In Table Tennis, like other racket sports match practice is crucial for developing experience in a number of areas. These include, being able to execute skills in pressure situations, learning to adapt to different styles and tactics, and testing your tactics and strategies in lower pressure competitive play.
Strong match skills can make you competitive with players who may be technically and physically above your level. Without regular match practice, players may become technically very strong, and have a good skill base, but unable to perform well in matches. .
Types of Match Practice:
Full Matches: Adding more practice match play to your regular training sessions and drill practice will help you maximize their benefits. It doesn’t even matter what the level of your opposition is. A lot of people say you can’t improve by playing with lower rated players, this is absolutely not true. If you do not play with lower rated players regularly in match practice, you will find it more difficult to consistently win against them in match competition.
Playing full matches is a benchmark for match practice. They will allow you to identify areas you need to improve on, and then modify your practice matches accordingly. Various practice match modifications are identified below.
Score Handicap: A great way to add some pressure is to give lower rated players a score handicap, ie. they start on 4-0. This makes playing almost any player of any level somewhat difficult. Even if you play somebody way below your level, with a 9-0 or 10-0 handicap that puts a lot of pressure on you. What you can learn from these matches is: how to maintain confidence when you are losing during a game, how to win points efficiently and execute set plays and winning tactics, and to be more consistent and make fewer unforced errors
Such matches will help you step up your game at crucial points, and play your best table tennis, no matter who your opponent is.
Serve and Receive Modified Matches: A good way to improve your Service and Service returns: Playing modified matches that require you to focus on your serves or serve receive can help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your game. You can play whole matches (or alternate games in a match) where only one player serves. If you are the server you can work on your service strategy, and improve the execution of your serves. Your goal is to make it harder for opponents to initiate offensive play, and easier for you to initiate your offence.
Matches with Styles: Playing practice matches with a range of players, left and right handers, attackers, choppers, blockers, long and short pips can save you from humiliation. A lack of exposure to some of these styles often results in poor performances in tournaments. We have all seen offensive players trounce other offensive players in competition, and then come up against a chopper and perform miserably. We need to build experience against less conventional players to have a better understanding of how they play, how the ball reacts to their shots, and how to adapt our game and tactics to different and unusual styles of play. An underexposed style has awkward traits which become strengths, if you have experience and have been exposed to that style, those strengths become exploitable and turn into weaknesses.
Creative Match Play: Do you ever wonder where those awesome shots that appear in highlight videos of major competitions came from? You know the ones that go arround the net, or have unbelievable spin characteristics, or were totally unexpected. While there is the odd fluke shot, some of these appear so often that they must have been practiced. That is where creative match play comes in according to some table Tennis blogs. There are even coaches who actually build-in to their training sessions creative match play, while some do this to keep training interesting and fun, others encourage players to incorporate creative match play in their practice sessions to help players add to their shot options.
Thursday Nights Match Play & Special Sessions At North Shore Table Tennis Club
The NSTTC introduced a new program for Thursday nights on November 3, 2016. We are hosting “Best of Five” match plays.
Last week was a singles challenge tables. Results were as follows:
King of the Table: Mark Mandlestam, Runner-up: Adrian Siqueiros
Next week, November 12 we are hosting Round Robin Match Play. Entry fee: $7.00
Match play starts at 7:00 pm (following drop-in). Draws will be made between 6:30 and 7:00pm.
Note – Thursdays 4 tables will be available for Drop-in from 3:30 to 6:30 pm, and 2 tables will be available for pre-booked hourly exclusive play from 7:05 – 9:15 pm with or without Robot at a cost of $8/hour (plus drop in fee). You may book a table by contacting Mike Dumler at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also invited to contact Mike if you have suggestion/ideas for other Thursday night special sessions.