When it comes to table tennis, it’s actually a pretty big undertaking for such a seemingly small sport. In fact, there’s even a multi-million dollar industry in becoming a table tennis coach at this time. Those who actually play table tennis understand that it requires great hand-eye coordination, discipline, and shrewd physics knowledge in understanding where the ball will go once it has been hit.
If you yourself have begun playing ping pong and want to up your chops a little bit, there are a myriad of options out there for you. Once your training begins, it’s up to you to stick to it and keep yourself moving forward athletically.
In this article, I’ll be going over lots of useful tips for those who’d like to bring their table tennis training to the next level.
Where Can I Practice?
Practice makes perfect, it is what takes beginners all the way to the pro circuit. So naturally, you’re going to have to find a gym (or gyms) of sorts to practice your mettle. Finding a place with a tennis table isn’t difficult in and of itself, neither is finding opponents.
Besides buying a ping pong table yourself and setting up shop in your home, there are a few options available to you. Firstly, check for any dedicated groups where you live dedicated to playing table tennis. Many clubs exist throughout the world and they tend to have first-class facilities and all the coaching you’d ever need. If there isn’t a table tennis organization near you though, I’d recommend calling up bars, hotels, local recreation centers, and any gym or sports center in your area.
If you’re adventurous there’s also typically some table tennis to be played at community college campuses that might not necessarily check if you go to the school, although I take no responsibility if you get told to take your business elsewhere. Make sure that the table is the regulation size (9ft by 5ft) and made from the usual materials. It is best to practice on a regulation table since most things you’ll hear about the sports concern themselves with regulation-style play.
How Can I Get Better At Ping Pong?
Even all the practice in the world won’t do you any good if you aren’t getting the fundamentals right. You could even be hurting your chances in the long run if you keep up with an improper form for too long. Start by performing YouTube or similar video searches for things like ping pong tips or table tennis for beginners. Those kind of resources are much easier to follow along than any manual or book and can be accessed free of charge.
Some subscription-based coaching services exist, but unless you truly want comprehensive and personalized service the free option should suffice. Some of the best players in the world have decided to share their secrets online, it really doesn’t hurt to at least take a look. Chances are you’ll be introduced to a lot of different philosophies regarding how the game is played this way and you’ll be able to find a school of thought that best suits you.
Playing against a wall is, of course, an excellent way to improve footwork and should absolutely be the front line for your training effort as all you won’t need to search for a partner. After a while though, you’ll want to see if your backhand push and other more specialized moves work against real table tennis players.
If you already have a stomping grounds where you practice regularly, chances are you’ve taken note of other players in your area. Go up to them when they aren’t otherwise engaged and see if they’d like to help you out with your training by playing a game against you. This another surefire way to improve, as they say, there’s little better way to improve than by doing.
What Habits Do The Pros Use?
Naturally, if you’d like to be sure that you’re approaching becoming competitively good at ping pong and that your training is starting to pay off, it’s best to see what those who play at a competition like to do. There are some unifying habits of all professional players, most of them being quite similar to the kind of habits just about any major sports professional has. Of course, they all love to practice.
Every single part of the game requires meticulous preparation, from nailing the ready position to serving flawlessly and being able to rally your way to victory. Next, the professional is extremely analytical of their game. After every major success and every major failure, they appraise what happened and figure out what exactly made that event happen. Was their footwork off? Or perhaps does their grip on the paddle need constant readjustment? Bottom line is, pros know how they play and do everything they can to stomp out bad habits as they come.
The pros also have harnessed a winning attitude about the game, whether or not they actually are victorious on a daily basis. Confidence, the desire to grow as an athlete, and of course a never-say-die spirit is what keeps most professionals on their toes for the duration of a match. They don’t quit when they’re down in a tournament, and they certainly don’t quit their training a half-hour early to go watch TV.
This is more than likely just the beginning of your training to hopefully one day become an elite table tennis player, so I do wish you all the best in your continued efforts. Remember to get out there in the real world and put a paddle in your hand.
It can sometimes seem easier to stay at home and watch hours upon hours of technical videos and think that you’re learning, but unless you manage to internalize and actually use the tips and tricks being put forth you’re just killing time in a way that’s only marginally more related to this great game. Give it a few months or even weeks if you’re truly diligent, and you might even be able to give Forrest Gump a run for his money.