Defense is an essential part of ping pong that every player should learn. This is regardless of your preferred style of play. You should be able to rescue the ball whenever an aggressive attack is made. The game should not be all about attacking.
Defensive style of play in ping pong is very interesting and calls for so much speed and keenness. Learning this style may take some time before a player becomes fully confident with it. For a better flow of learning the defense system of play, read the following steps that can help you holistically develop your ping pong skills.
Defense players always have the advantage of setting their own choice of play with the serve. You should utilize your serve and ensure that the third ball comes as you expect. Remember that your game of play is defense. You can, therefore, give your opponent some chances of smashing so that you get a chance of defending and make him move around throughout.
2. Returning with a smash
Your opponent may make a heavy shot that can best be returned with a smash. To successfully smash the ball, step back severally while rotating your body sideways and raise your bat up high. Bring back the body as the hand follows and smash the ball forcefully. The force should send the ball to an appropriate point on the opponent’s side of the table.
3. Lobbing the shot
Lobbing is so important in returning high balls. Adding some spin on the ball comes as a double advantage. To successfully lob, let your paddle come from below and send the ball high so that your opponent gets a hard time trying to time the ball. Let the ball land at the deepest part of the table.
4. Backhand push
Backhand push is an important strategy in ping pong. The backhand requires you to be standing close to the table, while holding the paddle with its blade pointing to the side, and its surface pointing the ball. Your dominant backhand should also be facing the ball while the other hand points the ball for balance. Your stroke should be short and coming from the back to the top of the ball. The bottom part of the paddle’s blade should be a bit behind.
5. Forehand drive
Ensure that your forehand drive lands the ball at the sideline or baseline of the table to avoid any aggressive shots from the opponent. Forehand drive requires you to remain near the table, with your side facing the play and the face of the paddle facing the table in a closed position. Make sure to get the ball while it is at its bounce peak, and let the paddle come from back down, heading to the front and up.
6. Chopping the ball
You can either chop the ball with your backhand or forehand. For backhand, your body will rotate to your left while for the forehand, it will rotate to the right. The paddle needs to undercut the ball from its back to bottom and it should thus be swung back early enough. For a successful chop, swing down the paddle and slightly scoop it up when it comes into contact with the ball.
7. Cheating the opponent
This is easier for players with quick footwork. You can trick your opponent by standing far from the table. This will make him send a shot that will require your backhand. Since you are quick enough, you will be able to quickly get into position and give an unexpected return. This will force the opponent to give you a good chance of attacking.
8. Check your stance
After learning how to freely make a good flow of the game, the next thing you should check is your stance. Your feet should remain apart and slightly exceeding the width of your shoulders. Your knees need to be bent slightly and there should be enough room between you and the table.
The paddle should not be too far from your body and should be held in a neutral manner for a better defense of varying shots. Backhand style of holding the bat sounds better for you since you are a defense ping pong player, and your game is mostly based on defending.
Defensive strategy of play can only become easy if enough practice is done. You can have a practice opponent who will be sending shots according to the step you are doing in the list above. The opponent should slightly be more skilled than you. This will help you learn and develop quickly in ping pong. Also, remember to always learn from your mistakes.