Responding positively to mistakes

Responding positively to mistakes

We all make silly mistakes and unforced errors when playing table tennis. But there is often a big difference between how players respond to making a mistake. Some players dwell on the mistake and start making lots more mistakes. Other players seem unaffected and bounce back stronger. How can we be more like the player who responds positively to mistakes? In this blog post I share a simple mental trick to help you react better when you make a mistake during a match. Keep reading

Tactics for winning a handicap match

Tactics for winning a handicap match

In local league table tennis in the UK, we have a strong tradition of handicap competitions. This is where players are given points advantage / disadvantage based on rankings. I usually do pretty well in handicap matches. Our league team has won the the league handicap competition three times in the past five years (maybe our handicap ratings are too lenient!). In this blog post, I share some tactics I have used over the years to help me win handicap matches. Keep reading

No matter how good you get, there’s always someone better…

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

Tactics to beat a much stronger player

Tactics to beat a much stronger player

A situation you can’t avoid in table tennis is playing someone of a much higher standard. At some point in a league match or a tournament you will face someone who is simply a lot better than you. What’s the best approach when playing a much stronger player? Is there any way of winning? Is it really possible to cause a major shock? Maybe, just maybe. But you need to approach the match in the right way. In this blog post I share some things you can try… Keep reading

How to deal with nerves in table tennis matches

How to deal with nerves in table tennis matches

Some players deal with nerves absolutely fine. They love competing and channel any nerves or stress into a focused and energetic performance. Other players find nerves quite debilitating. The extra anxiety in playing a competitive match can make their body and mind freeze, which can have a terrible impact on their performance. In this blog post, I share three things (one mental, two physical) which can help you control your nerves. Keep reading

Winners of table tennis gold medals at 2016 Rio Olympics announced!

The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming! I love the Olympic games. It’s great that sports like table tennis get much needed extra media coverage, even if it’s only two weeks every four years. I’m so excited about the 2016 Rio Olympics, that I have decided to announce (by which I mean “predict”) who will win the the gold medals. Read on to find who I think will win… Keep reading

How to identify and exploit an opponent’s weakness

Every player has weaknesses. An inexperienced player will have lots of weaknesses. A better player will have fewer weaknesses. The very best may seem as though they have no glaring weaknesses, but they will have areas of their game which aren’t as strong as others. There are loads of weaknesses a player potentially may have. In this blog post, I share my list of the most common weaknesses and how you can exploit them. Keep reading

Table tennis needs Grand Slams

One of the things I find frustrating about table tennis is its lack of media exposure. In the UK, the only time that table tennis gets any decent national media exposure is during the Olympics. But once the Olympics are over, table tennis disappears and is forgotten about for another four years. What we need is for table tennis to be in the media spotlight more often. One way to do this would be to introduce Grand Slam tournaments, similar to tennis. Keep reading

The sport where young and old battle for glory

Over the past three months we have seen some extraordinary performances by both young and not-so-young players in the world of table tennis. In February 2015, 11-year-old Tomokazu Harimoto got to the final of the Safir Open in Sweden, beating two of the world’s top 100 players on the way. Even more recently, 14-year-old Mima … Keep reading