Most modern sport enthusiasts accompany their physical activity with other things. They wear clothing promoting their sport, have posters of their favorite players, and buy accessories related to their pastime. However, one hallmark of the dedicated sportsman is in his library. In the old days, the really good sportsmen knew that their games were as much mental as physical, so they often had large shelves full of books written by various experts at their game. These books were rarely for display purposes either – they were often well leafed through and read almost daily.
Today, book collections have been either supplemented with or replaced by videos. The best thing about video collections is that they can cover much more detail than simple text based books and illustrations, including the actual demonstration of a technique as opposed to a description accompanied by pictures. Table tennis is one sport that benefits from books and videos greatly because the mental aspect of the sport is equally balanced with it’s physical demands. If you’re into table tennis, you should consider trying to locate videos of the following nature to supplement your training:
Instructional Drill Videos – a lot of professional table tennis players offer instructional videos ranging from basic to intermediate and advanced levels of play. Getting a good range of all three will offer you a lot of tips you can use to improve your game. Furthermore, there are even video courses made to cater to specific techniques or weaknesses that players often have, so if you know you’re having trouble with, say, angling your backswings properly you can buy a video that addresses the problem.
Recorded Matches – perhaps the biggest difference between a book library and a video library is the existence of these types of videos. You can record matches by your favorite players; even better, you can scour around for compilations of “best plays” that show highlights from some of the more difficult high level matches. Best Play type videos are a favorite of mine since you can view pivotal moments and WHY they turned a match around.
Advanced Tactics Videos – like a how-to instructional video, advanced tactics videos are important for table tennis players. Sure, reflexes will help a lot, and being quick on your feet and with your wrists will get you far, but unless you learn things like planning ahead, predicting your opponent’s moves, and the proper use of baiting, traps, and feints, you’ll be dog food for a thinking player.
Equipment and Clothing Guides – this isn’t really a must for a video library, but it doesn’t hurt either. These videos are usually short and contain information on the care, maintenance, and repair of your table tennis gear. You should have one around just as a reference if ever you find yourself needing it.
Consumer’s Guides – lastly, video consumer’s guides come out on a regular basis from sporting goods manufacturers and table tennis associations. These videos are essentially just catalogs that show the latest products that come out in the field. If you can find one with reviews that give honest opinions of the pros and cons of certain products, it can help you make a good selection when picking up new stuff. Avoid videos made by sporting goods manufacturers however, as these will be heavily biased towards the “strengths” their products.