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Psychological Preperation

Preparing your mind for a match

There are many factors in TT which influence the results of each player. Among these elements are -stress, the way to overcome stress, psychoregulation, motivation, the stage before the match, the stage during the match, and the stage at the end of the match-. Although good technique and tactics preparation plays an important role, psychological preparation plays "the decisive" one. The psychoregulative training methods are getting more and more importance on the field of the preparation of the TT top players:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation method leads to the lowering of the tension and to the lowering of the blood pressure, regulates the respiration frequency and brings down the pulse. Tip (Try to relax your body, control your senses and your mind with your own way at least 30 min. prior the match).
  • Feedback training method helps to reproduce some situations of a match exactly as they takes place during the game. With that way, there is a great opportunity to improve specific weaknesses e.g. 20:20 situation, different strokes execution. Tip (Imagine that you execute a difficult shot order in to get a crucial point. Make the proper movements using only your imagination).

The psychological preparation in TT is divided in 3 phases according to the annual program:

  • Basic preparation phase. The tasks of the coach here, among the others, are to: (a) find the proper motives which help the player to increase his performance, (b) keep the interest of the player for continuous practice, and (c) help the player to find and fight off his fears.
  • Pre-competition and competition phase. The tasks of the player are to: (a) visualize his training with the help of some visualization techniques, and (b) find the proper level of mental arousal. Tip (Try to analyse the "sorry" situation and find the best solution to overcome such unexpectedly situations).
  • Post-competition phase. The tasks of the player are to: (a) relax between the matches of the day, and (b) do a positive self-evaluation of his performance. The tasks of the coach are to: (a) give encourage for better performance, and (b) evaluate precisely the results.

Dimosthenis Messinis
Denis' Table Tennis World

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