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USA Table Tennis

Tip of the Day - How to Adjust to a Penholder’s Dead Block

By Larry Hodges | Oct. 06, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

2013 China Open


How to Adjust to a Penholder’s Dead Block

Larry Hodges

The following applies equally to some shakehand players. However, penholders are known for their ability to vary the pace on their backhand blocks, sometimes jabbing fast, angled shots, and other times doing slow, dead blocks. It wreaks havoc on an opponent’s timing. However, there is a way to see this change of pace from most penholders.

Simply watch the penholder’s backswing. If he brings the racket back to his stomach, he’s almost for certain about to jab block. If he brings his racket out in front early, he’s almost for certain about to dead block. So by watching this, you’ll know well in advance which shot is coming, and have more time to prepare.

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