How to compete with younger players – lessons from Vladimir Samsonov

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. Keep reading

Tactics for beating a blocker

Playing a very good blocker is like playing a brick wall. Everything comes back. They seem to know where you’re going to attack even before you’ve played your shot. You put all the effort in, topspinning this way and that way, but the ball keeps being returned. By the end of the match you’re exhausted and dripping in sweat. You look across the table and your blocker opponent is as fresh as a daisy. So what can you do to beat a blocker? Here’s my list of top tactics you should use… Keep reading

Frustrate your opponents with steady blocks, aggressive blocks and trick blocks

Frustrate your opponents with steady blocks, aggressive blocks and trick blocks

One of my favourite shots in table tennis is the block. In many ways, it’s a very simple shot. Little physical effort is required, you just need to get your body and bat in the right position and work with the speed and spin already on the ball. The other player does all the hard work, whilst you use all their speed and spin against them, putting them under lots of pressure to keep the rally going. In this blog post I look at different types of block shots you can use to frustrate your opponents. Keep reading