Why you should make notes about your opponents

This week I beat an opponent who I lost to twice last season. The biggest factor for my win, was my note-taking. Yes, that’s right, good old boring note-taking! I regularly make notes about my opponents. I make notes about an opponent’s playing style, how I lost points, how I won points and what tactics to try the next time we play. In this blog post, I explain why I write notes about my opponents, what I include in my notes and why you should make notes too. Keep reading

How to deal with nerves in table tennis matches

Some players deal with nerves absolutely fine. They love competing and channel any nerves or stress into a focused and energetic performance. Other players find nerves quite debilitating. The extra anxiety in playing a competitive match can make their body and mind freeze, which can have a terrible impact on their performance. In this blog post, I share three things (one mental, two physical) which can help you control your nerves. Keep reading

Improve your serves with some solo service practice

One of the best ways to improve your table tennis serves is solo practice. You get a box of balls and serve, serve, serve. I admit, this can be pretty boring. You need plenty of motivation to do this regularly. But if you can find the time and mental energy for some solo service practice, you can improve your serves a lot. In this blog post, I give advice on what you should (and shouldn’t do) during solo service practice and share some training drills to help you keep motivated. Keep reading

Learn how to counter-attack (and take your game to the next level)

One of the players I coach likes to finish our coaching sessions with some match-play. We have some good games. I usually come out on top, but it’s close. After we finished one week, he said he found it difficult when I attack too much. He goes into automatic blocking mode and becomes too passive. So during our next session we worked on options for counter-attacking. When we played a few games at the end – he blocked less and attacked more and I found it much harder to win points. So for your benefit, here’s a couple of things we worked on, plus a simple training drill you can do. Keep reading

How to get more speed and spin on your forehand topspin attacks

Some table tennis players have blistering forehand attacks. Blink and the ball is past you. Other players have steady forehand attacks. They can get the ball on the table consistently, but their attacks lack the speed and spin to really give you any trouble. What are the strong forehand attackers doing, which the weaker forehand attackers are not? Here are my tips on how to get more speed and spin on your forehand topspin attacks. Keep reading

How to recover from a dip in form

We all have periods when we feel our progress has stalled or our form has dipped. This is entirely normal. I often remind the players I coach (and myself), that improvement doesn’t take place in a straight line. In reality you will experience lots of ups and downs, but gradually moving in the right direction. In this blog post, I look at what can cause a dip in form and what you can do about it. Keep reading

How to warm-up before a match (if you only have five minutes)

One of the challenges of local league table tennis is that you often don’t get very much time to warm-up. By the time you get to the venue, you may only have five minutes to warm-up with your team-mates, and then it’s straight on with the matches. Your first match isn’t great. You’re a bit tight and tense and you don’t play anywhere near your best level. You moan to yourself about the fact that you haven’t had a proper warm-up. What can you do about this? In this blog post I explain how you can improve your warm-up routine, even if you only have a few minutes to warm-up. Keep reading