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.
One of the best ways to improve your table tennis serves is solo practice. You get a box of balls and serve, serve, serve. I admit, this can be pretty boring. You need plenty of motivation to do this regularly. But if you can find the time and mental energy for some solo service practice, you can improve your serves a lot. In this blog post, I give advice on what you should (and shouldn’t do) during solo service practice and share some training drills to help you keep motivated.
One of my favourite serves is the reverse sidespin serve. It’s very effective against some opponents, who simply don’t know how to return it. But even if my opponent can return the serve, the ball is often returned in a predictable way, which gives me an opportunity to play a strong forehand attack for the 3rd ball. In this video lesson, I will show you how to do the reverse sidespin serve and explain the best positions to serve to.
What is the best table tennis serve you can do? A serve which is guaranteed to win you a point against any opponent. A serve which is unreadable. A serve which is unreturnable. Does such a serve exist? Read on to find out…
One of the benefits of having a table tennis table in my garage, is that I get to practise my serves a lot. I spend time practising my favourite serves – the ones I always use in matches. I also spend some time experimenting with different service actions and spin. As a result of all this practice, my service game is quite strong. I usually win lots of points on my serve and my service tactics get me out of trouble when other parts of my game aren’t working quite so well. In this blog post I share some of the service tactics which help me win cheap points.
During a recent coaching session, a player asked me whether it’s ok to use illegal serves. He said very few players have a legal serve in his local league. And umpires, who are usually other players, rarely enforce the service rules. He said his opponents have an advantage because they can serve however they want. What should he do? Continue to serve legally or use illegal serves too? Read on to find out my answer…
You can win lots of points with strong 3rd ball attacks. You serve, your opponent returns, you attack. If all goes to plan, you win the point on the third ball. Even if you don’t win the point on the third ball, you are likely to be in control of the rally. To be a strong 3rd ball attacker you need to practice lots of different serve and receive routines. In this blog post I share a few 3rd ball attack training drills. Each drill below includes a diagram, step-by-step instructions and suggestions for making the drill harder.
When coaching a player for a first time, they will often ask me to teach them new serves. They want serves which will bamboozle their opponents and win them lots of cheap points. But before I reveal my serving secrets, I ask them to show me their existing serves. And you know what? In most cases, the player already has a couple of decent serves, but they use them in a very predictable way. So before teaching any news serves, I always try to improve the serves they already use. In this blog post I reveal some of the things we work on (and you should do too)…
In this blog post I share 10 training drill ideas for the first five shots of a rally. There are two drills each for service, receive, 3rd ball, 4th ball and 5th ball. Each drill includes a diagram, step-by-step instructions and suggestions for making the drill harder.
Table tennis rallies are short. In fact they are very short. Various studies over the years have shown that the average table tennis rally is anywhere between 3 and 5 shots. What can we do with this information? For me, it seems fairly obvious. If you want to increase the number of points you win, you should focus a lot of your training on the first five shots of a rally.