7 common beginner mistakes in table tennis (and how to fix them)

Last weekend I coached at a beginner training day in London. The purpose of the day was to teach some basic table tennis skills – drives, pushes, serve and receive. Throughout the day, I picked up on several mistakes the beginner players were making. They were making the same mistakes as the beginner players I coach in Cambridge. I’m sure they are the same mistakes any beginner player makes in any part of the world. So I thought it would be useful to share some of these mistakes, why they need fixing and what you should do instead. So if you are a beginner player, this blog post is for you… Keep reading

Do you need ‘perfect’ technique to be good at table tennis? No you do not!

When I post a coaching video on my Youtube channel, I usually get a few comments, where my technique gets completely trashed. I get told I do this wrong and that wrong and I should try to play the shot like the best professionals (usually someone from the Chinese National Team). But how true is this? Do you have to play like the best professionals in the world to be any good at table tennis? Is there such a thing as ‘perfect’ technique? Let’s explore these questions… Keep reading

Learn how to counter-attack (and take your game to the next level)

One of the players I coach likes to finish our coaching sessions with some match-play. We have some good games. I usually come out on top, but it’s close. After we finished one week, he said he found it difficult when I attack too much. He goes into automatic blocking mode and becomes too passive. So during our next session we worked on options for counter-attacking. When we played a few games at the end – he blocked less and attacked more and I found it much harder to win points. So for your benefit, here’s a couple of things we worked on, plus a simple training drill you can do. Keep reading

How to get more speed and spin on your forehand topspin attacks

Some table tennis players have blistering forehand attacks. Blink and the ball is past you. Other players have steady forehand attacks. They can get the ball on the table consistently, but their attacks lack the speed and spin to really give you any trouble. What are the strong forehand attackers doing, which the weaker forehand attackers are not? Here are my tips on how to get more speed and spin on your forehand topspin attacks. Keep reading

Advice for players who hit the ball very hard, but keep missing

I have four players I’m coaching at the moment who all have the same problem. Their attacks are so powerful the ball goes long more often than it hits the table. For every successful attack they make, they usually miss another three or four. In this blog post I share two very important pieces of advice for any player who makes too many mistakes by hitting the ball too hard. Keep reading

How to deal with too much conflicting table tennis advice

Last week I received a panicked email from a player I coach. In her own words, she was “completely muddled with all the different pieces of advice from different people”. She was beginning to doubt if her fast, attacking topspin game was the right way to play. An experienced player had told her she should play slow and spinny. A coach said she should flat hit rather than spin the ball. Another coach gave her some tactical advice which was the opposite to the advice she had received from a completely different coach. How was she supposed to make sense of all this? Read on to find out my advice… Keep reading

7 step plan to improve your forehand topspin

A lot of players at the intermediate level struggle to attack backspin balls. It’s one of the key skills which prevent them from playing at a higher level. I’ve faced many opponents who are great at attacking a topspin or a blocked ball, but give them some backspin and their attacking game falls apart. If only they could learn to attack these backspin balls too, they would be quite formidable. In this blog post, I share my seven step plan for getting much better at attacking backspin balls. Keep reading

How to play great forehand attacks from the backhand corner

Most professional table tennis players love to attack with their forehand from all areas of the table, including the backhand corner. They have the ability to step around the backhand corner, attack with their forehand and then effortlessly recover to play a forehand attack from the opposite corner. They make it look so easy. So what can we learn from the professionals? In this blog post, I explain how to play strong forehand attacks from the backhand corner, highlight common mistakes to avoid and share two simple training drills to help you improve. Keep reading