When returning serves, DON’T PROD THE BALL

When returning serves, DON’T PROD THE BALL

Returning serves is hard. It’s the thing most players at the beginner and intermediate levels struggle with the most. But there are ways you can get better at returning serves, even if you have only just started playing table tennis. In this blog post, I give some simple advice about how you can return more serves, plus I share a BIG NO-NO, something you should never do… Keep reading

Best table tennis bats for beginners

Best table tennis bats for beginners

As a coach, I often give advice to beginner players about what table tennis bat to buy. There is a lot of choice available and if you have never played before it’s quite difficult working out a good bat from a rubbish bat. Rather than giving my wisdom only to players I coach, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts on the best beginner bats to a wider audience. So here’s what I tell my beginners… Keep reading

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

(Video) How to attack a backspin ball with a forehand topspin

(Video) How to attack a backspin ball with a forehand topspin

If you want to improve and play at a higher level, you need to learn how to attack backspin balls, e.g. pushes, chops, backspin serves. In this video I share some of the teaching methods I use with the players I coach. I explain the technique in full, then I break the learning process down into smaller chunks. Most of the time my methods work. So if you struggle with this shot, try out the things I show in the video and hopefully it will work for you too. Keep reading

Review: Eastfield Allround table tennis bat

There’s a new table tennis brand on the market. The new brand, Eastfield, is the creation of Ben Larcombe, who runs the popular Expert Table Tennis website. The first bat to be released under the Eastfield brand is the Eastfield Allround table tennis bat. This bat is aimed at players who are learning the game and want more control and feeling, rather than blistering speed. Ben very kindly sent me an Eastfield Allround bat to try out. I’ve been using the bat on and off for the past month in my coaching sessions. Here’s my review… Keep reading

Review: Palio Expert 2 Table Tennis Bat

Review: Palio Expert 2 Table Tennis Bat

One of the most popular table tennis bats for beginners is the Palio Expert 2. As there is a lot of interest in this bat, I thought I would write a review. I also have a Palio Expert 2 table tennis bat, which I sometimes use in coaching sessions with beginners. As I’ve had many hours of playing time with the bat, I feel well placed to give my expert view. Here’s my review… Keep reading

The dreaded first league season

The winter league season has started. There are regulars playing for the umpteenth season, rekindling old rivalries and trying to achieve their highest ever win percentage. But there are also lots of people playing their first ever league season, who are struggling to win a single set, let alone an entire match. If you’re a new player, make sure you read this blog post. I have some great tips on how to survive your first season. Keep reading

What should beginner table tennis players learn first?

I recently started coaching two complete beginners, both adults. One had never played table tennis before, the other played a little bit for fun when a kid, but nothing for the next 30 years. Both have a similar goal – to be good enough at table tennis to join a club and possibly play competitively in a local league. This is a great goal to have, but it’s not easy. There is a lot to learn. And when there is so much to learn, what should you focus on first? Keep reading