Should I push through tiredness when training?

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 11 years ago

adam saunders

adam saunders Asked 11 years ago

hi guys , best site on the web - if you love table tennis - you do a brilliant job.  im fortunate to have a robot and a couple of rebound boards and try to train 2 days then rest 1. somedays you begin practise and you just feel energy is not what it could be, timings a fraction out, your not 100% . do you push through the session not worrying your missing more than normal, as there are times in matches when your not 100% and you have no choice other than to carry on. i would be very interested to hear your opinion . great job

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 11 years ago

Hi Adam,

This is a great question! I believe that to reach a world class level you need to practice around 10,000 hours. In addition, these 10,000 hours must be quality practice where you are really focused and alert.

So I guess the answer to your question is, it depends.

If you're an older player who has already racked up an enormous amount of training hours then you are probably better not practicing when you feel tired. You've already done the hours and you just need to maintain your standard. I think that a lot of people who have been playing everyday for the last 15 years can get bored a lot quicker at that stage of their career than when they first started. So if they are bored and tired and not focused, then the practice will not help them get any better.

However if you are starting out and trying to reach the top and everytime things aren't right or you are feeling a bit tired you stop, then you'll never get enough practice in to become really good. In this case you probably do need to push on through. But the key here is to push on through by making sure you are still alert, still giving all you can and still learning. It is a great skill to develop to turn things around when you are not feeling well. As you mentioned, in matches you don't have the option of stopping.

So in general if you really want to be the best player I would say you need to keep going. There is no short cut, you need to do the work. However everyone is at a different stage of their career and one rule never fits everyone. 

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adam saunders

adam saunders Posted 11 years ago

big thank you for your reply. really sound advice. i guess im somewhere in the middle and do generally push through. i think as well its your own desire to improve that decides if you stop half way through a session.

Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo Posted 11 years ago

I usually have a very extended and itense training session every Saturday that lasts 5 hours and I've been wondering about this as well.  My feeling is that if these are quality hours and you are controlling what you are doing, then go for it.  If, as for me, you are doing mostly unstructured training (i.e. practice games), it might actually do more harm than good.  This is because as you get tired your mind/body automatically compensates by playing lazy table tennis.  This generally involves bad footwork.  In this case better to stop.  If you want to extend the time you can spend playing the style of table tennis you want, probably better to supplement your practice with some general endurance training and improve your overall fitness.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson Posted 11 years ago

When I train using a robot I can go for several hours but at the point I notice my footwork becoming bad due to fatigue I will take a few minutes to rest and switch to practicing my serves and stationary drills that dont require footwork. Once my energy is up then I will switch back to drills that require footwork.

The side to side movement is what tends to tired me out the most. When I get tired I am still able to do smash drills since it is going from straight on to side on and that just requires a bit of hopping which isnt too tiring.

At the point when I am too tired to do anything with quality, whether it is due to physical or mental fatigue, I call it quits for the day.

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