If you have never held a racket in your life or your level is not improving, you must be thinking about the ways to get better at ping pong. Even alone if you have no opportunity to get professional coaching.
First, you need to learn the rules of the ping pong game. Then you have to practice the basic exercises and shots of the game alone or in a club. After that, you need to analyze your game. At last, you have to implement everything you learned into the game.
In this article, we are going to talk about the problems and solutions where the players get stuck and find no room to improve. Also, the newcomers will find it really helpful as they are looking forward to starting their journey toward ping pong.
Its rules are easy to understand and the actions of the game are quite fascinating.
Simple Rules of the game
Let’s start with the rules of ping pong.
In order to determine the order of service player draw lots.
It’s done in the following way: Any one of the players toss the ball on the table to its own halves.
This thing continues until any one player misses (hitting out of the table, missed the ball when trying to hit, hitting the net, etc.), in this case, the player who didn’t miss gets the chance to hit the serve first.
Two types of games in ping pong: short and long. One is an 11 points game and the other is a 21 points game.
When the score or the points get to 10:10 or 20:20 a tie-breaker needs to be played until the gap of any one player goes up to 2 points.
The game is played for five sets.
There is also one simple rule: The ball needs to touch both of the halves of the table when the service takes place.
service should always be taken from the corner and the ball should go to the other players standing on the opposite square of the table.
It looks like this – If you serve from the right corner of your half the ball should go to the left corner of the opponent’s half .
Improve your form by constantly practicing the following exercises
Now let’s start learning all the techniques we need to know to play ping pong better.
At first, you need to combine your thoughts with your hand, ball and the racket.
Exercise 1: Really easy one. Take a racket and place it parallel to the ground from the standing position. Now, place the ball on the racket and try to keep it as long as you can on its surface.
Do not let it fall. Pretty childish right! Don’t worry. This is just a start.
Exercise 2: This exercise will improve your ability to shift your concentration with the uncertain behavior of the ping pong ball when you hit it with the racket.
It consists of simply stuffing the ball with the racket from top to bottom and from bottom to top.
After doing it for a while try moving around different places in the house and keep doing it.
You can try flipping the racket when doing the exercise once you are comfortable with it.
There are two basic styles of gripping a racket. Chinese and handshake. Try any one of these when performing this exercise.
Exercise 3: You can do this exercise against a wall or even play against a foldable table by folding one side of the table tennis table.
Check out this guide to know how to practice with a table alone.
You can practice all your weak moves here – cut, stroke, smash, flick, etc.
Just imagine the wall or the half-table as an opponent.
Do not stand still always: It is always easy to hit a ball when it comes straight at you but the other side of the table will be wide open when you are playing singles. The opponent can easily hit the gap.
Perfect body position during the game: Keep the knees slightly bent, stand on your toes while springing and your body should be slightly tilted forward.
Pay attention to professional ping-pong players: during a ping-pong game, they keep moving, running from one edge to the other to hit the balls back flying in their direction.
Spinning hit. This exercise is performed with the wrist power. Turn your wrist up and down when you are hitting. You can practice this against a wall.
Smash. This hit is really fast and hard. When defending you need to be real quick in reaction.
Smash is a quite strong hit. So it is not easy to hit it perfectly every time.
It doesn’t mean you have to hesitate to try it. This will be your most used shot to take points and frustrate an opponent once you master it.
Learn the cut. You have to learn how to trim the ball from top to bottom in the game. This is one of the most used tricky shots in the ping pong game.
Cut usually plays to defend a shot. Cut is not easy to return. The speed and distance of the ball countered by the opponent are what determine the perfection of the shot.
Closed racket cut (left)
The initial stand is typical of the game on the left: the right leg is slightly ahead, the torso is slightly to the left.
The movement of the arm, strongly bent at the elbow and left up and back for swinging, occurs first forward and down, and at this stage, the arm in the elbow does not bend.
As the body moves, it turns slightly and the center of gravity is transferred to the right leg.
Rolled with open racket (right). Top-spin on the right.
Rolling on the right is one of the main attacking strikes. The racket moves up and forward and hits the upper side of the ball. This is the sequence in which the stroke is taken.
The feet are on the width of the shoulders, slightly bent in the knees. The left leg is slightly extended forward. The weight of the body is evenly distributed on both legs.
The blow is delivered at the highest point of the ball’s bounce, after which the hand is pulled left-up. When the racket comes into contact with the ball, the forearm seems to overtake the ball.
The racket moves in an arc, gradually changing the angle of slope, resulting in a kind of rolling off the ball from above.
The brush, when rolling in a sharp movement, gives the ball rotation. When it hits, the weight of the body moves to the left leg.
How to get better at ping pong alone at home
Most of the time when you practice ping pong at home, you will be focusing on your form.
If you hit a ball with no experience in ping-pong, you are likely to feel as below:
- It’s easy to play defensive table tennis.
- Can’t cut back on the attack.
- The power of the smash is weak.
- A lot of under-rotated balls.
People who don’t care about form will often be like this, but in table tennis, defensive and offensive cutting back is especially important.
Ping pong is a defensive and offensive game, and it is easier to attack if your form is solid.
A person who hits a lot of smash knows how to switch from defensive to offensive and will switch to offensive when the ball is returned high.
Therefore, the practice should be as follows.
- Practicing the smash of the fore.
- Backhand smash practice.
- Cut to the front and back.
- Cut serve practice.
The above exercises can be done without hitting the ball (shadow practice), but the swings should be done with the image of the ball in mind.
It’s tempting to swing a lot and see the benefits of swinging, but let’s leave the ball hitting until you actually play with a ball.
The fundamental way for beginners to get better at Ping pong by yourself
Ping pong is all about form and it comes with its own consequences. That’s why in ping pong, the swing of the racket is an important part of your progress.
First of all, what is important in table tennis is the “correct form” rather than the number of exercises. In table tennis practice, you start by creating the correct form.
If you keep the wrong form, your habit will become stronger as you practice. It’s hard to fix a habit that you’ve already had.
Also, even if you try to modify the form after you have a habit, you can’t do it easily.
There are many people who give up on the modification, saying that “the conventional form is easier to hit”. Even if the form is not correct for beginners, there are not many differences in abilities.
To know more read this article about ping pong techniques for beginners to develop your game fast.
It is important to correct the form habits early. Whether you can fix this or not, it will greatly change your ability to improve table tennis.
How to know if you got the proper form
- You can hit with the correct way (everyone will say it)
- The form will not collapse even if the time elapses
- You can hit the ball fast with the correct racket swing
- You can hit various balls with a racket stance or freehand so that the body’s axis does not shake.
- You can play a lot of rotation and heavy balls effortlessly
Everybody may know these basics, but it is important that you are practicing every single ball.
It’s important to start by reviewing your form. In order to do so, it is important to have people around you, such as mentors and seniors.
If you improve your form, the quality of the ball hitting will change. If you’re having trouble improving, start by reviewing your basic form before questioning your sense of style and athleticism.
When the average person starts playing Ping pong, they tend to be the following:
- Hit the ball without swinging.
- He thinks he’s good at it.
- Every serve is returned.
This is something that people who have started playing ping pong experience at least once, but it takes twice as long to get good at swinging as it does when you start from the basics.
Follow the steps below to incorporate a swing.
- Watch professional players
- Look at your form in the mirror.
- Compare with professional form.
- Embrace the perfected form of a professional
- Find the difference between the pros and the rest
- Don’t hit the ball until the swing is complete.
- Hit the ball to see the results of the swing.
Even a beginner can easily return the ball when standing on a table tennis table for the first time because of the effect of the swing practice.
However, if you can’t return the ball well, think that your form is incomplete and immerse yourself in your swing.
Are there any tips to get better at ping pong in a short period of time?
There is no way you can get better at anything in a short period of time.
However, people who get better quickly practice differently from others in secret, and only this way they can become better than others.
In Chinese table tennis clubs they follow these following rules:
- You can only hit the ball for 10 minutes after joining the club.
- They separates a Beginner or Intermediate player.
- Beginners only practice swinging for a month.
- Hit the ball again for 10 minutes.
- For those who are not in the form, only practice swinging.
This way, they look at the completeness of the form and move on to the next stage, but those who are not finished will continue to practice until the form is complete.
The practices of those who got better quickly included the following.
- Fix the ball with a piano wire.
- When you hit it, the ball comes back with a spring.
- Hit the ball with a smash
If you practice these for six months you will be at the level of the intermediate player.
In table tennis, you can’t get better than others by doing the same thing, but those who can make this kind of effort always get results.
What skills do you need to be good at ping pong?
There are many ways to practice to get better at ping pong.
The basic should be cleared first but to get advanced you will require more challenging practice.
Here’s how beginners can get better fast.
- Hit the ball upwards with a racket (like a soccer dribble)
- Separating the forehand and back (hitting in front of both shoulders)
- Consolidate your swing form.
- Compare with professional form.
- Repairing an inferior form
There’s no doubt that table tennis is form-oriented, but hitting the ball isn’t difficult in itself if you’re new to the game.
It’s footwork that you should work out along with your swing, here’s how
- Draw two one-meter lines.
- Jump out of line with one foot (repeat over and over again until the muscles are tight)
- Jump with the right foot, swinging fore.
- Jump with the left foot, swinging back.
- Incorporate the swing of the cut
The first thing a beginner table tennis player experiences is the inability to hit the ball and the tension in the lower body, but with these practices, you will not feel the tension no matter how many hours you practice.
Those who can’t keep up with the lower body will finish the practice, but those who can keep it up for a long time will naturally get better quickly.
What are the essential things you need to practice to get better at ping pong?
Getting good at ping-pong is partly a result of your own practice that incorporates a variety of things, but it’s even faster to get better if you have some teaching material to follow.
If you want to get better quickly, get the following materials.
- Learning materials from the basics
- Form-oriented materials(DVDs, Youtube, books)
- Materials with which forms can be compared
- Material that allows you to watch the technique in a slow motions
- A professional DVD you can watch over and over again
You need to use these materials to get ahead of people, and they are excellent references for beginners and upper level students as well.
Things have their limits, of course, but you can get better in the shortest amount of time if you can learn the best techniques of the professionals.
These materials need to be practiced in the following ways
- Learning the form taught by a professional (repetition of all movements)
- Repeat, until it sinks in.
- An unconscious form that responds to the ball during the game like a second nature
In table tennis, it is important to develop your ability to react to the ball, and this can be covered by making a lot of swings.
You can’t get good at ping-pong just by practicing it aimlessly.
To improve ping pong, practice methods should be improved. No matter how long you practice, it is difficult to expect improvement if you practice incorrectly. The important thing is to review the practice method again.
Recommended practices for those who have trouble improving
Here are some recommended ways to practice if you are not improving your table tennis. From the initial self-analysis, to the actual practice, to the body training, all of this is essential to improve your table tennis.
Whether or not knowing it’s the right practice menu for you is what’s going to help you improve. In order to know what is an effective practice menu for you, first do a self-analysis. The following is a guide to self-analysis.
Write out your strengths and weaknesses.
In ping pong practice, it’s important to develop your strengths and overcome your weaknesses. For this reason, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses.
By writing down the strengths and weaknesses that come to mind, you will be able to clear your mind and new findings or future challenges will be vague.
Within that, let’s narrow down our priorities to a few things. What’s important is that it’s not limited to the tasks that your mentor or senior instructor tells you to do, but the important thing is what you feel.
The person who knows yourself best is you, so by being aware of the problems you have identified, your motivation for practice will change.
It’s important to find out what the problem is and be aware of the meaningful practice instead of practicing over and over again without thinking.
Practice with an awareness of the real battle.
If you’re doing well in practice, but not winning in a game, it’s because you’re practicing something that’s not suited for a real game.
In practice, it’s important to be aware of how the actual game will be.
For example, start every practice with a serve and a receive. By starting the drive practice from the lower-rotation serve, you can also practice the movement and reaction up to the third ball.
You also need to be careful if you only practice with such regularity that you know where the ball is going to come from.
In order to practice with an awareness of the real game, you can have a sense of tension saying “You never know when the fore is going to come”.
Body training is essential to improve your table tennis. In fact, core training is widely practiced, especially by athletes.
Strengthening your core will increase your athletic ability. Players with an underdeveloped core tend to feel light on the ball, hit their hands a lot, have a poor center of gravity, move awkwardly, and get tired quickly.
In order to improve your table tennis, it is important to train your core and improve your athletic ability.
Going to a club
In order to refine your technique as much as possible, you can also register for courses, train for several hours a week, and participate in tournaments to accumulate ranking points, depending on the results obtained.
How often should you go?
If a ping pong player really wants to improve, they will join a club that combines practice with theory, at least three or four times a week, for six to ten hours in all.
This is the pace that set the young table tennis player to dream high.
There are many ways to improve your ping pong, but the first step is to review the basics, “correct form”.
Also, knowing the right way to practice by self-analysis can make a big difference in your motivation to play ping pong.
Also, by not only practicing regularity but also practicing for the real game, you will be stronger in the game. It is important to review your practice methods now and improve them as soon as possible.