Mental Strategies in Table Tennis - Part V

Newgy Robo-Pong

Pre-Game Routine

Before a table tennis match, it is vitally important that I prepare both physically and mentally.  Physically, I prepare by jogging, stretching, and practicing 1-2 hours on the table.  Mentally, I prepare by strategizing, writing my thoughts, and relaxing.

I first form my strategy by video analysis, especially if I know who my main opponents will be prior to the table tennis tournament.  When watching the video, I look for his strengths, weaknesses, and common game patterns.  I also study his serve, serve return, and end-game tendencies.  In one column of the paper, I write how my opponent wants to win points.  In another column, I write my strategy against him.

The other way that I strategize is by talking to others.  Many times other table tennis coaches and players can tip me off on things that I don’t obviously see.

Next, I try to watch this opponent at the tournament.  I write some last minute tips – usually three things that I must remember between every point.  After writing a few last minute tips, I practice before the match using the strategy that I plan to use against my opponent.  I will often ask a training partner to serve very similar serves to my opponent as well.

My final preparation is to relax.  I like to go out in the hallway, stretch out, and clear my mind for ten minutes.  After the final stage, I remind myself that it is just a game, that I just need to play how I have practiced, that it will be fun, and that I love competitive matches!

Samson Dubina

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