Table Tennis Power and Control

Is it possible to play with too much power? How about with too little? Of course the answer to both questions is yes. The problem is that many players have a hard time recognizing the significance of this question. The player who never incorporates any strong offensive shots into their game is at a huge disadvantage. Some of these high control players are great to warm up with, and seem to be able to hit forehands and backhands endlessly. But in a match, the threat of dealing with some form of an attack needs to be in the back of your opponents mind. These players can be extremely successful through the intermediate ranks, but better players will actually match their control, and beat them with stronger shots.
At the other end of the spectrum is the player who knows he can make strong shots and has become addicted to them. The problem is not that their shots are too strong. This player tends to miss shots and lose points by trying to hit or loop every ball at 100 mph, when some could be hit at 40 mph, or 30 mph, or even slower. For the player who can only hit fast and faster, there may be some frustrating losses to players who sit back while the speedster drives his game off a cliff.
Fortunately, there is hope both for the tortoise and the hare of table tennis. It is usually not too difficult to break the habit of never attacking. High control players understand the value of attacking, and if they practice attacking shots they can become as consistent with their attacks as they are with their slower shots. A remedy for the out of control power player is to have them play practice matches where they can’t use any attacking shots. This may be more difficult for them than you would imagine. Slowing players down seems to be at least as difficult as speeding them up.
To play table tennis at a high level will require power and control. Attacking with power can become a habit, if you train your attacking shots. Power players need some control in their game and it starts with some self control.

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