For every beginner, there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to improve the game despite constant and regular practices. I should know, I was once a novice who wanted nothing else but to boost my strokes and skills. I was truly glad that I was able to come across a set of ping pong tips and techniques that have helped me improve my game.
Truth be told –a game of ping pong is more than just a test of eye-and-hand coordination. On a different note, know that you can escalate your skills by following expert advice and tips even if you are just a beginner now. Whether you intend to become a recreational player or play professionally one day, these tips could help you every step of the way.
#7 Proven Ping Pong Tips to Boost Your Techniques
Every professional player was once a beginner like you too. However, how you climb up to the top depends on how determined you are and how eager to learn certain techniques by heart. If you are one of the aspiring players, you would want to keep the following seven ping pong tips in mind:
#1. Know How Equipment Can Impact Your Game
Focusing on improving your skills will not be sufficient. One of the most important facets of table tennis that is often overlooked is by beginners is the quality of equipment. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you begin your training using a medium-fast blade as opposed to fast one.
A medium-fast blade would help you rely on your own technique than on the equipment itself to get the ball across the table and over the net. Another advantage of using this type of blade is that it allows optimum control.
When it comes to the rubber, you may opt for the ‘beginner’ type. Beginner rubbers are specifically designed with less speed and spins, which is an ideal training for the novice. Therefore, it would be easier to return spinny balls with the help of this type of rubber.
#2. Know the Ins and Outs of Ping Pong
As they say, knowledge is power. Even in the realm of sports, knowing how the game goes is just as important as knowing how to win it. Regardless of how well you play it, if you are not able to grasp the rules and the fundamentals of the game well, there is no guarantee you would win it in the end.
Sadly, many of the recreational ping pong players are still not aware of certain basic concepts such as fundamental footwork, the effect of spins or the proper grip. If you are serious about improving your skills, it is imperative to brush up on the basics.
#3. Use Diverse Length and Spins When Serving
Chen Qi, a world champion and a pro at Killerspin, once said, “ If you cannot serve, then you cannot win.” A strong serve has two advantages – it can end a game right away with you emerging as the victor and it can also utilize as a strategic element to set up a game to your own advantage.
However, to dominate a game, never stick to one form of serve. This will make you predictable and will give your opponent the upper hand in the game. Even as a beginner, practice mixing up your serving techniques with different spins and lengths.
Examples of serves you can employ are pure speed, pure spin, medium-long, short, and deep techniques. In addition, serves right to the elbow is a good technique since this would require the receiver to decide instantly whether to use the backhand or the forehand.
You can also dominate the game with serving techniques. For instance, you can use deceptive motions that could disguise the type of spin to use. This typically results in your opponent to respond with a passive return.
For instance, sudden changes of directly, depth, and spin can easily catch the receiver off guard. You may also opt to mix your serves with sudden topspin or sidespin as these would typically force the receiver to respond back with deep serves. When this happens, you will have the opportunity to attack.
#4. Dominate the Game with Receiving Techniques
Another tip to level up your game even as a beginner is to know how to dominate your opponent with various receiving techniques. As with the serving techniques, you can also keep the server off guard by mixing up the types of return you use.
One receiving technique you can practice with is the use of ‘looping’ to take control of the game against given deep serves. This stroke was found effective since the 1960’s when world renowned tennis player Stan Jacobson returned to England after his training in Japan. The ‘looping’ technique has then revolutionized and influenced the world of table tennis.
Working on your stance, ready position, and placement is also one way of dominating the game when working on your receiving techniques. Beginners should understand the proper positioning of the feet, knees, body, arms, and bat to be able to respond to the serves well.
When it comes to dominating a game by focusing on serve and the return of serve is highly dependent on absolute timing. This basically means that even as beginners, you should learn to develop the ability to time your contact with the ball as well as to execute the basic shots such as rolling and looping.
#5. Dominate your Opponent with a Third-Ball Attack
A third ball attack happens when you serve, the opponent receives, and you respond back for a win. An example of this pattern is serving using a short backspin method which is returned with a long push, and the third attack of a powerful loop.
The third-ball attack has been one of the strategies many professional players have been using since the 1950s. As table tennis is a strategy game, to begin with, it would be immensely helpful even as a beginner to start developing this type of attack.
You may want to check some useful videos to be able to execute this properly. Your trainer must likewise be equipped with sufficient knowledge and experience on this to be able to demonstrate it to you effectively.
#6. Practice Shortening Your Swings
A shorter swing is recommended in this sport. As compared to sports such as tennis, golf, softball or baseball, longer swings can actually lead to a higher margin of error. Another disadvantage of this is that it allows slower reaction time as you would need some extra seconds to take your body back in position.
To get the best result in table tennis, you would want to practice playing with compact swings on both backhand and forehand. This would limit the follow through or would require your opponent to opt for longer swings for topspin shots. In addition, shortening your swing could also increase your accuracy and help improve your placement.
#7. Always Keep Your Composure and Control Your Temper
Your attitude plays a huge role in your development and future success. One of the most important tips you need to remember is to always stay calm even when after missing several shots or losing the game. Choosing to be angry does not only affect the game but your health as well.
Being able to conduct yourself with dignity during and after the game is a competitive advantage. Use the experience as an additional source of your motivation. Accept defeat graciously and study your game. Learn where you made a mistake and work hard to correct it. In short, act like a true champion all the time – during practice, during matches, and after every game.
Remember that your positive and negative attitudes in sports both have a lasting impact. Your temper has a huge impact on your mindset and concentration, and will eventually affect your future decisions during the game as well. Be smart and choose to stay cool, calm, and coachable during any training or game.
While I admit that nothing can replace live instruction, you can take note of the tips above and use them as guides to your daily practice. Finding a skilled instructor who can translate these ping pong tips into actions is critical when you are still at the phase of harnessing your table tennis skills.
As with any sports, to become a pro at this sport would require utmost effort in practices. The tips and techniques discussed above can now be your guide. Now, it is up to you to apply them with your partner. Bear in mind that the earlier to apply these techniques, the faster you can improve.
I sure hope that you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. If you have questions and comments, feel free to comment below. I would be more than pleased to answer them for you. Also, if you found this helpful, feel free to share it so we could both help them improve and become the best players in the future.