Overcoming stress during matches

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 7 years ago

utkarsh agarwal

utkarsh agarwal Asked 7 years ago

Hi coach,

Thank you for all your video stuff and online help . I can just see a lot of improvment in my game. But due to studies i couldn't play tt for 2-3 months. There was a tournament so i practiced hard and regained my form. But when i played my first match whigh was against a very weak player i don't know what happened  to me and I just started playing horribly. What i think i was able to regain my form but not confidence. Please help me on this issue as there is an upcoming tournament in 2 days and I want to perform well. 

There is also a second question. There is a player with very strong forehand and also backhand. He tries to finish the rally as soon as he can . he hits a fast topspin (never saw him looping ). He has a medium backhand and also is dwarf.he has excellent movement.  Can you tell me what should be our strategy against these types of players and if possible any weak point u cud figure out by my debscription.

Thank you very much !! 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Utkarsh,

Having the technique is only part of the solution.  Learning emotional control is also a big part of being able to play well.  Perhaps you went into the match thinking you were going to win easily because it was a weaker opponent.  Then when things don’t go easily for you, panic sets in and then it is hard to control those emotions.

It is important to practice this during your training as well.  When you are training, try o simulate matches but putting your self under some pressure.  Set yourself targets for each drill such as how many balls you can hit on the table in a row.  Practicing under pressure will help you when you get to a match.

As for the strategy against the player it is difficult without seeing them play but you pointed out the backhand side was weaker so that is where you may be able to build your strategy around. Try to get him to play more backhands in the rally.


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Thoughts on this question

utkarsh agarwal

utkarsh agarwal Posted 7 years ago

Some people told me that he is lways at his backhand side to play forehand and recommended to play a fast push on his extreme forehand.... Will this work... And it is really difficult to execute these kind of strokes.. 


utkarsh agarwal

utkarsh agarwal Posted 7 years ago

While playing a match it is very common when you are down with 9-10, your mental state just changes. How can we overcome this tension and what should be our mindset during such circumstances.

Thank you very much....


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Think about the tactic you need for the next point.  Then think about how you are going to execute that.  Don’t try to do anything too different, but think about how you have won points so far.


Rob Janssen

Rob Janssen Posted 7 years ago

Try to recreate every point in your head and think about what happined and what you did wrong or good. And if you did sonething wrong the try to think what would be better to do next time

for example, I serve shot with backspin, he returns it short to my forehand and I flick the ball into the net.

and I try to think what I did wrong. So he ruturned it short and what I did wrong was I did not expect him to push short to my forehand and because of that I was to late for the flick. So next time when I do this serve I have to move A little bit more to the forehand side and theb when he returns it the same way I have more than enough time to flick it.

Another example; I serve long to the backhand and my opponent topspins it down the line and I could not even reach to it.

So when I do this serve again I have to watch if he steps around again and if he does then get prepared for the ball onto the forehand. If he places it onto the backhand you will be there in time as well.


utkarsh agarwal

utkarsh agarwal Posted 7 years ago

Thanks for the advice but it is very difficult to control your emotions in such situations


utkarsh agarwal

utkarsh agarwal Posted 7 years ago

I wanted to ask what should we do in a situation where you are forced to lob the ball. Should we wait for the time when the opponent gets exhausted tongue-out or something else because I'm nt really consistent in lobing.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Hi Utkarsh,

Firstly, you are right, it is difficult to control emotions.  Work on it though and it will get better.

When you are forced to lob you are usually in a bad position to win the point anyway.  The best thing is to execute the lob as well as you can to keep you in the point.   They are not likely to get exhausted.  Take a look at our lesson on the Lob for some tips.



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