I seem to have an issue with conventional wisdom. There’s a lot of great table tennis coaching information; and most of it reflects conventional wisdom. There’s not a thing wrong with getting the best advice from the best coaches in the world. I’m not such a contrarian that I would reject the recommendations of experienced coaches just to be different. But, I have recently encountered situations where the widely accepted ideas might be wrong – at least some of the time.
Conventional wisdom is often the best wisdom to have; but there are exceptions to even the most popular opinions. Coaches should avoid the one size fits all mentality. It’s also important to know that conventional wisdom tends to change over time. I recall reading coaching articles that emphasized forehand looping to the point of minimizing the use of the backhand. The path to success appears to have changed to a renewed emphasis on backhand attacks.
The conventional wisdom on serving is to serve from your backhand corner. If you are a backhand dominant player, or if you have trouble getting out of that corner, the most popular service location might not work best for you. There are lists of the most popular table tennis blades. The best paddle for you might not have made the top ten. There seems to be a lot of equipment info that suggests harder sponge is always the superior choice – Not necessarily.
If your coach is a top level player, he might have a hard time relating to the issues of seniors or beginners. Good coaches see each player as an individual. Every player has different strengths and tendencies. There’s no point in trying to turn a player into Ma Long if they play like Susan Sarandon.