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

Learning from Desmond Douglas at Westfield table tennis camp

In December, I attended the Westfield table tennis camp in Northamptonshire. This was my second visit to the Westfield table tennis camp. The first time, back in 2014, I attended all three days. This time I only attended one day. I would have liked to have done all three days, but with a 3-month-old baby back at home, it would have been a bit unfair on my partner! Here’s my review, including lessons I learned from table tennis legend, Desmond Douglas… Keep reading

The perils of coaching, losing a league title and Chinese obsessions – reflections on table tennis in 2015

Without doubt, this has been my busiest table tennis year. I’ve coached more hours than ever before, played in two different leagues and written 40 articles for my website. I even found time for a trip to Vienna to learn from one of the world’s top coaches. With so much going on, I thought I’d share some of things I’ve been up to, including a farcical coaching accident, losing a league title and becoming slightly obsessed with Chinese table tennis players. Keep reading

5 alternative match-play exercises to help you improve

Sometimes it’s useful to mix things up your training, especially the match-play element. You don’t always have to play the standard best of 3, 5 or 7 sets up to 11. There are alternative games you can play, which help you to work on weaknesses and strengths, put you outside your comfort zone and keep you focused and engaged. In this blog post I share five alternative match-play exercises I use as both a coach and a player. Keep reading

Frustrate your opponents with steady blocks, aggressive blocks and trick blocks

Frustrate your opponents with steady blocks, aggressive blocks and trick blocks

One of my favourite shots in table tennis is the block. In many ways, it’s a very simple shot. Little physical effort is required, you just need to get your body and bat in the right position and work with the speed and spin already on the ball. The other player does all the hard work, whilst you use all their speed and spin against them, putting them under lots of pressure to keep the rally going. In this blog post I look at different types of block shots you can use to frustrate your opponents. 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

Anton Kallberg – future world champion?

There is plenty of excitement at the moment about 18-year-old Swedish player Anton Kallberg. He has had a rapid rise up the international rankings in the past year and once again confirmed his potential with an impressive run of results at the 2015 Swedish Open. I have to confess, I’m excited too. It’s very early days, of course. There have been plenty of 18-year-olds who have shown potential, but never made an impression on the world’s top 50, let alone the world’s top 5. But I think Kallberg is different and has the potential to reach the very top. Read my blog post to find out why… Keep reading

Tactics for beating a long pimples player

Tactics for beating a long pimples player

One of the trickiest opponents you will face when learning to play table tennis is the player who uses long pimples. I vividly remember my first match against a long pimples player many years ago. I simply didn’t have a clue what was going on. My pushes were popping up high. My blocks were going into the net. My attacks were all over the place. But over the years, I have got used to long pimples and now win many more matches than I lose. In this blog post I share a few tactics to help you win more points against the tricky long pimples player. Keep reading

How to play table tennis like the Chinese

How to play table tennis like the Chinese

I’ve been watching videos of the Chinese players quite a lot recently. It’s a joy to watch these players in their full attacking flow. Apart from the occasional surprise loss, their standard of play is in a different league to other players in the top 20. From my many hours of watching these great players, I’ve identified a few things I think we can all learn from them and try and implement in our own game…. Keep reading

The dreaded first league season

The winter league season has started. There are regulars playing for the umpteenth season, rekindling old rivalries and trying to achieve their highest ever win percentage. But there are also lots of people playing their first ever league season, who are struggling to win a single set, let alone an entire match. If you’re a new player, make sure you read this blog post. I have some great tips on how to survive your first season. Keep reading