The plastic ball, will the world's top women spin?

Rowden January 2015

Thousands of Asian women players have been using the fast drive stroke for decades. The hard attack ball is important to their table tennis philosophy. Over the years speed has been the dominant factor in their play and even now if they have to choose between speed and spin it will almost always be the former. It is the European women who try to topspin more and the last one to win a World Singles was Angelica Roseanu 60 years ago in 1955 (and she wasn’t a topspin player).

Science of the Plastic Ball. Initial Thoughts

Rowden January 2015

Some spin on serve but not in rallies.
Best spin side alone or combined with backspin. Side-spin balls stay shorter and kick sideways earlier than with the celluloid ball.
Easier to attack serves.

The Battle, Weapons and Alternatives

Rowden January 2015

Battles are won by having the right weapons, by using suitable tactics, but above all having the will, the desire and toughness to win. Heavy weapons usually prevail over light ones, the wrong tactics can turn victory into defeat, but without the will any sustained conflict is doomed to failure. What must also be understood is that new weapons and tactics are being developed year by year and time does not stand still. Our sport of table tennis is very similar to warfare.


Rowden January 2015

• If you are to be the best there must be variation, speed of movement, the will to fight to the end, flexibility of thought, an enduring sense of adventure and above all a calmness of self.

Training and the Mind

Rowden November 2014

If you wish to win matches and to reach your full potential, then the first requirement is that you train in the right way for you. Success also demands that you have the right personal mindset. We are all different and to attain our own potential must travel our own path and do what is best for us, technically, physically, tactically and mentally. Each of us needs to know how we play best and how to achieve this.

Table Tennis of Tomorrow Part 2

Rowden May 2014

It is up to the coaches to design playing styles and to study the finer elements of the techniques and tactics of the game at the higher levels and we must continually be alert to new possibilities and different things which can benefit our players. Coaches must at all times look to be involved in the future evolution of our game and even more than the players be ready to be innovative and creative. With this approach they can improve the quality of play and be open to ways of enriching their players’ game. The pursuit of excellence becomes a way of life and is crucial to the future of our sport and its growth.

Table Tennis of Tomorrow Part 1

Rowden May 2014

Today’s table tennis is developing towards an all-round type of game and players need to have all-round skills; there is no room for obvious defects or weaknesses which will be quickly spotted and exploited by good opponents. Players have to be just as strong in attack as in controlling the play and there has to be a good balance between the two. The aim has to be a high level of overall consistency while manoeuvering for position to get in your strong shots: of course shot selection and the appropriate moment is vital, you have to pick the right occasion and the right shot to make your strong attack.


Rowden December 2013

High level performance occurs when you turn off conscious thought and have an external focus. Don’t think about what you are doing or how you are doing it, think outside yourself, fix your attention on the opponent or the outcome.

Responsibility for Yourself

Rowden Sept 2013

The single most important element in the development of a table tennis player is that he/she understands his/her own game and understands how to achieve the absolute best performance. The duty of the coach is to help the player reach this supreme level.

Table Tennis Player's Bible

Rowden Sept 2013

Do I want to reach my full potential and be the absolute best I can be? If I do then I have to:
• Know and fully understand exactly how I play best and what works for me

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