Almost everyone gets to play ping-pong at some point in their lives. Those who don’t find it difficult to hit the ball over the net may have the perception that the sport is relatively easy. The challenge, however, is to be good enough to compete in table tennis. The different types of shots, the need for excellent footwork and agility, and the fact that games are played at a rapid pace make table tennis a complex sport. It’s therefore essential to learn and master the basics and a few strategies.
Getting good at table tennis takes time, but if you follow the tips in this article, you’ll be able to improve your table tennis skills continuously. Perhaps you’re thinking of participating in a competition, or you just want to brush up on your current skills. Read on to find out how to level up your table tennis game.
1. Master The Basics
It doesn’t matter whether you’re learning table tennis for the first time or if you’re an experienced player—knowing the basics by heart will get you past even the most vigorous opponents. Put in the time to master arm techniques, footwork, and spin effects. Determine your weaknesses in each aspect so you can address them accordingly. All table tennis players should be able to master the following strokes:
- The forehand drive
- The backhand drive
- The forehand push
- The backhand push
2. Select The Best Equipment
To get started with table tennis equipment, begin with a medium-fast blade. Check out different styles of rackets online, such as those recommended by PingPongRuler. However, you should rely on technique rather than equipment with a medium-fast blade in order to get the ball over the net. Besides providing optimum control, the blade should have a good ‘feel.’
If you’re a beginner, start with basic rubbers. These are usually designed for less spin and speed, so they’ll allow you to return the ball more easily. A beginner using an overly spinny rubber will find it difficult to do a sidespin serve.
3. Get Used To The Gameplay And Movements
It takes a great deal of mental energy to acquire a new table tennis skill, such as using the different strokes to your advantage. You also need to practice repeatedly until you can perform the skill automatically or instinctively. Once you’ve reached that level, you can play the ball without forcing yourself to analyze every little aspect or decide on the specific tactics to use.
4. Improve Your Spins
Knowing how to use spin in table tennis isn’t easy, but it’s often they key to beating players of various skill levels. Once you discover how your return is affected by spin, you’ll also learn how to change it.
Here are a few pointers you need to keep in mind:
- When your opponent returns the ball, pay attention to the angle at which their paddle bounces in the same direction as your racket.
- To figure out how fast the ball is spinning, look at the logo on it and observe how it turns. When the logo is blurred, you can expect the spin to be more striking.
- You can tell if your opponent is aiming for a topspin if you see their paddle going from low to high and a backspin if the movement goes from high to low. When it’s from left to right, the result is bound to be a right sidespin.
5. Diversify Your Serves
To become a more advanced table tennis player, you’ll need to learn more types of serves. You can get creative with the way you serve—either forehand or backhand—and utilize various spins so your opponent is always on their toes and never sure where the ball will go next. You can earn easy points by surprising your opponent. Learn and apply different strategies discussed in YouTube videos, or get advice from a professional table tennis coach.
6. Keep Practicing
Between competitive matches, you should practice as much as you can. Your table tennis game will improve if you overcome your weaknesses and focus on your strengths. When playing practice games, it’s best to try new tactics and modify your skills and techniques.
Watching yourself play is equally important. This way, you’ll be able to see what you’re doing wrong and correct it. Also, you should clean your ping-pong table so dust and dirt won’t affect your performance and the quality of your practice.
There’s no doubt that practicing is the most effective method of achieving the most significant changes in the shortest possible time. Try to incorporate it into your daily routine. With consistent practice, it’s not impossible to win against your opponents even if all you can spare is 20-30 minutes a day.