Desk tennis is deceptively powerful to play in some ways, and that is very true for the psychological aspect of the game.
The game calls for 100% of our focus and psychological vitality. Merely concentrating is essential, however that alone shouldn’t be sufficient.
There are many issues you are able to do to enhance your psychological recreation, which can, in flip, assist you handle your feelings on the desk, good your psychological routines, and finally make you win extra matches. Together with winning more tight matches.
From our years of aggressive expertise, we’ll clarify 5 key suggestions you possibly can apply to enhance your psychological recreation.
1) Concentrate on the method, not the result
One of many greatest errors I made was setting result-oriented objectives moderately than performance-oriented ones earlier than a match.
In desk tennis, there’s a place for result-oriented objectives, however they simply don’t work for matches and match settings.
Say that you just come right into a match having set a result-oriented aim, that’s, you need to be the champion.
Nonetheless, you don’t know who you’re going to return up towards and what sort of day they’re going to have. Your ultimate inserting isn’t one thing you possibly can wholly management.
You possibly can, nevertheless, management how nicely you play, which can immediately have an effect on your win proportion. You might win or lose, however taking part in nicely is as much as you.
Don’t deal with the result (profitable or shedding). Concentrate on the method.
Should you set performance-oriented objectives moderately than result-oriented objectives, the main target shall be placed on taking part in nicely, moderately than profitable.
Enjoying nicely will then provide you with a higher likelihood of profitable, and when you do lose however have performed nicely, you gained’t really feel as unhealthy, since your aim was to play nicely within the first place.
For instance, good performance-oriented objectives are to make lower than 3 unforced errors per recreation, to get 80% or extra of your open-ups on the desk, or to assault earlier than your opponents greater than half the time.
This mind-set can be much more useful in the long term.
Should you preserve specializing in enhancing and taking part in nicely, over time, you’ll enhance much more than somebody who doesn’t care about taking part in nicely and simply desires to win.
Should you go right into a match whereas pondering “I’ve to win” however don’t take into consideration the way you’re going to win, you’ll simply put additional stress on your self that can flip into frustration when and when you do lose.
German legend Timo Boll said it best:
“Don’t analyze the sport for victory or defeat, simply attempt to be at your individual most. That’s all you are able to do! Settle for that the opponent was higher however be taught out of your errors and don’t search for excuses”.
Timo has performed towards the perfect gamers on this planet, and along with his many titles, he additionally has a whole bunch of defeats underneath his belt.
Even when he loses, he’ll at all times deal with taking part in nicely, and that’s how he was in a position to keep on the prime of the game for greater than 2 many years.
“Be glad when you tortured your self to your private restrict and to the utmost, even when the sport was misplaced. However don’t be glad with each victory. Carry on engaged on your self, there are actually factors that may be solved even higher. Don’t be fooled by outcomes.”
So, as Timo says, don’t be fooled by outcomes. Brief-term outcomes don’t matter. What issues is enhancing as a participant and having enjoyable over weeks, months, and years of taking part in desk tennis.
2) By no means underestimate nor overestimate your opponent
Most desk tennis gamers are warned towards underestimating their opponents. The dangers are fairly simple to grasp.
You see them taking part in, you assume you’ll beat them simply, you go into the match with an overconfident angle, and earlier than you realize it you’ve misplaced in straight units.
It has occurred to most of us. Each opponent ought to be revered, no matter their league or score factors.
In the event that they’re taking part in in a membership or at a match, there’s a cause why they’re there.
Towards lower-ranked gamers, exit and play your recreation as when you have been taking part in towards somebody your stage. Focus totally on each level.
A lower-ranked participant shouldn’t be capable of beat you, however you probably have lapses in your focus and also you underestimate them, your possibilities of shedding shall be rather a lot greater.
Nonetheless, overestimating your opponents hinders your possibilities of success as a lot as underestimating them, however we seldom hear coaches warning you towards overestimating your opponents.
A number of occasions you’ll be the underdog in a match and also you’ll assume your opponent might be higher than you.
The factor is, when you assume they’re higher and also you’re going to lose, you then most likely aren’t going to attempt as laborious, nor will you focus as a lot, and your possibilities of profitable shall be significantly diminished.
Say participant A has 1000 score factors and participant B has 700.
There’s fairly an enormous discrepancy within the rankings of participant A and participant B. The factor is, participant B is aware of about that discrepancy within the rankings.
If participant B lets that reality get to them, they may have misplaced the match earlier than it even begins due to a scarcity of self-confidence.
To attain any aim, you first must consider you are able to do it. By no means in my life have I crushed somebody with out believing I might do it.
If participant B thinks they’re lower than the duty they usually’ll lose simply, their possibilities of profitable shall be near zero since they subconsciously gained’t attempt their hardest.
After they lose, they’ll assume to themselves “nicely, I knew this could occur since I’m lower-rated”.
In actuality, participant B has round a 20-30% likelihood of beating participant A.
If participant B believes in themselves and performs out the match to the perfect of their skills:
- Participant A could have an off match, or participant B could have an excellent match.
- Participant A may turn out to be nervous and play worse than normal.
- Participant B could give participant A a run for his or her cash and take a set or two off of participant A, which is rather a lot higher than not even making an attempt and shedding on straight units.
All of the stress to win is on the higher-ranked participant.
In desk tennis, something can occur when you consider in your self, and when you do, you’ll find yourself scoring massive wins over powerful opponents extra typically than you’d assume.
By no means assume you can’t beat your opponent. Should you’re sharing the identical desk, meaning you could have an actual likelihood of beating them.
3) Good your routine between factors
Probably the most vital issues in desk tennis is having an environment friendly routine between factors.
That is the one time you must assume inside a recreation, apart from the one day out per match and the towel break each 6 factors.
You must make the perfect use of the time between factors. Having a great routine will significantly have an effect on your temper whereas taking part in and your focus ranges.
This behavior must be skilled. Between factors, take 5-10 seconds, dry your fingers, stroll across the desk, assume, and take a deep breath.
This can assist you reset your psychological state after each level and provide you with time to consider A) your subsequent serve or obtain and B) the event of the match.
We now have 4 suggestions for you that’ll assist you good your routine between factors.
Focus solely on the subsequent level and lower the justifications
That is known as the subsequent level mentality.
This tip is essential as a result of in desk tennis, the one factor that issues is the subsequent level and what you are able to do to win it.
Even when you’re 2-0 and 10-0 down, when you win the subsequent level again and again, you’ll win the match.
This looks as if a really far-fetched instance, however just lately, Mattias Falck got here again from being 2-9 right down to win the sport 11-9.
He gained 9 factors in a row and closed the fifth recreation out within the quarter-finals of the European Championship. He did it towards none apart from Truls Moregardh.
Mattias gained 9 factors in a row and seized the essential recreation of the match by at all times specializing in the subsequent level.
If Mattias had thought of the rest than the subsequent level (the truth that he was 9-2 down for instance, or regretting why he put himself in that place) he wouldn’t have been in a position to make that unbelievable comeback.
Let’s say for instance that you just’re 9-9 and your opponent will get an edge. Now you’re 9-10 down. It is a scenario that can occur very often and you must be ready for it.
You possibly can:
A) Spend your time after the purpose by complaining about how unfortunate you might be, or B) Recover from it as rapidly as doable and take into consideration the best way to win the subsequent level.
At all times interested by the best way to benefit from the subsequent level and nothing else is what makes a profitable thoughts.
There is no such thing as a place within the thoughts of a great desk tennis participant for something apart from the best way to win the subsequent level.
Interact in constructive self-talk and rejoice factors
Between factors, one other factor you are able to do that can assist you take advantage of out of the subsequent level is to rejoice your factors and interact in constructive self-talk.
Should you’re telling your self you’re taking part in nicely and also you’re celebrating your factors, both internally or by choing, you’ll elevate your self-confidence and morale, which can make it extra probably so that you can win the subsequent factors.
It additionally alerts your opponent that you just’ll be very powerful to beat because you’re mentally robust and assured in your self.
Be versatile, downside clear up, assume outdoors the field
To take advantage of out of the subsequent factors, try to be problem-solving in between them.
Should you’re shedding, you must be capable of assess why you’re shedding and alter your ways as rapidly as doable.
This can work most of the time since your opponent must adapt to a tactical variation.
First, they have been those in an advantageous place since they have been taking part in their profitable tactic.
Now, they must adapt to what you’re doing, so you could have the higher hand till they adapt in the event that they do.
Take your time earlier than taking part in vital factors
What separates good gamers from nice gamers is the way in which they play vital factors.
I’m at all times amazed at how skilled gamers play out the deciding factors of a match. They play an aggressive fashion in a really secure means, with out lacking.
Should you’re aiming to become a professional player, the perfect factor to do earlier than taking part in out decisive factors is to take your time.
Should you’re taking part in a deciding level, which means you could have already performed many factors beforehand.
Due to this, you have already got an arsenal of ways that labored and a few that didn’t work.
What I like to recommend is taking extra time than regular, if doable you possibly can take your day out, and take into consideration an motion plan.
When taking part in vital factors, there are sometimes two profitable plans.
The safer one is to go for a constant tactic that has confirmed to be efficient through the match.
The riskier one is to attempt a brand new serve or obtain that you just assume will compromise your opponent given their weaknesses.
Each choices are legitimate and also you’ll have to decide on which one to go for given the circumstances of the match.
If there’s been a constant tactic that has confirmed efficient and that your opponent can’t counteract correctly, I’d go for that possibility.
If there hasn’t been a clear-cut tactic that has labored persistently for you, then you possibly can attempt one thing new, so long as you could have been in keeping with that play throughout your coaching and you are feeling assured executing it.
4) Break psychological blocks
One factor all of us must actively stride in direction of is breaking our psychological blocks.
Desk tennis can generally be fairly irritating, particularly once we appear to hit plateaus and we really feel like we aren’t progressing.
The factor is, plateaus are principally psychological.
It solely takes a brief streak of misplaced matches to undermine our confidence and make us assume we hit a plateau.
Should you preserve correcting your method and analyzing your matches accurately, you’re at all times going to enhance, so attempt to not fear when you’re having a shedding streak or a nasty month or two of coaching.
One other factor that makes desk tennis gamers not attain their full potential shouldn’t be visualizing themselves undertaking their objectives.
Visualization is a vital instrument to beat psychological blocks.
Look again to once you first began taking part in desk tennis.
If that model of you noticed the way you’re taking part in now, they’d most likely be fairly impressed, proper? We’re able to something we set our minds to.
It’s vital to remember the fact that we’re coaching for a goal: getting higher and perfecting our craft.
Should you visualize your self taking part in at a excessive stage, profitable tournaments, or taking part in to your group at a league stage, likelihood is you’ll be much more motivated and pleased to point out as much as the coaching corridor.
5) Get pleasure from your time on the desk
The final psychological tip I’ve for you is to keep in mind that you’re finally taking part in desk tennis to have enjoyable.
Should you’re at a match and also you’re feeling nervous, keep in mind that you signed up for the match to compete and have a great time.
Even when we’re taking part in a pleasant match at our membership, it may be a bit irritating to lose.
Nonetheless, for somebody to win, their opponent has to lose. That’s the way it works. It’s not the top of the world when you lose.
The most effective factor about desk tennis is that there’s at all times one other attempt. Desk tennis at all times provides us a rematch.
Should you had a nasty end result, attempt to not dwell in your loss however moderately use it to gasoline your motivation to return again to coaching and present a greater model of your self the subsequent time.
Should you had a great end result, then rejoice! Each time I’ve a great match, I attempt to exit, have dinner with my pals and discuss it.
It makes the expertise much more satisfying and jogs my memory why I preserve coaching and taking part in the game I like.
In the long run, it’s all in regards to the pleasure of hitting the ball, determining the best way to hit it higher than the final time, and making pals within the course of.
Alvaro’s been taking part in Desk Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked throughout the prime 100 in his native Argentina. He likes to compete in provincial tournaments and is at all times in search of methods to enhance. Alvaro made his favorite reminiscences with a racket in hand, and he joined the RacketInsight group to share his ardour with different gamers!
Blade: Butterfly Fan Zhendong ALC | Forehand: Butterfly Dignics 05 | Backhand: Butterfly Rozena
Playstyle: The Controller