Last updated on 05-Jul-2008 07:53:49 PM
I never played much table tennis doubles in the past. However, I did well in doubles during the NSW Country Championship and playing pennant I realise you can't really win championships by relying on singles alone. So now I really want to become a good doubles player. My question is, what are the golden rules of thumb for playing good doubles?
I've seen some advice on youtube on playing doubles but they are hardly helpful. They tend to fall into one of two categories. Either they are rules which apply to table tennis in general and not doubles in particular (for example, be consistent, don't make too many silly errors), or they are rules which are bland self-evident facts which don't really provide any practical ways to improve (for example, teamwork is important in doubles...d'uh!).
The one advice I read about doubles which really was helpful (also self-evident in a way, but not as obvious) was from a book which suggested that hitting the ball down the line was generally the preferred choice in doubles because your partner is better placed for the return. And that got me thinking as to whether there were other bits of enlightenment like that which one could use to become a solid tactical doubles player.
The two things I can add to that is thinking about your movement and the placement of the ball.
As you are hiutting to the one person for a full game, work out what they don't like and place the ball into difficult posiitons for them.
Your team needs to be able to move well and work around each other.
Services need to be short, even more than in singles because the receiver has less table to cover. Try to serve more to the middle line so that the ball doesn't go off the side of the table after one bounce.
Take returns early and look to place them sharply to give the 3rd ball player little time.
Lastly, if you are right handed, find a left handed partner. It helps a lot!