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

Table tennis needs Grand Slams

One of the things I find frustrating about table tennis is its lack of media exposure. In the UK, the only time that table tennis gets any decent national media exposure is during the Olympics. But once the Olympics are over, table tennis disappears and is forgotten about for another four years. What we need is for table tennis to be in the media spotlight more often. One way to do this would be to introduce Grand Slam tournaments, similar to tennis. Keep reading

What should beginner table tennis players learn first?

I recently started coaching two complete beginners, both adults. One had never played table tennis before, the other played a little bit for fun when a kid, but nothing for the next 30 years. Both have a similar goal – to be good enough at table tennis to join a club and possibly play competitively in a local league. This is a great goal to have, but it’s not easy. There is a lot to learn. And when there is so much to learn, what should you focus on first? Keep reading

Benefits of an unconventional playing style

Table tennis coaches (myself included) often favour teaching a modern topspin game – service from the backhand corner, playing forehands on ¾ of the table, playing topspin strokes as often as possible, attack, attack attack! But this isn’t the only way of playing table tennis. In this blog post I explore the benefits of unconventional playing styles. Keep reading

The sport where young and old battle for glory

Over the past three months we have seen some extraordinary performances by both young and not-so-young players in the world of table tennis. In February 2015, 11-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto got to the final of the Safir Open in Sweden, beating two of the world’s top 100 players on the way. Even more recently, 14-year-old Mima … Keep reading

Pitchford and Drinkhall rivalry great for English table tennis

What sporting drama! At the recent 2015 English Table Tennis Championships, Liam Pitchford staged a remarkable comeback to claim his third consecutive men’s singles title. Pitchford was trailing top seed Paul Drinkhall 3-0 and defeat was looking inevitable. But he dug deep, saved two Champinship points in 5th set, before finally securing 4-3 victory. This was … Keep reading

Can you master table tennis in one year?

There’s been a huge surge in interest in table tennis this week, thanks to the ‘Expert in a Year’ challenge attempted by London coach Ben Larcombe and his friend Sam Priestley. The challenge has been getting plenty of attention in table tennis circles, but over the past week it has gone viral. It was featured … Keep reading