10 Tips On How To Get Better At Table Tennis
Table tennis, from a 3rd person view, is two players shuttling a ping pong ball from either side of the table and trying to score points. When you become a part of the game and start playing, you realize that there is much depth to the game.
You have to master your grip on your racket, understand how to serve, learn to anticipate your opponent’s moves, all while trying to score more points.
This article will focus on 10 key techniques that will help you make quick progress in terms of table tennis skills. Please note that nothing can replace constant practice and there are no shortcuts to greatness.10 Tips On How To Get Better At Table Tennis Know Your Racket
The way you hold your racket plays a pivotal role (pun intended) on how the match progresses. Also, every racket feels and performs differently. What seems like the best table tennis racket for beginners may not be the best table tennis racket for an intermediate player. In fact, the best table tennis racket is the one that responds best to your game style. If you constantly experiment with different rackets, you will hold back your progress owing to varying performances.Build Your Own Racket
In conjunction with the previous point, assuming you have a basic grip on the basics of table tennis, it is a good practice to create your own custom table tennis rackets. This way, you have better control over the direction of the match, and you become better accustomed to your racket even when your skill progresses. Pair the custom table tennis blade with appropriate anti-spin rubber, soft-grip tape to create something unique to you.Play Against A Variety Of Players
Every table tennis player has a unique gameplay style. Some may variate their service, and some have a nuance while returning a serve. Challenge your skills by playing against a diverse range of players. When you play against someone with advanced skills, you learn to anticipate your opponent’s multiple actions better. Irrespective of the outcome of the match, observe and learn something new that you may not know before the match.Observe other players
Life is too short for committing all the mistakes possible, and hence you should also learn from the experience of others. Attend and spectate matches between other players. Observe their stances, hand movement patterns, the returns to different types of shots, etc to understand the different methods to play. You may not necessarily copy their style but can surely adopt a couple of pointers yourself.Watch Your Step
Even though playing a table tennis match makes most of your torso area, your footwork is essential for maintaining the stance. By mastering and switching your footwork techniques based on the need, you make the most of the play area without becoming predictable. Professional level table tennis matches are fast-paced; hence, accurately predicting shots & ball placement needs you to be at the correct place and time. Excellent footwork helps you get into the best position to hit a shot and get back into your regular stance to predict the next hit.Improve your reflexes
Quick reflexes are the dividing line between a decent player and a professional player. While practicing on the table might help you improve, but you are soon to hit saturation. In case you are wondering about how to improve your reflexes, you need to venture out of the box. Improve your reflexes outside a table tennis match by taking part in other physical activities such as Crossfit exercises and a game of dodgeball to significantly improve your reaction time and, in turn, your reflexes.Record your gameplay
You are the best critic you can get. Record every match that you play and make it a point to rewind and watch it to analyze your game. Observe the corrections needed in your stance, identify your weak points, your response to different types of hits, etc. Make a mental note of your observations and work towards correcting them in the practice sessions.Find a tutor
A coach/ tutor is someone with the experience and 3rd person insight, who can observe you while playing and suggest corrections on the fly. A tutor will take into consideration your playstyle while suggesting training programs. Collaborating with a coach will help you focus on the areas that actually need work instead of reinventing the wheel by yourself. While hiring a tutor is a costly affair, it is an investment that gives an accelerated growth to improve your skills like none other. The time and money invested presently, compared to when training solo, will be recovered in the future.Purchase online video coaching
A cheaper alternative to the previous tip would be to invest in some online tutorial videos. The tutorial videos are similar to watching and evaluating your own matches, except you are watching elite-level gameplay and will receive tips on how to replicate a specific shot. The advantage of opting online video coaching is that you learn at your own pace and are not restricted by location or time. Generally, a video tutorial course is divided into individual video lessons, movement demonstrations, and FAQs.Have A Consistent Training Partner
Playing with people with a diverse range of skills can help you gain an upper edge, but it is advisable to have a consistent partner of a matching skill level like yours. You can experiment with innovative styles or tips that you picked up recently when you play with someone with the same skill level as you. You tend to improve with lesser pressure to perform while venturing out of your comfort zone.Wrapping Up
As we stated earlier, nothing beats constant practice, but the techniques mentioned above have been observed to greatly boost the skill level of someone aiming to improve their game. We recommend investing in a good custom racket and improving your reflexes as a good place to start. Once you feel competent enough, you can consider hiring a coach. Did we miss any vital tips? Share your views in the comments below.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Former writer, contributing articles for three years about the sport of table tennis. I was also a contributor to several table tennis forums and websites.