Tech tips: counter shots

Along with serve, short serve discounts, attack shots, and defensive shots, the blocking range is one of the 5 major families of technical moves in our sport.

Some have mastered them so much that they have made them the basis of their game system, the “block players”.

When it comes to playing against, even if he was able to be effective in all systems of play, we always quote the immense Jan-Ove Waldner. Olympic champion in 1992, he was flag bearer of the Swedish delegation in Atlanta in 1996. He was twice world champion. The greatest variation in “blocks”, we will come back to this.



We can also cite the young Japanese Kenta Matsudaira, intelligent, skilful, and a great counter player.It should be noted that this game system is predominant among high-level game.

So what do we mean by counter shots? - “against”, means to play AGAINST the opposing initiative! It means letting the opponent “start” in top spin, to place a counter shot, which is often fatal. Here is the list of counter shots:

  • the cushioned block , carried out with a “total” relaxation of the hand, the fingers, makes it possible to make a potential “fifth ball” much shorter than expected to the attacker, which often causes the fault.
  • the block cuts , in the same way, prints a cut effect. It is very effective, but unfortunately really difficult to place. Due to the speed and timing, a lot of attempts end up in the wall.
  • the side blocks . Huge in terms of performance, they are also huge in terms of efficiency. A “wiper” movement at the moment of ball-racquet contact, just with the hand, gives the block a lateral effect. It imposes a new component to be managed for the attacker.
  • the so-called “active” block allows, with a harder ball-racket impact, to be active in the face of the opposing initiative. Ball grip at the top of the rebound, dry contact, the use of “energy storage” takes on its full extent here.
  • the so-called “control” block is a simple opposition to ward off the opposing top-spin. Without gesture, it allows with the correct opening of the racket, to easily put an opponent's top. It will be necessary to work on the placement of the block.
  • the block-spin , is a kind of mini counter-top, played with the hand only. Hard to achieve, it is to go over the ball, with the racket extremely closed. It allows to print a topspin effect on the ball. The opponent, in his rhythm, is often surprised by this type of ball, and a ball that comes back very quickly!
  • the counter-top at the table , placed behind a serve or a deliberately aggressive (tense) or destabilizing (2 rebounds, small side) service, often makes point when it is well done. For a simple glimpse of Waldner's talent, here is a side cut block, followed by a simple control block, huge ... Against Timo Boll, sorry!

Timo Boll vs Ma Long | 2019 ITTF Qatar Open Highlights (R16)


To conclude, even if after these videos, there is no longer any doubt as to the effectiveness. Being strong and confident against the initiative often earns points! Master these counter shots and you will even take pleasure in letting your opponent start. For Any Information Regarding Table Tennis You Can Always Visit The Ping Pong Table #1 Destination for all your Queries!

Even if you are not a physics freak, good use of the hand coupled with real anticipation and intention (game science, smart side), may be qualities with you. In this case, try heading for a block game.