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USA Table Tennis

Tip of the Day - Playing With Everyday Objects

By Larry Hodges | Nov. 17, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Larry Hodges

USATT Hall of Famer Larry Hodges at the US Open Championships


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Larry Hodges

Playing With Everyday Objects

What could be more impressive than beating your non-table tennis friends and relatives very badly in table tennis? Beating them with ordinary household objects?

Rather than have to carry your $100 weapon of choice around with everywhere you go, just in case, you might find it fun (and impressive to others!) to learn to play with just about anything. Yes, it’s showing off, but what fun! There are two things to think about: what to use, and how to use it.

1) What To Use

Basically, any household object with a hard, flat surface should be adequate for your purposes. If you’re an average USATT member, you can learn to return far more balls than the average "basement" champion. Surprisingly, you probably have your best success if you go for a very slick surface for reasons described below. Some strong possibilities include plates, ashtrays, clipboards, shoes, computer disks, hardcover books, pots & pans, large spatulas, a clock or calculator (smashing may break them!), or a box of Kleenex. For more advanced players: ID cards, staplers, rulers, bottles, brushes, or (it’s been done!) an ice cube.

2) How To Use It

With a relatively slick and hard surface, you can just chop or block everything back. You don’t have to be much of a chopper to do this you won’t be facing any loops or smashes. With a slick surface, you don’t have to worry too much about an opponent’s wacky basement shots. Just get everything back, and collect your winnings at the end. You might also go for some kills, but you’ll probably have trouble smashing consistently at full speed. Smash at ½ speed it’ll still be a winner and mostly against balls that land short and high. If your opponent puts any topspin on the ball, don’t counter-attack just keep it in play until he misses or gives you an easy ball to pounce on, if you do feel comfortable attacking.

Webmaster Note: Larry has an outstanding daily blog worth visiting regularly and bookmarking.

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