Players

 

The Aggressive Looper:

Certainly the most popular of all the styles, especially among men, these players are extremely fast and use top spin loops (shots that pull the ball upward and forward, causing it to bounce high into the air when it makes contact with the opponent's racket - the looper can then easily smash or "kill" the ball).The best way to play an aggressive looper is to be aggressive yourself, keeping your racket face down (so the ball doesn't pop upward from the top spin). Try to be the first one to start the attck on each play.

The Chopper:

This is a dying breedin the table tennis world. Modern choppers, also called defenders, also have to know how and when to attack the ball well.Since this style requires a lot of control, the it is not as fast as an aggressive style. The player's footwork is extremely important as thy move around the court more than any other style, retreiving all the loops that aggressive players deliver. Choppers use either long or short "pimpled" rubbers (these have small cylindrical extensions on their surface). These rubbers reverse the spin put on the ball by the opponent so that loopers, for example, would get returns with an under-spinning ball (which is a lot more difficult to return). However this can be used against the chopper because if underspin is served to a pimpled rubber, the return will have either top spin, or no spin at all, making it extremely easy to kill, since the chopper's plays are not as fast as an aggressive player's.When playing a chopper the key is to be patient and careful when choosing your attacks. These players are certainly the trickiest of the lot.

The Pen-holder:

This is the traditional style of play in China, and contributes to the variations in style that are largely responsible for the country's success in the sport. These players use an entirely different grip, where the racket is held between the thumb and forefinger, as with a pen. There are blades specially built for penholders where the handle is raised about an inch on one side. Pen-holders come in all styles, but are most commonly aggressive loopers. When playing a pen-holder, pressure their backhand, as the grip is not well suited for play on that side.

 

 

Blockers:

This is a recent distinction. Blockers are also defenders, but unlike choppers, they do not play with a pimpled rubber. Instead of chopping the ball they hold their racket in a some-what upright position, pulling it slightly downward to deliver a little backspin. These players usually have very good rhytm. The callenge is to break them out of it by tempting them to intiate an attack (with which they are not as strong).

The Counter Driver:

These players can be thought of as diluted aggressive loopers. They prefer playing a ball with light spin. However they are able to spread themselves out more and cover greater ground. They are also very fast and have good rhythm, so the challenge is to vary your stroke, mixing in some short pushes with heavy underspin. This will help to break their rhythm.