Last updated 4 years ago
Hi Alois and Jeff
I have been playing for quite sometime now and my game has really improved a lot. I train 6 days a week for 4 hours. I basically have every important stroke in the book BUT there's one thing that I am very bad at when it comes to tournaments and that is winning matches. I get told that I have the potential to at least make it into the top 5 but when I come across players who are on a less standard then me I end up losing 3-1 or even 3-2 and it hurts so bad just losing. I try my best to focus on each point as you normally say and play that point as best as I can. I feel very disappointed and would like to play as i do in my club. My coach sometimes tells me that maybe I am nervous or that I lack confidence in myself. My question is how do I perform to my best at tournaments and how do I overcome my lack of confidence in myself?
This is a big question. Yes, taking one point at a time is important.
Some other things to focus on are making sure that you are enjoying playing the matches. The result is not going to change the world.
Confidence comes from being able to execute skills well and also using them in important situations. You can only gain this confidence after a few failures.
The other thing is in practice to make sure you are utilising more random drills to closer replicate a game situation.
Finally this is a good lesson about pressure. One of my coaching friends, Roger Massie pointed out this quote to me yesterday. This is from a great Cricketer, Keith Miller who fought as a pilot in the war. I think you can translate this to Table Tennis too.
From his Wikipedia page...
Miller's wartime exploits were to give him a greater sense of perspective when he returned to the sports field. When asked many years later by Michael Parkinson, about pressure in cricket, Miller responded with the famous quote: "pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse, playing cricket is not".
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