Training in uncertain times

Training in uncertain times

In the UK, table tennis is slowly spluttering back to life. Some clubs and sport centres have reopened giving us some opportunities to practice. But competitive table tennis – leagues and tournaments – is still very limited. So what should our focus be during these uncertain times? Well if you do have the opportunity to play table tennis, I would suggest now is the ideal time to be focusing on improving your technique and sorting out any weak areas of your game. Keep reading

Four simple ways to make a two point improvement

A key focus of the training camp I organised in the summer was for players to make a two point improvement. Think about all the games you have lost 11-9. With a two point improvement, you win these games 11-9. Think about all the games you have lost 11-7. With a two point improvement, the score is 9-9 and you have a good chance of winning. A two point improvement may seem small, but it can make a big difference to how many matches you win or lose. Here are a few obvious ways you can make a two point improvement… Keep reading

How to get good against long pimples

How to get good against long pimples

A lot of players struggle against long pimples. It’s a common issue, especially at lower levels. When I started playing, I was completely confused in my first matches against long pimples players. I didn’t know what the heck was going on! But in quite a small period of time, I was able to make rapid improvements and start beating the players I was losing to. So in this blog post, I’m going to share three simple steps you should follow to get good against long pimples players. Keep reading

Gain an advantage over your clubmates this summer

It’s summer time! My favourite time of the year. It’s also the time of the year when a lot of people have a break from playing table tennis. This is completely understandable. The weather is good. People want to be outdoors and do other activities. Often people are away for holidays. So if you really want to get an advantage over your clubmates and your opponents, now is the time to keep practising! Keep reading

How to change a table tennis habit (even if you’re 80)

I coach a player in his 80s (he wants to remain anonymous, so I’ll call him Harold). When he was younger Harold was a defensive player. But it’s not easy for Harold to play this way any more. So I have worked with him to change his playing style. This has not been easy. In fact it’s been very difficult. But Harold has made huge progress. And he has succeeded in changing many of of his defensive habits. In this blog post, I’ll explain how Harold has managed to change his habits and how you can change your table tennis habits too. Keep reading

30 day challenge to improve your weakest stroke

30 day challenge to improve your weakest stroke

To kick off 2018, I thought I’d give you a challenge. For a 30 day period, your challenge is to work on, and improve, your weakest stroke. And I mean really work on it. During any table tennis training session you do over the 30 days, you have to spend a good chunk of time practising this weak stroke. The whole purpose of this is to use focused, deliberate practise in a condensed time period (30 days) to transform your weakest stroke into something which works in a competitive match. Keep reading

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

Improve your serves with some solo service practice

One of the best ways to improve your table tennis serves is solo practice. You get a box of balls and serve, serve, serve. I admit, this can be pretty boring. You need plenty of motivation to do this regularly. But if you can find the time and mental energy for some solo service practice, you can improve your serves a lot. In this blog post, I give advice on what you should (and shouldn’t do) during solo service practice and share some training drills to help you keep motivated. Keep reading

How long does it take to get really good at table tennis?

Table tennis is a very complex sport, with lots of different shots, spins and playing styles, played at a frighteningly fast pace. There is a lot to learn and master. It does takes time to get really good at table tennis. But how long? Can you become a really good table tennis player very quickly or will it take years and years? And what’s the best way to improve quickly? Let’s explore these questions… Keep reading