Category: Ping Pong

How Important is a Table Tennis Rally?

Have you ever asked yourself, how important is a table tennis rally?
 all love having a long table tennis rally and of course, winning the big rallies is like an injection of adrenaline.

Table Tennis Rallies

An average table tennis rally is between 4-5 strokes and each stroke is played from 0.2 to 0.5 of a second, in simple terms approximately 2 strokes per second.
If you take these stats into account you must ask yourself, how important is it train long rallies in the practice hall? 1 in ten points you will have a long-lasting rally (between 8-15 strokes). 

Ping Pong Championships at Ally Pally
Ping Pong Championships at Ally Pally
How should we train?

I think when building fundamentals the focus should be on building solid foundations which evolve around regular and consistent exercises. Once your stroke play has solid foundations then the key focus should be on the first 4-6 balls. Naturally, you should be giving extra attention to the serve and return then third fourth and fifth ball. Developing these key shots will enable you to deliver high-quality shots from the offset and sway most games in your favour.

Interesting table tennis stats

If you take an average Professional Table Tennis Match (best of seven) you will notice that the match lasts around 50min. In that time the actual rally play is on average 4min and 10sec. This means less than 10% of the match is actual gameplay. Every rally starts slow and speeds up (should we implement off the table training with slow to fast training sessions?) 

The first ball:

People say the most important shot in table tennis is your serve, I say I agree but I also disagree. The first shot is the most important whether it be your server or return. These two shots start a rally and one without the other won’t complete a winning game. Therefore I would practice both with similar importance, the only difference is the service can be developed solely and you are in full control of the spin, speed and placement. 

Can I be a world class player without big rally play?

If you want to be a world class player, I believe it can be achieved without having wonderful rally skills but there will be times when you’re required to rally beyond 6 balls. If you fail to develop a good rally base you will be exposed eventually. If you watch Ma Lin, he was a great example of serve and return, he was capable of playing long and good rallies but would much rather avoid long rallies due to a weaker backhand wing.

Key learning:

Develop the fundamentals to enable long rallies but ultimately develop your serve and return then 3rd and 5th. After that, you can focus on developing your rally play. if you don’t have those fundamentals you won’t reach the rally plays even though you may be good at them.

Written by Eli Baraty 

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Holiday Table Tennis Competition, at the Hotel

Many who go on holiday play the hotel table tennis competition. I wanted to be the acceptation and avoid table tennis on my family vacation.

True story

The first three days, I managed to keep my mind 100% clear of table tennis, even when I saw the tables. I was able to avoid the temptation and continued enjoying the pool, beach and other activities.

Day four: 
Hotel Table Tennis
Table Tennis on Holiday

My mind began to think about table tennis but I was adamant I would not play. This shows the power of our mind and what many say works “the law of attraction”. I sat at the poolside (bear in mind this hotel hosted around a thousand people, with 7 swimming pools) and boom a hotel entertainer comes up to me -and says “table tennis tournament”. I said, “no thanks” she replied come on you’ll love it, it’s great fun” (hmmm, really? I do it for a living, I thought to myself). I replied, how many have entered? She said none currently!
I said, “if you get 5 people I’ll play”.
Off she went and 10min later she returned by saying I have 9, come and play.


Playing with dead bats outside in superheat, reminded me of my routes. As a teenager, I would often visit my family in Israel in the summer and search for anywhere to play. Often I was taken to some neighbour who had an outside table and thought they’re the bee’s knees lol.


Winning gracefully is hard especially when the other players say to you “back when I was good” I would have beaten you lol. And you must smile and say yes, I’m sure I got lucky today!
Winning the event enabled me to provide a bottle of champagne to my wife and I was let off the hook.

Day 5

I’m chilling watching my kids play in the pool and a different hotel entertainer approaches me. We have a table tennis tournaments come and play. I thought no, not again is it written on my forehead that I play table tennis? I refused but somehow convinced otherwise. I played but this time some of the players knew me from the other day. They were happy to submit to my ability and congratulated me when I won once again.

Table tennis on TV

Table tennis was back in my mind and I started researching some TT results. That night I was flicking through the channels when everyone was asleep and boom Table Tennis was on TV. I loved it but it kept me up until 4:30 am. The same event was repeated in the morning (8 am)! It would have been nice to have a TV schedule.

The lessons learnt:

If you think about it, it will find a way of finding you or you find it. Enjoy, love and spend your time on things that have a purposeful meaning for you and those you love.

Every single FRIDAY I publish my BLOG’s, be sure to follow us on Social media to receive your reminder.

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Twitter: @elibaraty
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Comfortable With The Uncomfortable – Secret Table Tennis

As a single child with a single parent, I had no choice but to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I didn’t know at the time that it would be my secret table tennis success. Many days and nights I would roam the streets in our local neighbourhood/area. Aged four it all began, my father left and my mother worked many jobs to provide a roof and food over our heads. A bicycle was our form of transportation and staying with local neighbourhood friends was our close nit base. The neighbourhood was often used for food and passing time while mum was out working.

Dealing with difficulties:

Many times I would find myself arriving home with a note left for me. Unfortunately due to my dyslexia reading was something I found extremely difficult. I would try my best to read the letter which would often take a lot of time and mental effort. Other options included taking the letter to a neighbour’s house to read on my behalf or more often than not I would ignore it and assume all would be fine.

Life was presented to me with, “this is the way it is” deal with it! I was given a difficult scenario’s from a young age and having no choice but to accept it, I found ways to make the most of my circumstances. Viewing my options I found coping mechanisms and problem-solving tools to the scenarios in front of me. Many times I made mistakes but the beauty of it all, (which often youth of today fail to do) I learnt from my mistakes. Our personal fortunes never got better in fact financially and mentally it got worse for my mum.

Making a change

At 17 I decided it’s time for me to break away from a seemingly tough life. I packed my bags and went to live in France. Due to many years of survival experience, I was able to self-control my life out there without speaking a word of French (initially). I had a map and used my rollerblades for the first two month that was my form of transportation. And admittedly I would find other illegal ways of using public transport to get to other clubs or tournaments. I did have a little money but that was used for Table Tennis equipment, food and living costs. I’m not saying my life was like living in poverty but I faced many tough situations. The beauty of it all, I found it easy taking care of myself because I was doing what I loved and my passion for Table Tennis overshadowed the difficulties.

Today I realise all the uncomfortable scenarios which felt comfortable made me “comfortable with the uncomfortable”

I believe we are wrongdoing our future generations.

We look at given our players the best opportunities: top coaches, top facilities, best equipment, treat them well and look at avoiding making our players uncomfortable.

That’s where I feel we are going wrong! If I gave you a million pounds today, statistically speaking most will have blown the lot within 1-5 years.

If I teach you how to make a million, it’s likely that million you made will increase over time. And if you lose the million you have knowledge of how to rebuild if your willing to do so.

Make your players uncomfortable:

We are all far more resilient than we know or are given credit for.
For example, if I said don’t eat for a full day, most will say what are you mad! “I can’t do that I’ll starve or I will die” lol. If you were forced not to eat for (24 hours) the worst thing that would happen, you would feel hungry. Your body would adapt to the situation and slow down your metabolism and take energy from current body fat stored. Your mind will switch from I’m hungry to Ill be OK, I know the food will be provided in 24 hours. both your mind and body will work together to find solutions.

We don’t like feeling uncomfortable and look at every way possible of making ourselves comfortable.

Table Tennis Match
Ping Pong World Championships


Tips to develop yourself as a person and table tennis player:

Every morning: do what you don’t normally do! This includes: making your bed, brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, do not touch your phone for the first hour etc. You will develop self-control and built new neurological pathways in your brain.
Play in uncomfortable conditions:
– Make the floor slippery by not cleaning it.
– Start a league match without a knock up.
– Play using your opposite hand for 5-10min per training session,
– Play a shot you don’t like doing in a practice match
– Dim the lights
– Have a freezing cold or far too hot playing conditions in the hall for a training session.
The list goes on, be as creative and imaginative as possible.
Challenge yourself: to do something you don’t enjoy/want or believe you can do. For example, go and play golf, football, skiing, bungee jumping etc. Do an activity which you have never done before or fear.

Draycott table tennis club

I was at Draycott TTC last weekend and the players possessed many of the characteristics I speak of above.

The conditions were super hot that day, and I provided exercises which most were unfamiliar with or struggled to fully understand how or why it’s done. But yet most took on board the variety of uncomfortable scenarios. This showed me the character and ethos of the club which explained why Draycott is possibly the no.1 TT club under 17’s in England (currently).


I loved seeing all the players wearing Draycott’s club shirt, something I enforced in my former clubs and academy. I originate from a country where military service is a must, I was taught about forming a unity which begins with the uniform. You are given the opportunity to be yourself but when you’re tackling a certain cause or vision, that’s when it’s key to unite, in other words (assemble an army to tackle your desired outcome).
I’m an individual but I am also willing to unite at any given moment when I’m thriving towards success and need help getting there.

If you are wearing your clubs kit, it means you have created a bond and one that many fail to understand. Often due to ego or ignorance of unity, many fail and few succeed.

I urge all players, clubs and coaches to develop elements of uncomfortable situations and by doing so you will reap the rewards in the long term.

Check this unique uncomfortable training click HERE

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)                          
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Twitter: @elibaraty
FB: Coach Me Table Tennis
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Table Tennis, Reading Spin and the Amount of Spin?

Most players can read table tennis spin, for example when someone cuts under the ball, they know its backspin, when they hit the side of the ball they know it’s side-spin. But a large proportion of players struggle to read the amount of spin imparted.

We may misread what spin has been implemented when receiving high-quality serve’s. Players may struggle to read what spin is on the ball, due to deceptive movements or a slight variation of contact points.

Spin in table tennis is like no other sport
Table Tennis Spin


Why do so many people make unforced errors?

I coach many players of all levels and I’ve found that players miss due to a misunderstanding of revolutions. Meaning they miss read the amount of spin. A ball can spin up to 120 times per second and if we are unable to detect the approximate quantity, it will lead to an unseemly error.

So how can we detect and develop our awareness of spin quantity?
  1. Look at the ball carefully in mid-flight, can you see the logo? If not most likely it has a lot of spin. If you have good eyes you’ll see the ball fizzing with spin, use that indication to play the correct stroke.
  2. The flight of the ball: is the ball curling in the air? Is it kicking forward? All of them indicate a lot of spin which creates, those flight pathways.
  3. Sound: try to listen to the contact imparted by the opponent; is it a clunky/woody sound? Or a thin grip screech? The later generally indicates spin and vice versa.
  4. Watching the hand and arm prior and at contact point; is there plenty of backswing? Good follow through? Is the hand moving fast but the wrist is locked? Does the wrist snap just before the point of contact? Does the player decelerate before point of contact? They are all giveaway tails towards reading whether there’s a lot of spin medium amount or very little!
A simple exercise to help you read the amount of spin

Do a backspin serve and ask the opponent to receive using: heavy/medium/little amount of backspin. You must look carefully using at all the indications mentioned above to identify how much spin is imparted. Then follow up with a topspin and adapt to the spin accordingly. E.g. if there is lots of backspin you will need to hit the back of the ball around 9pm contact point. You will also need to have a more open bat angle with and increase your arm speed enabling you to lift the ball up and over the net.  You will create (an override from the spin given) and will be transferred into your own topspin.

The better you understand spin the easier the game becomes.

And as my old coach always said, “Spin to Win”

A small video to help you develop thin contact on the ball imparting spin, click here.

Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis 
Instagram: _elibaraty
Twitter: @elibaraty
FB: Eli Baraty
M:  07900401144

World Championships of Ping Pong – China are about to take Over

I was fortunate enough to play in the first World Championships of Ping Pong, Fred Dove’s Ping Pong brainchild. Before the main events, Fred held Hardbat championships held at Harlow Batts. Fred went to Barry Hearne a huge sports promoter with the concept of hosting a World Ping Pong Championships in London and now China has entered the equation.

World Ping Pong Championships was Created

A few years later it all came together and I found myself in the first World PP Champs in Alexander Palace (Ally Apply).

The event was exceptional, lighting, Cameras, staging, commentators, TV and a huge variety of players from around the world. The beauty of this event was all this but two other factors stood out. The prize money and the unknown of who would be crown World Champion.

Xue Liang - World Championships of Ping Pong
Xue Liang – world class

China has arrived

4 years on and China was introduced to the sport. They sent over a team which did not do so well, in fact, I beat one of the players in my group stage. Year 5 a Chinese player entered the last chance qualification event and lost a match in the group stages. Nevertheless, he came through the group and went on to qualify for the main event. There he seemed to get better and better as the rounds went on and managed to be the first Chinese World PP Champion.

The hardest qualification to date:

This year, I was asked to enter the last chance qualification event yesterday to replace a person who drops out. I was told that due to my past record I would have a good chance to qualify.  So, I rearranged some work and thought why not have a bit of fun. As I entered I noticed an Army of Chinese players and coaches, I knew there and then not only would I not qualify but China is looking very strong and mean business. The game is about to flip, in China’s way as it has been in Table Tennis. At this present moment, China has 6 main qualifiers and yesterday 5 more qualified from the last chance saloon. That’s 11 Chinese out of 64 players and now the unknown seems to be known!

Fair play!

As much as I love winning and dominating at anything I do, I believe it’s important to create a slight uncertainty and be fair in as many aspects as possible if not all. Why should China be allowed to have 10 players in the main draw? and other countries like Ireland have 1 entry?

There should be a limit of e.g. 2 players per country.

Due to China’s dominance in Table Tennis, it has caused many issues for the sport to grow on a global scale (Commercially). I believe this will be the last nail on PP at Ally Pally and the sport will be taken over to China.

I still love the concept and believe something similar should be implemented in the world of Table Tennis.

To Learn more about Ping Ping,  WorldChampionshipofPingPong

Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis 
Instagram: _elibaraty
Twitter: @elibaraty
FB: Eli Baraty

Finding the Best Table Tennis Coach

Growing up, I was inspired to become a great table tennis player and in doing so I researched a high level in the sport. This included; finding the best table tennis best coach, players and top clubs. It was a simple theory, knowing if I could watch and learn from the best then I would be heading towards my personal best.

I travelled all over and around London seeking players, clubs and coaches for my personal development. I was willing to go anywhere and pay any price for the best coach, I clearly remember working as a Domino’s pizza delivery boy and spending my hard earned cash on TT.

World Championships Coaching Zhana Hall


Top Table Tennis Coach 

Michael Gadal came to England after coaching, Jean Philip Gatien (1993 world champion) and I decided I wanted him to coach me. I managed to get his phone number and so-called him, begging Michael to coach me. His answer was a clear no because he was the national coach and it would be a conflict of interest. I offered him £40ph, back in 1997, in today’s money it would be approximately £80.  For me personally, it was around 12 hours work at Domino’s but I was more than willing! Just so I could gain some words of wisdom form a coach who produced a World Champion.

Today I would do it all again as I believe commitment towards your passion is one few people have in today’s world.

Six months ago a young man contacted me saying he has been following my coaching. He has been reading my blogs, watching my videos and seeing my players develop. At that current moment in time, I was focused on providing solely for players based at THA TT academy. External coaching was not out of the question and I was not willing to compromise.


Until!, this young man showed me his commitment level. He was willing to travel 130 miles and pay my coaching fees for one hour of my time. I quickly recalled myself as a kid begging Michael and decided I wouldn’t let commitment go unrecognised. The young man explained that he had a friend and they would both commit to the travel and training. I decided to test their commitment by agreeing to a one-off session. That session has become a six-month commitment with no sign of stopping anytime soon.

They entered a tournament after our initial coaching sessions and the results were a mixed bag. Nevertheless, they seemed even more determent to achieve and develop their games. Training continued and I noticed big steps in both in their games and personalities. Two weeks ago they entered London Grand Prix where they both came out with around 100 points each, progressions were clear to see.

3 key points:

  1. Commitment is a beautiful thing and if you have it, the journey to success is inevitable
  2. Be committed alongside other committed people and it will drive you to your goal at a faster pace
  3. Be willing to invest in yourself to reap the rewards
Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis) 
Coach Me Table Tennis by Eli Baraty