Every time you play table tennis you are either creating or reinforcing habits. The habits are our technique, shot selection, movement, everything that happens at the subconscious level during a match. This has a huge impact on how we learn and perform.
Dan and Tom reinforcing hood habits using multi-ball
As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, a change in our play comes when we are able to make neurological adaptations with our brains to initiate new movement patterns. These movements only become automatic when the neurological connections are stronger than our previous movement patterns.
Put simply, a new movement or technique can only be learned if repeated enough times. Not only that, the new movement needs to become the dominant action the opportunity is presented to use it.
Here is the system we use to create and reinforce better habits in training.
Learn the technique in a predictable context ➡ Add variation whilst keeping the new movement pattern ➡ Use the new movement pattern in match specific contexts
This is of course incredibly simplified and the process will most likely take weeks or even months to complete. Do not rush this process. If rushed, the skill you are trying to learn will not be robust enough to be used in your matches. You will revert back to your old habits under pressure.
Be intentional about what habits you want to have. Repeat and perform the actions you want to be able to rely on.
Go and create the way you want to play…