How to keep playing during ‘lockdown’

Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Please note - this news article was published more than one year ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Table tennis clubs, coaches and individual members are devising ways to stay in touch and keep training during these unprecedented times.

From online coaching sessions to inventive at-home training ideas, it is clear the table tennis community is determined to keep working together to stay positive help each other adapt to the alien conditions under which we are all now living.

Below, we share some of those ideas, and will continue to update this page in the days and weeks ahead.

What are you doing to help the table tennis community keep active and in contact with each other? Let us know and we will share it with other clubs and our wider membership. Email [email protected] or post on Twitter and tag @TableTennisEng

Please remember when joining training sessions online, it is the participants’ own responsibility to ensure that the area they are in is safe and free from hazards.

Greg Yarnall, Head of Development and Volunteering at Table Tennis England said: “It’s great to see clubs keeping their communities engaged and in contact with each other.

“It’s so important for us all to try to stay physically active and also to look after our mental health in these difficult times, so we are encouraging our members to do whatever they can in this regard.”

Urban TTC players, including young members of the England pathway, are still finding ways to train, as this video shows:

Barnsley TTC have put together a video encouraging people to play at home, with activities that can be carried out by people of all ages and abilities. Join in by watching the video below:

In the video, the club’s safeguarding officer Joe Race, says:”At a time when our day-today lives have almost come to a halt, it is important that we continue to exercise wherever possible.

“Although Barnsley Table Tennis Club is closed as a building, the club and what it represents still stands.”

Corby Smash had an online coaching session for a young intermediate group of players, as shown in this snippet:

Club managing director Colin Wilson said: “The benefits we are feeling include maintaining a sense of community because the coaching group can see, hear and talk with each other, and with the familiar noisy bounce of bat and ball.

“We’re supporting parents with a regular slot that they know the children like and can look forward to and creating a routine for children and a break for parents, where they can leave their kids to play with trusted friends online with trusted adults (coaches) in a structured activity.

“We’re also providing ongoing practice and homework through the week until we meet again – to enable life structure and progression and avoid a static or stagnant time.”

At Brighton TTC, the club has moved online and is using platforms including Zoom to host activities including yoga, fitness and cooking classes with club members. The community are also keeping in touch with each other through lots of video calls and whatsapp messages.

But the big highlight is The BTTC Daily Show at 5pm every day – a recent episode included table tennis bat & ball skills with Josh Bennett (top 12 senior player), group singing and a quiz. There is also a daily video share so members can see what people are doing to keep themselves occupied.

Check out the highlights from one of the shows below:

Meanwhile, Bishop Auckland TTC have launched a Stay at Home challenge, with some great prizes up for grabs for people who photograph or film themselves doing a trick shot or a creative way of playing TT while at home. Click here to find out more

Here are some other examples of online coaching ideas (some filmed before the current ‘lockdown’).

TT Kidz play at home

Evie Foster

Tom Lodziak

Craig Bryant


Aerobic Table Tennis

Woodford Wells TTC

Woodford Wells TTC launched an in-house challenge series aimed at its younger players, in which they gain points completing challenges and then challenge their fellow players, gaining or losing ‘ranking points’ according to the outcome. They even played an online knockout tournament.

Club coach Zoltan Hosszu said: “Apart from the usual skill challenges the players had to do physical tasks, mainly table tennis related footwork and mobility exercises, trick shots and even video analysis.

“The programme proved to be very successful, almost all our juniors joined and enjoyed themselves. Those who struggled mentally during lock down found it a lifeline, not just participating but simply staying in constant touch with friends; the keen ones found new goals to work towards, and some developed new skills and were inspired to push themselves further.”

Check out some of the best bits below:

Portishead TTC

Meanwhile, Portishead TTC put together this great video of their members keeping a rally going while discussing their favourite players – and ice cream!

Mark Dare

Mark Dare, our 2017 Coach of the Year, has been running an online course for Cromer Tennis and Squash Club in Norfolk, which has table tennis teams playing in the North Norfolk League.

The 10-week course, aimed at beginners up to local league players, had been planned to run in person, but Mark has had to adapt to run it online. He was even dubbed the sport’s answer to fitness guru Joe Wicks in his local media, which covered the story.

The course covers everything from grip and stance to footwork and how to play the common shots, plus tactical thinking, and has more than 70 people signed up.

Click here to watch the video tutorial on backhand drive

Maria Tsaptsinos

England No 2 Maria Tsaptsinos has launched her own YouTube channel and has been in the kitchen making a Victoria sponge in a recent instalment, which – by her own admission – did not turn out ideally, as you can see here:

Bishop Auckland TTC

Bishop Auckland TTC have been going down memory lane with a series of photo flashbacks on social media, and they have also been among those clubs putting their volunteers in the spotlight during Volunteers Week 2020, as this tweet shows:

There have been plenty of examples on social media of clubs continuing their great work online, including the following:

And another example from Instagram:

Share this article