Tension Testing

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 10 years ago

Paul Davenport

Paul Davenport Asked 10 years ago

Dear Alois,

I have a recurrent problem with muscle stiffness in the shoulder of my playing arm. Thinking about it, I've come to the conclusion that the cause of the problem is the way I play, too tense and nervous.

Can you give me any tips to help me loosen up, so that my arm (and shoulder) motion is more fluid and natural?

thanks in advance,


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Paul,

This is a really common problem.  The best way to improve it is to spend as much time as possible, especially during practice focusing on the amount of tension in your shoulder.  Really pin point where the tension is and think about it while you are making your strokes.  Then do a few swings without the ball and see how smooth you can get the stroke.  The stroke with the ball doesn't need to be any tighter than that.

The ball is very light and doesn't need any extra power to hit it back.

Once you have done it a lot during training, you can start to check during matches to see how much tension there is in that shoulder.

This is a long process.  Accept that there will be some tension there but keep working towards getting the stroke as smooth as possible. 

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