How to win matches

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 6 years ago

Enoch Oppong

Enoch Oppong Asked 6 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?

Thank you 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Enoch,

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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Enoch Oppong

Enoch Oppong Posted 6 years ago

 Thanks for the response I will try and focus more in training and do some more random drills ☺

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

Enoch, perhaps you got stuck in the Ping Pong Zone.

Enoch Oppong

Enoch Oppong Posted 6 years ago

Omg i just watched the video there and i think your right my strokes are decent but the opponents that i have been playing have way more experience then me

Enoch Oppong

Enoch Oppong Posted 6 years ago

Thanks Ilia

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

Enoch, you're welcome. I think every developing amateur faced this situation, including myself. It takes a long time before you can consistently use your strokes in a match.

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