Tuesday 30th December 2008Another month gone since my last update, and the end of the year is in sight. It must be time for some table tennis New Year's Resolutions!
After my long trip to Europe, I've been slowly building up my physical fitness again. My time in Europe reduced my aerobic fitness a fair bit, so I didn't want to rush back into things. As of yesterday (5 weeks later), I'm back up to 3 hours of training a day - two hours in the morning and one at night. I'm doing about an hour each of walking aerobics, stationary bicycling and training on the robot. I'm handling it without a problem since I've given my body plenty of time to adjust to the extra workload, along with a rest day or two when I've needed it (whenever my heartrate was elevated in the morning).
I've actually put on weight since coming back - I'm back up to 81kg. This is a good thing however, since my caliper testing shows that I've actually dropped about half a pound of fat and put back on about 4 1/2 pounds of muscle. This is mainly due to my body recovering after my rapid weight loss (and muscle loss) in Europe.
My Physical Fitness New Year's Resolution - to slowly build up to 2 x 2 hour training sessions a day, 5-6 days a week. To gradually increase my table time and reduce my off-table aerobics as the year progresses. And to get to my match weight of around 70-75kg.
Since it is off season over here in Australia, and my regular training partners are taking a break, I'm using my robot a lot at the moment. I'm sticking to my plans I mentioned in my last blog update, and working on the areas I need to improve to become a better defender. I'm using simple fixed drills that allow me to improve my chopping technique. And I'm doing a lot of work on developing a heavier backspin chop with my smooth rubber, which is coming along nicely after only a few weeks. Just the long-neglected basics really.
My On-Table Training New Year's Resolution - to continue focusing on my defensive skills, and not get sucked back into spending too much time on areas of my game that I'm not going to use - such as forehand counterlooping.
I've once again neglected my mental training (I'm a slow learner when it comes to this stuff!), so today I printed out my Directive Affirmations and put them up around the house to remind me to visualize my success. I've also dug out my "With Winning in Mind" book and I'll be starting my mental program again as of today.
My Mental Training New Year's Resolution - to run my Directive Affirmations as required, and to allocate 30 minutes a day to mental training - I'll just have to surf the net a bit less!
My local competition season won't start until February, but when it does it starts with a bang, with two tournaments and the beginning of the pennant season all in the one month. I'm looking forward to it.
My Competition New Year's Resolution - to be competitive in local tournaments, and use them as a base to launch a successful campaign at this year's Australian Open in July.
With 2009 nearly upon us, it's a good time to check over where you are at with your game, and recommit to improving your table tennis. I'm in a much better position this year than I was in 2008 - I'm fitter, faster, and on the right track in my training at last - so I'm quietly confident that I can take another step up in level in 2009. Hope you can do the same!