Many of you may not know this, but I’ve been coaching for over a year and a half now, and it has helped me see this sport from a whole new persepective. In the past (from when I started to play table tennis until November of last year) I thought the game must be won by overpowering your opponents in every achievable way. Although I have won numerous matches by overwhelming my opponents with raw power, it is hard to keep the same intensity level throughout the whole tournament. I would be playing marvelous the first couple matches, but as the day went on my level of intensity drops dramatically. This is when I realized there was a imperfection in my style of playing table tennis. As I started to coach more often, I had the opportunity to block and play defensively more frequently and I realized that points can be won without exerting any power. The most efficient way to defeat your opponent is to out-think them in every way possible. By being in control during the whole match, you dont give your opponent a chance to fight back. (There arent any drills that can help you to out-think your opponent. The only way is to get to know the game better, playing more often and trying new techniques. )
Coaching has opened my eyes and I see that there is still plenty to learn to become a better player/coach.
Here are some tips on how to defeat someone at a higher level than you are.
1. Play more aggressive . . . Be the first to attack. Because if they are really better than you, playing at a slow pace will not help. Speeding up the game may help you win a few points and catch your opponent off guard.
2. Placement. . . Placement. . . Placement. . . Locate where your opponents weakness is, then try to expose their weakness by looping/smashing/chopping it to that position. If it works, keep at it.
3. Serve return. . . Try to keep your opponent from doing a 3rd ball attack. Try keeping the ball short and low, or place the ball deep to the forehand.
4. Serve. . . A good spinny serve that wont allow your opponent to attack right away, giving yourself a chance to initiate the first attack.
I hope these tips help. Thanks for reading.