How important is a table tennis tournament knock up? I have been coaching for over 17 years whilst attending tournaments and events, and I noticed that most players don’t know what makes them perform!.
I believe if you asked 100 coaches if they teach their players/students how to knock up properly and take away anxiety in a tournament, many would say yes but only 1 YES would be correct and productive!
So I’ve decided to write this to help coaches and players.
We all know how important it is to train but we struggle to have the same confidence in tournaments as we do in the practice hall.
Three key elements which can help your match play performance:
1. Prepare as you do in practice,
Players become instantly aware of their unforced errors when they are knocking up at a tournament.
Stop paying extra attention to your unforced errors on a tournament day, unless you’re aware of them in practice! We take practice for granted and usually we are unaware consciously of unforced errors. In tournaments, if you look at 95% of players you’ll notice they become hyper-aware of each and every error. It’s as if, all of a sudden we make ten times more mistakes compared to our routine practice?!
This couldn’t be further from the truth and in fact, you probably are making fewer errors due to awareness. I suggest having a simple numbers routine in practice e.g. fifty drives and 10 topspin’s both sides. Count how many open ups you get out of ten both wings and notice your ratio as compared to practice. Once you have your practice routine ratios, you can implement this on the big stage and be clear as to whether you are actually not playing well or visa versa.
Having a clear numbers routine gives you a clear view of where your playing level is on any given occasion
2. Warm up properly
90% of players have a good warm-up routine in practice but as soon as they enter the hall, they grab a bat and ball and jump on a table. Why change a routine on the most important occasions? Stick to your routines regardless.
3. Your Trade Mark exercise
Do a regular footwork exercise which you are good at and one that makes you feel good about yourself and your game. Once you find a routine which compliments your game use it to boost your confidence, in tournaments.
Input equals output
Why do something completely different from the way you normally do it? Makes no Sense right? So the answer is simple, keep it the same and the outcome will generally be the same but if you change the input then the output will generally change.
Written by Eli Baraty