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.

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.

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.

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.

Review: Table Tennis University

If you haven’t already heard, Table Tennis University is back! The relaunched website has several online table tennis courses, covering topics such as service, forehand loop, backhand loop, footwork and a flagship ‘university’ course which covers pretty much every aspect of table tennis you can think of. The big question is, are these courses any good? Can online table tennis lessons help you improve? Is it worth spending money on an online table tennis course, or should you just find a coach to teach you? Here’s my views…