Why you should set concrete training goals before the table tennis season

Table tennis targets- Sylvester

New Year's Eve and the start of a new table tennis season have many similarities

The start of a new table tennis season is very often comparable to the beginning of a new year on New Year’s Eve. For us table tennis players the second New Year’s Eve of the year is usually in August, because that’s when most people start preparing for the start of the season. So it is not seldom that especially in August the good intentions resound through the halls.

“Last season was a real bummer, but things are going to be better now.”
“From now on, I’m going back to training regularly”
“We will introduce regular team training three times a week”
“Now and then I use the forehand side now and then”
And the most important thing is: “I will NOT start playing sentences again after 10 minutes and sit on the bench with a cyclist after 30 minutes! I will set myself concrete training goals and, if necessary, attend a seminar or educate myself further with videos!”.

Some of you may already feel caught up after the first units. That’s not too bad either. As the saying goes: “Anticipation is the greatest joy.” But we want to encourage you to fight against the comfort zone in the preparation for the season and to really put the intentions in your head into practice. One thing above all is important for this: Set concrete training goals! This will help you develop a mindset that will move you forward.

We assume that you, as a pimpled community, are one of those people who are motivated and who also want to change and develop constantly. Doing something new, such as testing new material, learning a new punch or tactical element, should give you pleasure. It helps you to get out of the same rut. If you have already trained a few times and you are no longer frightened by your lost feeling for the ball, then this is the moment when you should focus on your training goals

How to do that? Let us explain now:
For example, you should answer the following questions:
Where do I generally want to go in table tennis? – What are my ambitions?
Is it important for me to achieve results in the very short term or is it okay to pursue a more long-term goal?
Do I want to change my game system or should I rather take care of technical aspects?
A concrete goal is not always easy to set.

IMPORTANT: Set concrete points in time where you can observe and analyse your development. Are you on the right track or do you have to change something fundamental again? In our opinion, medium to long-term and profound learning successes are usually more valuable than short-term, small improvements. Therefore, you should not let yourself be driven crazy by short-term results with shifts in the TTR value.

What is the concrete situation in training?
You can decide to work on a specific weakness or try to add a new stroke/tactical element to your game. Regardless of the fact that there are currently certain rules of procedure in most places, you should make an appointment with a fixed game partner and think about what you want to train with this partner (at least for a certain part of the training). This appointment and the schedule for the first training phase create a certain commitment. Without an appointment, there is a high risk that you will only get used to the game, then at some point you won’t know what to do, and in the end “only” make sentences. If your match partner should not come to the training, he will surely have the decency to cancel (: . So you would still have the possibility to arrange a date with another partner.

From our experience it is not so decisive for many exercises whether your partner’s TTR value is in a similar range. With the specific practice of suitable situations/ball paths, both players can train in a goal-oriented and high-quality way, even if there are major differences in performance. At the end of the training you can reflect briefly with your training partner whether the training goals have been achieved or what you can possibly do better.

In the end it is important:
The mindset as well as the purposeful concentration on something specific and the framework of the training must be right; then you will achieve long-term success beyond the pre-season preparation.

Is the focus right for you and have you already set training goals? Leave us your opinion in the comments! In the next newsletter we will also talk about concrete exercises you can play with your partner.

Kind regards from the Sauer & Tröger Team

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