Joining the dark side – when is the right time to switch to pimples?

There is a feeling among some in the table tennis community that switching to a pimples rubber is somehow cheating. I don’t believe this is the case at all. Playing effectively with a pimples rubber takes a lot of skill, adds variety to the sport and gives opponents a different type of challenge to overcome. In this article I explore when you should join the ‘dark side’ and use short or long pimples. Keep reading

Push or flick?

Push or flick?

If your opponent does a short backspin serve, how do you return it? Do you push the ball or try to flick it? From my experience of local league table tennis, especially in the lower divisions, most players return a short backspin serve with a push. But is this the best option? Could you gain a bigger advantage by attempting a backhand or forehand flick? Keep reading

Are you a drifter? Here’s the big benefit of playing closer to the table

Are you a drifter? Here’s the big benefit of playing closer to the table

Some players I coach like to drift back from the table. They may start closer but after one or two shots, they will start moving further and further away from the table. Whilst this approach does give you more time to play your shots, it also has significant drawbacks. In this article I challenge you to hold your ground and dominate playing closer to the table Keep reading

Adapting your table tennis game as you get older

Adapting your table tennis game as you get older

Getting older, doesn’t mean we have to be any less competitive. And it certainly doesn’t mean we can’t keep on improving. But we may have to adapt the way we play table tennis, so we can reduce the physical stress on our bodies, and still kick some butt! In this article, I share three ways you can adapt your game as you get older – to be less physical, but still very competitive – and possibly get a lot better. Keep reading

The benefit of disruptive shots

The benefit of disruptive shots

Disruptive shots unexpectedly change the speed, spin, length or direction of the ball. Examples of these shots are the chop block, forehand fade, around the net, snake / wiggly, a push with sidespin, a smash with backspin, taking the ball off the bounce, strawberry flick or even a slow and spinny topspin – all sorts of weird and wonderful shots. Are disruptive shots effective? Will they win you points? Should you use them? Keep reading

Tactics for beating a pusher

Tactics for beating a pusher

In local league table tennis, you’ll often have to play against pushers. These are players who like to push again and again and again. The pusher’s aim is to frustrate you. They want to draw you into a pushing match or force you to attempt a risky attack. The outcome is often an unforced attacking error, frustration, more attacking errors and more frustration. How do you beat these annoying players? Here’s some tactics you can try… Keep reading

Four simple ways to make a two point improvement

Four simple ways to make a two point improvement

A key focus of the training camp I organised in the summer was for players to make a two point improvement. Think about all the games you have lost 11-9. With a two point improvement, you win these games 11-9. Think about all the games you have lost 11-7. With a two point improvement, the score is 9-9 and you have a good chance of winning. A two point improvement may seem small, but it can make a big difference to how many matches you win or lose. Here are a few obvious ways you can make a two point improvement… Keep reading

How much should you block during matches?

How much should you block during matches?

If you follow my blog and YouTube channel, you probably know that I really enjoy blocking. I love the feel of the block. Using early timing, soft hands, good ball placement and minimal physical energy to block the ball back. But how much should you block when you play matches? Can it be an effective playing style? How far can a good blocking game take you? At what level does too much blocking stop being effective? Keep reading

The easiest way to instantly improve at table tennis

The easiest way to instantly improve at table tennis

There is one skill which I work on with every player I coach. It doesn’t matter what standard or whether the player is an attacker or defender. I give every player the same advice. Focus on ball placement. This is the simplest and quickest way for every player to instantly improve. You don’t need to learn any new shots. You just need to improve where you put the ball. Keep reading