Monday 6 June 2016

How To Make Your Long Push Effective in Matches

When people talk about long pushing what image comes into your head? Do you see a boring and endless rally between two players both scared to attack? The ball floating back and forth over the net? When somebody long pushes to you it can be the perfect opportunity to attack and a lot of long push balls are played too loose in matches. You need to redefine why you long push in a game and how you can turn the stroke into more of a strategic weapon.

You can read more articles like this in my Coaching Blog.

Former US National Team Member Ariel Hsing
A Common Mistake when Long Pushing

Often we don't consider the purpose behind our actions when we long push. A player who has a weaker long push may fall into the mentality of 'if I can't attack I should push' or 'when someone pushes to me I should push back'. Perhaps a player who is not as confident in their attacking strokes or against heavy pushes.

The biggest mistake you can make when choosing the long push to play is to simply 'return the ball' I see many cases where a long push has become either a panicked default or a safety shot. This is a loose play and tactically isn't the best way to play.

How to Make Your Long Push An Effective Tool

- Don't Use it Passively: If somebody long pushes to you you need to develop an attacking mindset, get rid of the 'just return the ball' mentality, every shot needs a purpose and a certain level of quality.

- Implement it As an Attacking Tool: You wouldn't consider the long push an offensive stroke but if used correctly it actually is. It should be used for 2 reasons only, stop your opponent from attacking or setup a structured point or attacking sequence.

Technical Steps For a Good Long Push

1. Make sure your grip is firm on contact
2. Pushing contact needs to be quick and sharp
3. Sometimes you need to angle the side of the ball a little to help keep the ball low
4. Aim as deep on the table as you can (a shallow push is not effective)
5. Don't use too much wrist so as to maintain control

What Can a Good Long Push Achieve in a Match?

A strong, deep and heavy long push can achieve the following outcomes from your opponent:

- A softer, higher trajectory opening loop (easier to counter) rather than a 3rd ball powerful attack
- A softer touchy push as it is difficult to hard push return this shot
- An unforced error if the push is used offensively with good placement

Looking on youtube I couldn't find any good examples of how a long push should be used effectively in a match. Perhaps I might have to make a video myself! Hope this has been useful to you all.


  1. Matt, if you are looking for good examples of effective deep push, use some of Kong Linghui's videos. Best use of a push I have ever seen.

  2. Matt, if you are looking for good examples of effective deep push, use some of Kong Linghui's videos. Best use of a push I have ever seen.

  3. Awesome, will be trying this out in matches for sure!


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