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Table Tennis Ratings vs. Skills

Often times, table tennis players will mistakenly associate ratings with skills.  Just because your table tennis opponent has a certain rating doesn’t necessarily mean that your opponent possesses a certain level of particular skills.

For example…

I asked my 1800-rated table tennis student why he wasn’t attacking his (2100-rated) opponent’s half-long serve.  My student responded by saying that because his opponent was rated 2100, he assumed that all his serves were short.

I asked my 1200-rated student why he kept hitting to his (600-rated) opponent’s backhand.  My student responded by saying that his assumed that all low-rated table tennis players have weak backhands.

I asked my 1700-rated student why he kept trying to smash every ball against his (2300-rated) opponent.  My student responded by saying that he assumed that he probably couldn’t return any balls anyway and decided just to go for high-risk shots in the table tennis match.

These hypothetical situations demonstrate that you can’t assume a certain set of skills is used by certain player levels in table tennis.  You must approach each opponent individually instead of categorizing players by rating.

Samson Dubina

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  • Jena Newgarden
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