June 16, 2014 - Be a Perfectionist

If you want to be very good at table tennis or anything else, it's best to be a perfectionist. But to be a perfectionist, you have to think like a perfectionist.

First, focus on getting it right. In the long run, proper execution is more important than any current result, and proper execution will lead to the best results. So focus on the techniques that are "perfect," and work to replicate them over and over until you can do them in your sleep, as well as at deuce in the fifth.

Second, forget about the incorrect shots as those are the shots you want out of your head. Thinking about them only ingrains them more. Instead, develop a determination to do the next shot "perfectly." If you keep doing the shot incorrectly, then you might have to analyze it to figure out what you need to do, but as soon as you get it right, put the incorrect ones out of your head and focus on doing it correctly.

Third, don't try to memorize the specifics of a "perfect" shot. Instead, once you get it right, remember the feel of the shot. Once you have that feel down, it'll feel wrong anytime you do any part of the stroke incorrectly. Getting the feel right will ingrain the shot not just for now, but for a lifetime.

If you really want to get it right, I strongly urge you to find a coach and have them work with you until you get it right, and have the feel of a "perfect" shot. Once you have that, you can practice the shot on your own without worrying about whether you are doing it right.