You can read more articles like this in my Coaching Blog.
|Former US National Team Member Ariel Hsing|
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.