Do a mental workout* before the beginning of the game or even on the previous day. A mental workout is the mental training during which the player thinks about certain movements like the serve, the smash, the topspin or an attack tactic and imagines himself playing against an opponent. This method is very important because it helps the player to understand the right technique and prepares him psychologically for the game. The mental workout lasts 5-10 min.
There are different mental workout techniques:.
- The technique of "mental play" involves the relaxation of the mind and leaving the player free to think of how he will play the different techniques. For example, he can imagine himself doing a serve with a side-topspin from the backhand and do a fast diagonal forehand topspin in response to his opponent"s stroke.
- The "visual kinetic repetition"technique is used mainly to exercise the player to face unexpected conditions. A good example is the classic case of "sorry".
- The "distinctive points" technique is mainly used to correct technical mistakes of the player. By playing out the correct movement in his mind, the player can isolate his mistakes and correct them. For example, the curve that some players give to the movement trajectory can be corrected in this way during the fast forehand topspin.
- The "oral signs" technique during which the player uses different words to persuade himself to play the movement correctly.
The player pursues the desired excitement condition before the game and the continuous concentration during it.
*37% of the players that took part in the World Championship in Chiba in 1991 use the mental workout technique.
Source: Table Tennis: From A to Z e-book
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