Why players misbehave
Players, who shout, kick barriers, bang bats or who use other negative actions during play is usually put down to frustration, although frustration is a major trigger it’s not the reason.
Psychological studies tell us all human beings actions/reactions are linked to deeper emotions and all human beings have a set of basic emotional needs i.e. the need to be loved, needed, liked, admired, noticed and respected.
Just like a small child that is having a tantrum to get their parents attention even though they know the outcome will get them chastised, this is better than being ignored.
Players act in a similar way, players are looking for admiration, respect and when they are getting frustrated because they feel they are underperforming and are no longer going to win others over with their good performance they feel the need to let others know that they are much better than what others are witnessing and what the result is going to show, that this is not their usual standard of play so they too turn to the child like tantrum type of action that gets them noticed in a last ditch attempt in fulfilling their emotional needs. You will see these players looking round to see who is watching and who has noticed them at the end of their tantrum.
Unfortunately these actions actually bring about negative reactions from those around us and produce the opposite effect of what their behaviour tried to achieve.
The way frustrated and underperforming players should look at this is, that most people in the room will have knowledge and understanding of the game and how difficult it is to play and anybodies opinion that is worth anything would see that a player was having an off day or underperforming for whatever reason and know that players can’t and won’t play to the best of their ability in such a long and busy season as table tennis has in this country.
Although this is a little deep, if we can just try and get players to have some understanding of their behaviour, hopefully it will help improve their performance.