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Félix Lebrun: Great Penholder player of Europe

Felix Lebrun a good Penholder example to learn.

New Xu Xin of Europe

This is Xu Xin, 30 years old, from China.

Xu Xin at 30 years old
Xu Xin at 30 years old

And this is the Next Xu Xin in France. He is only 14 years old.

Felix Lebrun
Felix Lebrun

About Félix Lebrun (French Penholder)

Hello, welcome back to PingSunday. I hope you are doing good. Today, we will talk about Xu Xin, the penhold playing style, and Félix Lebrun, the young “Xu Xin style” player in France.

Table tennis is unique among racket sports. Because it has different play styles. Some of them are:

Xu Xin penholder playing style with great footworks
Xu Xin penholder playing style with great footwork
  • Looper. Loopers apply pressure and gain points mainly with speed and forehand spinny loops.
  • Hitter. Like a looper, the clever attacker uses the loop as the main weapon, but with a lot of speed.
  • Penhold Hitter. The traditional penhold style. Hitter can use short pimple and play on the table, hitting the ball as soon as it bounces off the table.
  • Counter Driver. By staying close to the table, the counter style quickly blocks and pushes the opponent far away from the table.
  • Penhold style. Penhold uses the forehand loop as the main attack. This type of player usually has excellent footwork, trying to use the forehand to cover the entire table.
  • Chopper. Focus on consistent backspin defense to force opponents to make mistakes.
  • Defensive style. This style with a combination racket with a dead side (no spin, anti-spin, long pimple) and a spinny side.

As you can see, there are many styles of table tennis. This is the beauty of this sport. That’s why one of the main priorities of the China Team is to always have at least one penhold player in the National Team. They want to conserve the diversity of the playing style in table tennis.

We have Liu Guoliang, Ma Lin, Wang Hao, and then Xu Xin who are the best penholder player in the world.

Always has a penholder in the national team
Always has a penholder in the national team

As player levels increase, the diversity of styles decreases. Because people just want to be the best, the strongest. So weak styles are eliminated.

Nowadays, attack styles have dominated most of the best places in the world. Everywhere is the shakehand attacking style. So attack style is more popular than a defensive style. And shakehand players are much more common than the penhold player.

The beauty of penholder playing style

Hello EmRatThich, I’m 16 years old table tennis player from Germany. I recently changed from a shakehand to a Cpen player. I want to adapt to Xu Xin’s grip because I admire his playstyle and his personality.

How should I play the penhold? Are the techniques similar to the shakehand? Philipp from Germany.

How to play with penhold grip
How to play with the penhold grip

It’s a little bit difficult to learn penhold techniques because there are not that many videos about penholder techniques on YouTube.
Also in my region, there is no penhold player nor my trainers know how to teach it.

Yes, I understand well that you love the beauty of penhold style, and also the personality of Xu Xin. It’s a good choice because you are so special.

And I understand well that learning the penhold technique is a specific thing from China. Unfortunately, I’m not a specialist in penhold style, so I can’t answer your specific question. You need to have a good penhold grip, and learn from other players or coaches.

But don’t give up. That’s the reason I make this video.

New Xu Xin of Europe

Watch this video.


About Félix Lebrun (penholder style in Europe)

I want to present a very good example of a young player in France. His name is Félix Lebrun, only 14 years old. A very good penhold player.

14 years old Félix Lebrun penholder
14 years old Félix Lebrun penholder

2 Times Champion of France Minimes in singles (2018, 2019)
Vice-Champion of France Benjamins in singles (2017)
Number 1 in France, and in Europe at his age category.
Number 250 (France National Ranking).

Started training in 2012 (at 500 points). In 2016, at 1800 points. And one year later, at 2300 points.

Ranking point of Félix Lebrun around 2300
Ranking point of Félix Lebrun around 2300

For example, GAUZY SIMON Number 1 player in France who has won Xu Xin, has 3600 points.

Simon Gauzy
Simon Gauzy

Or Liam Pitchford, the Number 1 player in England, has 3700 points.

Liam Pitchford with 3700 points
Liam Pitchford with 3700 points

Or Mattias FALCK has around 3600 points. He also played in pro-A, France.

Mattias Falck with 3600 points
Mattias Falck with 3600 points

So you can estimate the pro level in France by the ranking points. The German Bundesliga, pro-A, and pro-B in France is one of the most difficult leagues in Europe.

He was training in Montpellier, a city near the south coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea.

Montpellier is, by its population, the seventh city in France. in all seasons, the most attractive city in the South of France. Elegant and cultural.

Montpellier France
Montpellier France

So this is a great example to give you some motivation. Don’t stop training, have a training routine every day. And enjoy table tennis as much as you can.

Having fun while playing is the best way to keep up your motivation. If you love Xu Xin, and his playing style, then just follow your dream.

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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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