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

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Mental Strategies - Part 11

Earned, Never Given

You have often heard the Marines say, “Earned, never given!”
This is the same mindset and you should have in table tennis. 
When you serve a fast, surprise serve, you are planning for your opponent to return and you are planning to win the rally.
When you loop with your powerful forehand, you are expecting your opponent to return it and you are expecting to loop multiple balls in order to win the rally.
When you push deep and fast to your opponent’s wide forehand, you are expecting a soft opening that you can counterloop.
Every time to perform a shot in table tennis, you should expect a long rally.  You should expect the ball to come back and expect to earn the point.  Players often make a good shot and expect the opponent to easily miss on the next shot.  They expect to be given a free point.  This leads to 2 dangers…
Danger #1
When the ball does come back, you won’t be prepared.
Danger #2
Your stroke will become sloppier if you stop.  If you hit and prepare for the next ball, your stroke will be more precise.
Prepare to earn the points.  If your opponent misses…. GREAT!  But don’t hope for the misses.