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How to be a great coach in table tennis

In the previous post, you know that the role of a table tennis coach is very important.


The role of a coach

There are many benefits of having a good coach in table tennis. The coach will help you:

But what is the quality of a good table tennis coach?

build trust with your player - Samsonov
build trust with your player – Samsonov


What makes a great table tennis coach?

There are some things that make a great sports coach.

A good coach is positive, enthusiastic, supportive, trusting, focused, goal-oriented, and has a lot of faith.

People often don’t pay attention to what you do because coaching is often a thankless job that’s hard. It’s also very selfless. If you’re a coach at the top level, you’re going to get a lot of attention from the general public about how well you’re doing.

a good coach must have a desire to improve
a good coach must have a desire to improve

You’ll also get a lot of criticism for the decisions you make. Coaches often work all day and all night with their athletes and spend a lot of time on the road, which adds up to a lot of time away from their loved ones. There is one thing, however, that makes a good coach different from a great coach.

Take a broad view

The coach needs to understand the personality of the player, not only the capacity of the athlete.

People who are the best coaches will spend time getting to know their athletes outside of their field or training room. As part of their athletic development, they’ll think about what athletes have to do outside of their sport (like school, family changes), and how these things can affect their performance.

a good coach needs to show their passion
a good coach needs to show their passion

They’ll also think about how these changes can affect their performance. As a great coach, the person won’t see their personal, academic, or social problems as a distraction from their job as a teacher. To put it another way, coaches who care about their athletes’ lives and don’t restrict them from other activities will end up having athletes who are happier in life, have a better sense of worth, and are more satisfied with their lives than coaches who don’t care at all.



Great coaches will also know that their athletes have different personalities, attitudes, sensitivity, and ways of dealing with criticism and adversity, which are all things that make each person unique. They will be able to tailor their interactions and strategies with their athletes based on what they know about their personalities and styles.

The desire of improving coaching skills

The coach who loves to improve their coaching skills is the best table tennis coach.

If the players want to improve, then the coach needs to learn more too.

A good coach is likely to know a lot about their sport, but a great coach will go the extra mile to keep learning and improving their skills. Great coaches always learn new training techniques, stay up to date on new academic research, read books, watch videos, and ask for help from elite coaches and people in other fields, as well as from people who are already great coaches.

Always try to improve
Always try to improve

It’s important for a coach to learn about all of the things that make a sport work, like sports psychology, how to live a high-performance lifestyle, how to eat right, and how to move your body. People who want to improve as a coach can go to fields like this.

Communication skills are very important

Some players are very talented, but they are not the best coach. Why?

Because they lack communication skills.

Communication skills at a very high level. People who are good coaches will know that communication is a two-way street and that there needs to be a back and forth between the coach and the athlete. In order to be an effective coach, you need to communicate well and show that you have the skills and authority to help people.

analysis the match by watching the video
analysis the match by watching the video

It is important for a great coach to be able to explain ideas clearly and help people reach agreed-upon goals, giving them direct feedback and reinforcing the main points. People who communicate well also need to say good things about their own work, like when they do well.

Know how to build trust

If you can’t give the player the confidence, then how they can win in a critical situation.

They should help their athletes believe that they can do well, too.

Great coaches will make their athletes believe that they can do more than they think they can. They will do this by making them think about things that go against what they think is possible. As a way to get athletes to believe in themselves, great coaches have to keep putting them in situations that make them think about their own limitations all the time.

be friendly with your player
be friendly with your player

There are ways that coaches can do this. They can push their athletes outside of their comfort zone in all three ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

This is called the “get used to being uncomfortable principle,” and it says that the only way to grow both physically and emotionally is to keep trying to do things that aren’t easy for you.

Play smarter but not harder

Some coaches that I know, are too “stiff”.

In table tennis, you need the flexible, smartness. When you play, don’t forget to put the game into perspective. In table tennis, everything is “variation”, as I said.

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

The best coaches are always looking for a better way to teach. Athletes will keep trying new things if one doesn’t work for them.

They will keep trying until they find the best way to reach that person. Coaches who are rigid and always say, “It’s my way or the highway” are less effective than those who know how to be flexible and can do it well.

People who are good at coaching don’t get distracted by how important a game or event is to their job as a teacher. They should know that sport is just a game and a way to teach more important lessons in life. A good coach knows that what and how they teach their athlete is going to have an effect on them that goes far beyond the sport.

Know how to talk to parents

When you meet with the parents of an athlete, make sure you take time to listen and teach them.

When you’re a great coach, you’ll talk to and teach parents about their role in your coaching team all the time. Success as a coach often comes from getting parents to work with you, not against you!

Communication skills are very important
Communication skills are very important

As a great coach, you should take the time to listen to parents’ concerns about their child’s progress in sports and to help them understand that their job is not to motivate or coach their child but to help them in other ways, such as with their emotional well-being. An athlete’s progress in sports can be slowed down by parents who are too enthusiastic about him or her.

Know how to motivate the players

The coaches should do when their athletes make mistakes and fail.

Poor coaches will make the team focus on their own egos, which means that winning is seen as the only way to be a good person. To be a good coach, you should let your athletes fail and make mistakes, but you should not get angry or impatient when they do so.

Find a best tactics for young players
Find the best tactics for young players

Creating a task-focused environment and focusing on individual progress will make the athlete less afraid of making mistakes while they are performing.

Always try to improve

The coach needs to always try to improve.

The challenge is not just for the athlete, but also for the coach.

Great coaches should always try to show their players how to act and think in the same way that they want them to act and think. No matter how much success the coach has had in the past, they should always remember that they can always learn new skills and techniques.

find the quick solution during a match
find the quick solution during a match

As these coaches demand from their athletes what they demand from themselves (e.g., persistence and hard work), their athletes are far more motivated to meet their coach’s higher standards. This is because these coaches are so similar to themselves.

Show the real desire

The coach needs to show that he/she has a real desire to help people.

The last thing to say about what makes a great coach is that they should love and be excited about what they do. This is one of the most important points. In order to get through obstacles, setbacks, and even frustration, you need to have a real love for coaching.

help your player improve faster
help your player improve faster

A coach’s passion can be motivating, inspiring, and motivating to people who see it. A great coach isn’t easy to find, and it takes a lot of talent, skills, and desire to find one. A good coach will have a lot of the qualities and traits that are listed here.

Even though it’s not likely that any one person will be good at all of them, a good coach will have many of them. As the most important thing, a good coach will love and want to improve their sport the most.



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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.

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