Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

To see this website as it was intended, please update to a modern browser!


Drill Rotation

By Ryan Gubler

If you are like me your drills have consisted of 5 to 10 minute rounds or one to two passes through a bucket of balls that usually equates to around those times. Then you rotate and let your partner go for a turn. Recently we have changed how we are rotating our drills and for now the outcome has been good. 
Before I get to the rotation let me explain how I came up with the idea and why it works even better than I realized. My physical conditioning has been somewhat horrible lately and even though I have been pushing through training for the last five weeks, I can’t seem to get over the hump and keep coming up exhausted early in the drills. Also when considering how some of the top athletes in the country are training with paid coaches, they are being drilled for a full hour and there is no rotation. Given all that I suggest the following changes to "rotate into your rotation”.
Here it is for all to enjoy. Simply take your full time allotted for practice and play. Subtract anytime you want to use for play. Then you simply divide the time in half. That is right, anytime that is used for drilling is split right in half. So if you are going to drill for 90 minutes, both players get a set of straight 45 minute runs. This pushes cardio far beyond a shorter drill and really helps conditioning. With the pace and speed of table tennis these days I think conditioning is extremely important for players that want to go to the next level. It provides a much better work out and I was surprised about the other benefits.
1. No quitting. Often times I see players skip a drill set all together because it isn’t going well (okay me too). This forces you to push through or immediately jump to another drill that gets you back on track.
2. No chitchat. You know it is your turn for that limited time and you will probably round up balls faster and chat less to make sure you get the most out of your time. 
3. You really start seeing the ball better the longer that you play. Extending the time helps bring in that focus
4. Since you will definitely get tired, you will start to understand why you miss some shots because of fatigue. Then you can work to make sure you don’t make those mistakes.
As stated previously, this is for all to enjoy. Enjoy sweating so much that you look like you went to swim practice. Enjoy trying to catch your breath with no breaks. Enjoy service drills when the you are done screaming, "Uncle Falkenberg I can’t take it anymore!” (T-shirt to come)
Here is the order of my practice this morning and times:
•  13 minutes - Falkenberg to blockers FH
•  5 minutes -Serve chop and loop the 3rd ball with play only down the BH alley
•  8 minutes – Falkenberg to blockers BH
•  4 minutes – BH, Mid, BH, FH
•  2 minutes – Sweat buckets 
-Ryan Gubler