Thursday 5 January 2012

Pre-match Preparations: For Lucks Sake!

Thought I would throw in a borderline title just for fun ;) Last time I asked a handful of international table tennis players whether at 10-0 they mercifully gave a point or dominated 11-0. This time I found myself sifting through some different players to find out if they had anything they did before their matches to help them focus or to bring them good luck.

'I like to listen to music' Tiago Apolonia, Portugese National Champion. Team Europe.

'I put my racket on the table and then make a run in a circle and put my shirt button on' Mattias Oversjo, Ranked 11 in Swedish Men on ITTF Rankings.

'I always tell myself I can do it before I play! I say it to myself loud!' Will Bayley, European Class 10 Champion.

'My mum bought me a necklace for my 21st birthday and I kiss it before my matches' Kelly Sibley, English National Women's Team.

'Listen to good music and before that reading a book' Britt Eerland, 25th World Junior Girls Ranking.

'I just finish warming up half an hour before the game. Then I turn my ipod on, I have a playlist prepared, then I just listen to music and think about the match. Sometimes I take a few words with my coach before the match' Hunor Szocs, Romanian National Mens Team.

'I do nothing before my match, I just try to concentrate and think about my game. And as some players I don't change my t-shirt in which I won in my previous match ;)' Margarita Pesotska, Bronze Medalist 2011 European Championships.

'Not really. I'm just always the same warm up and thinking about my next match' Christophe Legout, French National Champion.

'I just concentrate and think positively' Vladimir Samsonov, Former WR 1.


  1. Nice thread Matt. For table tennis, since I am really just someone who loves to play, I don't really do anything before a match, I just walk on and play. However, when I was a professional in-line skater, before I would skate, I would always put the same skate on first. If I was just sessioning (like what training is to table tennis) I would try and wear pretty much the same thing as the last time I skated really well. If I was in a dry spell for a while and not skating well, I would change what I was wearing and keep changing till I had a particularly good day and then that is what I would wear. Like I might change helmets, knee pads.

    Before tournaments I just wanted to make sure I had skated enough so that I was warm and could drop in on the ramp and get my usual amount of air.

    When I worked for Ringling Brothers and was getting ready for a show, they did not really have space for us to skate on our ramps backstage so I had a routine of things that I could do to be warm and ready to get on the ramps. Some of the guys on the skate team would go skate some of the rails around the arenas we were performing at to get ready. :)

    I do remember feeling like some of my pre-skate routines were superstitious but I never stopped doing them. They helped me get my head in the right place for skating.

    These days, in table tennis, if I really was serious about the tournament or the results of a match, I might look for a quiet place to meditate or do breathing exercises before the match. Just something to get me focused without outside distractions, to get inside my own head space. :) Peace and thanks for the post. It is fun to see what some of the pros do.

  2. Wow you used to skate that's really cool! You kept that quiet :) No problem glad you enjoyed it Carl :)

  3. Not too quiet. :) Here, go read through the posts in this thread from TTD:

    It is a short one. I think there are also some photos on Facebook and there are plenty on my website. :)

    Nice blog.

  4. Well what do you know! I should pay more attention :P hehe

  5. Its true, I don't trumpet it, but I did not hide it either. :)


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