First of all, I am going to digress a little from today’s topic and discuss the winning and losing of points in general. My two main passions Table Tennis and Tennis both require good mental attitudes to reach the highest level as players usually lose just as many points as they win! I’ll give you an example: Roger Federer recently won his hundredth career singles title in Dubai and throughout this journey of WINNING 100 tournaments he played 83,302 points and won 46,508 of them, at a percentage win rate of 55.8%, hence he lost 44.2% of all the points he played. Roger Federer had to deal with 37,794 disappointments yet still managed to win every one of these Tournaments as he has practiced this skill in his training and matches. Federer, like Bjorn Borg had awful attitudes as juniors but were able to fix this through good coaching, self discipline and sheer determination. Most players don’t change and so things don’t change for them!
Now onto the ‘BIGPOINT’ topic which, let’s face it will usually decide who wins the battle between 2 evenly matched players. When you play someone a lot higher level than you then the reality is they are more likely to win the important points simply because they are more skilled! I recently watched the incredible ‘Marvellous 12’ match between Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin and anyone interested in Table Tennis needs to watch this. FZ (for short) was 2-1 down in sets and 10/7, 11/10, 12/11, 13,12, 14/13, 15/14 & 16/15 down in the 4th set but still managed to win it and then went on to win the match 4-2! Xu Xin had nothing left in the 6th and final set and he’ll always remember that FZ never gave up and kept showing positive energy throughout adversity. What a player!!
After some research here are 10 tips to become a bigpoint champion:
Practice a ‘Pressure Point Game Plan’ that reflects your game style
Practice and stick to your routines and processes
Focus more on your breathing and footwork on these points
Practice positive mental imagery, picture yourself winning
Learn from the best, watch videos of the best players in big moments
Be calm, your opponent will most likely want to end these points quickly
Be confident, show confidence, don’t let self doubt creep in
Don’t think about winning or losing, focus on what you have practiced in training
Enjoy the moment, embrace it and except the outcome like a champion
Win or lose, shake your opponents hand with dignity as there will always be another day
What is so important, is that the player who really wants to improve their game sticks to all the above and just keeps trying to learn and get better in all areas. You can do all the right things, stick to all your routines and good habits and still LOSE! This is the nature of sport and one of the reasons why I love it so much!! ‘How did I lose that match??’… ‘I had 6 match points’!!…or my personal favourite ‘Every game went to deuce’!! (Usually from a player who loses 6/1, 6/1 ha ha!) You must accept it, learn from it and practice.
‘Put in the work and prepare for whatever is ahead, whenever your opportunity comes, you will be ready’!