I am intrigued by people's view of table tennis, someone who doesn't play table tennis thinks it's the sport you see on the tv, both players 10ft back from the table one smashing and one lobbing (or at least defending), I would imagine most players would want to be playing the game like that but in reality is the really table tennis?
I have been proud and privileged to have played with and against some of the best players in England in my many years of playing and the new players of today would do well to listen to that old guard, that old guard that are still winning Men's Singles titles going into their 50s and beyond, now for the sake of table tennis that needs to stop, those youngsters need to be spanking us oldies but they are struggling. This seems so unlikely at first glance with their huge loops, spinning serves and speed around the court but the reality is they are being out manouvered in the part of their game they are not good at... the short game, let me explain.
Their huge loops are unstoppable but if you don't let them play them they are not such a massive weapon, massive spinning serves that are too long and are then looped straight back at them, speed around the court but with bad perception where are they moving too.
When I was being coached at Brentwood Table Tennis Club we were never allowed to play the same shot twice, loop/drive, drive/block or drive to the forehand/drive to the backhand, the ability to adjust our game to suit any players, defender, attacker, combination bat players we learnt to play them all, we didn't win against them all but you got to understand how to play them. You only have to watch the best players in England, Pitchford, Drinkall et all and they knew their pushes are the difference between them winning and loosing, their control and perception is what makes them the players that they are.
My hope for the upcoming Juniors and Cadets, spend 15 minutes more pushing and serving and spend 15 mins less trying to smash that forehand from under your leg and watch your league percentage rise by 30% (if you have more than 70% at this stage of the season you should be playing in the division above!)