My biggest table tennis failures (so far)

It is very easy to get despondent when we fail at table tennis. I always try to encourage the players I coach to have a healthy relationship with failure. You can learn so much from your losses – which parts of your game are weak, which tactics don’t work, which styles you find difficult to play against. Without the losses and failures, you’d never know what you need to do to improve. Sometimes I’ll get a sceptical look from a player. The look says “You don’t understand. You’re already a decent table tennis player. You don’t have to worry about failing all the time”. It’s at this stage that I will start to reveal some of my biggest table tennis failures. Here’s three good examples…

Tactics for beating a one-wing attacker

Some players have a very strong side (i.e. forehand) and a relatively weak side (i.e. backhand). They are often called ‘one-wing attackers’, as they will only attack with their strong side. Most commonly, the strong side is the forehand. We’ve all faced this type of opponent. No matter where you put the ball, they seem to be able to attack with their strong side. Play the ball to their weaker backhand, they step around and whizz a forehand past you. Try to catch them out with a ball to their wide forehand and they quickly step across and whizz another ball past you. Here some tactics to beat this type of player…

Best table tennis bats for junior players

I often get asked by parents which table tennis bat their child should use. There is a ridiculous amount of choice available, so I completely understand why parents seek advice, especially if they do not play table tennis themselves. In this blog post, I will share the advice I give to parents of juniors I coach. My advice is based upon two main factors: age and playing standard. I will look at two different age groups (4-8 and 9-16) and give a few recommendations for each age group.

Why you should “attack the middle”

“Attack the middle.” “Focus on attacking the middle.” “For goodness sake, just attack the damn middle.” Welcome to inside my head! This is the conversation I often have with myself when my topspin attacks keep being returned and I’m not winning many points. Attacking the middle can be a game-changer. I don’t do it enough, but when I do, it can work brilliantly. In this blog post, I explain what I mean by attacking the middle and why it can be so effective.