Playing Fatigued

Table Tennis General

Last updated 4 years ago

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Asked 11 years ago

Hi Alois

I notice when I play for an extended period of time that I go through a number of phases.

1) not warmed up - lots of inaccurate and wild shots

2) warmed up - playing at peak

3) tired - suddenly missing loops and drives and late on smashes

Usually, if I am playing an important match and I reach the third stage, I will give up on all offensive strokes and just start pushing and chopping.  I was wondering, however, if there were any rules-of-thumb I could employ to adjust my game for fatigue and still be able to play offensive strokes successfully.



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 11 years ago

Hi ji-Soo,

I think take a step back.  Why are you getting fatigued.  If it a long tournament  I can understand it.  If it is a pennant night though, there are probably other factors to consider.

Often when we tighten up or stress during matches we use way more energy than we need to.  If this may be the cause, you need to find ways to combat this.

Durng your practice focus on the amount of tension in your body.  We call this 'Tension Testing'.  Try to have as little tension as possible.  This will decrease the amount of energy your body is using.

Are you sressing too much during the match?  If you are, you may need to do some breathing exercises or routines to keep the stress levels down.

Often we feel fatigued, but if you were asked to go and run around and play a fun game you would be able to do it.

Perhaps look at th eamount of energy you are using with your strokes as well by being unstable.  This may be a factor.  Throwing yourself around will use more energy.

When you are truly fatigued,  breath between points.  Take your time to recover between points.  Play at a slower pace, if you rush between points.

Once you switch on for the point though you need to try to play your natural game.

I feel this will be the first part of an answer.  Letme know if there are other issues that I haven't really covered or if I am missing the mark.


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Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 11 years ago


thanks for the answer.

I take your point about stress and nerves really exacerbating symptoms of fatigue.  On that point I've at least been steadily improving (off a low base admittedly!) at least.  These days I can even sleep the night before a big competition!!! 

I am also much more aware of keeping my arms and shoulders relaxed when I play...following earlier advice from you.

The main reason why I get fatigued (aside from lack of fitness) is that on pennant nights I show up 2 hours before competition starts!  Oh, another reason would be I skip dinner.  That means playing from a little after 5pm to after 11pm most pennant nights.  Ad once pennant starts, there's a lot of starting and stopping and getting cold etc...

When I get tired, it's not that I'm out of breath...just that I can feel the strength sapped from my arms and my attacking strokes seem to lose their sharpness.  My topspin generation suffers which means less control and more balls flying long. 

It's not TOO bad being forced to chop and push for me because, as much as I have been trying to avoid the obvious, I suspect my natural game is more defensive than I like to believe!  :o(


Charles Unknown

Charles Unknown Posted 11 years ago

Fatigue is good. Your muscles learn faster when fatigue. Exhausted is bad. Your muscles learn very little when exhausted. So when you feel a bit exhausted, stop and regroup. Do another session after 5-15 mins.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 10 years ago

Ji-Soo, this definitely sound like a Psych level issue. Often when we are too psyched, we get fatigued very easily. We even display signs of lethargy. You also need to control this Psych level before matches. This will help you to eat and therefore prepare properly. As you are too anxious before the match you are burning way too much energy. I can feel we need to do a lesson entitled 'Psych levels 101'. Stay tuned.

Charles Unknown

Charles Unknown Posted 10 years ago

I think you just need to eat Carbohydrates 3-4 hours before a tournament/match. Other than that you can increase your fitness level. Poor fitness leads to injuries and such,

Leslie Unknown

Leslie Unknown Posted 10 years ago

I usually find myself in the same position starting after 5 and not finishing until very late. 1 of my main problems is that when I miss dinner and feel hungry playing I won\'t be at my best. Maybe you could bring along some snacks with you when you play, my routine is to get in a meal after 5, watch others play for abit to let the food settle and also bring along some fruit and muesli bars to keep my energy levels up during the night.




Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 4 years ago

What a great discussion! Google search works really well.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Good one Ilia.  Glad you found this old one.

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