Mental Strategies in Table Tennis – Part XII

Newgy Robo-Pong

Who is the Your Enemy?

In table tennis, who is your enemy?  Your opponent?  Your coach?  The playing conditions? Yourself?

I have heard countless players arguing ferociously with their opponents about illegal serves, mixing up the score, taking too long before points, and many other problems that arise.  You must remember that he/she is your opponent but not your enemy.  Becoming angry with your opponent won’t put you in the best state-of-mind to focus, have fun, and perform well.

I have also heard many table tennis players arguing with the coach between games.  Remember, your coach wants you to win.  If he makes a comment about your game, don’t take it personal.  He is trying to help you to play better and might see some flaws that you are making.  Do your best to be a gracious receiver of his advice.

Too many times, players complain about the playing conditions during table tennis matches.  If it is important, try to correct the problem prior to the start of the match.  Ask the director to change your match to a different table or adjust the room temperature or cover a window or move a barrier.  Anything that could possibly distract you during the match should be adjusted before the match.  There are some things that can’t be changed.  Settle these things in your mind before and focus completely on strategy while playing.

Also, many players “trash-talk” themselves.  You have about 5-7 seconds between points to analyze what you did right or wrong on the last point and give yourself some quick reminders.  Don’t waste your precious time dwelling on negative thoughts.

So who is the enemy in table tennis?  This isn’t war.  There really aren’t any enemies, just opponents.  Be respectful to your opponent and do your best to win.  Have fun and perform your best and have a good attitude regardless of the outcome.

Samson Dubina

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