Over the past two years, I’ve given over 1,000 hours of 1-to-1 table tennis coaching lessons. That’s a lot of coaching. Even though every session is focused entirely on the needs of the player I’m coaching, I’m also constantly learning. Learning how to be a better coach. Learning how to improve my instruction and drills. Learning more about table tennis. Since I’ve reached a 1,000 hour coaching milestone, I thought it would be useful to share some of the lessons I have learnt over the past couple of years.
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.
It’s the last match of the season. My final opponent is an older female player – slim, tall, silver haired, with a determined spring in her step. I am expected to win, but I feel a little uneasy. I’m not quite sure how to approach the match. Part of me feels like I should be … Read more
Over the past three months we have seen some extraordinary performances by both young and not-so-young players in the world of table tennis. In February 2015, 11-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto got to the final of the Safir Open in Sweden, beating two of the world’s top 100 players on the way. Even more recently, 14-year-old Mima … Read more
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