Pace: The three biggest factors that will determine the outcome of a match will always be technique, tactics and physical/mental attributes. Nonetheless there are other factors going on in a match that play a big role in determining the outcome. One of these is PACE. Every match at a given time has a pace – this can vary throughout a match. Every athlete has a preferred pace – some like it slow, some like it fast. It is very much in your interest to open as close to your preferred pace and as far from your opponents preferred pace as possible. Things get interesting when both of you prefer a similar pace. Then you have to decide whether it’s better to stay in your preferred pace (which is also the opponents preferred pace) or take the risk of going out of your comfort zone pace on the understanding that perhaps your opponent will be even more uncomfortable at that pace then you are. If you can play different paces well this can be a big tactical advantage when you come against an opponent who only plays at one pace. In class learn to with pace. Understand that different paces require different physical demands on your part. In your early experiments you will find immediately that you get out of breath more quickly than usual. When you slower than normal you will often find considerable lactic acid build up and cramps as you clamp down on an opponent with isometric tension to slow him down. Getting used to this different set of physical demands can be tough at but it can give you considerable tactical advantage to switch pace during a match against an opponent who can’t follow the change.