Through the years, the pace of table tennis games have kept increasing due to lighter paddles and balls and better equipment. Also, as more and more people choose to become professional table tennis players, the best players come up with even better techniques to stay at the top of the game. To survive a match against an experienced player, it simply is not enough to react to the speed and position of the ball, but also anticipate the opponent’s next move. The following tips will point out ways to use anticipation over table tennis tables.
Identify your opponent’s primary strategy
Experienced table tennis players generally have a preferred style of playing that may lean towards offensive or defensive strategies. These styles have their own unique method of reacting to the same opportunities, so identify which style your opponent is more likely to use and you will be better able to anticipate the next shot.
Pay attention to their body language
To play a good shot, all players will have to move in a predictable fashion that telepathises the intentions of the player. Instead of only focusing on the ball, pay some attention to the racket and the racket arm of your opponent to gain some insight towards his or her next shot.
Force your opponent to play from a certain side of the table
To reduce the variety of shots you receive from your opponent, try to force them to play their weak shots by hitting the ball towards the edges of the table tennis table. Most of the amateur players will be able to retaliate in a limited range of shots so your anticipation has higher chances of being accurate.
The skill of anticipation improves with experience and the more opponents you face, the more you train yourself to look out for subtle changes in the posture or stance that reveals the ferocity or position of the next shot.