Playing Flat Balls

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 9 years ago

Christian ,

Christian , Asked 11 years ago

I start by winning a set or two then I lose the match.

The opponent often "does not play" and I am making all the mistakes. Once they send me "flat balls", I haven't more control. I like to do topspin but I can not do it as soon as the balls have no spin. If I hit the balls flat they go out. If I am not attacking, I push the ball and it goes up. How to play against flat balls?

Yesterday I played against a big player (more than 220 pounds). He had an anti-top and not moving. He did not attack either. He played quietly, close to the table and did not know anything technically (Just push with his "anti-top" or the other side). But I lost. I tried to play flat, I have advanced, retreated, zero. What to do against these players?

After I get very nervous. All the techniques I use to do nothing.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 11 years ago

Hi Chris,

It sounds like youare getting anxious during your matches.

The key is to stay calm and focus on what tactics you are trying to employ.  If you have these clear in your mind, then it makes it easier in these situations.

Against Anti-spin players you need to remember that they rely on the spin that you give them.  If you can give them a heavy backspin ball they will return it with some topspin on the ball which will be easier to attack.

To attack a no spin floating ball, you need to come forward on your stroke.  The no spin ball tends to stop on the table so its flight path is very up and down.  You need to go and meet the ball.  So, make your stroke more horizontal and really work forward into the ball.  You don't need to go up as there is no backspin on the ball.

Keep working hard in these matches and try to learn each time you make a mistake.  It is easy to get frustrated, but when you do it is harder to learn and watch objectively what is happening.

Good luck with it.  Stay calm. 


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Christian ,

Christian , Posted 11 years ago

Thank you for your quick response. I played last night against the same opponent (it's rare 2 matchs in 3 days).
I pushed the ball until it touches it with his anti-spin and I attacked.
It was very hard to stay focused and calm, but I have won (3-1). But I played incredibly poorly.

Now it is necessary to work on anxiety that seems much more complicated.

Thank you for your advice.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller Posted 9 years ago

Hi Alios,

I have written to you on a similar issue to that mentioned by Christian (having problems beating players who do very little with the ball). Last week I played in a local league where we play two matches on afternoon. The first match I played and beat two players rated better than me but in the second match I was beaten by a player who is rated far lower than me. Afterwards she said that she was not going to beat me technically so she just slowed the game down and played with no spin. I think the advice you give (move forward as you hit the ball) is good advice but I am also trying to adopt the backhand side spin flick which is in one of your videos. I think this could be very useful as It seems perfect for attacking 'nothing' balls down the middle. I am not confident enough to use it in a match yet but will let you know when I do. P.S a robot is perfect for getting a consistent ball to develop ones shot prior to encountering real opponents !

Steve Fuller

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Steve,

Good luck with that development.  It will be interesting to see how you go with the sidespin flick as a tactic.  Let me know.

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