Coaching Tip of the Week: Use It or Lose It! Butterfly Table Tennis
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Coaching Tip of the Week: Relax Your Arm During Backswing

Coaching Tip of the Week: Use It or Lose It!

(By Larry Hodges)

When a player finds a part of his game is not working as well as he’d like (because he hasn’t been practicing it, is getting older or slower, or because it simply wasn’t a strong shot to start with), the tendency is to use that technique less and less. Result? The technique gets even weaker!

The classic case is an aging player who finds his footwork is not as fast as before, or his loop not as strong. He begins to play a more passive game, with less footwork and less looping, and thinks it will help his game. However, all this does is start a downward spiral. By moving and looping less, the player’s footwork and loop get worse – and so the player uses them even less! And so the player’s level spirals downward. (Side problem: the game becomes less physical, and so the player gets less of a physical workout, and so the game is less a health benefit.)

Instead, it might be better to continuing using these techniques, at least in many practice matches, so you don’t lose them. Then, in more important matches (and sometimes in practice, to develop this “alternate” game), use them less as you focus more on winning.

The moral is: Use It or Lose It!

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