This morning my desktop computer crashed. (I'm writing this on my netbook computer.) I had all sorts of stuff ready to write for my blog; I'd written half of it last night. But now I can't access it, and I'll probably spend much of the day trying to work out the computer problems. I've already contacted my friendly neighborhood computer expert (J-O, where are you? No, not Waldner), and hopefully all will end well. But rather than leave the multitudes without anything whatsoever to do or read today, here's an exercise.
Developing your game
Are you ready to take your game to the next level and beyond? Let's do an exercise that'll help you do that. If you are a coach, this is also a great exercise for your students - work with them on this.
First, write down what your long-term goal is, in terms of level. Be realistic, but at the same time don't be overly conservative. Give a general timeline to reach this goal.
Second, write down your strengths and potential strengths. If you have a big forehand loop but it misses too much, it might not be a strength, but it might be a potential strength. (Make sure to focus at least 50% or more on serve & receive techniques.) These are the things that your game will develop around. You cannot reach a specific level unless you have something that threatens players at that level.
Third, write down your weaknesses. This doesn't necessily mean whatever table tennis techniques you don't do well, but the ones where opponents give you trouble in actual matches. For example, if you forehand counterloop loops very well, then not having a good forehand block isn't really a weakness. (Make sure to focus at least 50% or more on serve & receive techniques.) These are the things that will hold you back from reaching your long-term level goal.
Fourth, write down what you need to do in terms of developing technique to go from your current level to your long-term level goal. Be specific.
Fifth, write down how you are going to develop each of these techniques. It won't happen by itself; you need to practice these techniques, and perhaps work with a coach. You might have to adjust the timeline you set in #1 above.
Sixth, reread #5 above, and put together a plan to actually make it happen. Then make it happen!
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