Struggling to concentrate because I'm nervous.

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 9 years ago

Esteban Mendez

Esteban Mendez Asked 9 years ago

It happens to me alot when I'm leading against my opponent. In a match of up to 11 points, when I'm leading 10-6 or 10-7, all I think about is not losing. I let that nervousness get the best of me and my playing suffers most on my service returns. I sometimes lose due to a comeback from my opponent. It only happens in this situation. In every other time, I'm calm and with a sharp concentration. How do I keep my concentration on service returns when I have the match point?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Esteban,

This is really common.  In fact everyone feels this at some time.

The main thing is to be able to control your emotional level.  You need to think about why you are getting so nervous.  Is it because you are scared about losing.  Think more about the strategies that you need to employ at that point.  What type of return are you looking to make.

Often taking a deep breath before the point will help to calm yourself down.  Then it is time to think of your tactics and about enjoying the challenge.

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Esteban Mendez

Esteban Mendez Posted 9 years ago

Thanks for the fast reply. Well it's not so much that I'm scared of losing, it's more like I'm thinking that it would be preposterous to lose to someone who was trailing. It's like getting asked a simple 2+2 math problem and yet I still get it wrong. Of course I know shouldn't think that. However, if my opponent and I were head to head in a match and we were at deuce or if my opponent was leading at the match point, then I wouldn't be as nervous because I wouldn't be as surprised to lose. At  moment like this, I would actually be more focused than ever. The type of return I'm dealing with is a fast long wide type of serve. It's the same serve my opponent usually gives me only faster.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Esteban,

Think of it as another point. Really aim to focus on the ball from the start of the serve when they are holding it in their hand.  The reason the serve feels faster at that time is because if your nervousness.  This makes our vision less efficient as well.

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