How do you celebrate when you win in table tennis? These can apply to you regardless of your tournament being recreational or competitive or even the Olympics.
1- Know your personality. How do you play your best? Do you play well jumping around when you win a point? Do you play well when you are calm, relaxed, focused and taking your time ? Do you play well screaming and showing exaggerated signs and being aggressive?
If you are loud and emotional, then you might play well during certain points, but your game will probably ebb and flow substantially throughout the table tennis match just as your emotions would.
If you are quiet and calm, then you might be able to think more clearly and take your time between points and remain patient under pressure. Every table tennis player is different. So you got to understand yourself well!
2- BEHAVE THE SAME in practice as you are in the table tennis tournament. If your practice truly is designed to enhance your tournament performance, then every aspect of your practice should be as similar to a tournament as possible – same approach to the game, same mental focus, same time between points, same towel-off breaks, same timeouts, etc.
3- BE FLEXIBLE with your volume. In some moments, you might feel the need to be slightly more excitable, while other times, you should be quiet and less emotional.
4- BE RESPECTFUL! Regardless of how loud you are, your goal should be to enhance your own performance, not to hinder your opponent’s performance.
You should never be yelling AT your opponent as if he is the enemy. If you want to dance around the court for three seconds between points and it helps you play better… well ok. But your excitability should not be to intimidate your opponent.
5- UNDERSTAND THE TOURNAMENT ENVIRONMENT! If you are playing a recreational tournament at a nursing home or at a wedding, you should probably not be yelling at all. If you are playing a tournament in a quiet environment and there are other matches in progress, be considerate of the other table tennis players.
6- Finally, when you lose a match, TAKE THE BLAME on yourself. Don’t blame your opponent’s yelling and dancing and screaming as an excuse to why you lost. Even though I want you, my reader, to follow these principles of knowing yourself, being the same, being flexible, being respectful, and knowing the environment, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your opponent will follow these principles.
Even if he is excessively screaming and obnoxiously shaking his fist in your face, you still have a responsibility to focus on your strategy, play your best and take the blame if you lose.