If you are reading this article it is safe to assume that you would like to improve your table tennis. It is often easy to find an excuse why we are not improving or can’t practice. For example, coaching costs are too high or there is nobody to hit with. This article outlines three simple, cost effective ways of improving your table tennis on your own.
If you are serious about improving then read on. If you are just talking the talk and not walking the walk then stop reading now.
1) Serve a box of balls everyday
This is obvious if you don’t have a practice partner or a coach. All you need is a basket of balls (hopefully enough that you don’t spend more time collecting them) and the determination to get better.
You can practice your pendulum, tomahawk, backspin, sidespin, topspin; every serve you have in your arsenal. To minimise boredom you can create little games to put pressure on yourself and even add forfeits for not reaching targets or rewards if you do. You could aim for cones or broken balls, number of bounces, or perhaps the how many times can you bring the ball back to the net using the legendary ghost serve.
Experiment with your serves and aim to improve spin, speed, placement, and height of the ball over the net. The serve if the most important shot in table tennis because it is the one shot you have complete control over.
2) Fitness – Go for a run and do body weight exercises (Pull ups, Press ups and squats)
Your fitness can play a big role in your improvement as a table tennis player. The sport is getting faster and more physical all the time due to rule changes such as the speed glue/boost ban and the introduction of the new plastic ball. Being in good shape can be a massive advantage especially at 10-10 in the fifth.
One easy low cost way to improve your aerobic fitness is to go for a run. You don’t need to be a sport scientist or personal trainer to understand running for longer and faster will improve your aerobic fitness. Just get out there and run. Look for a grass field to minimise the chances of injury by impacting the ground on hard surfaces such as the road or pavement.
Start small and increase the length of your runs as your body adapts. 20-30 minutes is plenty long enough. Add some high intensity intervals by sprinting and if you’re feeling confident why not try some hill sprints. It’s not just your aerobic fitness that can be worked on and improved without any equipment, your strength and muscular endurance can be improved by doing simple body weight exercises. Press ups, pull ups and squats are three exercises which require minimal equipment. Combined they train pretty much every muscle in your body. If you can’t do a standard press up, pull up or bodyweight squat you can do modified versions of all three that make them easier until your fitness improves. Equally if these exercises are too easy for you then they can be modified to become harder so that you still benefit from them. There are loads of resources out there to help you improve. Start now and make it a habit!
Check out our fitness videos here.
3) Watch some table tennis
Now, I know most of you already watch table tennis and this seems a very simple tip. However, watching table tennis as a fan and really watching to learn from the best players in the world are two very different things. I myself am guilty of watching the highlights videos of matches and appreciating the best points in a match or tournament. Although, if you take some time to watch full table tennis matches you can notice a lot more about the players that may give you some inspiration for your own practice.
By watching the full match you can determine better what tactics the players are using. Ask yourself, why did they choose that shot? What would I have done in the same situation? Take a closer look at the player’s footwork, their service placement, how they conduct themselves on the court, how they are coping with the pressure psychologically. These matches are a wealth of inspiration and information that can be tapped into to help you gain a better understanding of the sport of table tennis. So hop over to the TableTennisDaily video library and watch some of your favourite players in greater detail.
The World Wide Web is not only for watching table tennis matches. You can also watch many instructional videos including of course the TableTennisDaily Academy. Watching these videos will give you a more in-depth understanding of specific shots, tactics and strategies for improving your table tennis.
Here’s a sneak peak at our latest videos released on the Academy!
So now that you have read the article there are no excuses. Get out there, work hard and improve!