Training and the Mind

Rowden November 2014

If you wish to win matches and to reach your full potential, then the first requirement is that you train in the right way for you. Success also demands that you have the right personal mindset. We are all different and to attain our own potential must travel our own path and do what is best for us, technically, physically, tactically and mentally. Each of us needs to know how we play best and how to achieve this.

Table Tennis of Tomorrow Part 2

Rowden May 2014

It is up to the coaches to design playing styles and to study the finer elements of the techniques and tactics of the game at the higher levels and we must continually be alert to new possibilities and different things which can benefit our players. Coaches must at all times look to be involved in the future evolution of our game and even more than the players be ready to be innovative and creative. With this approach they can improve the quality of play and be open to ways of enriching their players’ game. The pursuit of excellence becomes a way of life and is crucial to the future of our sport and its growth.

Table Tennis of Tomorrow Part 1

Rowden May 2014

Today’s table tennis is developing towards an all-round type of game and players need to have all-round skills; there is no room for obvious defects or weaknesses which will be quickly spotted and exploited by good opponents. Players have to be just as strong in attack as in controlling the play and there has to be a good balance between the two. The aim has to be a high level of overall consistency while manoeuvering for position to get in your strong shots: of course shot selection and the appropriate moment is vital, you have to pick the right occasion and the right shot to make your strong attack.


Rowden December 2013

High level performance occurs when you turn off conscious thought and have an external focus. Don’t think about what you are doing or how you are doing it, think outside yourself, fix your attention on the opponent or the outcome.

Responsibility for Yourself

Rowden Sept 2013

The single most important element in the development of a table tennis player is that he/she understands his/her own game and understands how to achieve the absolute best performance. The duty of the coach is to help the player reach this supreme level.

Table Tennis Player's Bible

Rowden Sept 2013

Do I want to reach my full potential and be the absolute best I can be? If I do then I have to:
• Know and fully understand exactly how I play best and what works for me

Control the Head (Adam Kelly: Sports Psychology Researcher Southampton Solent)

Top athletes train day after day to meet the demands of competition as best they can at the big event. Unfortunately this can be just the time when things go dramatically wrong. Then it is far too easy for the wrong phrases to spring unbidden into the mind: ‘Am I really good enough?’ ‘I can’t understand why I put myself through this time and time again!’ ‘This always happens when I’m under pressure’.

Basic Sports Psychology

Rowden February 2013

This involves the study of how the mind affects performance and how we can educate the mind to improve how we perform. We should bear in mind from the start that we are all different and our personality can affect performance: in addition consider that some sports may be more suited to extroverted or introverted individuals. Equally we should bear in mind that we can work in the mental area, just as we do in the physical, to improve how we deal with our sport.

Girls' Game: Be Professional

Rowden December 2012

Do not allow emotion to interfere with you game, your plans and how you intend to play. Try to keep an external not an internal focus – what is the opponent doing, what tactics is she employing, what emotion is she showing? NOT how am I feeling, are my strokes working, am I making too many mistakes? In this way your mind is not distracted nor engaged in looking at negative aspects,it is in fact free to assess the situation, however fluid it may be and to decide what needs to be done.

Go with the flow

Extracts from New Scientist 2012

Is there an easy way to prime your brain for awesome efficiency in any skill? ‘Flow’ is the elusive mental state, that feeling of effortless concentration which characterises outstanding performance in all kinds of skills.

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