Why is backhand topspin vs backspin so difficult?

Why is backhand topspin vs backspin so difficult?

A few days ago I had the pleasure of coaching at the Top Edge & Gertsen Training Camp at St Neots Table Tennis Club. Part of my role was to do 1-to-1 sessions with some of the players. In these sessions I asked the players what they wanted to work on. The players were a mixture of ages and standards, but strikingly most of them wanted to work on the same thing – backhand topspin vs backspin. This is consistent with my own coaching sessions in Cambridge. Backhand topspin vs backspin seems to be a shot which is very difficult for a lot of players (myself included) at the amateur level. Why is this? Keep reading

Four simple ways to make a two point improvement

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 replicate training form in league matches

How to replicate training form in league matches

Why do some people play great in training and terrible in league matches? I have given this topic a lot of thought over the years. And I believe there is one thing you can do which can drastically change your match form. So if you want to replicate your training form in league matches, then read on… Keep reading

Does being a table tennis coach help you become a better player?

Does being a table tennis coach help you become a better player?

I often get asked whether being a coach helps me improve as a player. There is an assumption that when you start to coach, your own improvement stops. You spend too much time feeding, too much time instructing and too much time talking. You don’t have time to work on your own game. So you don’t improve. But is this true? Yes and no. Let me share my experience so far… Keep reading

[Video] Easy method for returning serves (beginner / intermediate level)

[Video] Easy method for returning serves (beginner / intermediate level)

In this video I share my super easy method for returning serves. This is a method I use when coaching beginner and intermediate players. I show you how to return backspin serves, topspin serves and sidespin serves. I also explain how to read the spin. At the end of the video, I show you some more advanced return of serves too. Keep reading

[Video] 3 drills to improve your rallying skills

[Video] 3 drills to improve your rallying skills

In this video I show three training drills you can do to improve your topspin rallying skills. These drills will help you improve your reactions, your footwork and your ability to deal with random match-play. I like to use these drills a lot in my coaching sessions and they have helped me a lot improve my rallying skills, move up divisions and beat higher standard players.

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Lessons learnt from ASV Grünwettersbach

Lessons learnt from ASV Grünwettersbach

Last week I visited German Bundesliga club, ASV Grünwettersbach. A professional table tennis club. Whoah! In this blog, I’m going to share some insights from my visit – the facilities, training methods, coaching style and equipment. What lessons did I learn? And did I manage to win any matches? Let’s find out… Keep reading

[Video] Forehand attack down the line…A simple shot to win cheap points

[Video] Forehand attack down the line…A simple shot to win cheap points

In this video I share a simple but very effective tactic of attacking with your forehand down the line. Most players are very good at forehand attacks cross-court. But forehand attacks down the line can be an even better shot. In the video I explain why you should do forehand attacks down the line and how to do it. I also show three simple exercises to help you develop a strong forehand attack down the line. Keep reading

[Video] How to beat long pimples

[Video] How to beat long pimples

In this video, I took an in-depth look at how to play against and beat players who use long pimples. Many players at beginner and intermediate level find long pimples difficult to play against. This is because the long pimples changes the spin on the ball in a way that players are not used to. But long pimples are predictable. Once you work out how the spin is changing, it becomes much easier to beat long pimples players. Keep reading

9 ways older players can compete with (and beat!) younger players

9 ways older players can compete with (and beat!) younger players

As we age, we do decline physically. We are not as fast, strong and nimble as we once were. But the great thing about table tennis (at the amateur level at least), is that power and athleticism are not essential to win matches. If you’re a senior player (60 years+), what is the best way to compete with, and beat, younger players? In this blog post, I give nine areas you can focus on to help you get the better of your younger, fitter and stronger opponents. Keep reading