Ping pong requires more than just hitting the ball to your opponent or making sure that your strokes don’t go beyond the span of the table. It requires good control of the paddle , using speed or spins when required and knowing how to score points to win. To become a pro, you need to practice a lot and make sure that your training sessions are effective towards improving your skills.
How to Practice by Yourself
- Shadow Practice :
This involves doing a lot of drills without the ball. You need to constantly practice your strokes and your foot work.
For this, you don’t necessarily need a table. You can just imagine you have one in front of you. Consult different materials for the different drill types and work your body into them.
The falkenberg (or the 2-1) drill is a very good example. It requires three basic moves namely covering the wide forehand, stepping back for a forehand or backhand loop and covering the wide backhand. You can engage in the trio in any sequence but consistently like you’re playing against a skilled opponent.
- Serve Practice :
Good serves are just as important to win as any other skill set. Surprisingly, serves are one of the most under-practiced moves in Ping-Pong. You should take advantage of this and become a master server. Good serves are very intimidating and can lay down a mental groundwork for you against your opponent.
- Ball bouncing :
This is mostly for newbies who are still in the hand-eye coordination phase. As you know, hand-eye coordination is one of the most important basic requirements of a good tennis player. This involves bouncing the ball and hitting it with the center of the paddle for a good stroke. Try this with both forehand and backhand strokes till you’re good at it.
A Few Important Tips
To be successful in this endeavor, there are a few tips you need to take into consideration.
- Purchase Quality Equipment
Firstly, if you’re serious about table tennis , you need to purchase the right equipment for your personal training sessions. This ranges from a good paddle , a standard table and maybe a practice robot. There are different types of ping pong paddles and some are more specific to newbies, intermediate levels or professionals.
Some of them are also have specific features such as slow speed for those who need to learn control, paddles with high spin and those with high speed or speed training. Therefore, before purchasing any equipment, read a review about the product and see if it’s what you need.
- Know the Rules
The whole training routine doesn’t necessarily start or end on the table. You need to take some time to read and understand the rules. This could either give you an advantage over your opponent, or more importantly prevent you from conceding a point by breaking one of the rules and making a foul. Simply put, knowing the rules is very crucial to winning a competitive match.
- Prepare your body for movement
You need to prepare your body for swift movements. Your body needs to be balanced and flexible for movement to all directions because opponents are bound to be unpredictable. If your body is light enough for swift movements from end to end, to and fro and diagonally, your response time would be quick enough to return any compromising attacks from your opponent. It’s not just about speed, but also getting your body to your original resting position after every stroke.
- Develop different techniques
It’s always best to find a technique that works for you and be a master at it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proficient in others. Ultimately, your technique must give you a remarkable control over the ball, so much that your strokes prevent your opponent from having the same power. Aiming for the corners of your opponent’s table is a good way to start, but plain strokes might not be enough to disarm your opponent. Your technique gives you an edge in delivering the right stroke at the right angle for you to make a point.
- Practice regularly
Consistency is the key to success. Practicing regularly will increase your rate of improvement and keep you in good shape. You can follow dedicated websites like Pingthatpong to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, how to lure your opponent with a strength disguised as a weakness and play expertly.
However, while you do that, make sure that you get enough rest at each intervals to prevent injuries creeping into your body through fatigue and stress.
As good as it is to get a certified coach to train you, personal trainings go a long way to improve your technique and confidence. To monitor your progress, join a ping pong club and play as often as your schedule allows.