Do you like playing doubles? Certainly! The fun multiplies to become double when played with two or more players. Playing and winning in doubles can be just as fun and rewarding as playing singles; after all, there are two victories to celebrate!
However, do you know that there are some significant differences between the tricks and tactics used when playing doubles? We won’t say it’s a little complicated, but it’s just completely different compared to singles. It is called Table Tennis Doubles Strategy.
Read ahead to know what you should be aware of when playing doubles:
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Know the Basics:
You must be aware of the basics of double table tennis strategies in order to win the matches. Try to play more over the net, but don’t let your opponent do so. Hit the balls as low as possible for your opponent to hit it high. Aiming for a spike (like in badminton or volleyball) will surely win your team points.
Know your positions; if you are in the baseline, strike the opponent who is positioned farthest from the net. However, if you are placed in the net, target the one who is nearer. Utilize your strengths and simultaneously strategize diligently to expose your opponent’s weaknesses.
One valuable advice that we’d like to enlighten you with is hit the ball in the gap in between your opponents. This is likely to confuse your opponent into thinking who is to strike the ball. Be ready and alert of any possibility and take positions accordingly. Follow similar positions based on your opponent.
1. Serve Diagonal:
When you are playing doubles, note that you have to serve diagonally. The game should start your right-hand half of the table to your rival’s right-hand side of the table. This reduces the amount of deceiving you can get from placing the ball well and enables opponents to cover the whole half of the court with either their backhand or forehand. That, in turn, eliminates the strategy of longer serves. Try to keep most of your serves in doubles low over the net so that they are difficult to attack.
2. Third Stroke:
Always remember that your partner has to make the third stroke, not you. In order to help your partner’s chances of striking an excellent third ball attack, you have to be responsible for using service tactics that will help your partner get the best out of them. Short, float serves and sidespins are what your opponent will throw you with and in return, your partner will have better luck of making their attacks.
When playing doubles, there are a series of signs that you and your partner will have to make use of. This is to allow your partner to be aware of what services you’ll be using. Make sure that your opponent doesn’t overhear your signals. Usually, there are two simple methods used that have two completely different meanings. Firstly, imply a spin on the ball, for instance, if you point your finger in the direction of the ball, it will go from your opponent’s racket. Secondly, another signal to indicate the length of the ball.
Returning a Serve:
More often than not, the return of a serve is the key to win points in a doubles game. Plus, in doubles, you cannot easily deceive your opponent when placing a service. Therefore, a good receiver can easily dominate the points by stopping their opponents from attacking. Although, if you are the one receiving the shot, you can handle it just the way you would do it if it were a singles game. With a couple of conditions, try to play the type of game that your partner favors. Don’t force him with something he is not used to.
Focus on Your Opponent, Not Your Partner:
Keep your eyes on your opponent and not your teammate. This is one of the biggest mistakes that players can make in table tennis. They watch their partner return the ball once served. By doing so, you’ll be missing your opponent’s attacks since your attention was on your partner, not your opponent. More importantly, devote all your attention to the net player and closely observe his movements. This will prepare you for the moment your opponent hits a volley.
The I Formation:
The I Formation is a table tennis double strategy that you’ll need to apply if you feel that your teammate is a weak server or when the opponent’s serve is deadly. In that case, you’ll need to think of a different strategy to prevent those dead returns.
You can attain I Formation with the server’s partner by squatting down close to the net at the center line of the court. The serve is ought to the server right behind his partner. The I formation strategy is to puzzle the opposing team regarding the serving team’s position.
NetPlay Counter Attack:
For most of the time, the serving team set about in net play once they know that they have had a good serve. Before that, when you return a serve, the trick is to focus on the server since they are at their most vulnerable stage after hitting the serve. In the event when your opponent was able to return your shot, they will now strategize to position themselves in the net. You still have the chances of making them vulnerable. This time, you can hit a heave constraining them far from the net, or you can hit the ball right in the center of the two players.
Nothing beats a good communication strategy between you and your partner. If you and your partner cannot communicate efficiently during a game, forget about this sport. This is a must use Table Tennis Doubles Strategy. The reason why we are emphasizing on this is that it’s a vital part in playing table tennis doubles matches. It’s a contribution to the team’s success. Through good communication, the players in a team can produce marvelous results, actions, and thoughts.
Your objective should be to target the weaknesses of your opponents. When you are far from the net (benchmark), your objective is the server’s half court. This is to dodge the server’s partner who is close to the net. This player can be unsafe in the event that you hit close him.
Another essential strategy in doubles is to think about your team’s movement coordination. Make sure you and your partner both are aware of your movements and the timings of the actions. Note that you don’t leave a remarkable gap between you and your partner. This leftover space might lead to a straight attack by the opponent, followed by them winning points. Avoid having a great space between you and your partner.
Although the basic rules are almost the same, doubles table tennis requires a lot more strategies than singles. Playing on a bigger court, having two opponents and on top of that having a partner adds an extra perspective to the game. If you’re looking forward to playing tournaments, it is very important for you to understand the dynamics of the game.
No matter how good you play in singles when playing doubles, it’s all about strategies and teamwork. Undoubtedly, doubles in Table Tennis are fun, but you really need to cooperate and coordinate with your partner. Find yourself a teammate who would complement with you and your skills and apply the Table Tennis Doubles Strategy; I am sure you both would be on your way to winning matches together.