Home  »  Coaching Tips   »  

Best table tennis coaching manual

Best table tennis coaching manual. Having a table tennis coach is crucial. Every pro player has a personal coach. So if you want to improve, then you should have a table tennis coach. Here are some manuals for table tennis coaching and training program (PDF).

Today, coach EmRatThich explains what is the role of a table tennis coach. The advantage of having a coach (offline, or online) is very important.

Some famous table tennis coaching manual

01 ITTF coaching manual

You can ask to download the ITTF coaching manual from the WTT (ITTF) website. You need to fill in the requirement documents. (Order form)

Provide your email address:

There are several types of coaching program on ITTF (based on the ITTF-Coach Accreditation System)

ITTF Coach Accreditation System
ITTF Coach Accreditation System

Download source:



ITTF Coaching Course (USA Table Tennis)

ITTF Level 1 Coaching Manual

ITTF Level 2 Coaching Manual

USA TT coaching bibliography

02 Table Tennis Playbook

Another coaching manual is the Playbook written by Ben Larcombe (experttabletennis.com). It’s very well written and easy to follow.

Download it here.

The-Table-Tennis-Playbook by Experttabletennis

03 Playing for Life

Playing for Life – Table Tennis is written by the Australian Sports Commission. The Playing for Life — Table Tennis manual aims to provide fun, safe and engaging activities to ensure maximum participation for all children regardless of their ability.

It represents a ‘taster’ to the sport of Table Tennis. Any player or coach who would like to pursue further involvement in the game can contact their state Table Tennis association.

Download it here:


04 The Smash Down Barriers for disabilities

This manual is written by Christian Holtz (Table Tennis Australia and ITTF-Oceania).

The Smash Down Barriers program is a sport-for development program supported by the Australian Government, Table Tennis Australia and the International Table Tennis Federation.

Its objective is to use table tennis as a tool to improve the lives of people with disabilities by: Increasing levels of physical activity; Providing leadership opportunities; & Promoting social inclusion.

Download it here:

smash-down-barriers_manual_handicap player

The work of a table tennis coach

Based on the opinion of Massimo Costantini (ITTF High Performance coach), there are some main tasks that a coach should consider.

The coach provides the competition its purpose. When we witness a coach, we only see the superficial portion of their job: the coach on the field providing advice, handing the players water bottles, consoling and inspiring them. We don’t see what drives a coach to make particular choices on the field of play.

table tennis coach online - and PDF manual
table tennis coach online – and PDF manual

Some important coaches in table tennis

In these ITTF World Team Championships Finals, there are many world-class ‘directors,’ former professional players who made history in our sport and are used to winning as athletes and coaches. Jorgen Persson, Jörg Rosskopf, the host country’s Qin Zhijian and Li Sun as men’s and women’s coaches, Joo Saehyuk, Gao Jun, Tamara Boros, and Jing Jun Hong. It’ll be intriguing to see them compete ‘behind the camera’.

Coach isn’t alone. Around them are additional figures. The technical crew includes the fitness trainer, mental trainer, doctor, physio, and others. The coach is the fulcrum of a fascinating world. Even with a World Champion, the coach is the hero.

coach Alexis with the Spin Wheel training
coach Alexis with the Spin Wheel training

The coach is like the director of a film, they are the one who puts the finishing touches on the performance, the one who says “action” for a scene in a movie where there is a script, preparation, refinement of skills, well-organized strategies and tactics to put into practice, but also strategies and tactics that change when dealing with another “director and actor.”

Step 1 – Preparation

Preparing for a team event like the World Championships is the most difficult component. This can take weeks to months or longer. Until the coach knows the opponents in the qualifying round for the main draw, preparation should be as general as possible or at least take into account the individual abilities of their athletes.

Wang Hao and coach Liu Guoliang supported Ma Long
Wang Hao and coach Liu Guoliang supported Ma Long

Just minutes after the group draw, things shift abruptly. The coach can now prepare specifically for the opposing team. The coach makes mental predictions about who will play A,B,C or X,Y,Z, what the plan will be, and when he gets to the training hall, he tells the squad members the best pre-match preparation.

Step 2 – Pregame

The pre-match can vary in scope, during which the coach puts together all the pieces of the mosaic to have a defined image of what he wants from the team, to determine the lineup to deploy, and subsequently those who will remain on the bench but will always have a key role in the team’s performance.

Coach Qin Zhijian - one of the best Chinese coach - personal coach of Ma Long
Coach Qin Zhijian – one of the best Chinese coach – personal coach of Ma Long

Why should a player play with that opponent? Consider their style, history, statistics, and head-to-head. This is possibly the most delicate component to handle, because all athletes want to be protagonists, they want to play, and nobody wants to be excluded, but the coach must make choices and is responsible for them.

Step 3 – During the match

When you sit on the bench with your athletes, we can say that the most important work has already been done, as we mentioned, the preparation, the committed staff, the draw, the pre-match, and the team selection ready to perform. The sportsmen and coach are now ready to play and perform. Now, the coach must always be watchful, with one eye on their own athlete and the other on the opponent.

young players need a very good coach
young players need a very good coach

The coach must be ready to deliver the correct word at the right time, help athletes with technical-tactical answers, and give them freedom, initiative, and ingenuity to reach the goal.

Step 4 – Postgame

Post-match analysis is also important. The squad sits around a table in a private room to review the match. Regardless of the match’s outcome, individual study of athletes, opponents, team, and bench attitude begins. It’s time to listen. The coach is willing to hear players’ and spectators’ impressions and sentiments, but is also ready to present their own version of events.

the best reasons why you need a professional coach
the best reasons why you need a professional coach

Depending on the result, the coach thinks about the next opponent and what worked and didn’t. Analyzing if there were any important areas to change in their own actions. Watching the match tape again and again to find the decisive moment, stroke, or scenario. Many claim “winners don’t change,” but that’s not always true. Admitting that a defeated opponent was better is a sign of maturity.

Miwa and her father (also her coach) (1)
Miwa and her father (also her coach) (1)

Athletes always worry about feeling guilty for non-performance. Accountability comes after the World Championships, after a cool-minded examination.

Step 5 – Long term development

A potential insidious opponent lurks in the imaginations of athletes and coaches. This scenario requires no compromise. The coach should be a master at managing it, and a role model. Whatever happened is in the past, and you can’t alter it.

coach Li Sun - head coach of Chinese Women National Team
coach Li Sun – head coach of Chinese Women National Team

We should look back briefly to gain a lesson and treasure it, but we should constantly move forward. Coaches should realize that and teach athletes how to think.

©PINGSUNDAY. Unauthorized use, translation or duplication of this material is strictly prohibited. Link and excerpt may be used, provided that clear credit is given to PingSunday with the specific link to the original content.

Sign up and join +65k readers. Get free coaching ebooks and coaching advice every week

Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

Leave a Comment