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Tip of the Day - Footwork Against Off-Table Player

By Larry Hodges | Oct. 25, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

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Footwork Against Off-Table Player

Larry Hodges

A player with good footwork doesn’t wait to see where the ball is going before he prepares to move. He flexes his knees before the opponent hits the ball, and is set to move instantly when he sees where the ball is going. However, this gets many players in trouble when playing someone who plays a countering or topspinning game from a step off the table.

The problem is that players get in the habit of timing their move as if the opponent is closer to the table and so are about to move as the opponent hits the ball. But if the opponent is farther off the table, and so hasn’t yet hit the ball at the time the player is used to moving, the player gets "stuck" and hesitates, waiting for the opponent to hit the ball. By the time the opponent hits the ball, the player is stuck in place, and so doesn’t move very quickly to the ball. The result the slower the opponent, the harder it is to move!

The solution is to consciously change your footwork tempo against this type of player. If the opponent is off the table, take your time preparing to move.

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