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Exercises for change of rhythm


Nikola Vukelja

There are many players who can hardly change within one point from active into passive game and vice versa, and/or who have difficulties in changing the game rhythm, and usually have problems with players who are good at it.

Although I strongly believe that the feeling for rhythm as a motoric ability is mostly defined by genetic factor, we shall try to elaborate sequence of exercises, which can, at least somewhat, influence the development of this ability, which is very important for table tennis.

Sequence of exercises which is in practice called ‘two topspins two blocks’ and which is primarily used for the development of this motoric ability, is a component part of one of up to four trainings in a week depending on practice goals.

We usually perform these exercises at the beginning of the training session, immediately after the basic warm up at the table and on average they last about an hour. As with these exercises ‘both players work’ and/or within one point they alternatively change the passive and active game, exercises are physically rather strenuous, therefore it is recommended to give the players after each exercise a short break (1 or 2 min), and at the end of each complex of exercises a 10 minutes pause.

In principle the duration of each exercises is about 10 minutes, but exercises can be shorter or longer depending on the player’s needs.

This principle of composing the exercises gives a coach possibility for various combinations, depending on the type of a player. We shall demonstrate here one typical set of exercises intended for the offensive spin players.

Exercise 1

1. Basic exercise from which all others are ‘developed’ later on is the exercise in which the players alternatively play two spins and two blocks following the forehand diagonal line of the table, moving forward (in block) and backward (in spin). Besides emphasizing the component of moving forward - backward, players ought to be specially told that the purpose of this exercise is not to win a point, but to play as many balls as possible on the table, and/or that the balls should not be hit with 100% strength.

Exercise 2

2. The principle remains the same in this exercise too (alternatively two spins and two blocks), but now a player playing block plays the first ball into deep forehand and the second to the middle, so that the spinner adds to moving forward - backward from the previous exercise, the component of moving left - right.


Exercise 3

3. Now, contrary to the first two exercises in which only forehand was used, we include backhand as well, but only for the passive player, so that the attacking player places his second spin parallel.


Exercise 4

4. In this exercise we include backhand active player as well (backhand spin), so that the passive player places his blocks parallel, and the attacker plays forehand spin and then backhand spin diagonally.


Exercise 5

5. This exercise we play only backhand diagonally, so that a passive player plays backhand block, while the attacker attacks the first ball with backhand spin, the second ball he plays with forehand spin out of backhand corner.


Exercise 6

6. The exercise we are about to elaborate as the last one, is usually used in training between two defensive players, but may be used as an exercise for improving touch, or as relaxation exercise between two offensive, or one defensive and one offensive player as well. In this exercise players alternatively perform two spins and two cut defences strokes, and if it is necessary, a player who starts an attack out of passive play, between cut defence and first spin, may include one push in order to get the ball that is easier to attack.

It should be emphasized that a prime task of such exercise sequence is the development of feeling for rhythm change, but the exercises may be used for some other reasons too, e.g. footwork exercise whether we wish to improve forward - backward movement, or left - right movement, and for some other goals as well. In principle these exercises are very important for players, and they should perform them with pleasure and concentration, so that they can be used both in everyday trainings and in camp trainings as well.

Source : Tibhar


Last Update : 06 November, 2002

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