How long does it take to get really good at table tennis?

Table tennis is a very complex sport, with lots of different shots, spins and playing styles, played at a frighteningly fast pace. There is a lot to learn and master. It does takes time to get really good at table tennis. But how long? Can you become a really good table tennis player very quickly or will it take years and years? And what’s the best way to improve quickly? Let’s explore these questions…

Small steps training drill

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.

How to recover from a dip in form

We all have periods when we feel our progress has stalled or our form has dipped. This is entirely normal. I often remind the players I coach (and myself), that improvement doesn’t take place in a straight line. In reality you will experience lots of ups and downs, but gradually moving in the right direction. In this blog post, I look at what can cause a dip in form and what you can do about it.

Why learning to play table tennis is like learning to drive a car

Most players I coach have at some point had to listen to my dreaded table tennis car analogy. I usually reel it out when a player is having difficulty learning a new stroke. The player says something like “it’s difficult to think about what I need to do and watch what you’re doing at the same time”. Ding! This is my cue. It’s time for my table tennis car analogy. For your benefit, here it is…

Lessons learnt from 1000 hours of coaching

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.

Are you ready for the new table tennis league season?

For many players in the UK, the new table tennis league season will start in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Some players will be bubbling with anticipation. Other players will be twitching with anxiety at the thought of competing again. Whether you’re excited or anxious, it’s important to use this period before league matches start to get yourself ‘match-ready’. Here’s three tips to help you prepare for the new league season…

REVIEW: Butterfly Amicus Professional Table Tennis Robot

When I first started playing table tennis, I bought the basic Practice Partner 100. A good entry level robot which is not that expensive. But it had a very limited range of spins and drills. I wanted a robot which was able to replicate more realistic spins and sequences of balls. It took a while to decide on which robot to buy. I went on table tennis forums and decided in the end that the Butterfly Amicus Professional was the one that would do virtually everything I wanted. I have had the robot for a few months now. Here’s my ‘for’ and ‘against’ appraisal.

7 step plan to improve your forehand topspin

A lot of players at the intermediate level struggle to attack backspin balls. It’s one of the key skills which prevent them from playing at a higher level. I’ve faced many opponents who are great at attacking a topspin or a blocked ball, but give them some backspin and their attacking game falls apart. If only they could learn to attack these backspin balls too, they would be quite formidable. In this blog post, I share my seven step plan for getting much better at attacking backspin balls.

How to practice with a player of lower ability

Do you often find yourself practicing with players of a much lower-ability level? It can be quite a frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be a complete waste of time. There’s actually quite a few things you can do when practicing with a player of a much lower ability-level which will benefit your own game. In this blog post, I share some ideas on how to make practising with a weaker player more rewarding.