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- Courtesy of Masatenisi.org
Most players put pressure on themselves because they want to win very badly. However; putting pressure on yourself will usually make you play worse. If your goal is to win at table tennis, then to maximize your chances of winning, make your goal to play well and dominate the match with good shots and tactics. Making winning the primary goal is counter-productive.
Learn to control the depth of your loops and other shots. Big, powerful players often jump all over deep balls that come out to them, but struggle against shorter ones. Smaller players often jump all over short balls, but struggle with ones that go deep. Every opponent is different, but if you learn to control the depth of your shots, you'll have a big tactical weapon.
A backhand sidespin serve tends to be more effective to an opponent's forehand, while a forehand pendulum serve tends to be more effective to an opponent's backhand. This is because the racket angle needed to return these sidespins is less natural when done this way. This doesn't mean only serving these serves to the side that's less comfortable, only generally serving it more to that side. Each opponent is different, so try out each combination and see what happens.
It's wise to approach a match with the idea of using your strengths, but don't forget to test your opponent as well. You don't want to lose a match because you didn't find a glaring weakness in your opponent's game! Often you can win a match by matching your weakness against an opponent's even bigger weakness. So test your opponents – serve long & short, test their forehand, loop at different speeds, try pushing, etc. Don't risk not knowing your opponent's weaknesses!
You can't win unless you can find tactical match-ups where you are better than your opponent. For example, you might find your block is better than your opponent's loop, or that your varied loop is better than your opponent's blocking or counterattack. The idea behind this is pretty obvious, but few players actually think this way when playing. Get into the habit of learning quickly in a match what tactical match-ups you can do where you are better than your opponent and then find strategies to force these match-ups.