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

How to destroy opponents with long serves

If you play table tennis at an amateur level, especially at lower levels, you can dominate your opponents with long serves. These are serves which land very deep on your opponent’s side of the table, ideally with a lot of speed and spin. In this blog post, I explain why long serves are effective (especially at lower amateur levels) and how to do devilish long serves which can give your opponents nightmares. Keep reading

(Video) Sidespin serve – tips and tactics

(Video) Sidespin serve – tips and tactics

One of the most popular serves in table tennis is the forehand sidespin serve, also known as the pendulum serve. I have been using this serve for 10+ years and it’s a great service weapon to have. At a lower level, players really struggle to return the serve. You can win lots of cheap points. At a higher level, you can put your opponents under a lot of pressure by using all of the different spin and placement variations. In this coaching video, I explain how to do the serve, how to get lots of spin, how to vary spin and how to use the serve to set up a 3rd ball attack. Keep reading

How to play like Timo Boll (and beat the best player in the world)

How to play like Timo Boll (and beat the best player in the world)

Timo Boll has had a fantastic 2017. He won the Korean Open, reclaimed the German National Championship and helped Germany become European team champions again. And then he made it all the way to the final of the Men’s World Cup, beating world number 1 Ma Long in the semi-finals. We can all learn from Timo Boll. I’ve watched a lot of his matches recently and I’m going to share some things he does particularly well. So if you want to try and play a bit more like Timo Boll, here’s some things you should try and do… Keep reading

What can table tennis players learn from Roger Federer?

What can table tennis players learn from Roger Federer?

One of my many sporting obsessions is watching Roger Federer play tennis. This has been going on over a decade. Whenever Federer plays, I’ll be following the score, willing him to win. As I watched Federer’s masterclass at this year’s Wimbledon, I started thinking about what we table tennis players can learn from the great man. Is there anything he does on the tennis court, which we can transfer to the table tennis table? Actually I think there is plenty. In this blog post, I examine a few things Federer does particularly well which we can all learn from. 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

(Video) How to do a reverse sidespin serve

(Video) How to do a reverse sidespin serve

One of my favourite serves is the reverse sidespin serve. It’s very effective against some opponents, who simply don’t know how to return it. But even if my opponent can return the serve, the ball is often returned in a predictable way, which gives me an opportunity to play a strong forehand attack for the 3rd ball. In this video lesson, I will show you how to do the reverse sidespin serve and explain the best positions to serve to. Keep reading

Service tactics to win cheap points

One of the benefits of having a table tennis table in my garage, is that I get to practise my serves a lot. I spend time practising my favourite serves – the ones I always use in matches. I also spend some time experimenting with different service actions and spin. As a result of all this practice, my service game is quite strong. I usually win lots of points on my serve and my service tactics get me out of trouble when other parts of my game aren’t working quite so well. In this blog post I share some of the service tactics which help me win cheap points. Keep reading

“Is it ok to use illegal serves?”

During a recent coaching session, a player asked me whether it’s ok to use illegal serves. He said very few players have a legal serve in his local league. And umpires, who are usually other players, rarely enforce the service rules. He said his opponents have an advantage because they can serve however they want. What should he do? Continue to serve legally or use illegal serves too? Read on to find out my answer… Keep reading