This week, I want to share with you a very, very, very good coaching website, which is still relatively unknown. (Shhhh, let’s keep this as our little secret!).
Interesting, I thought to myself. This could be good.
Dan very kindly gave me access to Table Tennis Daily Academy. I’ve been using the site for a few weeks and I want to share my views on whether it’s any good and if you should sign up… (you can probably guess what the answer is from my enthusiastic first sentence!).
So let’s start with the content. At the time of writing, the website has 100+ coaching videos, but Dan and Tom are adding 5 new videos every month. Each video is around 5-10 minutes in length, so taking an average figure, I estimate there is around 7 hours of coaching content. And this will increase as they keep adding new videos.
The content is organised into different categories…
- Service & Receive
- Training Exercises
- Match Analysis
What I really like is the variety of the content.
Yes, Dan and Tom demonstrate how to play various strokes, both basic (pushes, blocks, drives, topspins) and more advanced (flicks, topspin vs backspin, counter topspin, drop shots, pivot shots).
But the website is so much more than this.
They have lots of very useful videos on the tactical, psychological side of the game, including:
- How To Play Against Long Pimple Rubbers
- How To Stop Your Opponent From Attacking First
- I Play Good In Practice But Not In Matches
- How To Prepare For Matches
- How To Peak For Tournaments
And they have some excellent videos on service and returning serves, which I know from my own coaching is an area a lot of players are desperate to improve…
- How To Return Tricky Long Sidespin Serves
- How To Make Your Serves More Deceptive
- The Serve And The Likely Return
- The Long Fast Serve
- The Reverse Pendulum Serve
These are just some of the videos available. You can see all the videos available on the Table Tennis Daily Academy website.
Quality of coaching
I’ve watched around half the videos now and they really are very good. Dan and Tom are both very high standard players and bring insights not only from their own game but also knowledge from other players and coaches they have interacted with in Europe and Asia.
A great example of this is a video “The 30, 60, 90 Principal”. In the video Dan talks about a training camp he attended in Germany and a pro player observed him blasting away at every ball. The pro player explained the idea of playing at 30% speed, 60% speed and 90% speed. The idea being you can’t blast every ball. Sometimes it makes sense to play a slower ball, sometimes a faster ball. If you can play at different speeds, you will have more variety and more options in returning your opponents’ shots.
I have taken this idea and started using it with some of the players I coach who like to blast every ball. I had previously struggled to communicate why you don’t need to blast every ball. But explaining the 30, 60, 90 principal really seems to resonate. The concept is easy to understand and crucially the players I coach make less mistakes and play better.
Dan and Tom explain everything in a very clear and easy to understand way. They don’t overwhelm you with technical information. They stick to a few key coaching points. This is important as it makes it much easier to retain the information. Over the past few weeks I have found myself frequently recalling things they have said in their videos. Their ideas are sticking in my brain.
And the advice Dan and Tom give is very practical. They don’t discuss broad mythical concepts like some YouTuber’s which can leave you a bit baffled. It’s much more real-life. They explain how to do a stroke and how to use it effectively. A simple approach, but the best approach. Keep things simple and show people how to do it in a way in which is easy to learn.
Who is Table Tennis Daily Academy suitable for?
The videos are really aimed at amateur table tennis players. I guess the basic section is more aimed at beginners and improvers, but actually there is lots of useful information for more advanced players too. The other sections (Technical, Tactical, Service & Receive, Training Exercises, Psychological) are more suitable for intermediate and advanced players. I play Division 1 in my local league and coach full time and I am still learning a lot from Tom and Dan.
Another really good feature of the website is the Coach Corner. This is where users get to ask Dan and Tom for advice and tips. So you can get feedback on your own game. Some users are even posting videos of themselves playing. Dan and Tom give quite detailed responses to the questions users ask. So if you’re struggling with aspects of your game, you can post your problem and you’ll get some expert feedback.
The video quality is annoyingly good. I say ‘annoyingly’, as I struggle with the sound, lighting and resolution of my YouTube videos. It’s a constant battle and I still haven’t got it right.
Dan and Tom’s videos are much more professional. No echo. No microphone leads. Very high resolution video. They have put a lot of effort into making the videos look and sound good.
They use lots of different angles and slow motion replays, so you can really see what is happening with the shots they play.
In the internet age, it’s always a dilemma with content. Should you make it free or should you charge?
To access the Table Tennis Daily Academy you do need to pay. I think this is fair as the quality of the videos and coaching is really very high. But the cost is pretty cheap considering the quantity and quality of videos available, plus the access you have to Dan and Tom.
Is it worth spending the money? Actually, I really think it is. Even if you sign up for a monthly membership for 2 or 3 months, you’re going to access to a lot of coaching videos and learn some really useful things for a small amount of money.
I suspect that if you do sign up, you’ll stick around for longer than 2 or 3 months as you’ll want to keep re-watching the videos again and again and you’ll want to get access to the latest videos each month. So if you can afford it, it will work out cheaper in the long run to get a yearly membership.
If you want to try it out before purchasing, you can sign up for a trial membership which gives you access to two free videos.
If you have ever watched any of my YouTube coaching videos and found them useful, then you will definitely find the Table Tennis Daily Academy videos useful too.
Dan and Tom have a similar style to me. They give practical information and explain things in an easy to understand way. But Dan and Tom play at a much higher standard than me, have had more coaching success than me and the production quality of their videos is much better too. So basically the videos are all-round better than mine!
In some ways I wanted to give a really balanced review – some positives and some negatives – but I really am struggling to find any negatives. I think they have done a great job with the coaching videos. And crucially, my game has improved by following their tips and advice.
So my conclusion is a simple one…
Sign up to to Table Tennis Daily Academy now and take your game to the next level!