How to develop a winning attitude

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 9 years ago

Diego de Blas

Diego de Blas Asked 9 years ago

Hi Im a coach and have a 12 year old player that just is not very motivated in the competition. It is not that the player doesnt want to compete, what happens is that he doesnt feel the motivation, the passion, the nerves or the pressure. it is the same winning or losing. He trains well and serious, the same as the rest of the team. But when it comes to assist to a tournament, the rest of the team is really into their matches, supporting, screaming after each point... even crying, sometimes, when they lose.

But this player, as I say, doesnt feel it. I have tried to talk a lot about it. Explain that it is important to reach that point where you are really into it, something that it has to be with the passion for the sport. Like if everything comes to that moment. The player says "I understand" and, even when I ask him "How important is table tennis in your life" says 90%. I think that he is getting a wrong concept of it.

I have asked two other coaches in which I trust and both came to the same conclussion: This player must be away of competitions untill realizes how important it is. I think it is kind of cruel to send him to the bench while their teammates play and before that, Im gonna keep trying to talk about it. For the moment Im thinking about making some "motivation posters" that they will put in their own rooms and, hopefully, help them to have it more in mind.

What do you recommend me? thanks a lot


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Diego,

I think motivation is something that is difficult to give to someone.

This though does sound a little like a reaction to nerves.  Some players when they become nervous get quiet and react like they don't care. This is a defence mechanism so that they don't get hurt emotionally in case they lose.

I would explore this possibility with him first.  It may not be the reason, but it is a possibility that is worth exploring.

For him it may not be best to reach a point where he looks like he is really excited. Some players play best when they are super calm.

You know the player a lot better than I do.  Think about this and then see if it may be the case.


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Marcus Anbau

Marcus Anbau Posted 9 years ago

uhmm You sure its him who has an attitude issue not you? Its important for that kid to have fun most of all, if he has he will be motivated , he will improve, he will win. We got a really talented lad in our club and he is very calm, when playing matches.

Some coaches think that feelings during matches are distraction, not only bad ones, to be honest I agree with them. Emotional outbursts trigger chemical reactions, usually they are not that helpfull. I am an emotional player, when I am like that in matches my pulse is way too high, adrenaline is pumping through my venes like mad I start to tremble in my legs. Ofc I hardly ever win games like that. I win games when I control my feelings, focus on breathing slowly, bring my pulse down and dont allow any emotional outbursts.

Don't remember any really great world champion to be very emotional during matches.

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