Last updated 10 years ago
Hi Alois and Jeff
Given both your vast experiences in high-level table tennis I had a question that I would be very curious to get your take on.
When you play competitive table tennis, do you try to detach yourself from the actual score and just play every ball on its merit? Or does your strategy and mental approach shift depending on the phase of the game?
For example, if you are down 8-10, do you tend to play more aggressively, more conservatively (to force the opponent to earn a win) or do you just zen out and play one point at a time (to borrow a cliche)?
I guess I'm just finding that I push myself too much when I'm in a corner and was wondering what the best frame of mind was.
You have obviously done a bit of reading.
The ideal is to be able to detach yourself from the score, but remember this is an extremely difficult task.
I think the main think to do during a match is to focus on the ball. If you can do that successfully you will not have time to think about too may other things. In between points focus on your breathing and then focus briefly before each point on your basic strategy.
By focusing on the ball I am not talking about looking at it, I am talking about really being interested in the ball. Its shape, colour, movement, speed.
So your routine can be, focus on the ball (during a point), focus on your breathing (between points) and focus on your strategy (just before you stat a point). This should occupy your mind enough to not have time for those negative thoughts.
This means that your strategy does not need to change during a game. Just focus on those thiings and your body will do the rest.
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