Over-training and injuries caused by it

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 9 years ago

Andrew Pape

Andrew Pape Asked 9 years ago


a couple of years ago I made a big mistake.

I used to take a long backswing on a forehand drive. After a coach pointed out that the backswing was too long, I decided to do two things. First, I moved the table closer to the garage roll-a-door, so that if I took a big backswing I would hit my bat against the door. This idea could well have helped, but the next thing caused the damage.

Using a robot, I set it to deliver topspin balls to my forehand, for about 15 minutes, on a high ball-frequency. I reasoned that if I could keep returning the balls successfully, that would eliminate the big-backswing problem. That was the mistake. The result was that I got injured, getting a rotator-cuff shoulder injury. I think that's what the physio called it. I had an x-ray and the damage could be seen by the doctor. There was some fluid in my arm, which indicated the damage. At this stage my arm felt weak and dead. I went to the physio and got one treatment each week for several weeks. Unfortunately, each treatment would only last one day. I tried to play some competition, but didn't have strength or sensation in my arm for forehands. The only thing that fixed me was time - about a year! This was very frustrating. I hope this is a warning to other players.

Recently, I have been trying to achieve some topspin on my forehand, and have hit hundreds of balls around the garage, studying the spin when they hit the ground. Unfortunately, my arm is feeling weak again, the first symptoms of the injury 2 years ago. It seems that I'm over-training again. I've taken a small break and hope it doesn't get worse.

I'm wondering if I have a weak arm in general, and also whether it would be good to do some basic weight training (eg lifting a 1kg weight). The physio told me to do weights, which I did for a while but they didn't seem to help. I guess I should also be trying to use my legs to generate power, and take pressure off my arm. How do you become a great player without getting injured in training?



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Andrew,

I think the best advice I could give is to strengthen.  This is always a big problem for Table Tennis players.

Repeating what you have done will probably lead to the same injury.

The other thing that I think is improtant is to keep that area as relaxed as possible while playing your strokes.  Any extra tension means that the joint and musckes are working harder than they need to.

You will always get some injuries if youare training hard, but this is a type of injury as you see takes a long time to get right.

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andrew brand

andrew brand Posted 9 years ago

hi alois, this is a different andrew by the way. would you say this injury is caused by the long backswing because i have one. or caused by over doing the training? also would you say that always doing a warm up and loosening the shoulders before training would help prevent such problems.  should you have a day rest between each training session. would appreciate some feedback as i dont want to go through what this poor guy did. thanks.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Andrew 2...

It is usually more due to the tension in your shoulder when playing.  You can have a big swing, but if your muscles are fighting each other then they are working twice as hard as they should be.

Massage or rest in between can be good as well to help recovery.  Just monitor it for yourself. 

andrew brand

andrew brand Posted 9 years ago

thanks alois.

Andrew Pape

Andrew Pape Posted 9 years ago

Regarding long backswings, I have a dvd entitled "Forehand Loop Mastery". In it The Chinese coach has the biggest backswing for his loop that I've ever seen. He takes his bat right behind his back and you can see it from the other side of his back. The commentator said that although the coach's arm looks stiff, he is actually keeping it relaxed all the time. The dvd makes it clear that you need a loose arm to get a decent swing. At the moment, my arm tightens in competition and I don't know how to relax it. Since I play fairly close to the table I can't afford a long backswing. From the coach's style it seems that having a long backswing does not imply that you'll get injured.



Andrew 1.

andrew brand

andrew brand Posted 9 years ago

ive got that dvd as well!

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