[Video] How to play like Desmond Douglas

[Video] How to play like Desmond Douglas

In this video, table tennis superstar Desmond Douglas shares some of his table tennis secrets. Desmond played in the 1970s and 1980s and was 11 times English champion. He reached number 7 in the world rankings. Desmond had a unique playing style. He played close to the table and used short strokes and quick reactions to put his opponents under pressure. In the video Desmond explains the benefits of his playing style and shares some of the tactics he used during his playing career. Keep reading

Why is backhand topspin vs backspin so difficult?

Why is backhand topspin vs backspin so difficult?

A few days ago I had the pleasure of coaching at the Top Edge & Gertsen Training Camp at St Neots Table Tennis Club. Part of my role was to do 1-to-1 sessions with some of the players. In these sessions I asked the players what they wanted to work on. The players were a mixture of ages and standards, but strikingly most of them wanted to work on the same thing – backhand topspin vs backspin. This is consistent with my own coaching sessions in Cambridge. Backhand topspin vs backspin seems to be a shot which is very difficult for a lot of players (myself included) at the amateur level. Why is this? Keep reading

Copying the pros can make you worse

Copying the pros can make you worse

How much should you try and copy professional table tennis players? Their technique is so smooth. The footwork is brilliant. They can generate huge amounts of speed and spin. And they are incredibly accurate and consistent. Pro players make the game look so easy and so effortless. So if we want to improve, then surely it makes sense to just study and copy what the pro players do? Well yes and no. There are instances when copying the pros could make you much worse. Keep reading

[Video] How to return serves with a touch shot – with Paul Drinkhall

[Video] How to return serves with a touch shot – with Paul Drinkhall

In this video, pro player Paul Drinkhall, shows how to return serves with a forehand touch. A ‘touch’ is a very short return of serve, usually when your opponent has served backspin or no-spin. Ideally, a touch shot will stay low over the net and bounce twice or more on you’re opponent’s side of the table. This makes it very difficult for your opponent to attack. Keep reading

[Video] Beat your opponent with quick counter topspins – with Paul Drinkhall

[Video] Beat your opponent with quick counter topspins – with Paul Drinkhall

In this video, pro player Paul Drinkhall, shows how to do a forehand counter-topspin. This is a shot played close to the table. Your opponent plays a looping attack. Instead of blocking, you play a short counter-topspin attack instead. The result? Usually a clean winner. The ball goes past your opponent before he or she even realises. In the video, Paul explains how to execute the shot, how to practice and when to use the shot in matches. Keep reading

[Video] Forehand attack down the line…A simple shot to win cheap points

[Video] Forehand attack down the line…A simple shot to win cheap points

In this video I share a simple but very effective tactic of attacking with your forehand down the line. Most players are very good at forehand attacks cross-court. But forehand attacks down the line can be an even better shot. In the video I explain why you should do forehand attacks down the line and how to do it. I also show three simple exercises to help you develop a strong forehand attack down the line. Keep reading

[Video] Brilliant blocking skills – with Paul Drinkhall

[Video] Brilliant blocking skills – with Paul Drinkhall

In this video, pro player Paul Drinkhall, shows off his brilliant blocking skills. Blocking is great for returning your opponent’s topspin shots, and turning defence into attack. In the video, Paul shares his blocking tips, discussing technique, placement and gaining a psychological advantage over your opponent. I also take Paul on in a match. I’m allowed to attack, but Paul is only allowed to block. Who will win? Keep reading

[Video] How to do a forehand flick – with Paul Drinkhall

[Video] How to do a forehand flick – with Paul Drinkhall

In this video, pro player Paul Drinkhall demonstrates the forehand flick. Paul uses the forehand flick to attack short backspin serves or pushes. He combines speed with very good placement to put his opponents under pressure. In the video, Paul describes how to do the forehand flick, the importance of placement and how much power you should use.
Keep reading