Table Tennis Tidbits #42

By Robert Ho | Jan. 21, 2019, 11:03 a.m. (ET)

TABLE TENNIS TIDBITS # 42   By Robert Ho  11-5-18

Stockholm Syndrome 11-1—4-18

Capturing 2 at the Swedish Open, a reverie of 3: F (Fan Zhen Dong); X (Xu Xin); H (Robert Ho).

H:  In watching your match at the ’18 Swedish Open, it was my impression that F was more obviously aggressive than X throughout the match; how does

that idea fit with your thoughts?

X:  Well generally I like to observe my opponent’s apparent intentions and plot countermoves—there’s a fun element to doing that.

F:  I prefer to try to dictate the course of events than react to the opponent’s moves.

H:  Then apparently my inferences parallel your thoughts in each case.

X:  I like to try to contain my opponent’s attack and then counterattack for the point preferably with my FH.  I like to receive serve from by BH corner which maximizes the chance of using my FH; I also mostly serve from my BH corner for the same reason.

F.  I usually serve from my BH corner, but I’m not focused on using my FH in dealing with the opponent’s return as I often use my forceful BH loop to deal with the return.  I’m also focused on ending the point quickly as possible even if I’ve been forced away from the table.

H:  On that point I notice that away from the table you (F) are so offensive-minded that you  may end up in a contorted squat position in following thru on a FH loop.

F:  Yes—I’m focused on maintaining/regaining the offensive as much as possible.

H:  Did either of you consider developing a game emphasizing a chopping defense out of which to attack?

X:  While I like to chop occasionally to stay in the point or “for fun”, I’ve never considered using it as the centerpiece of my game.  Against my teammates it would be a losing proposition most of the time.

F.  I do chop at times during a match, but only out of necessity—when there’s nothing else I can do, and occasionally to suddenly change the rhythm of an exchange to my advantage; otherwise I’m focused on attacking to win the point.

H:  How have you 2 been so successful in remaining “at the top of the heap” for so many seasons?

X: We’ve been part of a program of development that starts at an early age (elementary school level at the latest), employs many different methods of practice with expert coaching.

F:  Also large numbers of children enter the program which allows eventual selection of those top few that will ultimately represent the country at the highest level.  With such a large pool to choose from, the chances are greater of encountering individuals with “natural talent” as well as the determination to reach their highest potential.

Upon awakening from my slumber and discussing the dreamt dialogue with some fellow fanatics, there were some who differed from the ideas expressed or that Fan or Xu would have said what they did.  My response was:  It was my dream.