A question I’m sometimes asked by players I coach is “should I buy a pair of table tennis shoes?” What the player really wants to know is whether a pair of table tennis shoes help him play better. My answer? Yes, probably, maybe, it depends. Let me explain…
One of my many sporting obsessions is watching Roger Federer play tennis. This has been going on over a decade. Whenever Federer plays, I’ll be following the score, willing him to win. As I watched Federer’s masterclass at this year’s Wimbledon, I started thinking about what we table tennis players can learn from the great man. Is there anything he does on the tennis court, which we can transfer to the table tennis table? Actually I think there is plenty. In this blog post, I examine a few things Federer does particularly well which we can all learn from.
Some players are guilty of not moving their feet when they play. Instead, they reach or lean when trying to hit the ball. This is not good. When you reach or lean, you have far less control over the ball and are far more likely to make mistakes. To help improve a player’s footwork, I often get them doing a small steps training drill. The aim of the drill is to make small steps, left or right, to get into the ideal position to play shots as best as you possibly can. In this blog post, I show you how to do the training drill. The post includes both a video demonstration and a written explanation.
Switching from backhand to forehand strokes, or forehand to backhand strokes, is a key skill in table tennis. During matches, the direction of play switches frequently. Rarely will your opponent play the ball to the same position for two consecutive shots. In this blog post, I explain how to improve switching between forehand and backhand strokes and share five simple training drills. For each training drill, there’s a video demonstration featuring myself and Nila, a player who I coach.
Most professional table tennis players love to attack with their forehand from all areas of the table, including the backhand corner. They have the ability to step around the backhand corner, attack with their forehand and then effortlessly recover to play a forehand attack from the opposite corner. They make it look so easy. So what can we learn from the professionals? In this blog post, I explain how to play strong forehand attacks from the backhand corner, highlight common mistakes to avoid and share two simple training drills to help you improve.
Most table tennis coaches have one ‘secret’ to playing great table tennis, which they favour more than others. It could be a certain type of grip, playing distance from the table, mental preparation or any number of tactical or technical innovations. My ‘secret’ – the one thing I emphasise over all others with the players … Read more
When you play table tennis, do you move efficiently from side to side, back and forth and keep balance? Or do you stumble from one shot to the next, tripping over your own feet? If you’re a stumbler, you probably need to work on your stance. I was definitely a stumbler when I first started … Read more