Improving stamina

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 5 years ago

Manfred Rolfsmeier

Manfred Rolfsmeier Asked 5 years ago

Hi there,

After a few matches during a tournament I feel pretty exhausted and I can't keep up my concentration. Feels like a lack of stamina. Besides my trainer one mentioned that during the play I often tense up and that might be a reason too. I do quite a lot of cycling but that doesn´t seem to help a lot. So what kind of stamina training that suits table tennis best would you recommend? And are there any exercises for relaxation that I could use before (or even during) a match?



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Manfred,

I think playing for long periods is quite specific to stamina for the game.  Perhaps more jogging will give you a better stamina for Table Tennis as there is the use of the legs and the jumping that is required.

For more relaxation during matches, utilise some breathing exercises.  Taking some deep breaths can help.  While you take those deep breaths, focus on relaxing the muscles in your arms, shoulders, legs and the rest of your body.  Stress and tension does lead to utilising more energy and therefore fatigue.

Also take a look at our Sports Psychology section of the site for more help with this area.

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Thoughts on this question

p groot

p groot Posted 5 years ago

The best way to improve stamina in table tennis in my opinion, is doing drills that involve a lot of footwork. There are a lot of examples on this site that are fun to do and at the same time help you improve your strokes and positioning. With jogging and cycling you use different muscles than with table tennis, especially when it comes to standing deep, moving sideways, rotating your hips/waist and using your arms. Also table tennis is more about a lot of short and intensive bursts of energy, with jogging or cycling it is difficult to replicate that. That said, it can't hurt to improve your stamina even more by jogging or cycling.

I coach youth players and often introduce a mantra (positive affirmations) to the ones that seem to have trouble with tension, like 'I feel confident, concentrated and relaxed'. They have to say it to themselves and inhale and exhale deeply before every rally; it really helps them to quiet down inside and that in turn improves their game. I myself use it too when I notice that the tension is starting to influence my game. For a moment all the noise in your head dissappears, by doing it often you'll notice that it becomes more effective.

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