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USA Table Tennis

Tip of the Day - Forehand Counter-Smashing When Lobbing

By Larry Hodges | Nov. 08, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Xu Xin

Xu Xin (CHN) at the Liebherr 2013 Men's World Cup


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Forehand Counter-Smashing When Lobbing

Larry Hodges

There is nothing more spectacular and more thrilling than counter-smashing a winner from 15-20 feet back! Yet it’s not as hard as it looks.

There are two types of counter-smashing when lobbing. If an opponent smashes to your forehand, where you generally have a bigger hitting zone than on the backhand and more natural power, it’s actually a relatively easy shot, if you can get to the ball. Here the problem is anticipation your opponent is not about to let you know when he’s going to smash to your forehand.

However, there is an easier way. If you lob to an opponent’s wide backhand, he will smash crosscourt to your wide backhand over 90% of the time. (This for righty vs. righty. Lefties make appropriate adjustments.) So wait until he’s just about to smash the ball, and then race around to your wide backhand, and prepare to counter-smash with your forehand. This way you can anticipate the direction of the smash, and be ready for it. Your opponent will not be able to change directions at the last second, and will almost always smash to your backhand – where you are now waiting to forehand counter-smash. He won’t know what hit him, until he sees the ball whizzing by him as you counter-smash.

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