Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

It sometimes feels to me that table tennis players go through post-traumatic-table-tennis-rating-point-loss-disorder. Often, at the conclusion of a match, players seem traumatized. They can’t seem to think clearly and often say and do crazy things because they are traumatized. This traumatized state of mind usually leads to more and more losses. If you want to have the best mental game possible, here is what you need to do.

#1 Don’t fear losses. You will lose matches in nearly every tournament. It is a matter of your perspective before, during, and after the match that will keep you playing your best throughout the tournament.

#2 Fight for fair play DURING the match. If you leave the table complaining about your opponent cheating on the score, serving illegally, and taking too much time between points, there is nothing that the official or your coach can do anything about it AFTER the match. Having fights in the parking lot doesn’t change the result of the match.

#3 Think long term. When you put all of your hope and glory in 1 match, you will feel too much pressure. By thinking long term, you will be able to relax, while giving your best, while realizing that this 1 match is merely a stepping stone toward your ultimate goal.