Preparing to play a State level player

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 5 years ago

arun nair

arun nair Asked 5 years ago

Hi Alois/Jeff,

As an ardent follower, I have closely seen all the videos possible with my membership type and followed your advise. I play for pleasure at my office level. As there is an ongoing tournament in office (my first table tennis tournament in life), I had a match today with a State level player. Although an extremely quick learner, I am still new to playing table tennis. I lost the game 11-04, 11-09, 03-11, 11-09 to him.

Before the match I noticed my nervousness along with simple BH and FH pushes resulting in ball going out of the table. Also my counter shots lost directional control and my FH smashes were not in control. As a result I tend to play extremely cautiously and was on the backfoot from the minute we started. 

I do not want this to happen to me ever again.

Kindly advise :

1. How should I control my shots?

2. I had no footwork at all. I was honestly trying to reach out for balls too far on the table.

3. How should I not put myself under pressure?

4. I noticed my racquet is a pre made (GKI Euro Spintec) and is extremely fast. I think I need to change it. But whether to change it to Pingskills Rook or Pingskills Touch (MarkV, Rakza 7, Tenergy 05), I am extremely doubtful between the 3 variants of pingskills touch range. Not sure if I should select Rook only. I play everyday in my office and there is a lot of competition and I am usually regarded in the good league, if not top. Should I even go for a custom racquet? If yes, please advise which one?

I am keen on improving my level. And I request you to help me please.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Arun,

Firstly well done on getting through so many videos and also getting to a stage that you can play with a player of that level.

The feelings you felt in that match are really normal.  It was the first match for you that mattered so much.  The first thing that happens is that you will start to become anxious about the result or how you are going to play. Then one of the first signs in your body will be that your legs will feel heavy and not want to move.  You will reach for the bat as a result.  This is what you felt.

The key is to find ways to control your emotional level.  Implementing things like relaxation through deep breathing can help enormously.  Also think about playing good Table Tennis rather than focusing on the result.  Allow yourself to relax and enjoy the experience as much as possible.

Take a look first at the tutorial we have in our Sports Psychology section on how to Recognise Your Feelings.  This will give you good information again.

If your emotional level is not right then all the hitting you do doesn't matter much at all.

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arun nair

arun nair Posted 5 years ago

Hi Alois,


Thank you for guiding me. I checked the tutorial you mentioned above and definitely all the things you are saying in this video are true. I went through each of them emotions. It was a different moment and a different phase in the match. Kind of felt like my own personality was split in two different personas pulling me in different directions. To attack or to defend - my mind was telling me both but the body was just pulling back. You are right.

Saying that, Please help with the other two queries I have:

1. How should I control my shots - on normal days also with no tournament? 

2. Should I go for a custom racquet? My current pre made racquet GKI Euro Spintec is extremely fast. I need to change it as my heart keeps telling me that it is too fast for me everytime I play. Now whether to change it to Pingskills Touch (MarkV, Rakza 7, Tenergy 05), I am extremely doubtful between the 3 variants of pingskills touch range. Please advise which one? It's just that I trust Pingskills and I am not even 1% in doubt about wasting money on anything, that is why I don't want to purchase from anywhere else. 



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Arun,

Perhaps the Touch with Mark V would be a reasonable option or go for the Rook as a slower bat again. Depends if you think you want a big step down or just a little one.

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