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Peak Performance for Table Tennis Tournaments

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Many professional table tennis players peak for certain tournaments each year.  By having a systematic training cycle, these players can perform well at the important tournaments.  There are usually four parts to the six-month season:  Pre-season, in-season, the peak tournament and post-season.  Here are some tips for how you can learn to “peak” for that one important table tennis tournament six months from now.

Pre-Season

For the first few days before the intense training begins, you should take out a notebook and write out your main goal.  What do you hope to win or accomplish in the major table tennis tournament six months from now?  Next, make a plan.  How often do you plan to practice table tennis drills?  How often do you plan to play practice matches?  How often do you plan to play tournaments?  And finally, determine what changes need to be made to your basic, foundational table tennis strokes.

In-Season

At the beginning of the season, it is very important to work on your base strokes and develop excellent consistency in the long table tennis rallies.  Also, during the beginning of the season, you should try to make some improvements to your table tennis game.  Realize that it will likely take at least 30-60 days to change a bad habit.  During the beginning of the season, it is also important to strengthen your body – especially your legs and core.  With better fitness, you will be able to train harder and longer during the season and will be less likely to get injured at your main table tennis event six months away.  As the season progresses, it is very important to begin doing more game-like drills starting with the serve.  As you play table tennis matches, make sure that you take plenty of notes and adjust your practice according to your findings.  Before the peak table tennis tournament for the season, it is also important to play in other tournaments.  Playing tournaments is the best way to understand every aspect of your game and is one of the best ways to improve your mental game as well.

The Peak Tournament

Now, it is time to play your best at your peak table tennis tournament.  If you have properly prepared physically and mentally and have played plenty of practice matches and tournament matches, then performing well at your peak tournament should not be a huge issue.  During the competition, treat this tournament as any other tournament, go through your normal tournament routine, focus, and have FUN.

Post-Season

After your peak table tennis tournament, it is important to rest for at least one week to allow your body to fully recover.  During this rest week, spend some time to re-evaluate your season and your peak performance.  Adjust your training plans accordingly and begin strategizing how to come back even stronger the next table tennis season!

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  • Jena Newgarden
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