The dark arts of serving

The dark arts of serving

There are multiple aspects to service – technical, tactical, mental and psychological. We often talk about the first three – how to serve, serve tactics, mental preparation – but we don’t often discuss the fourth part – how to psychologically unsettle your opponent. Or what I call “the dark arts of serving”. In this article I share some of the psychological tactics which players use when serving. All of these are entirely legal to do. They are not guaranteed to unsettle your opponent, but they often do… Keep reading

Best table tennis bats for intermediate players

Best table tennis bats for intermediate players

When players I coach progress from beginner to intermediate standard, I encourage them to buy a better bat. But what the heck should they buy? There are just so many bats available – all with different levels of speed, spin and control. For a player who is buying their first ‘proper’ bat, it can be quite an overwhelming experience. But do not worry, help is at hand. In this blog post, I share the advice I give to the intermediate players I coach (including specific recommendations). I hope my advice helps you too… Keep reading

Do you practise returning serves? If not, why not?

Do you practise returning serves? If not, why not?

How important is it to practise returning serves? Well, look at it this way … 50% of points in a table tennis match begin with your opponent serving. You have to read your opponent’s serve, get the ball back on the table and hopefully put your opponent under pressure. In a game up to 11, if you miss 3, 4 or 5 of your opponent’s serves, you are at a massive disadvantage. From this perspective it would be crazy not to practise returning serves. Keep reading

Top 20 most popular table tennis rubbers in 2024

Top 20 most popular table tennis rubbers in 2024

What table tennis rubbers are most popular with amateur table tennis players? To answer this question, I conducted a survey, asking players what rubbers they currently use for their forehand and backhand.  I sent the survey to subscribers of my mailing list and YouTube channel, various table tennis Facebook groups and users of the Table … Keep reading

Best table tennis bats for beginners

Best table tennis bats for beginners

As a coach, I often give advice to beginner players about what table tennis bat to buy. There is a lot of choice available and if you have never played before it’s quite difficult working out a good bat from a rubbish bat. Rather than giving my wisdom only to players I coach, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts on the best beginner bats to a wider audience. So here’s what I tell my beginners… Keep reading

Choosing the right tactics

Choosing the right tactics

In a recent video, I asked viewers to give me some suggestions of tactics I should try against Jarek – a player who goes back from the table and returns all my hard attacks. I had a fantastic response with over 100 suggestions of tactics to try. Now, I am left with another problem. I have a long list of tactics, but which ones should I choose? Keep reading

How to add a new shot to your game

How to add a new shot to your game

Have you ever tried developing a new shot (e.g. a backhand flick), but found it difficult to actually use it in a competitive match? You can play the shot easily in training drills – and even in a practice match – but when it comes to a league or tournament match, you dare not use it. Why can it be so hard to add a new shot to our game? And what can we do about it? Keep reading