Peaks, Streaks, and Table Tennis Geeks

It’s time to cover three different subjects that have little in common other than the fact that they are about table tennis, and they rhyme. I seem to be on a roll, so I’ll probably be working in some other weak attempts to include more freaky words. It will all make sense in the end, and if you hang in there, this post will change your life. Well, it might not change your life, but you’ll be a better citizen of planet earth. Perhaps I should lower your expectations. This has the potential to be a damn good article about table tennis, and if you read this far you probably have nothing better to do then continue reading.
Table Tennis Peaks – One of the things that most impressed me about my time with Coach Richard McAfee was the way that he would work with athletes to prepare them to play their best, when it mattered the most. Training cycles would be scheduled to allow players to peak for important tournaments. Since I have been coaching, I’ve rarely had the chance to work with players much more then once a week. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to work towards peaking for tournaments, but it does require a little different approach than if you train every day for several months. I am totally on board with long term plans for improvement, but there are other peaks and valleys that should be considered. Have you ever played great on Tuesday, only to play horribly on Wednesday? Maybe you tend to peak on weekends. I think it can be useful to club players to plan for these weekly peaks. If you want to play well on league night, don’t expect, or even plan to play at your best the rest of the week. It’s unnecessarily stressful to expect that you will be playing at your absolute best every time you pick up your paddle. Mentally focusing on one time each week can make your total table tennis experience more enjoyable. Weekly Peaks ; You heard it here first.
Table Tennis Streaks – Streaky players can be sneaky players. Not to be confused with streaking players (photo not available), streaky players tend to feed off their own success. Let one of these streaky types make two good shots in a row, and they may hit five more before you find a way to slow them down. The good news is that these players also have bad streaks. Sometimes you can keep them from getting too confident throughout an entire match, but it’s best to squash their enthusiasm before they go on a streak.   

Table Tennis Geeks – This topic is inspired by a recent story of a young college student who quit the table tennis team because there were too many nerds on the team. Nerds lack social skills and are overly studious. A geek is just a nerd that doesn’t study. Both of these terms are frequently, and unfairly, associated with table tennis players. I’ve always gotten along well with nerds myself, but if you have an issue with geeky table tennis players, watch a few Brian Pace Videos.     

Brian is probably the least geeky player I could highlight. I don’t know him personally, but he seems to be extremely confident, as well as incredibly athletic. As a student of the game there might be a touch of nerd in him, but I’m not detecting any stereotypical geek qualities.
Peak once a week. Start a winning streak. Don’t be a geek, just because you’re a table tennis freak!

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