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Tip of the Day - The Pre-Match Calm-Down

By Larry Hodges | Nov. 16, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Liam Pitchford

Liam Pitchford (ENG) at the 2013 German Open Championships

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Larry Hodges

The Pre-Match Calm-Down

To play table tennis effectively, you need to have a calm, clear mind. How often have you actually played a tournament where you entered every match with a calm, clear mind?

"Calm" and "clear" are two different things, and some can do one, but not the other. How can you do both?

Shortly before your match starts, simply go off somewhere where it’s quiet. Close your eyes. Blank out your mind. Totally relax. Do this for 30-60 seconds (or more), and you’re ready to play. (There are more advanced techniques for doing this, but for most of us, this is sufficient.)

Corollary: when you’re at the table, and the warm-up is over, and the match is about to begin, take 5-10 seconds to do the above again.

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