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

What can table tennis players learn from Roger Federer?

What can table tennis players learn from Roger Federer?

One of my many sporting obsessions is watching Roger Federer play tennis. This has been going on over a decade. Whenever Federer plays, I’ll be following the score, willing him to win. As I watched Federer’s masterclass at this year’s Wimbledon, I started thinking about what we table tennis players can learn from the great man. Is there anything he does on the tennis court, which we can transfer to the table tennis table? Actually I think there is plenty. In this blog post, I examine a few things Federer does particularly well which we can all learn from. Keep reading

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

Tactics for beating a good junior player

Tactics for beating a good junior player

Any adult who has played competitive table tennis at any level has faced the unnerving and unglorified challenge of trying to beat a junior player. And not just any junior player. A junior who has been coached. A junior who has good technique and some great shots. A junior who plays without fear. It’s a difficult situation. There is no glory in beating a junior, but if you don’t try your best, you can easily get beat. In this blog post, I’ll give you some tactics on how to beat a good junior player. 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