How to compete with younger players – lessons from Vladimir Samsonov

One of the most inspiring moments of the table tennis event at the Rio Olympics was Vladimir Samsonov getting to the semi-final of the men’s singles. Modern professional table tennis is increasingly physical, favouring younger bodies. To reach an Olympic semi-final at the age of 40 is a phenomenal achievement. What can we learn from Vladimir Samsonov’s success? How can we keep on competing with younger players and play close to our best when past our physical peak? In this blog post, I share four lessons I’ve learnt from watching Samsonov.

You’re never too old to learn topspin

I love showing players I coach how to play topspin shots. It’s one of the things which makes me happiest as a coach, especially if the player I’m coaching is an older player. You sometimes hear coaches say that if you haven’t learnt topspin by a certain age, you should forget it. It’s too technically … Read more