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      Gerald Finch is offline
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      What are some habits I should look for in my opponents?

      So a little background: I recently came back to table tennis after a 2 month break. During that time, I got really good at a fighting game called Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In competitive play, a big part of the game is to notice your opponents habits and keeping track of them so you can make "hard reads" in order to beat them or recognize what they're trying to do to react faster than normal. I mostly focused on the physical and technical side of table tennis before, but I think it would be worthwhile to put more time into the mental side of the game so I can play better. So what are some habits I should look out for in my opponents and how should I capitalize on them?

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      Kaizoku is offline
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      Probably just the obvious.. But, Look for patterns in your opponents, ways to predict their moves and move adequately in due time. Pattern recognition by analytical means will eventually increase Intuitive recognition which would be the goal. Analyse your game and your opponents game, get more well versed with 'what exactly is going on' and why you are winning or loosing each point (the details)

      Chinese team analyse their opponents traits by video examination, this gives the Chinese team the edge they need. Idk if you have video footage of your opponents. But can at least try to analyse their game and habits before, while and maybe even after you play them (for future match ups). Obvious things to look out for are stuff like fh/bh orientation, tendency to step around or not, if two winged what side is more dominant, what types of ball did they miss in your game? Are they an offensive looper or allrounder with mixed shots? do they handle sidespin Well? Do you cut better? Do they just 'block' everything? do they move around well when you vary depth on table? What about width? What are the antidotes they use against other players strars? Can you somehow convert that to a tactical advantage? Etc. A lot more to consider.. But gotta sleep
      If you want to read a book on this I'd recommend "table tennis tactics for thinkers" by Larry Hodges. Which is basically what you're asking for... Things to consider to making better tactical decisions.

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    3. The Following 3 Users Like Kaizoku's Post:

      LucasMcCaine (4 Weeks Ago),lVegita (4 Weeks Ago),Wister (4 Weeks Ago)

    4. Top | #3
      Gerald Finch is offline
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      Thanks for the reply! I have a collegiate tournament coming up in a month or so and there isn't much footage of the players I would play against unfortunately. I was thinking more about the most important things I should look out for regardless of who I play.

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      Wister is offline
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      The book kaizoku adviced is very good, you'll get a lot of the answers you want

      It's difficult to do a list about what you should check. Something i don't often do but I should is asking the following questions
      - What does my opponent is trying to do ? How does he wants to get points ?
      - What am I trying to do to get points ?
      - And after each point, ask yourself how you actually won or lost the point ?

      Especially the last one can be very useful. Actually I've almost never done it fully tbh but i think it could have a great impact

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      Service patterns (if there are sequences on types 9f serves), placement patterns.

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      Baal is offline
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      Things I check right away. Do they move equally well in both directions? Where is their cross over point? Do they get impatient and try to win points with big shots? Do their serves come out too long?

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      The grip. Better bh or fh in the warm up. Do you win in bh bh? Great. You are better at bh than them, so keep playing it. Otherwise move the ball. Are they bh or fh players, meaning Do they go around from the bh corner? This decide your placement of the ball. Try different serves, are they better or worse at returning some of them? Better at returning with bh or fh? Backspin or Nospin? There Will be allt of pattern in their game so look for that But especially in their serve and returngme. You Will notice that they probly want to return in example with a flip, then they are better at that so try to serve the the opposite meaning backspin. They Will also proably place the return at the sams places when hou Do a certain serve. Aswell look at their footwork patterns, how well they move in different direction.
      The basic Idea is that you want to play different shots and be aware of What they chose to Do and how well they Do it. In example if you push long they are proably better at opening with either bh or fh. So you adjust according to that.

      Also important with basic stuff like. Ifyou push long you want to have the racket high after to be ready to block. If you loop against backspin you Will have the racket higher to be prepare to loop forward because next balll is block. If you serve Nospin, sidetop be ready for a flip. Push if backspin. So always need to try to prepare a little. Not cheat But just prepare.

      But equally, or not more important is to have an own playing style. Know why you re good at, practise this alot and how to get their. So you know how to serve and return to get the balls you want. Without a playingstyle ns Idea behind how you want ro serve, return and play it is more luck if you win. This Is number one, try to play your style of play.. Secondary is to adjust ro the opponent.

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      allencorn is offline
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      Also important to know your patterns, as they probably affect what patterns your opponent uses.

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      My guess, this comes from a lot of experience. Sometimes you can even 'predict' where the opponent is going to hit the ball, especially if you've played that opponent many times and know their preferred shots. But as Lula and allencorn said, you should know your patterns even better. There's no ultimate solution for each player you're going to meet, they all will be different. So look how they move an where are they going to hit, try not to stay a passive observer, analyze, keep in mind why are they playing this way. Talking about mental aspects - how aggressive your opponents are, or if they prefer to stay closed til the end.

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