How to keep playing during ‘lockdown’

Paul Stimpson

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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 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

And another example from Instagram:

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