feet 31932 inches according to google

      I play an attacking game very close to the table - probably way too close. I find that it is very important for me to have a standard solution, so I don't waste time on choosing to go for fh or bh. I go for my fh and try to hit with a somewhat bended arm - I use a more full arm for the ususal fh loop. Sometimes I get in trouble when the ball comes a bit more to my backhand than first judged. Here I have over the years leaned to move my upper body even more to the left and hit the ball very close to my body - a move that would make even Lin Gaoyuan jealous If the ball comes more to the forehand than first judged, I'll just open the arm.

    15. Top | #11
      CroneOne is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ilia Minkin View Post
      I don't think that if you are tall, you necessarily have to play far from the table. I am 6ft 1 and I like to play to close to the table, spinning the balls on the rise. Especially on the BH. I don't know why, it just feels good for me. I do back off from the table if forced to, but I generally prefer to not to.
      I agree here. I find that playing off the table, especially against good blockers gives them a lot of time to play their shots. I believe they have the close to table advantage unless I get a really angled rip or jam their block with a deep shot. I'd prefer not to move off if I don't need to. If you really work on compacting your shots Harimoto style, you can keep good pressure on your opponent.

    16. Top | #12
      Baal is offline
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      I am 184 cm, I play fairly close to the table. But I had a coach train me hard to do it, since he was saying some years ago that I was giving up ground way to easy. Nothing is learned unless you practice it.

      Actually the tallest close-in player I can think of was Kalinic back in the day. He was very tall. But also a strange penhold style and people tried to attack his middle and suffered for it.
      Last edited by Baal; 07-10-2018 at 01:11 AM.

    17. Top | #13
      Lightzy is offline
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      I feel you man!

      I think as a tall player you should take advantage of your .. advantage.
      I think the best player at doing this is Liam Pitchford.

      There are 3 main advantages:
      Easier to add sidespin (and topspin) to topspins beause of the bigger torque, so that's one very useful thing.
      Also, easier reach into the table (backhand topspin over the table and killer flicks like Liam)
      And of course you can play wide angles more exclusively, which will really kill shorter players.

      I think if you take advantage of these three strengths you'll be difficult to deal with for shorter people.

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