Analysing your Opponent in Table Tennis
Table tennis balls are light, allowing players to execute spins and build complex strategies against their opponents. The complexity of a table tennis game is compounded by how fast each shot can be made, leaving you with very little time to react with an effective counter-attack. Instead of reacting to the speed and path of the ball, you will stand a better chance on the table tennis table if you are able to predict your opponent’s playing style.
Categorise your opponent
Each person has a unique style of gameplay. Some people are more comfortable with quick shots, some are better at spinning the ball while some are able to block almost all of your attacks. A good way to find out how your opponent functions is to try and place the ball in different places of the table and vary the speed of your shots. An attacker depends on strength, so they may position themselves farther away from the table, while a defender tries to reduce the pace of the game and use a variety of spins.
Play against their weaknesses
It may take a while to find out the playing style of your opponent, but when you do, you will immediately identify their weak areas and exploit them. Attackers will need plenty of time to prepare for a powerful shot, so depriving them of the opportunity will rob them off their advantage. Defenders on the rhythm of the game so ensuring that you mix the placement, speed and spin of your shots to make it hard for your opponent to predict.
Do not reveal your strengths
Analysing your opponent will not be of much use if you are not able to exploit their weaknesses effectively. Players who have invested a considerable amount of time practising their shots can quickly identify when you are trying to play against their weakness and they will try to change the pace of the game or style of their gameplay to compensate for it. Make your strategies subtle and keep a few tricks up your sleeve when your opponent changes their style. With some practice, you will be able to counter their strategies and bring more variety to your own, effectively giving yourself a better chance of dominating the table tennis table!