Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Defensive vs Aggressive approach

As I write this blog, I am watching a recorded Table Tennis match between a Chinese and a Korean - Maa Long and Joo Se Hyuk.

The Korean player is very defensive in his technique. His backhand chops are immaculate. He seems to be having an answer to every forehand aggresive smash and top spin fired by the world no. 1 Chinese. But how long can you keep on defending to the onslaught of the forehand smashes. Hyuk breaks down. He loses by  4 to 11 in the 1st game.

Second game starts. Fantastic table tennis. Maa Long is absolutely relentless on his forehand smashes. The rallies go on and the spectators watch spell bound. And there comes a forehand smash. Guess from which player? Joo Se Hyuk!  And he wins the point. Another forehand smash finds Joo Se Hyuk struggling to return. Its now 3 all. Rocket top spins come relentlessly from Maa Long's end and Hyuk returns them endlessly but somehow Maa Long seems to be in control and winning the decisive points. The second game ends at 11 - 7 in favour of Maa Long.

As the game goes on, I wonder why Hyuk doesn't play those aggressive strokes more often. Because most of the time when he hits aggressive forehands, he wins.  Maa Long finally wins the match, making a clean sweep of four games - 4 - 0. The defensive player leaves the scene with a sad expression.

Some of the valuable points worth noting from the abover running commentry are -
 0.Most of the time the aggressive player wins! So you know which technique is better if you are aspiring for a table tennis career. Be aggressive. Hit your shots. Make your moves. Catch the bull by the horn!
 0.I remember having seen some of the best defensive football matches by the Italian team. They form a solid wall surrounding their goal which seems impregnable. But the reason they triumph is that they are effective in their counter attacks. When they finally win the ball and launch the counter-attack, they run hard, penetrate like tracer bullets and more often than not find the net. Their rate of conversion is amazing. And if by any chance they lead by a goal, they multiply their defensive approach by almost ten folds, making the opponent frustrated and drained out.
 0.In cricket, test matches are the true tests of a cricketer's skill. In these matches, I see defensive batsmen making a lot of effort in order to survive at the crease. Their defensive techniques work but they play hundred balls to score just twenty. If Virendar Sehwag ever plays hundred balls he will be close to a century. I like to watch Viv Richards, Chris Gayle, Sehwag, Gilchrist and Brian Lara. Not because they simply hit, but because they are equally capable of playing defensive shots as well. But it is in their inherent nature to attack. To smash and rout the opponent.They create panick in the bowler's mind.
0.Both defensive and aggressive techniques are good, and it depends on what suits you. If you ask me, my answer is heavily tilted towards the aggressive approach - more precisely an approach which is seventy to seventy five percent aggressive and twenty five to thirty percent defensive. This is because defensive mindset comes from fear. While aggressive approach emerges from a free will to achieve the goal, take calculated risks, make a mark and dislodge the shackles by being proactive and brave.  Also statistics show that defensive players rarely win over their aggressive counterparts.

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