4 years ago
Players benefit most from their training when it is done regularly and with a focus.
Training like a maniac for a week and then not touching your bat for a month will only have minimum benefits for your game. Similarly, training only once every month will mean that you will find it difficult to improve. If you train 40 hours a week and 30 of those are poor quality then your are probably going backwards rather than forwards.
Some players find it difficult to see the link between training and results. I want you as a player to not be too discouraged or encouraged by short term results. If you train well for a week or two and then have a bad result or conversely, if you don't train for a week and have a good result you may have a distorted view of the value of training. It is easy to be influenced by these short term results. You need to see training and improvement as long term activities. By long term, I mean at least a year.
You need to be able to get your 10,000 hours up before you can expect to be World Class. If you can achieve that then you will certainly see improvements in your game. We are often distracted by the short term variations in our form. I remember as a player once having a bad patch of form and going to see a senior player and saying, "I don't know whether to increase or decrease my training". Her reply was, "why not maintain the same?" If your planning is good and your goals are set then the short term fluctuations will seem less critical.
It is crucial that you come to realise the importance of regular training for yourself, now matter what level of player you are or your aspirations. We all want to improve our game! So how much is enough? That is an interesting question. This is totally dependent on the player and their stage of development. A young player of 12 to 16 who is a student and lives within walking distance of their club, with a lot of time would be able to train more hours than a 25 year old who has just started a new job. Also an older player who has trained hard for many years as a junior may not need as many hours on the table to ensure that they play their best.
The second important aspect of training is the quality. I find that having a focus for your session can help increase the quality of your training. For example you may have a focus on "Consistency" for today's session. So all the drills that you do will be done slower and with consistency. Tomorrow's training session may be focussing on "Speed". So tomorrow all your drills will be done at a faster pace. The drills from today and tomorrow may even be the same drills just done with a different focus.
We have all been through the session that has become monotonous and boring. This is most evident in a service practice session or a pushing practice session. You may find yourself starting to drift off and think about anything but the skills that you are training. That is the time to stop, have a think about what you are trying to achieve and work from there. Think about your goals for the month or year and remind yourself why you are hitting table tennis balls. If this doesn't work, it is actually better to stop training than go on hitting balls aimlessly.
Focussed quality training sessions are the target.
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