When should you move up a division in local league?

I often have conversations with players I coach about when they should move up a division. Some players want to move up local league divisions quickly. They are eager to play in a higher division, even if their win percentage in their current division isn’t very high. My advice? I tell them not to move up a division too soon. I tell them to get a 70% win percentage in their current division first. When they get this 70% win percentage, then they can think about playing in a higher division. What’s the reason behind this? Why 70%? Let me explain… Keep reading

My experience of playing in the top division

This was my first year playing in the top division in Cambridge. The standard in Division 1 is much higher than Division 2. Looking at the statistics of other players who moved up through the divisions, most got between 10-30% in their first season in Division 1. So I knew it was going to be tough. In this blog post, I share my experience of playing in the top division and reveal whether I managed to win a match. I also give some advice on how you need to develop your game if you want to play in the top division of your local league. Keep reading

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. Keep reading

How to warm-up before a match (if you only have five minutes)

One of the challenges of local league table tennis is that you often don’t get very much time to warm-up. By the time you get to the venue, you may only have five minutes to warm-up with your team-mates, and then it’s straight on with the matches. Your first match isn’t great. You’re a bit tight and tense and you don’t play anywhere near your best level. You moan to yourself about the fact that you haven’t had a proper warm-up. What can you do about this? In this blog post I explain how you can improve your warm-up routine, even if you only have a few minutes to warm-up. Keep reading

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. Keep reading

We lost! Our three year unbeaten run has come to a crushing end

Last night, we finally lost a league match. It’s our first loss since January 2014. During this time, we have won 51 matches and drawn 3, across 4 different divisions. It’s been a fantastic run, but the frustrating thing is that we had our chances last night. We could have kept the unbeaten run going for longer. Read on to find out what happened… Keep reading

How to approach (and win) matches against weaker opponents

Some players find it a real struggle to play against weaker opponents. I have seen it many times. A player will finish a match, shaking his head, wondering out aloud how he could have played so bad. “I was rubbish”. “I should have beaten that player easily”. “I never play that bad in practice matches”. Does this sound familiar? Do you struggle against players you really should beat? If so, read on, as I have some good advice to help you consistently beat weaker players… Keep reading

Are you ready for the new table tennis league season?

For many players in the UK, the new table tennis league season will start in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Some players will be bubbling with anticipation. Other players will be twitching with anxiety at the thought of competing again. Whether you’re excited or anxious, it’s important to use this period before league matches start to get yourself ‘match-ready’. Here’s three tips to help you prepare for the new league season… Keep reading

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