My experience of playing in the top division

This was my first year playing in the top division in Cambridge. The standard in Division 1 is much higher than Division 2. Looking at the statistics of other players who moved up through the divisions, most got between 10-30% in their first season in Division 1. So I knew it was going to be tough. In this blog post, I share my experience of playing in the top division and reveal whether I managed to win a match. I also give some advice on how you need to develop your game if you want to play in the top division of your local league.

How to attack more during matches

Players learning the game (and also some players who have been playing for 30 years) can find it difficult to attack during matches. Is this you? You may have the aspiration to attack. You may tell yourself that you want to attack. But the opportunity never seems to present itself, especially against a better player who doesn’t give you any easy balls to smash away. In this blog post I explain how you can attack more during matches.

Men vs women – what we can learn from each other

One of the many things I love about table tennis is that men and women can compete together. Although we play the same sport, there does seem to be some differences between how men and women play. You could say there is a typical ‘female’ playing style and a typical ‘male’ playing style. Both have strengths and weaknesses. In this blog post I pick out one big thing men do well, but women don’t. And one big thing women do well, but men don’t. If we can learn from each other then we will all improve.

How to deal with too much conflicting table tennis advice

Last week I received a panicked email from a player I coach. In her own words, she was “completely muddled with all the different pieces of advice from different people”. She was beginning to doubt if her fast, attacking topspin game was the right way to play. An experienced player had told her she should play slow and spinny. A coach said she should flat hit rather than spin the ball. Another coach gave her some tactical advice which was the opposite to the advice she had received from a completely different coach. How was she supposed to make sense of all this? Read on to find out my advice…

What went wrong with my season?

It has been a league season of mixed fortunes. Our team remained unbeaten all season in the league, yet we only finished in second place. I achieved a respectable win percentage (84%), but this was lower than the previous two seasons. We won the handicap competition, but crashed out of another cup competition in the quarter final due to a shocking performance by myself. So, what went wrong? In this blog post I reflect on my playing performance over the past few months and examine my big tactical mistake.

Benefits of an unconventional playing style

Table tennis coaches (myself included) often favour teaching a modern topspin game – service from the backhand corner, playing forehands on ¾ of the table, playing topspin strokes as often as possible, attack, attack attack! But this isn’t the only way of playing table tennis. In this blog post I explore the benefits of unconventional playing styles.