High Level Performance

Rowden 2011

High-performance athletes are able to assess the quality of a shot much more effectively than lesser players and also can more easily predict the advantage or disadvantage arising from a ball which just has been hit by an opponent. This major difference between players of different skill-levels is applicable significantly to the first three strokes of a rally.

Have You the Right Weapons?

Rowden 2011

To be a champion at table tennis requires you to have the right weapons, both generally and specifically. By generally we mean for the men’s or the women’s game, by specifically we mean relevant to the way you play as an individual. Weapons usually refer to 3 areas, physical, mental and technical/tactical.

Shot Selection and the Use of Power

Rowden 2011

Table tennis is an ‘antagonistic’ sport. This means that it involves power and judgment from two opposing parties, who both influence what happens to the ball. To play the most effective shot to suit the situation at hand we have to consider both:
• the type of incoming ball
• the precise amount of effort needed in our stroke

Research into Women’s Table Tennis

Rowden 2011

Q. Is there really a big difference in coaching male/female players?

Until we fully understand that the men’s and women’s games are ‘two completely different sports’ we will never raise the level of women’s play throughout Europe. Women have many more differing styles of play which are effective at world level. The men don’t. In the women’s game it is almost always speed which wins over spin, which is exactly the opposite of what happens with the men. There are also many more material players among the ranks of the women and coaches must be more fully informed as to the why, the how and the what. The mental and physical capabilities are also radically different. To work with and develop girls/women demands a great deal more from the coach.

Prime Thinking Points in Modern Table Tennis

Rowden 2011

• Value speed, spin and accurate/effective change; aim to use your strengths and take the initiative within the framework of all-round control
• Attack constantly and keep the opponent guessing. Any attack should be constant and varied and should keep the opponent under pressure in one way or another. Change in different forms will also keep the opponent off balance

Fundamentals of Table Tennis

Rowden 2011

• Table tennis is all about CONTROLLING the play (which means being consistent) until you can win the point by some form of CHANGE (more power or spin, different timing, better placement or angle, softer, shorter ball etc). These combinations of change whether in speed, spin or placement are the way our game is going to develop. This aspect of change must be executed by you FIRST before the opponent can do it

Speed equals coordination. Author / Translator: Gunter Straub

Stefan Weigelt

Stefan Weigelt wrote his Doctoral thesis on ‘Motor speed in Sport’.

His main proposition is bold: He states that basically speed is coordination. Some coaches might be shocked by this statement because – at least in Germany – speed and co-ordination are conceptualized as two different animals. Speed usually is seen as a component of physical fitness and very often theoretically separated from coordination which is assigned to motor fitness.

Multi-ball: High level training

Rowden 2011


The main aim of the following sample exercises is the improvement of adaptive intelligence by reading the play in an intense ‘short burst’ situation where the player puts in maximum input working in short exercise sequences of 6 to 8 balls. The short exercise sequences are repeated between 8 to 10 times, with a 10 second gap between each sequence, then the player will have a break of several minutes. This ‘short exercise’ intense system has been used in Asia for many years and also for the last 7 to 8 years in Germany. (If it is difficult to remember 6 to 8 balls in a row, run the sequence first with 3 or 4 then build in the second half).

Life after Technique

Rowden 2011

What comes after technique and why is technique important? Let’s first look at what technique does.

1. Provides you with the weapons to play the game you want to play and to do this to the best of your potential.
2. Is the crucial base for tactical development and for the refining of your individual style.

Winning and your mind

Rowden 2011

Doubt is the prime cause of failure in sport. Every time you doubt and fail, failure is reinforced and the next time failure is more likely. Therefore you have to trick the mind even when failure is almost inevitable! The true professional cannot afford to listen to self-doubt because he knows how destructive this will be. He must therefore create a mind that is resistant to uncertainty and doubt.

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