Anticipation or just purely super footwork

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 8 years ago

Mark L

Mark L Asked 10 years ago


I had been watching great players play, and they are just always at the right place at the right time. then they will execute their strokes.

I don't know when should i move or start moving to my new 'camping' location to welcome the next incoming ball. options available are:

1)when the opponent about to execute his stroke

2) when he executed his stroke but yet to contact the ball on his bat

3) when the ball contact his bat

4) when the ball leave his bat

5) when the ball is traveling on the way to my side

For my current situation, i am always waiting to catch the ball in motion (on the way) to my side of the table. I realized that is just too slow for supreme mega fast looping. 

Please advise me.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Mark,

The best thing to do is watch the ball very closely.  This will give you the fastest information as to where the ball is coming.  By watching closely you will see the flight of the ball and be able to judge its direction.  Trying to anticipate can be risky as until the ball leaves their bat it can go in any direction.

By watching the ball you will also see other things like their bat position and their swing that will give you more information.

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Thoughts on this question

Arnon Thaicharoen

Arnon Thaicharoen Posted 10 years ago

Keep your body balance at all time. So you can move as soon as possible.

Anticipation is risky as Alois said. I played with a player who is good at fake body movement. The only thing he could not fake was when his racket hit the ball. You need to watch that moment attentively. You will know where the ball will go and if you keep your balance, you can react to it in time.

Vijay Madge

Vijay Madge Posted 9 years ago

In my adolescence I happened to lay my hands on a booklet on the basics of table tennis lying about in the house. From it I got to know two very important things. 1) While playing do not watch the face of the opponent no matter how pretty but focus your eyes on his/her bat, 2) while serving you must get ready for the next stroke as soon as the ball hits your side of the table, do not wait to see the impact on the opponent and then start moving, you will get an extra second for recovery thereby and when you make stroke, do not remain admiring it but move into position to receive the next ball all the time tracking the ball and also watching the opponent's bat. In our age of extremely fast game these appear to me golden rules, not that I always succeed in following them!

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Vijay,

I think the game is too fast to be switching focus between the bat and the ball.  You need to just track the ball. You will see the bat with your peripheral vision.

Vijay Madge

Vijay Madge Posted 9 years ago

Absolutely,Alois. I don't mean one has to switch one's eyes from bat to ball although my wording may have given such an impression. One has to watch the bat till he hits the ball and from then on one should never take one's eyes off the ball. Hope that's right.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Yes Vijay.  That is right, tracking is the key.

Abhiram Reddy

Abhiram Reddy Posted 8 years ago

When you mean " in and out " do you mean: into our racket and out of their racket (or) in and out of mine as well as in and out of their racket? I ask this because its really hard to track when I tried to do the second method and I really do no understand the necessity of watching the ball leave our racket as long as I watch the ball around the time my opponent makes contact because we already have a general idea as to where we hit the ball.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

By in and out I mean as it is going away from you and coming towards you. It is important to track it after you have hit it because it is too difficult to switch your focus from the ball to something else back to the ball when the ball is moving so fast.

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