There is an old saying in table tennis: “Novices are afraid of rotation, masters are afraid of rhythm”. The rhythm has different connotations in different areas, but in the field of table tennis, the core of the rhythm is the four words: lightness and urgency. In my personal understanding, the rhythm of table tennis runs through the four levels of technology, tactics, competition, and even life in general, and let me tell you about them one by one.
I’ve already talked to you about the technical and tactical aspects of rhythm changes, [Technology] How to become a table tennis tactical “rhythm master”? The importance of controlling the rhythm of the game! The ability to master the changing rhythm of the game is closely related to the ability to read the game, as Liu Guoliang Liu said. To master the rhythm of the game, the prerequisite is to have the ability to read the game trend.
The overall principle of mastering the rhythm of the game is to use the rules wisely to interrupt the opponent’s rhythm or stabilize one’s own rhythm, within the limits allowed by the rules of the game. The change of rhythm within the rules is meaningful, to break the rules to achieve the effect of disrupting the rhythm, is often more than worth the loss.
Control the pace of the game, is also a game of both sides of the process of the continuous game. Generally speaking: the strength of the superior, the state of the party is more inclined to speed up the pace of the game, to compress the opponent to think about countermeasures, to get out of the dilemma of time; and weak, the state of the party will mostly use a variety of small actions to lengthen the time interval between each ball, on the one hand, to give themselves more time to think about breaking the game, on the other hand, is also to wear down the other party’s patience, to survive the opponent’s hot stage, for their own The other side is also to wear down the opponent’s patience, to survive the opponent’s hot stage, and to fight for more opportunities for their own counterattack.
The common methods to speed up the pace of the game of the wind ball.
- 1. Running to pick up the ball. Shorten the interval between serves, show their own positive posture, but also to put some psychological pressure on the other side. This is very common in the game, in terms of behavioral psychology, positive actions will also give themselves a positive psychological implication.
- 2. Speed up the rhythm of the serve. There is a player who impressed me with this hand, that is “German Chariot” Ocharov. When Ocha plays smoothly, he often squats down in front of the stage in advance to prepare for the service, using body language to hint at his opponent: “I’m going to serve, you move faster, I’m tired of squatting ~” If it is a young player who is inexperienced and thin-skinned, it is easy to be led by him to run. So, don’t look at Ocha’s appearance is quite rough, but inside is also a delicate person, there is a special “contrast”.
- 3. Serve long ball/receive ball twisting and pulling, picking and hitting, or splitting long into the hold. This kind of rhythm belongs to the hard strength crushing bright scheme, when their own holding strength is higher than the opposite chip, you can play the ball simpler, the rhythm to play faster, it is easy to play “a force down ten will” effect. When Wang Liqin played against Ma Lin, he used this “hard” style of play to achieve a shocking reversal, so that Ma Lin hated the 2007 World Ping Championship in Zagreb, and even failed to achieve the “Grand Slam” achievement for life.
The key to slowing down the pace of the game is actually one word: “drag”. The following methods are commonly used
- 1. Serve before the reasonable use of a variety of small movements to lengthen the interval between serves, including and not limited to: wipe sweat, take the racket fan, blow the ball (not necessarily dust on it), puffing on the racket, wipe the racket on the gray marks, blow hands (not necessarily sweat on it), wipe the ground rubber (not necessarily exist) sweat drops, wipe the sweat drops on the ball table, tie shoelaces (shoelaces are not necessarily loose), adjust the headgear / wrist guards …… you can watch a few more games of Ma Lin, I believe that soon you can understand the essence of the word “drag”, of course, in doing small movements at the same time must not forget to open the brain to think tactics!
- 2. Pause. The timing of the use of pause is very critical, generally speaking, is divided into active pause and passive pause two situations. Active pause is mainly in their own leading and preferably have the right to serve, to the key score of the key game, appropriate to slow down the pace, clear thinking, determine and firmly implement the most certain score tactics. Passive timeout is mainly when the opponent scores continuously to widen the score difference/close or even overtake the score, or when he/she is in trouble and can hardly get out of it, the coach needs to find out and point out the problem, and also figure out the way to crack it. If it is impossible to think, often there is only one way left to go, “fight”.
- 3. Request to change uniforms. This is a way to slowly improve the frequency of use in the last two years of the game, and I personally feel that it also belongs to the category of the reasonable use of the rules. Changing a uniform, even if only for 3 minutes, is much longer than the 1 minute of official timeout and the 1 minute of inning break, and if used properly, it is enough to completely change the situation on the field and put the rhythm back in your hands.
- 4. Other special circumstances. For example, power outages in the stadium, or injuries after requesting a medical timeout and other force majeure factors, because it is relatively rare, here will not expand. For examples of special circumstances that completely changed the rhythm of the court, see the 2015 Suzhou World Championship Women’s Singles Final.
- 5. In fact, in addition to changing the tempo, there is a higher level of choice, which is to play with a normal mind, regardless of how the opponent changes, has been in accordance with their own fixed rhythm to play, “the same to respond to all changes”. This thing is very simple to say, but not so easy to do. Because people are affected by emotions, and in the bigger and more important games, this effect will only be further magnified. Therefore, how to overcome this emotional impact in the big games has always been an important basis for our national team to examine the main players.
I remember before the Rio Olympics, CCTV did a documentary on the country, which mentioned one thing, that is, Ma Long once went to the technical department of the country to ask for statistics on the time interval between serves per ball, and found that the time interval between serves when he won the ball was longer than the time interval between serves when he lost the ball. Ma Long himself analyzed that he was more anxious when he was behind, and often did not think about tactics, picked up the ball, and served.
Of course, Ma Long still solved this problem and won the championship in Rio to achieve the “Grand Slam” or even the “Grand Slam”. And we now see Ma Long playing, whether leading or trailing, are feeling very “stable”, which means that Ma Long’s mastery of the game rhythm has reached a very high level. Through this detail, we know how rare the “hexagonal warrior” is, and every link must be carved to perfection.
Although we amateurs do not have technical support in this area, but this “victory is not proud, defeat is not discouraged, not impatient” playing mentality is worth learning from us.