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Coaching Tip of the Week – How to Learn by Watching the Top Players

(By Larry Hodges)  Most players who watch top players play look like this. That link should take you to a 22-second video of five cats looking side to side as they watch a ping-pong match. Those cats are enjoying the epic match they are watching, but they are not learning anything. All they are seeing is […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Be Both a Machine and an Artist

(By Larry Hodges) It’s great to develop great mechanical proficiency like the top players, who often seem to play like machines. As noted in last week’s tip, “They make even difficult shots with such seeming ease and consistency that they make it look easy.” But while you are developing that mechanical proficiency, you can be […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Be a Machine But Not Mechanical

(By Larry Hodges) One of the most impressive things about top players is their machine-like proficiency – they make even difficult shots with such seeming ease and consistency that they make it look easy. They are like well-oiled machines. This is why coaches have players do so much rote practice, practicing their strokes and footwork […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – If You Don’t Spend a Good Portion of Your Practice Developing Overwhelming Strengths, You Won’t Develop Overwhelming Strengths

(By Larry Hodges) This could be the shortest tip I’ve ever written, since it’s all in the rather long title, but I’ll elaborate. One of the things I always advise players is that if they don’t have something that threatens an opponent, you can’t beat them. It’s a simple as that. Therefore, at whatever level […]

Coaching Tip of the Week: The Most Important Technique in Table Tennis

(By Larry Hodges)  It isn’t a stroke, a serve, a receive, or footwork; it’s the ability to learn and improve. Most players play “in the moment” – they mostly play matches where they play to win now. They avoid their weaknesses, thereby not improving them; they set up their strengths in the ways they always have, […]

Coaching Tip of the Week -Use Top Players as Models For Your Technique

(By Larry Hodges) If you want to reach a high level of play, then you need a lot of high-level techniques. You don’t have to invent these on your own – there are a huge number of top players who have already developed these techniques. Suppose you want to develop or improve your forehand loop. […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Focus on the Next Point

(By Larry Hodges) You’ve just lost a point. Perhaps a big one. Does it matter? Of course it does! But does worrying or thinking about it help? Not at all, other than registering the tactics that worked or did not work as new data points. As far as you are concerned, the only thing in […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – The Most Important Reason for a Match Coach

(By Larry Hodges) It’s an advantage to have a good coach in your corner. They can talk to you between games and during breaks and help you win, both tactically and with sports psychology. They can even do so during the games, often calling out (or whispering) winning advice. But they are often both over- […]

Coaching Tip of the Week – Take the Weird Styles Pledge

(By Larry Hodges) How many times have you lost a match and complained about how “weird” your opponent played? It could be a different surface that you weren’t used to; a strange serve you weren’t familiar with; or a weird stroke that gave you fits. If it’s a “weird” surface, then adjust to it and […]

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