Well, 2019 is here and it’s time to make some table tennis resolutions. I’m always willing to make a few suggestions as to how you might have a more successful year playing your favorite sport. I can think of about five just off the top of my head, but I’ll just focus on one. No matter where you are on your table tennis journey, it might be a good time for a real tune-up. If you’ve never had a coach, or if it has been a long time since anyone evaluated your game, it’s tune-up time. There are a number of types of tune-ups. Chances are, one of these will be beneficial to you.
1. The “I’ve never had any coaching at all” tune-up – Unless you’ve had some very good role models, you might need more than a tune-up. A good coach can spot problems with your game in the first minute of watching you play. The self coached player will never recognize these same issues. Rather than chugging along with bad timing and poor footwork, why not let a coach give you some feedback and recommendations on how to play a smooth and efficient game.
2. The “I don’t know how to play against pips” tune-up – This has become a specialty of mine. I’ve had a number of well coached players come to me, simply because they have trouble playing against all manner of pips. If you have trouble with pips, it might be a good idea to consult a coach who has experience playing against pips, or better yet, one who actually uses them.
3. The “I just don’t have enough time to train anymore” tune-up – Fair enough, but you probably have time to do one session with a coach. One session a year, or one a month, might be enough to keep you focused, tuned up, and moving in the right direction.
4. The “I only play for fun” tune-up – Realistically, most players are playing for fun. It tends to be more fun, when you play well, and have a good understanding of your sport. Not all coaches will start training as if you are a future Olympian. If your only goal is to trounce your Uncle Bob, coaching can be designed with that goal in mind.
The idea of the table tennis tune-up is to get a different set of eyes looking at your game. Even if you have a coach, it can be beneficial to do a session with a different coach occasionally. If you’ve invested your time and money, but aren’t getting any coaching, you’re missing out on getting the most from table tennis. Not everyone can work with a coach every week, but most players can get an occasional tune-up. You might not realize how inefficiently you’ve been playing until you get a tune-up. Table tennis can still be fun, even if your game is a little rough. It’s a completely different, and much better experience, when it’s smooth.