Fifth ball attacking

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 6 years ago

Atanas Atanasov

Atanas Atanasov Asked 10 years ago

Hi Alois,

When playing the third ball I usually play a slow spinny topspin. Then my opponents blocks and I can't attack the fifth ball because it's away for me. If I try to place myself earlier, he just changes the direction into the other corner. I tried to do a faster third ball attack but very often it goes into the net because of the backspin serve and the push receive. If I play a different serve my opponent flicks it or topspins it if it's long.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Nasko,

Try to place the ball better on the third ball.  Also develop your ability to hit the topspin faster.  This is something that you need to train for a while to get better.  Look again at our lesson on the Forehand Topspin Off Backspin.  You need to get the technique correct and then you will be able to make the stroke faster.

Gaining a fifth ball opportunity will depend on your ability to make your third ball eccective.  This involves variation of spin, speed and placement.


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Thoughts on this question

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

For a developing player, what is more important for 5th ball -- power or placement? I also often play slow spinny topspin on the 3rd ball but I don't have much trouble reaching for it. I'm trying to powerloop it and sometimes I can win with this kind of game. But the problem is that this style is sooooo physically demanding. My results are inconsistent, sometimes, when I'm not in a good condition, all these lights-out crispy shots don't work at all. I realized that at my level it can be much easier to win with placing the ball wisely since my opponents often have poor footwork, play passively and mostly wait for my mistakes.

So should I keep trying to make my powershots more reliable, or instead slow down and focus more on placement and return to powerlooping once I reach the higher level?

P.S. Sorry for a long question.


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

Another thing is that I'm a kind of psychologically addicted to this feeling when I jump, turn my body and squeeze the ball into the table with the powerloop. It gives me a huge boost in confidence and makes me a sort of high. However, it feels like if I want to make my game more effective, I have to break this addiction :(


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

[For a developing player, what is more important for 5th ball -- power or placement? I also often play slow spinny topspin on the 3rd ball but I don't have much trouble reaching for it. ] -- I meant reaching for the fifth ball.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Variation is important.  If you are always hitting the ball fast, the other player will start to get used to the speed and get on to returning it.  If you throw in some slower balls you will be more effective.


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

Thank you Alois -- that's a very good point.


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

Alois,

What to do with players that don't just block 3rd balls, but counterhit them? After I finish my shot, especially the forehand, the ball goes back fast so I'm in a superawkward position to play the next topspin. I don't even have time to jump back as I usually do. How to handle this issue?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 6 years ago

HI Ilia,

Variation is the key. If they are seeing where the ball is coming and can react fast enough they will be able to make a stronger shot. If they are unsure they may only be able to block the ball. Variation of speed can also work.  If you play a slower ball when they are waiting for a faster ball this will throw their timing out and also not give them pace to work with.



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