Courtesy of Coach Samson Dubina

There are hundreds of small elements, but there is one huge factor to improvement… It is your mind! Do you set actual goals and hold to a daily schedule or do you allow your emotions to control your life? If you allow your emotions to control your life, then you will only practice when you feel like practicing. You will show up when you feel like showing up. You will go practice your serves when you feel like practicing your serves. If you allow your emotions to control you, then it will be tough for you to succeed in table tennis, in the workplace, in relationships, and in many other areas of your life. If you are going to improve this year, there are 4 main keys…

Key #1:   Get a Coach

The coach has experience on how to lay out a plan for you on many different levels.  The coach also knows how to structure your playing system so that you can make the most progress this year.  Regardless of your time commitment, budget, or goals, you need to have a personal coach.  This is a non-negotiable.

Key #2:   Have Good Communication with Your Coach

The coach’s job isn’t to fulfill his dreams, but to fulfill YOUR dreams.  Having good communication with the coach involves regularly discussing your goals, your strong points, your improvement areas, your upcoming competition schedule, and much more.  The better communication you have with your coach, the more effective your training sessions will be.

Key #3:   Have Daily Short-Term Goals

Every drill must have a goal, even forehand and backhand warmup.  Regardless if it is more adjustability in your backswing, finger pressure, better weight transfer, different timing, new variations, or whatever, you must have a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish in drills, points, and matches.  With daily goals, keep in mind that it is a goal.  Maybe you will reach it, maybe your will exceed it, maybe not.  But the goal still must be there.

Key #4:   Daily Be Mindful of Your Long-Term Goals

This is the biggest key of all.  Be daily mindful of your long-term goals.  This will allow you to overcome your emotions and focus on the task at hand.  You don’t feel like waking up at 6:30am for serve practice before going to the office, but it is necessary if you are going to reach your long term goal.  You feel like walking out of the club during a practice session when things aren’t going well, but you choose to stay because you need to learn to play even when you are sleepy.  You feel like watching TV all day on Saturday instead of doing your robot training, but to reach your goals, you must make daily progress.  So you set aside your emotions and do the right thing because you are trying to reach the long-term goal.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour”

Yes, your game is going to take many weeks, months, and years to build.  Are you laying the bricks today?  If you are going to continue to make progress, then focus on making great goals, get expert advice, set aside your emotions, be mature, hold to the structure, and get your game to the next level!

Paddle Palace Pro Tip: Write down and review your goals on regular basis. If you can break down your goals into smaller parts it will make achieving them much more manageable.

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