For European table tennis coaches, the term “passive game” is a very familiar topic within the sport-specific terminology. During the 2017 ITTF Rough Diamonds training camp in Otocec (Slovenia) the coaches attended a lecture by Slovenian national head coach Joze Urh about this specific topic. It is indeed very important for coaches to know how to deal with situations when the attacking player has been pushed into a passive situation, because his opponent has taken his chance to be aggressive and take the initiative. Also the evolution of modern table tennis (bigger ball size, tactical evolution, physical evolution,…) has increased the importance of this aspect of the game.
This has made me curious about the point of view of Chinese coaches on this subject. How do the coaches in China, the leading country in table tennis, see this aspect of the game? Do they work on it specifically? Do they integrate it in their training sessions? Do they also see it as a strategic game plan? Is there a difference in approach between boys and girls? Is there a certain age where this aspect becomes more important? What is the technical point of view on passive shots?
From 12 November 2018 until 18 November 2018 I joined the practice of CTTC in Shanghai with the primary goal to specifically learn more about “the passive game” in China.