Playing Table Tennis on a consistent schedule will certainly improve your ability to win more matches, but like any other activity, the only way to get better faster at Table Tennis, is to practice. Generally, it's best to get instruction from a certified coach, so as not to develop bad habits which in the long run can stall the learning process. The Austin Table Tennis Club has a Certified Regional Coach that you can contact about individual and group training. Getting better at Table Tennis makes the game more rewarding and enjoyable!
- You should have a long term goal to work toward. Sometimes it is a tournament or event to peak for or maybe just a club event. This gives you time frames to structure practices so you will be at your best playing level when the time comes. You should have 6 to 10 weeks of training between tournaments and start your training with basics and physical training at first and as the weeks progress get more into actual play senarios.
- Each session should have a main purpose(or goal) , with other things brought in as secondary work. You may work mainly on the forehand counter drive , but then also work on forehand to backhand transition.
- You should maintain intensity all the way through your practice , take breaks at intervals to maintain focus. If you find that at the end of your practice you aren't maintaining focus, you may have to shorten your practice or vary the drills more. 7 minutes at a drill is about the right time and then take a short break and start again.With a partner you can alternate blocking and drilling. It is important for both to focus and block and drill at a high level.
- Consistancy is the way to improve. You should train regulary and actually train more than you play. When you play games you tend to do old things that you are trying to either get rid of or improve on and revert back to old habits.
Another movement drill is have someone block to different parts of the table and you counter all with the forehand. You can also practice moving by serving different places and moving to return the ball with only one side , return all with the forehand and then practice returning all with the backhand. Try to move to get into proper position before you counter. Try a wide movement drill where you are blocked to the back hand side and then to the wide fore hand side , try to hit all balls with the fore hand. These are examples of side to side drills.
Back and forward drills need to be practiced also. One of the problems with moving back off the table is we don't move into the table when we should. A good drill for this is have someone "kill" the ball and you move back to return and then have them drop shot and you move in . Another good drill is to loop several balls and have opponent block them and each time step back for 3 loops and then on 4th step back in and "kill" the blocked ball.
A lob drill is also good. Have one player lob and the other hit the ball about 60%. After 3 or 4 lobs, move back in and hit the ball , then the hitter lobs and drill is repeated.
Another drill that is good is side step drills, have your opponent push or hit the ball right at you so you have to move to make a good shot. Don't just stand there , move either to fore hand or back hand and make the return.
Movement is the key to being in the proper place to make a good return. Movement drills and transition drills are the most important in your steps to
becoming a good player.
Pay attention to the service motion of your opponent and you will begin to see what he does to serve different serves. Another rule that is common is that if someone can serve heavy topspin they can't do heavy chop and if the can do heavy chop they can't do heavy topspin.Also your opponents style of play will help determine his serves. Lastly practice your own serves and make them the best they can be.
Types of drills:
1. movement drills
2. Transition drills
3. Counter drills
4. Loop drills
5. Push drills
6. chop drills
8. Opening drills
9. Smash drills
10. Random drills
11. mutiball drills
13. combination of types of drills
Today I will discuss #3 counter drills and their importance. I watch most people warm up and they either hit the ball everywhere trying to "kill" the ball or hit the ball too hard . when you are warming up, counter drills are important. they get your body moving and your timing set. You need to start out slow and hit the ball to the same place each time so both you and your opponent or practice partner can benefit from the warm up. as your timing and accuracy get better you can pick up speed. If you can't hit more than 10 in a row the speed is too fast. So one use of counter drills is to warm up and get timing.
You should use counter drills to work on your strokes and placement. You should start out slow here also as it is mostly important to stroke the ball correctly and have good placement than speed when working on strokes. As you get better you can pick up a little speed. Counter drills are performed to the different angles of the table. the one most used and the least important for countering is the wide angles corner to corner. The more important counter drills are down the line and down the middle. Also placement should be deep on the table , as close to end white line as you can hit. Try for consistancy and accurancy . The speed will come later. The reason why these drill are most important are that you are practicing hitting the short part of the table(only 9 feet). When you only practice cross court drills you get used to the 11 foot 3 inches and miss when you try to hit at your opponent or down the line. Also most opening shots should be hit at you opponent to jam him and also not to give him a good angle for attack unless the serve or serve return give you a good angle so that you can hit a bigger angle. Counter drills are a important part of learning and keeping your timing and strokes. you should start out eack session whether playing or practicing with some types of counter practice.
A few rules of learning as a beginner:
1. don't get frustrated , you will get better
2. watch the ball at contact and watch your opponent
3. Don't crowd the table (get too close), give yourself time to watch the ball
4. Learn from your mistakes and also learn from other players
5. Pick a style you like and stick with it
6. Racket should be an all around of defensive speed and rubber should be control type
7. practice your serves consistently, develope long and short serves with various spins, don't miss serves in a match
8. Most of all is pratice and playing time. You should practice more than you play
9. Learn the basics strokes well, they are the piers of your future game