transfer training into competition

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I have a talented youth player who is 10 years old. He can already play all the shots at a very high level and also the exercises he plays.

The problem is competition. He can't maintain the high level. So far I don't have a solution for him to make quick progress there.
I tried out game situations for him. Serve returns. So that he doesn't have to react so much anymore.
Does anyone have an idea to train this? He is so talented but in competition he makes a lot of simple mistakes
 
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I have a talented youth player who is 10 years old. He can already play all the shots at a very high level and also the exercises he plays.

The problem is competition. He can't maintain the high level. So far I don't have a solution for him to make quick progress there.
I tried out game situations for him. Serve returns. So that he doesn't have to react so much anymore.
Does anyone have an idea to train this? He is so talented but in competition he makes a lot of simple mistakes

how long does he actually play table tennis for ?
5 Years
 
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Spin recognition, pace changes, and movement are oftentimes the issue for translating practice gains into games. To help overcome that as quick as possible, try to build into practices changes in spin, pace, and random movements. For example, you can have drills where you serve various spins, various speeds, and to various parts of the table, requiring him to quickly recognize the spin and speed of the ball, move left and right, in and out, and shorten his swing when it come fast or wait for the ball when it comes slow.
 
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Sometimes he beats some very good adult players. Other times he loses again to worse players. I think it's not just a mental problem.

I think he has no idea how to play to gain an advantage. A system. He just reacts. It's difficult for me to teach him situations that often happen in games and that he can learn.
 
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Sometimes he beats some very good adult players. Other times he loses again to worse players. I think it's not just a mental problem.

I think he has no idea how to play to gain an advantage. A system. He just reacts. It's difficult for me to teach him situations that often happen in games and that he can learn.
There is no magic beyond experience. If he enjoys playing, he will figure it out. If not, he will stop well before or even after he figures it out. The biggest thing is to help him enjoy and reflect upon the process and rewards of his efforts. There are too many kids who end up hating the sport because their parents care more than they do about the results.
 
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It really depends on how long he has played games/tournaments. It takes a couple of years for kids to learn the fundamental and applying the techniques in a game takes much longer. You will have to let him play with players of different style/levels and let him understand the game himself gradually.
 
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Spin recognition and dealing with spin + length variation is the kryptonite for many juniors. My guess is that they train against standard balls all day long, but once you put some strangeness in the balls, then they start to struggle. The best juniors know exactly what spin the opponent is putting on the ball and exactly how to deal with the spin.

Spin recognition + the ability to adapt their stroke to various spin needs to be put into the training. And this is not just topspin, no spin or backspin, but also various brands of sidespin, pips/anti, weird strokes, etc...

You can have the best looking strokes in the world but if you don't actually read spin and adjust to them you will lose a lot of matches.
 
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You might want to look into research regarding block vs variable (random) practice drills. If he's being feed very clean to balls to predictable spots, then that's a good example of block practice. Introducing slowly different spin and locations to these will help bridge the gap between his practice and something approaching actualy match play.

Basically, his brain and motor skills may be operating in two modes. In training mode he's likely more relaxed and seeing everything clearly, and his muscle memory is just reacting. In match play mode maybe he's more tense, overthinking things, and it's getting in the way of naturally responding.

If he's doing fine with completely random practice drills but still underperforming significantly in matchplay then maybe you want to look into sports psychology issues. I think there's quite a lot of variation you can introduce yourself as a blocker/feeder to get him used to different shots though. Maybe using different setups, serving from different locations, using as many different types of shots as possible, etc.
 
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Sometimes he beats some very good adult players. Other times he loses again to worse players. I think it's not just a mental problem.

I think he has no idea how to play to gain an advantage. A system. He just reacts. It's difficult for me to teach him situations that often happen in games and that he can learn.
I think you have your own answer right here.

It's the lack of system that stops him from using his technique and shots. It's a lot of theory and actually not that hard to train and transition to. You might want to just simply test him by asking him what happens if he does a certain spin serve and most likely position it is going to return to. That way he can prepare in his mind before hand and recognize the system. If he simply reacts in game he will be slow to move. This will come with expierence, but it should be actively trained in a training environment. That way youth player can start figuring out their own playing style and system. Same steps with returns.

The next is step would be pattern recognition and eye training. Most of the children are stuck with following the whole trajectory of their own shots and just simply miss out on looking to your opponent in competition. To train this you just give him fast irregular balls and make him focus on your shots than on his own.

If you have some video it would be great. I think I overshared a lot, but hope I could help.
 
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As mentioned above:

As for training exercises I would absolutely look into
- Random drills
- Matchplay drills
These will take nothing away from training motor skills, while at the same time being great preparation for matches.

Also, practicing random drills will force the player to return to ready mode quickly, making it much easier to get to the next swing.

One step deeper: visualisation exercises. For example:
Before serving, pick two scenarios.
- if the serve is returned long, I will loop (first anywhere, next step is specifying where which can be a table location, body of the opponent etc.)
- if the serve is returned short, I will push. (long/short, away from the opponent, into the body)
This teaches the player to think of scenarios, envision their own playstyle and then develop using it.

But also bottom line: yes you're dealing with a talented player, but you're also dealing with a kid. Kids brains are simply not yet fully developed in thinking multiple steps ahead, or recognizing the effects of their own actions.
Outside of table tennis, chess would be a great option to learn the basics of how strategy works.

I've seen kids that were physically very capable of playing, but just never understood matchplay. Great coordination, but not made for table tennis. And yes, you can beat adults using good technique because they're used to be played against strategically. Vice versa, you can lose to technically worse players because they are better in strategy.
 
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Thank you very much. There were many helpful posts. I can learn something from it and try to implement some things
 
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are you the coach or parent, or both?
I am the trainer. We have never had such a talented boy in the club before. And the only one where I think he can become a professional.

But that's the next problem. I don't know how I can promote him in the future.
Our club is small, the nearest town with a better club is too far away.

I think all the players who are professionals were lucky to have a very good club. With good coaches who understand the game perfectly. I can still help him a lot but I also know that he will need professional trainers in the future to get better.

Even if he drove to the nearest table tennis center every day, it would be a waste of time. Better training partners but the coaches there never turned a player into a professional.

The location is the biggest problem
 
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Take him to all kinds of competition you can get him into. Drills can only get you so far and experience in the field is more important than just a drill.
I was shitty at serve receive but through many competitions, I forced myself to read the serve of my opponents or else I'd lose easily.
Had to force myself to see the habits of my opponents to predict his tendencies so I would be ready for his next move. How to handle his spin and so on.
 
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I think you have your own answer right here.

It's the lack of system that stops him from using his technique and shots. It's a lot of theory and actually not that hard to train and transition to. You might want to just simply test him by asking him what happens if he does a certain spin serve and most likely position it is going to return to. That way he can prepare in his mind before hand and recognize the system. If he simply reacts in game he will be slow to move. This will come with expierence, but it should be actively trained in a training environment. That way youth player can start figuring out their own playing style and system. Same steps with returns.

The next is step would be pattern recognition and eye training. Most of the children are stuck with following the whole trajectory of their own shots and just simply miss out on looking to your opponent in competition. To train this you just give him fast irregular balls and make him focus on your players shots than on his own.

If you have some video it would be great. I think I overshared a lot, but hope I could help.
"Transferring training into competition" refers to the process of applying the skills, strategies, and techniques practiced during training sessions to actual competitive situations. This transition is crucial for athletes to perform at their best when it matters most. Here are some key aspects of effectively transferring training into competition:

  1. Simulation and Visualization: During training, athletes can simulate competition scenarios to replicate the intensity and pressure they will face in actual events. Visualization techniques can help athletes mentally rehearse their performance and build confidence in executing their skills under pressure.
  2. Progressive Overload: Training should progressively challenge athletes to improve their skills, strength, endurance, and mental resilience. By gradually increasing the intensity and complexity of training sessions, athletes can develop the physical and mental fortitude needed to excel in competition.
 
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I am the trainer. We have never had such a talented boy in the club before. And the only one where I think he can become a professional.

But that's the next problem. I don't know how I can promote him in the future.
Our club is small, the nearest town with a better club is too far away.

I think all the players who are professionals were lucky to have a very good club. With good coaches who understand the game perfectly. I can still help him a lot but I also know that he will need professional trainers in the future to get better.

Even if he drove to the nearest table tennis center every day, it would be a waste of time. Better training partners but the coaches there never turned a player into a professional.

The location is the biggest problem

development is indeed a complicated issue.
regarding win/loss, I'm not sure what is the level of your player, but at 10 , the win/loss I think is not that important
more important is development.

how much hours does he train a week now?
what age did he start
 
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"Transferring training into competition" refers to the process of applying the skills, strategies, and techniques practiced during training sessions to actual competitive situations. This transition is crucial for athletes to perform at their best when it matters most. Here are some key aspects of effectively transferring training into competition:

  1. Simulation and Visualization: During training, athletes can simulate competition scenarios to replicate the intensity and pressure they will face in actual events. Visualization techniques can help athletes mentally rehearse their performance and build confidence in executing their skills under pressure.
  2. Progressive Overload: Training should progressively challenge athletes to improve their skills, strength, endurance, and mental resilience. By gradually increasing the intensity and complexity of training sessions, athletes can develop the physical and mental fortitude needed to excel in competition.
This reads like it was written by AI
 
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