Create confusion by using disruptive shots

Create confusion by using disruptive shots

One way to add an extra dimension to your game is to develop shots which disrupt the pace of the game. These are shots which unexpectedly change the speed, spin, length or direction of the ball. Examples include a chop block, fade, wiggly, push with sidespin, a smash with backspin – all sorts of weird and wonderful shots. In this blog post I explain why these types of shots are useful and when you should use them. Keep reading

How to get good against long pimples

How to get good against long pimples

A lot of players struggle against long pimples. It’s a common issue, especially at lower levels. When I started playing, I was completely confused in my first matches against long pimples players. I didn’t know what the heck was going on! But in quite a small period of time, I was able to make rapid improvements and start beating the players I was losing to. So in this blog post, I’m going to share three simple steps you should follow to get good against long pimples players. Keep reading

Tactics for winning a handicap match

Tactics for winning a handicap match

In local league table tennis in the UK, we have a strong tradition of handicap competitions. This is where players are given points advantage / disadvantage based on rankings. I usually do pretty well in handicap matches. Our league team has won the the league handicap competition three times in the past five years (maybe our handicap ratings are too lenient!). In this blog post, I share some tactics I have used over the years to help me win handicap matches. Keep reading

Tactics for beating weird players

Tactics for beating weird players

If you play in local league or amateur tournaments, you will come across all kinds of weird and awkward styles. These are players with strange looking strokes and movements. They may not look great, but somehow they have developed an unorthodox playing style which works for them and can be infuriatingly effective. In this blog post I give four tactics to try when playing against weird players. Keep reading

Why you should make notes about your opponents

This week I beat an opponent who I lost to twice last season. The biggest factor for my win, was my note-taking. Yes, that’s right, good old boring note-taking! I regularly make notes about my opponents. I make notes about an opponent’s playing style, how I lost points, how I won points and what tactics to try the next time we play. In this blog post, I explain why I write notes about my opponents, what I include in my notes and why you should make notes too. Keep reading

No matter how good you get, there’s always someone better…

No matter how good you get, there’s always someone better…

My table tennis team had a bruising encounter last week. We lost 10-0. Ouch. In truth, none of the matches were close, apart from the doubles, when we were already losing the tie 9-0. This thrashing was a good reminder that no matter how good you think you’re getting at table tennis, there’s always better players who can make you feel like a beginner. In this blog post I give my thoughts on how to bounce back from these defeats and embrace the challenge of playing stronger opponents. Keep reading

How to play like Timo Boll (and beat the best player in the world)

How to play like Timo Boll (and beat the best player in the world)

Timo Boll has had a fantastic 2017. He won the Korean Open, reclaimed the German National Championship and helped Germany become European team champions again. And then he made it all the way to the final of the Men’s World Cup, beating world number 1 Ma Long in the semi-finals. We can all learn from Timo Boll. I’ve watched a lot of his matches recently and I’m going to share some things he does particularly well. So if you want to try and play a bit more like Timo Boll, here’s some things you should try and do… Keep reading

Tactics to beat a much stronger player

Tactics to beat a much stronger player

A situation you can’t avoid in table tennis is playing someone of a much higher standard. At some point in a league match or a tournament you will face someone who is simply a lot better than you. What’s the best approach when playing a much stronger player? Is there any way of winning? Is it really possible to cause a major shock? Maybe, just maybe. But you need to approach the match in the right way. In this blog post I share some things you can try… Keep reading