[Video] How to play deceptive shots – with Craig Bryant

[Video] How to play deceptive shots – with Craig Bryant

When we play our drives and topspins, we usually give our opponent signals as to where we are going to put the ball. In this video, Craig Bryant explains how we can disguise our shots better, by using less body movement and more wrist movement to change where we put the ball. This can make it much harder for your opponent to read your shots. It’s a great way of forcing your opponent to play weak shots or hitting outright winners. Keep reading

Why I miss the stress of competition

Why I miss the stress of competition

My table tennis club has been open for six weeks. I have enjoyed the dedicated practice time. I’ve been trying to develop my attacking game – topspin rather than block, flick rather than push. This week I even hit a few backhand winners. This is a new experience for me! But whilst this extended period of practice is having some benefit on my game, I am really starting to miss competitive play – league matches and tournaments. I am a little surprised by this, as I actually find league matches and tournaments quite stressful. Keep reading

[Video] How to improve your table tennis grip – with Mark Mitchell

[Video] How to improve your table tennis grip – with Mark Mitchell

In this video, pro coach Mark Mitchell explains how to improve your table tennis grip. How you hold your table tennis bat has an impact on the speed, spin and control of your shots. Many players hold the bat too tight, which creates tension in the arm and makes it hard to play with good spin and feeling. Mark explains the benefits a looser grip and shows how to grip the bat to enable more relaxed and explosive shots. Keep reading

Do your serves compliment your playing style?

Do your serves compliment your playing style?

I have a player I coach who has very strong drives. He can hit the ball hard and with good ball placement with both his forehand and his backhand. However, this player has a service problem. Yes, his serves are decent and spinny, and sometimes win him points outright. But in general his serves do not compliment his playing style. He often gets stuck in pushing rallies and loses the point. In this blog post, I explain how you can use your serves to set up the type of rally you want and win more points. Keep reading

[Video] How to improve your backhand loop – with Ferenc Horvath

[Video] How to improve your backhand loop – with Ferenc Horvath

In this video, top coach Ferenc Horvath gives 5 tips to help you improve your backhand loop. Many players, including myself, find the backhand loop a little tricky to do. But help is at hand. In this video Ferenc explains in detail the technique needed to master the backhand loop. There is also lots of footage of Ferenc demonstrating the shot. I have been on the receiving end of Ferenc’s backhand loop many times, and it is a wonderful shot. Keep reading

[Video] Tom in training…Help me improve! (Sep 2020)

[Video] Tom in training…Help me improve! (Sep 2020)

I’m back in training, trying to improve me game. When life returns to normal, I will be entering a few tournaments and see how far I can get. To help me improve, I have enlisted the help of coach Ferenc Horvath. In particular I have asked Ferenc to help me develop my attacking game and my footwork. I have a habit of being too cautious when I play, so Ferenc is encouraging me to get into my beast mode. Keep reading

Training in uncertain times

Training in uncertain times

In the UK, table tennis is slowly spluttering back to life. Some clubs and sport centres have reopened giving us some opportunities to practice. But competitive table tennis – leagues and tournaments – is still very limited. So what should our focus be during these uncertain times? Well if you do have the opportunity to play table tennis, I would suggest now is the ideal time to be focusing on improving your technique and sorting out any weak areas of your game. Keep reading

[Video] How to confuse your opponent when returning serves – with Craig Bryant

[Video] How to confuse your opponent when returning serves – with Craig Bryant

In this video, top coach Craig Bryant, explains how to confuse your opponent when returning serves. It’s all about the art of deception. You show your opponent you are going to play one shot and at the last moment you switch to another shot. This unpredictability makes it hard for your opponent to anticipate what you will do. When your opponent is uncertain, he or she will play weaker shots or make more mistakes. In the video, Craig shows how to add deception when returning serves with a forehand topspin, a forehand flick, a backhand flick, a touch and a push. Keep reading

My new table tennis book

I am pleased to announce the publication of my debut book – SPIN: Tips and tactics to win at table tennis. I have always wanted to publish a book. I’m sure the 23-year-old Tom would have anticipated some world changing political masterpiece. But life takes us in some unexpected directions, and a career obsessing about table tennis is certainly a more unusual turn of events. But now that my life is full of the joys of balls pinging and ponging, I wouldn’t want it any of other way. Keep reading