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Table Tennis Strategy: Multi-Tasking vs. Unit-Tasking

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At the beginner playing levels, it is critically important to unit-task, to focus exclusively on one particular table tennis skill and get it right.  With many of my table tennis students who are USATT rated 300-800, I will focus exclusively on their forehand loop or backhand push for 20-30 minutes and give them homework on doing shadow strokes or robot practice for just one skill at a time.

As my students progress, we really move into the area of multi-tasking, developing many table tennis skills together into a complete game package.  One particular student really needs to develop her backhand serve, as well as her backhand loop, as well as her small footwork movements, as well as her ability to read my racket, as well as her ability to transition smoothly between backhand and forehand.  So we have linked the skills together in this table tennis drill seen below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkiTH-sLMcw

So what should you do? Should you multi-task or unit-task?

If you are working on changing a bad habit or learning something new in table tennis, I recommend starting simple and sticking with one skill at a time.

If your table tennis game is quite developed and you are confident in your skills, then slowly begin to link the shots together.  Once you can begin linking the shots together, you will then begin to see good, improved results in your table tennis matches as well!

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  • Jena Newgarden
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