Most if not all table tennis players have used or are using a training method. whether it be regular, irregular or match play training to improve their game. I believe regular training is an extremely important aspect in today’s game but overused in most training sessions.
What do we get out of regular training?
You will develop good or bad technique depending on how you are taught and in time your strokes will be second nature due to reps. Strokes which are reproduced constantly over time with reps fo around (approx 6,000 times), it becomes muscle memory.
Systematic training provides you with increased consistency, improved footwork and good or bad technique. Other than those three it has nothing else to offer.
Having worked with some of the best players and coaches in the world I have come to a conclusion. It’s debatable so feel free to challenge me. I believe regular training should only be done for the first 2-5 years, which is the initial stage (I call it the development stage).
Change your ways!
Once a player has reached a good technical ability their focus should shift away from systematic training. Into semi-irregular and irregular training exercises. If a player has developed what I call the foundations (the basic four strokes to a high level) that player may be damaging their potential dramatically due to continuously, performing regular exercises.
We develop by continuously pushing the boundaries and giving our brain challenges and problems to solve. By challenging our brain we develop at a much faster rate. We are hardly challenged by regular training and it does not resemble a real game situation so why do we persist in doing it?
How are you training?
If you are at a level where you have a good forehand and backhand and your progression seems to have slowed down, ask yourself how are you training? As mentioned above you must focus on regular training at your development stage and you will notice huge gains. Once you’ve developed your shots the progression line will flatten out which means you need to change your training methods. Yes, this means you need to stop the regular training and focus on everything but regular…
You may have the best serve, backhand and forehand in the world. But if you don’t know how to use your weapons you will never be the best. To be the best you must train to your personal best…