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Part 7 – Variations

After we have trained all sorts of different services and the crucial adjectives, we now have to learn to use them variably. If a player has difficulties with a service for technical (or

mental) reasons and is unable to play a better return, there I no sense in playing variations all the time. And it can be, that a certain kind of services brings you into the game in a

better way. Even here variations for the sake of variations don’t make sense. But in the most cases – especially at higher level – the opponent’s returns are so good, that the service play has to be changed constantly to cause problems in reading and therefore returning the service. Generally three things can be adapted at a service: the speed, the placing and the rotation. Regarding the trajectory of the ball one can say, that it has to be held low all the time. Especially the rotation has a special meaning at the service. In the following exercise there’s a gymnastic-ring in the middle of the opponent’s side of the table. The practicing player has to play different services with different rotation and speed all the time, and place them at different positions outside of the ring. Hitting inside the ring is forbidden. To fulfil this task the service player has to adapt and change his movement and the use of the wrist constantly – be variable as desired!