Prepping the Mind for Play

When playing a game like ping pong or pool it is not enough just to know the dimensions of the ping pong table or the pool table, there is so much more involved in becoming a strong player.  There are so many different aspects of these types of games that need to be learned and mastered as well.


In regards to ping pong, one of the most important parts of the game that needs to be learned and mastered is the mental aspect.  This is arguably one of the most important parts of the game because without a strong mental game, the all the good shots in the world would not matter.


The drills for mental training and improvement in ping pong start long before and continue on long after a player has approached the table and left.  This is the concept of living the game.


This means thinking about becoming a better player, not only on the court, but off the court as well.  As the theory goes, the more something is thought about and pondered and lived, the more the brain will adjust to fix and adjust the little details of the game.


That means, in the times away from the table, the brain is still going over the way to hit a better stroke, or a better shot.  This is how the good get better.


Another important factor to consider when training the mind is to mentally rehearse situations and shots in the head.   For example, try rehearsing a crunch time situation, such as the last point of the game winning point and be successful or coming back from being a couple points down.


The more vivid the situation, the more natural it feels, the easier it will be to recall when such a situation arises.  This technique is similar to the concept of positive affirmations.


This also means, before approaching a point, picturing mentally how the point will play out.  When the point does not play out how the mind pictured it, revise and review what happened to create the gap between what should have happened and what did happen.


Mentally preparing for a point or for a game is one the biggest factors to success in ping pong, and perhaps any undertaking in life.  It is necessary to visualize and positively approach all aspects of success when starting any project, and personally escort those visions into reality.