How to play like Timo Boll (and beat the best player in the world)

How to play like Timo Boll (and beat the best player in the world)

Timo Boll has had a fantastic 2017. He won the Korean Open, reclaimed the German National Championship and helped Germany become European team champions again. And then he made it all the way to the final of the Men’s World Cup, beating world number 1 Ma Long in the semi-finals. We can all learn from Timo Boll. I’ve watched a lot of his matches recently and I’m going to share some things he does particularly well. So if you want to try and play a bit more like Timo Boll, here’s some things you should try and do… Keep reading

What can table tennis players learn from Roger Federer?

What can table tennis players learn from Roger Federer?

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. Keep reading

Improve your serves with some solo service practice

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. Keep reading

(Video) How to do a reverse sidespin serve

(Video) How to do a reverse sidespin serve

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. Keep reading

Service tactics to win cheap points

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. Keep reading

“Is it ok to use illegal serves?”

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… Keep reading

3rd ball attack training drills

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. Keep reading

How to make an existing serve even better

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)… Keep reading

10 training drill ideas for the first five shots in a rally

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. Keep reading