August was the first month of emphasizing a particular skill at Jon’s Table Tennis Training. There are some definite things we can learn from the past thirty one days. First, most players did not notice a major change in their training routine. A common misconception was that we would only be working on the skill of the month. While there was a emphasis placed on backhand strokes, individual coaching needs were not abandoned for a “one size fits all” approach. Perhaps the greatest insight from the month was that a number of players who were very consistent with backhand drives, blocks, and loops when they were close to the table, became far less consistent from just a couple of feet further back. We probably needed to spend more time improving consistency away from the table, but at least the problem was identified. Some players with excellent forehands discovered that they were losing points by not being in position for backhands. In some cases a backhand oriented stance was recommended, where they could face the table more directly.
September is here and it’s time to move on to a new skill. Nobody’s backhands were perfected in August, but it was a good learning experience. September’s skill is serving. The goal for this month is to make sure everyone is serving strategically, as well as legally. Spin and placement will be emphasized. Nothing can elevate your game as quickly as improving serves. We’ll check back in October, and see what we’ve learned from our September skill.