Placement in detail

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 5 years ago


D K Asked 5 years ago

Hello PingSkills Team,

I have realised that most of the time,when clashing with a non-agressive consistent player,I am unable to dominate with power or spin alone.
So I have a couple of questions:

1.Is there any way how to dominate using placement without much power?

2.According to what should I decide where and how will I play a ball?
I have watched countless videos showing masterclass player,especially Waldner,using placement,but I mostly do not understand why they have placed this ball there and that ball here...or,for example,when forced into defence,when Waldner (or who it was) was throwing mid-height topspin balls,then he chopped a ball while maintaining the constant height and placement,and I thought "why has he decided to chop exactly THIS  ball,why has he decided to keep the placement...."
Or when I see a backhand-to-backhand fast rally,then suddenly one of the players aims for the forehand corner leaving his opponent far at the backhand,I think: "why has he decide to change the direction JUST NOW,while doing THIS stroke,why not the previous or the following stroke?"
Or when seeing a defender chopping with longpips on backhand and inverted on forehand,then suddenly he twiddles and uses a forehand chop with longpips,I think "why now? Why has he decided to play exactly THIS ball with his longpips?"
Also,I have seen several times that especially Waldner (but also some other players) places the ball seemingly right into the opponent's powerzone,though he still forces an error with seemingly powerless and spinless shot.
This is also very confusing to me.
So I ask for explanation.

3.What do you think about my strategy of aiming always for these 8 spots on the table:?

a)all four corners of the opponent's half (both outer corners and both inner corners (where a net is attached)-or at least as close to them as possible)
b)the middles of both opponent's sidelines
c)both ends of the middleline (the cross of endline and middleline and the cross of the middleline and the net-or at least as close to it as possible)

Is there any  spot I should avoid?
Or is there any spot I should add to my "spot-for-aiming-list"?

Thanks a lot


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi DK,

Why an advanced player chooses that particular shot at any time is made up or a whole lot of things that are too difficult to put into words.  There are so many split second decisions going through a players mind at any time.  The more experience you have the quicker these are processed and seemingly the better choices that they make.

It may be a slight hang in the body position of their opponent or what has happened in the last few points that sways a player to change a direction, or speed or spin on the ball.

Regarding your 8 points on the table, they are all good but as you see sometimes the middle of the table can be good for Waldner because he has changed the speed or spin on the ball as well.  Don't rule out anywhere on the table, but focusing on keeping the ball away form th ePower zones in general is a good idea.

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D K Posted 5 years ago

OK,thanks very much.
So if I understand well,their decisions are based on experience?

Most players keep telling me that I play mindlessly,although I am always trying to to choose the best possible placement.

Middle of the you mean the middle of endline,or the center of the whole half of the table?
Why,when can it be good?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

As a variation it can be good.


D K Posted 5 years ago

OK,thank you

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 5 years ago

Don't forget the elbow zone (crossover point), which moves with your opponent.


D K Posted 5 years ago

This is a moving target and is different for each player.
I can hardly practise a crossover point while playing serves or with a robot.

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