From practice to play

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 1 week ago

Kathleen Allen

Kathleen Allen Asked 1 week ago

Do you have any tips on how to actually apply what is learned in practice to an actual match?  When I am being coached I am doing everything so much better than when I am in an actual match.  Then, it seems that everything I learned flies out the window!  I tense up and everything goes down hill from there.  I get in some good shots and serves but not as it was with my coach in practice. 

 It could be that part of the issue is that most of the opportunities to play in my community are doubles. I have been told that one improves quicker playing one on one.  Plus, when I miss a shot in doubles I feel that I have let my partner down and get even more tense.  

Thanks in advance for any comments you may have for this beginning player.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 week ago

hi Kathleen,

This is a Million dollar question...

Here are two tips though that I think will help a lot:
1. In training make sure you do some random ball practice as well as hitting when you know where the ball is coming
This is particularly important for players who play a lot with a coach.  The coach often hits the ball very 'cleanly' and also to set positions while you are learning strokes.  In a match the ball is anything but that... It is an opponent who often hits the ball off the outside of their racket and they are actively trying to mess you up with placement.  Ask your coach if they can start to give you more random balls after you do some set placement drills.

2. Managing your emotional level is more difficult in a match.
In training start to do some more practice where you are putting pressure on yourself to get the ball on or into a position or at a speed you will need in a match.  Perhaps set up some drills where you score the outcome of each rally... even if you are hitting just forehands see if you can challenge yourself to hit more on the table or hit a target during the rally.

Try this out first and see if it makes any changes.  I promise you that you will feel 'yuckier' in training and won't enjoy it as much... but when it comes to games you will start to have better results.

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