Learning the skills to become a good table tennis player is a lot like building a house

The first step in constructing any building is laying down some really solid foundations. Followed by constructing the walls brick by brick, layer by layer. Whilst at the same time putting in some electrics and plumbing. Finally, a strong weatherproof roof goes on to ensure the house will last.

In table tennis as well you should start with laying some really solid foundations that will be able to support the wait of all your future skills. This includes a good stance, good grip, basic footwork and strokes, etc. Without this step whatever skills you try to add to your game after won’t hold up for long and will crumble to the ground in a pile of bricks and dust when you enter a game. The more skills that you learn the stronger the foundations will need to be as they will need to hold more up. This is why the top players in the world continue to practice the basics of table tennis making sure their foundation is strong enough to carry their advanced play into competitive matches.

Once you have a strong enough foundation you can build on top. To do this you will need to put up some scaffolding. When learning new skills you may need to support the skill during practice for a while. For example, you may need to use regular exercises or multiball to establish the correct technique. Then you can remove some scaffolding by adding some variation and randomness which will more closely mimic a match situation.

The plumbing and electrics are like the little details that make your game your own. Perhaps you have a service that is unique to you or, you may have a way of performing topspin. The foundations and walls are in place but this is where you can be a little bit different.

The final stage is protecting your game with a strong head. A strong roof protects the house from the wind and the rain. No matter what the elements throw at you; being strong mentally will allow the rest of your game to remain standing and do its job.

To conclude, think of your training as if you are building a house. Start building strong foundations, build on top using scaffolding whilst adding your own style to your game. Finally construct a weatherproof roof so that your house can withstand anything. The same as you will need to resist succumbing to whatever competition throws at you making sure your technique stands strong.

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