How to Develop Your Table Tennis Game.

Paul Butters By Paul Butters, 8th Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Coaching

All aspects of improving your table tennis performance.

Practice Plus

International table tennis players are fitter and faster than ever before. Yet, no matter what level of table tennis you play at, you will be keen to improve. You will want to enter a league, go up through the leagues, win titles, succeed in tournaments, raise your ranking or be a champion. There are many aspects to playing better. Here are some of them. Practice, bats, fitness, mental strength, technique – it all counts.

Practice against better players, in leagues and tournaments

There is no substitute for practice, no matter how talented you are. The best players I know play every day. It is handy to have a practice-partner of roughly your standard (and age), but then you also need to play better players in order to raise your game. Do not be afraid to go up those leagues and enter tournaments. This is the only way to improve. You may not notice this improvement at first but later you will realise that you are better.

Get coached, buy a good bat, improve your technique

I have been coached by a national coach (a certain John Fairholm). Believe me, this helps. Any good coach is worth working with. Your local league can point you to one. A coach will run drills and fitness training. He or she will see your strengths and weaknesses: things you cannot see yourself. Your coach is your mentor and an invaluable source of support.

Buy yourself a good bat. Tees Sport, Jarvis Sports and other equipment retailers have websites whereby you can select quality blades and rubbers. Only a highly rated rubber will give you the spin and speed you require.

Spin is King in table tennis. Extreme topspin (loop), backspin (chop or slice), and sidespin are part and parcel of the beautiful game. Other games such as tennis, snooker, cricket and football all use spin, but none of them use it remotely as much as table tennis. In table tennis it pays to vary and disguise your spins as much as you can. Just float the ball now and then. Throw in the odd dummy shot.

Most players employ reverse pimpled spin rubbers to impart as much wickedness as they can on the ball. You can also use a bat with long pimples or anti-loop on one side (a “combination bat”). Long pimples give your opponent his own spin back no matter what stroke you play. If he chops to your pimples it goes back with topspin on it, even if you make a chop stoke! Your actual stroke will “dummy” him into thinking there is chop on the ball...

Get healthy and fit, physically and mentally

Having a good bat is very important, but what counts most is the player: you. Eat healthily. Plenty of fruit, vegetables and fibre. Slow carbohydrates only. No fast foods or booze. Definitely no smoking. By all means have your sports drinks. Always keep well hydrated. Notice you are feeling dry and jaded and it is too late. Drink plenty in-between games. Keep fit. Go running or cycling. Even swimming helps: the best all-round exercise you can do. Always warm up before a match or practice with lots of stretching and bending. Run and jump on the spot. Shadow-play using your forehand and backhand drives.

Mental fitness is crucial too. Most championships are won in the mind. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, to keep fresh to play. When playing: Focus. Ignore your surroundings, including spectators: just focus on that ball. At the same time, Observe. This particular game you are playing in, what is Working? Has your opponent got a weak backhand or any other limitation? Is he catching you out with any specific ploy? Think: what must I do now to exploit his weaknesses and play to my strengths. How can I win? Time to serve or receive: thinking done, now Focus.

In the end it is all about ability and Belief. I repeat: Belief. Determination too. Battling for every point if necessary and never giving in. Belief. Concentration. Focus. You can do it. Believe. Concentrate. Focus.


Bats, Coaching, Develop My Game, Practice, Sport, Table Tennis

Meet the author

author avatar Paul Butters
I am a Writer. Freelance in that I am not employed any more, being retired. I can write more than ever now. Academically I have a B.Ed. Honours Degree in English Literature from Leeds (Huddersfield) University. Taught Secondary (13-18) English in the...(more)

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author avatar A K Rao
9th Jul 2012 (#)

This is a nice and informative article about the Table Tennis! Unfortunately I am not a Table Tennis player! My nephew is a good player holding some ranking in the State! I will give the link to him to read this article! Thanks !

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author avatar Paul Butters
9th Jul 2012 (#)

Thanks. Hope your nephew finds it useful and does well. Often I write these things to gee myself up!

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author avatar A K Rao
9th Jul 2012 (#)

But such tips are very useful for the actual players dear Paul! Thanks !

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author avatar Paul Butters
9th Jul 2012 (#)

I am an actual player myself, though only at second tier club level in England. Thanks for the Thanks friend.

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