What went wrong with my season?

It has been a league season of mixed fortunes. Our team remained unbeaten all season in the league, yet we only finished in second place. I achieved a respectable win percentage (84%), but this was lower than the previous two seasons. We won the handicap competition, but crashed out of another cup competition in the quarter final due to a shocking performance by myself. So, what went wrong? In this blog post I reflect on my playing performance over the past few months and examine my big tactical mistake. Keep reading

Tactics for beating a blocker

Tactics for beating a blocker

Playing a very good blocker is like playing a brick wall. Everything comes back. They seem to know where you’re going to attack even before you’ve played your shot. You put all the effort in, topspinning this way and that way, but the ball keeps being returned. By the end of the match you’re exhausted and dripping in sweat. You look across the table and your blocker opponent is as fresh as a daisy. So what can you do to beat a blocker? Here’s my list of top tactics you should use… Keep reading

Can you pass my consistency test?

Consistency is one of my big things. It plays a big part in all of my coaching sessions. There’s not much point having a devilish spinny serve or a big attacking shot if you can’t execute them consistently. You’ll give away points rather than winning points. This isn’t good table tennis. In this blog post, I explain why I think consistency is so important and how you can improve your consistency. I also challenge you to take my consistency test. Will you be able to get 10 out of 10? Keep reading

How to win a deciding game

I used to have a terrible record in matches which went to a deciding game. In a best of 5 match, if the score was 2-2, I just knew I would lose the final game. And guess what? I would lose. Over and over again.

Fast forward to the present. Over the past four league seasons, my success rate at winning a deciding game is a lot better. In fact, it’s fantastic! At one stage, I won 14 consecutive matches which went to a deciding game. That’s a big improvement.

So, how did I do it? In this blog post I explain how I changed from a player who always lost a deciding game to a player who mostly wins a deciding game. Keep reading

Unsporting ways to win points

Most table tennis matches are played in a good spirit. But very occasionally there’s a bad-tempered match. There may be two players who are desperate to win. Or two players who don’t like each other very much. In this type of tense atmosphere, unsporting behaviour can sometimes occur. Here’s some of the unsporting behaviour I’ve witnessed over the years. Are any of these scenarios familiar to you? Keep reading

Put your opponents under serious pressure with short, long and wide pushes

Hands up if you regularly practise playing pushes? I’m guessing there aren’t many hands in the air right now. I can partly understand why players avoid practising their pushes. They find it boring. They think a push is defensive, safe and passive. But rather than seeing a push as a passive shot, you should approach pushing as an opportunity to put your opponent under some serious pressure. In this blog post, I reveal how you can become a pushing master and win lots more points. 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 identify and exploit an opponent’s weakness

Every player has weaknesses. An inexperienced player will have lots of weaknesses. A better player will have fewer weaknesses. The very best may seem as though they have no glaring weaknesses, but they will have areas of their game which aren’t as strong as others. There are loads of weaknesses a player potentially may have. In this blog post, I share my list of the most common weaknesses and how you can exploit them. Keep reading

Tips for maintaining a positive attitude when you’re losing

Tips for maintaining a positive attitude when you’re losing

All players have bad games. Sometimes when a match isn’t going well, a player’s head will drop and they will stop competing. This is the worst kind of defeat. No one feels good about losing control of their emotions and giving up. You learn very little from the defeat. There are no positives to take away. Ideally you want to eliminate this type of loss from your game completely. How can you do this? Here are a few tips on maintaining a positive attitude when you’re losing… Keep reading

Tactics for beating a big flat hitter

Tactics for beating a big flat hitter

One of the more awkward playing styles in local league table tennis is the big flat hitter. Rather than attacking with topspin, they prefer to hit through the ball with a very flat contact. You play a slightly loose shot and then BHAM! The ball gets smashed past you. You trudge off to the back of the hall to collect the ball. Next point, BHAM! The ball flies past you again. What should you do when playing a big flat hitter? In this blog post, I share a few tactics to help you win more points. Keep reading