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 The Ping Pong Psych-Out 
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Post The Ping Pong Psych-Out
The Ping Pong Psych-Out
by: Andy Meredith

I am a total nerd for table tennis, or ping pong as I like to call it. I’m the guy who holds the paddle in that weird grip with my fingers spread out over the back side of the thing and my thumb and pointer finger making a circle. Don’t act like you haven’t tried it. It’s easy, just make the “OK” signal with your hand and stick the handle of the paddle in the circle of your finger and thumb from the palm side and hold on tight. This grip helps a lot with putting spin, or English, on the ball. It also makes you look like you know what you are doing even if you don’t. I guess you win either way.

This way, when you are getting set to play someone for the first time you can confidently stride up to the table and grasp the paddle in this cool manner, all the while looking down your nose and thinking to yourself, “look at them pawing their ping pong paddle like a five-year old, and me here with my awesome skills”. You have already won the mental battle, and that is vital for a hard-core ponger. Of course, they could be thinking “look at this dork trying to impress me with some cheesy paddle-grip, and what is he looking at on his nose”. But as long as they don’t say anything out loud, you’re good to go.

Trust me on this I know because it has happened to me. Recently I was hanging out at a party, just chillin’, listening to music, talking to someone, having some chips, and then I noticed the ping pong table in the corner. “Who wants a piece?” I asked, almost involuntarily. Almost instantaneously some other guy, feeling that his manhood had been challenged, said “let’s do this”. I could feel everyone else rolling their eyes and thinking “there goes the party”, but it could have been worse.

I could have been the guy at the party who grabs a guitar and sits on one side of the room all night playing the same four songs that everyone knows as he longingly gazes into your girlfriend’s eyes while singing “I could be your hero baby”. You all know at least one of those guys. I mean, I play the guitar fairly well, but c’mon bro, we all know what you are trying to do.

But I digress, let’s get back to pong. So this dude saunters over to the table tennis table to meet me and we lock eyes in a pre-serve stare-down. Without moving his eyes the guy picks up the paddle in this cool grip with his fingers spread out on the back of the thing. “Crap”, I thought and handed the paddle off to some other male who wants to prove his rank in the herd.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really know the proper way to keep score. Typically I just take turns serving, with each player getting five serves per turn. First one to fifteen wins, with the game point having to come on the serve of my opponent. This may or may not be the proper way to keep score, I make no promises. In fact, if you are planning on entering a tourney or challenging someone at a party, please look into the real rules so that you don’t get embarrassed. Even if you don’t play by the rules it is a fun game. Table tennis is definitely worth checking out. And if you turn out to be a sub-par player, there’s always guitar.

About The Author

Andy Meredith is a passionate writer for Yard Game Central. More information about table tennis tables and ping pong techniques can be found at

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Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:24 pm
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