Ideal Mind State

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 1 month ago


D K Asked 1 month ago

Greetings Team,

recently I got into an argument with a new clubmate player in my new club about an ideal mind state during the play.

He is an overmotivated player who keeps shining with emotions (comparably to i.e. Ryu Seung Min).

He kept telling me that I cannot get better without using positive emotions.  He tries to cheer himself after every won ball trying to match the overenergized David Reitspies, the current National Champion of Czech republic who seems to have an endless energy. Even during timeout he still attempts to keep moving rapidly running one two steps back and forth or shuffling exercises during the entire timeout. He never stops moving during the match he is constantly "running in place" when he waits for the opponent to pick up the ball when he waits on the receive he even keeps running when preparing his own service only stopping briefly to actually perform the serve.

In contrast,I am a person full of negative energy fueling it through as my powersource which the clubmate says it is not possible. I am trying to match my mentality rather to Waldner, Samsonov etc who keep their stone face no matter what is the state of play. I have already reached the state where I am able to remain emotionless even after playing some worldclass rally. However the clubmate told me that I should not hide my emotions. He told me he wants to see some "choo"ing from me.  He wants me to display some positive emotions to the opponent. I told him it is just not my style. I naturally express almost no emotions even outside only the negative ones sometimes. I rarely even FEEL positive emotions at all.  He replied that there is only one ideal mindstate and only those displaying positive emotions can get on the top.

What do you think about this?  What is your view on ideal mind state (or better said,the outer expression of the mind state) or how to say it?


PS: to display the difference I am sending you a video of our National Championships between David Reitspies the overenergized player using a lot of positive emotions (yellow shirt) against Tomas Tregler several times Extra League Winner an example of one of the least emotional CZ professional players:

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 month ago

Hi Dan,

This is always an interesting thing to examine.  However there is not one way to behave or feel during a match.

As you can see these two players both play at an extremely high level even thong they display different emotional levels during the match.

It is important to find what works for you and work with that.

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D K Posted 1 month ago

yea,that is what I think so.
the clubmate though pointed out that the mind state is the core reason why the yellow player won.

Nigel C

Nigel C Posted 1 month ago

DK, I think Alois hits the nail on the head by saying "It is important to find what works for you and work with that."

You talked about having emotions and displaying emotions. For some, displaying positive emotions is like trying to make yourself feel happier by smiling. But maybe this doesn't work for everyone. As long as you are doing what you feel comfortable with that's what will matter. You could always tell your club mate that you are doing a mental fist pump in your head while you are staying ice cool on the outside. Maybe that would work for you?

I have had a team mate you used to smile after losing points and sometimes it would unhinge his opponent as they couldn't work out what he was smiling at. Turns out he was just naturally a happy person! So just like real life, everyone is different and not just one perfect way of doing something.


D K Posted 1 month ago

Nigel,I agree with it.
I just do not know how to explain it to the clubmate.

On Monday,I played a match...we were playing in a very narrow and short hall,very bad for me as a long-range defender (140cm behind the table exactly).
There was a powerful opponent player. The teamleader...
On a normal space he would be a piece of cake for me,but in the narrow space I could almost only block.
But he kept forcing higher balls from me using hidden serves and no-toss serves and I was not fast enough to deflect them.
He was already leading 10:4 2:0 (11:2,11:4) ....
Then I failed to receive another of his hidden serves low enough and he smashed.
I just blindly swinged my arm with a tomahawk motion and basically chop-smashed his smash at close range.
I was shocked myself as I have alread given up,but the ball landed and the opponent just gave me a shocked look.
I was surprised myself that even in this situation I was able to remain completely emotionless. I just gave the man an assured look,trying to be like "yes,I do play this commonly."
I was watching his eyes with no blinking for about a minute,following his head everywhere. Seemingly it distracted him,as I was eventually able to win the set and finally the entire match despite the opponent having so many matchballs.
During the entire match,I was able to keep the best self-control I ever managed.
No smile,no sound,no fist bump,no complains,no gestures,nothing.
That is my full power trance.
When I told my clubmate about this,he did not believe me,claiming it a scientific nonsense.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 1 month ago

Hi Dan,

I think this is very good.  You have experienced where you play your best Table Tennis.  Try to remember this feeling of your emotional level during this time.  Sounds like you were focused on one thing and relaxed.  Well done.


D K Posted 1 month ago

I am aware of where my full trance is.
This was probably deepest play trance I have ever entered.
I can remember almost all feelings I have ever felt...
But the key is that i do not know how to ENTER this state during physically demanding activity,which table tennis surely is.
I can recover any feeling I can remember. I can even produce genuine tears at will using this. But I need a lot of focus to do it. I cannot reinvoke my feelings and focus on controlling my body at teh same time :(

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