USA Table Tennis

Tip of the Day - Getting Up or Down for a Match

By Larry Hodges | Aug. 30, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Getting Up or Down for a Match

When you play a match, do you get nervous or too hyped up, and end up making more mistakes than usual?

Or do you have trouble getting psyched up for the match, and so don’t play physically enough?

If you are in the first category, then you need to go into a match more relaxed. Before the match sit down quietly somewhere, relax, and think about what you are going to do tactically. Then go out and do it. Don’t worry about winning or losing – think only about doing what you set out to do, i.e. tactics.

If you are in the latter category, then you need to get psyched up more. Before the match, perhaps do some vigorous exercise to get the feet going – but only a for a short time as you don’t want to go into the match tired. During the match, keep moving your feet around between points, as you’ll often see world-class players do. Keep encouraging yourself each point to move and take your shots.

If you fit somewhere between these two cases, then you might want to do a mixture, or even vary from match to match. You might play a match against, say, a chopper or pusher, or even a steady looper where you will be blocking a lot. In these matches, you have plenty of time for your shots, but just need to be steady. Here, you might want to be relaxed, so take category two advice. On the other hand, you might play a quick blocker who moves you around, where you have to be very physical – so you’ll need to get up for this match.

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