During a two minute warm-up there are a few important things that you should be doing…
#1 You should remove any distractions. If there is a barrier too close to the table and needs to be moved, adjust the barriers prior to the first point. If there are broken balls on the floor or dirt on the table, make sure that you clean the area.
#2 You should get a good feel for the ball, table, floor, and lighting. By controlling the ball and looping with spin, not speed, you should develop a consistent, confident feel for the ball.
#3 You should practice watching the ball as it approaches your racket then watching your opponent’s racket as the ball is traveling toward your opponent. Most players merely watch the ball. Being able to watch your opponent’s racket is also important because it give you a huge clue as to where he is planning to likely hit the next ball.
#4 You should warm-up your footwork by making mini-steps during practice. Most players cannot hit the exact same spot on the table during practice. Instead of mentally complaining about the terrible warm-up, use it as a time to practice your short footwork. Be ready to adjust slightly in-and-out and side-to-side throughout the two minute warm-up.
#5 You should be studying your opponent’s game style – his spin (or lack of spin), his grip, his stance, his strokes, and his overall game style. Especially if you have not seen him play previously, it is vitally important that you form a general picture of your opponent. As the match progresses, be willing to drastically change your strategy, if need be.
#6 You should be reminding yourself of your strategy and encouraging yourself to do the right things. Regardless of who you are playing against, you probably have a couple of short sentences that you remind yourself before every point. Even in practice, get in the habit of reminding yourself of the same things to get your mind in the game from the very first point.
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