Winning tournaments primary consists of playing your best while adjusting your tactics based on your opponent’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall playing style. The last thing that you want to be doing in tournaments is adjusting to strange equipment. If you want to play your best in the next tournament, please, please, please, do this one thing for me…
Practice for at least 2-3 weeks with the tournament ball!
Well, I have found that teaching adults new skills isn’t too difficult. The difficulty comes in changing an old habit. Changing an awkward grip, changing a stroke, or changing a footwork movement takes time and persistence from both the coach and player. On the flip side, a new serve or a new serve return technique or a new looping variation can be learned fairly quickly for these same players.
Last week at the local table tennis club, there were about 10 players rated 1800 and 1 player rated 2100 who was a controlled looper. I asked the 2100-rated player what he could possibly do to improve to the next level… After a bit of discussion, we agreed that he needed to learn to play more aggressively and develop his power shots.
Learn various training methods to boost your level
In table tennis, there are ten common training methods – drilling with a training partner, serving practice, robot training, multiball training, practice matches against a variety of opponents, video analysis of your own game, video analysis of top players, physical training, mental training, and tournaments on a regular basis. I will talk briefly about the first four and then show you a short video demonstrating each of those elements of training.
At the club level, long and slow serves are easily attacked with strong loops. World class players also serve long sometimes, HOWEVER, their long serves are very fast as a surprise and well placed. Watch this short video demonstrating various serves. Notice how fast the long serves are.