Ping pong may be one of the sports that I am good at, and it is probably the sport that most Chinese people excel at. It is almost impossible to find someone on the street who doesn't know how to play ping pong.
Recently, a colleague in the company planned to organize a ping pong club for enthusiasts. With just one announcement, it instantly attracted dozens of colleagues to join the group. This may be the fastest-growing interest group. Last Friday, we arranged a game, and after the photos were shared, it attracted even more people to join. It is indeed a national sport that any Chinese person can handle a paddle.
This Friday, we organized another game, and more than ten colleagues signed up. We booked the venue directly. I consider myself average in skill level, but there are still many experts in the company. I heard that one of them is even a level two coach, but unfortunately, he didn't come tonight.
While playing, I noticed that everyone has their own characteristics when playing, and once you identify their weaknesses, it is easy to gain an advantage. Of course, the prerequisite is that after identifying the weakness, your skill level can exploit it. For example, some colleagues have a strong forehand but a weak backhand, so you can focus on exploiting their backhand weakness and direct the ball to their left-hand side, making it difficult for them to defend. Similarly, some colleagues are good at slicing the ball, and it is challenging to return a spin shot. In this case, you can use a fast attack, keeping the ball in a straight line and maintaining a high speed, so they won't have a chance to slice a fast-spinning ball.
Observing the weaknesses of opponents is not difficult. Just by playing a game or watching them return a few shots, you can roughly infer their weaknesses. If you want to confirm your speculation, playing against them is the fastest way. Usually, after one game, you can figure out their strengths and weaknesses. The reason why it's so quick is that I noticed that most people's serving and returning styles have become fixed, like a conditioned reflex that is hard to change. The small table tennis table doesn't have many variables, so mastering a few techniques is enough. Of course, when encountering a true expert who is impenetrable in both offense and defense, these tactics won't work.
Ping pong may be small, but it brings great joy. For example, when being lobbed, instead of getting annoyed, you applaud and say, "Nice shot." In doubles, due to various situations, it always manages to create laughter throughout the court. It cannot be denied that after playing a game, even though the physical exertion is not as much as badminton, basketball, and other sports, your arms still feel sore, and you can even break a sweat.