Advanced Table Tennis: Techniques, Tactics & Technology
Articles by Srinivas Janardhanan - Updated August 2017
An interesting historical table-tennis
perspective related to North Korean situation :- Many folks may not be aware of the ping-pong
diplomacy of early 1970’s (exchange tour of USA & Chinese
table-tennis national teams initiated by a USA player & a Chinese player
chance meeting on the tournament bus at the Word Championships in Nagoya,
Japan in 1971) that lead to eventual visit of US President Richard Nixon’s
visit to China in 1972 and improvement of relations between China & USA.
Twenty year later again at Chiba Japan 1991 World Championships , South &
North Korea to field a unified team (there was a rumor that Japan forced
this) & Korean women shocked the super-mighty
Chinese women’s team by beating them in the coveted (supposedly whole lot more
coveted by Chinese due to their communist ideals ?! ) team event finals.
(See the movie As One, 2012) (As a side note in the lean period of
Chinese table-tennis, Chinese men did not even make the finals of team event
as Sweden men’s Dream Team 2
(or Super Dream Team) swept
everything , repeating as winner of the teams event , singles winner &
runner up as well as Men’s doubles.
you ever met ANYONE (in
ReglueRepeal-95, VOC FakeBan, Durban Aspect Ratio Genocide, Liu's RPH, dual composites, progressive hardening, 2_color rule83, robotNazi, Reverse tomahawk, Rozeanu, Adham's "Big Ball Theory", Bergmann, hook & fade loops, Waldner, Barrier Appeling, frictionless medium pips
Ok That is what we thought . Don't feel bad though. (Your title as legend of your neighborhood basements / bars will remain a safe secret with us).
Table-Tennis > A "very easy to learn" simple & fun "basement game" .... but a "very hard to master" athletic complex "Olympic sport" of obscene super-spins at insane speeds.
Table-tennis recently became the first & only sport to be “officially” affiliated to ITTF by each and every one of 226 nation members of IOC, having already passed in popularity past volleyball & soccer etc.
Table-tennis is now also recognized by top neurologists & recommended at both ends of human life-cycle : for faster brain development of children as well as for therapy for Alzheimers’ , Parkinsons’ and dementia)
USATT will host
the World’s largest tournament (limited to 5000
players), the World Veteran
Championships next year (2018) in Las Vegas followed by USA National
Championships the week after (with more than 170 different events of singles,
doubles & mixed-doubles for all ages 5 to 100+). (The context of the word
“veteran” here is meaning any person over age of 40, not in the context of a
military “veteran” as the word is used in countries like
Ping Pong > Silly mindless recreational "game" of backhand buffoons mostly played in USA ( one of very few countries where there is no formal varsity competitions in formal table-tennis in schools or colleges) using 99-cent convenient store paddles played in small basements (wearing jeans & sandals) or bar-rooms (wearing dress clothes & shoes like high heels).
Table-Tennis > World's most popular (the FIRST & ONLY sport formally registered with IOC & ITTF and played on every one of 226 nations on this planet) , fastest (on feet), athletic, forehand dominant, tactically the most complex (analogy used is downhill skiing while playing chess) individual “sport” of billion playing styles (as each player style is distinctly unique) played using $50 to $500 cutting edge high technology composite rackets wearing proper athletic attire (such as sprinter like super-light-shoes for explosive-acceleration) to create obscene spins with players & the ball moving at insane speeds, on a standard playing area larger than a badminton court and an official inter-school & inter-collegiate competition sport (except in USA & very few countries) for both men & women, leading to professional and Olympic participation.
The major problem with promoting the
sport of table-tennis in a country like USA can be paradoxically attributed
to the very countries that have utterly dominated the sport in recent times
(except few short spurts of dominance by the Swedes & Hungarians) as they
keep referring to the sport as ping-pong though they have a highly scientific
& thoroughly professional approach to the sport though it seems totally
unintentional ……..as this may be just a problem related the usage of the
language in China, Japan & Korea (& most other Asian countries where
table-tennis is more popular) except
the Indian sub-continent where table-tennis is referred to by it its formal
proper name, given that India was one of the twelve original founding members of the ITTF in 1926,
though currently table-tennis is less popular than it used to be like in USA
dominated in the 40’s (since the great sport of cricket is now like a
religion in the Indian sub-continent……though interestingly another great
sport of field-hickey is still the
official national sport). This has created a serious image problem to the sport
If you are a non-player or a beginner, click on 4 links below below before proceeding to other advanced topics that follow at the bottom of the page.
Addresses myths and little known facts about the "sport" of table-tennis
Below are a series of articles I have written over a 15 year period , most of which are based on questions that are repeatedly asked of me as a master level player ,coach & umpire and based on my research in various forums worldwide related to table-tennis at all levels. My focus in writing these articles had been primarily to help to think for yourselves whether you are a beginner or advanced player, as you may initially not agree with at all regarding some of the controversial topics presented here from the world of table-tennis and also the concepts of effectiveness vs efficiency. Even if you were created to be a born table-tennis player with lightening reflexes , foot speed , hand speed and innate feel for the ball, to be able to play a close to the table block and smash style, you still need to understand other mortal styles who need to be able to spin the ball and solve myriad of spins to survive in table-tennis.....which makes table-tennis the most complicated individual sport (under almost all playing styles) given the speed at which it is played in a small area and the extreme complexity of rackets (many consider it bad for the sport) , which even many world-class players cannot comprehend (and most younger Americans who are not intimately familiar with table-tennis will find this claim of being the most complicated "sport" to be not only ludicrous but also downright hilarious) You may think you are efficiently training on many techniques and tactics of table-tennis but they may be totally ineffective when applied to you as an individual. For example if you are an excellent hitter on your backhand but are unable to loop, it is basically a waste of your time forcing yourself learning to loop using inverted rubber (just because it is the fashionable thing to do and submit to peer pressure), while you should be using short pips on your backhand instead. On the flipside most players go thru life mindlessly practicing how to hit the ball using smooth (inverted) rubber while the sport of modern table-tennis is based on looping ( super-heavy topspin) the ball instead of just hitting the ball. Therefore I suggest all beginners that they read the article about learning to loop. Similar thinking applies to intermediate / advanced players but at a higher level of analysis of equipment as well as techniques and tactics. Images courtesy of ITTF
Please click on links below to launch the article
Learn to loop or get the bloody hell out of table-tennis (a MUST read for every player)