Practical tip: How many different serves should you master?

Table tennis serve Sauer & Tröger

Dear nub community,

In our last blog post, our practical tip on the subject of "Your own serve with a pimple covering" was extremely well received and we subsequently had a lot of feedback on this topic.

That's why we have now decided to deal with another practical tip on the subject of "surcharge" in today's issue of our newsletter. What serves should I do? I very often see players in my courses who believe that they should have an almost endless selection of good serves in their repertoire.

Only then would they have a dangerous service game. If you look at some world-class players, it is noticeable that they often only use 2-3 different serves regularly. In some cases, these are even kept quite simple (e.g. simply short and seamless). Why is that? Don't the pros master other and "better" serves?

To get to the bottom of this question, I have to ask myself the following question: What do I want to achieve with my serve?

If the opponent doesn't return my serves at all or only very poorly, I can throw in 15 different serve variants regularly. However, if my opponent doesn't have any problems with my serves, then the situation is fundamentally different.

If I choose a different serve for every rally, then this always creates completely new game situations. To put it the other way around: if I limit myself to 2-3 different serves, then this usually results in very similar rallies that I have often played and where I then automatically act better.

When choosing my own serve, I should also keep an eye on how things should continue afterwards or what setback I would like to receive. For example, I should tend to play a backspin or side-spin serve when I want the ball to come back scooped.

Also, I shouldn't play a long serve if I want a knocked-back ball. Express note: Of course, it is advisable, especially in tight game situations, to throw in a surprising variant as an option.

The hints given relate to the serves that are played regularly and mainly. We hope and think that we were able to give you an interesting perspective and suggestion for your game today.

But how many serves do you actually have in your repertoire and how many do you actually use in the game to score points? Feel free to leave us a comment below!

Greetings from the Sauer & Tröger team

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