Getting Angry when Losing to a 'Bad' Player

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 6 years ago

Johnny Long

Johnny Long Asked 7 years ago

Hello. I've had this problem for quite while now, where I get very angry/frustrated when I'm losing to a player who I think of lowly. This cause me to play very badly and lose a lot of points. For example, I played a player who only started playing a month ago, had no proper coaching, and lost to him because of this issue. I am a beginner, but have done about 6 months of coaching. I felt like my work and money was being wasted as I'm losing to players who's done much less training than me.

Any tips on this mental issue?

Thank you,

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Johnny,

It is probably a matter of re thinking the level of players.  Some players look like they are no good because they have an awkward style of techniques.  However in the end Table Tennis isn’t a beauty contest where we are judged on how we look but more on our ability to win a point.  It is also not a number of training hours contest essentially.  Some players learn things a little quicker or find shortcuts to winning points.

Once you readjust to this and realise that the player you are playing may have some different ways of winning points you then need to adjust to this and find ways to overcome their strategies.

One thing to also remember is that if you do learn good technique it may take a little longer to win points but in the end you will be able to reach a higher level without the limitations of poor techniques.

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Johnny Long

Johnny Long Posted 7 years ago

Thank you Alois. I played the same player and I've got some improvements! 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Excellent Johnny.

Michael Song

Michael Song Posted 6 years ago

This is why I love table tennis!  It really establishes the thinking that over or underestimation can be fatal.  Johnny, I really resonate with your story, and I've had the same issue, but through such hard losses (there were a lot of them), I learned to through preconceived notions out the window.  Living in the US, we have a numerical number system that ranks our abilities, I used to obsess over it, putting pressure on myself to not lose to someone lower than me, and little did I know, this exact thought is the reason as to why I lost, I was so worried about a number, that I forgot to let go and play.  Now, I treat everyone equally, regardless of rating or skill level, and this has thus changed my perception of "improvement".  I no longer measure improvement with who I win and who I lose to, but whether or not I played my best.  In table tennis, you cannot be afraid to lose, since both players have an equal chance of winning and losing, so never count anyone out!  Instead, focus on playing your best, because at the end of that, even if you lose, there's nothing more that you could have done, and you know that the answer lies in your own improvement.


dont be afraid of losing Johnny, and keep playing, have fun!

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 6 years ago

Great advice Michael.

Johnny Long

Johnny Long Posted 6 years ago

Thanks Michael for the advice,  I think you're absolutely right.

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