We all love playing table tennis, whether it’s for fun with kids, family and friends or taken more seriously. But no matter what level we play at, we can all use a few handy tips to start playing better and more consistently, and winning more games! So check out our list of 10 top ways to improve your table tennis and start practising and then dominating opponents.
1. Learn how to read the spin
First things first, you’ve got to keep your eye on the opponent’s racket when it makes contact with the ball. If it’s moving from low to high, the spin generated will be topspin; from high to low, backspin; from their left to right, right sidespin; and from right to left, left sidespin. To learn how to spin the ball yourself just apply these rules to your own shots.
2. Use your racket angle to deal with their spin
If they have just fired a topspin shot your way, angle your racket face down and contact the ball above its center; if it is backspin, just angle the racket face up and contact the ball below its center; if they have thrown you a right sidespin, angle the racket face to the right and contact the ball to the left of its mid-line; if left sidespin, angle the leading racket face to the left and hit the ball to the right of its mid-line. Whatever the angle, just stroke gently forward. Once you’ve got a “feel” for the spin you can stroke the ball with more force.
3. The whole body forehand
Great forehands start with rotating your hips and shoulders backward on the backswing and then turning into the ball on your forehand. Remember to transfer all of your body weight from the back foot to the front foot. The harder you hit your forehand, the greater the weight transfer. You’ll get a lot more power and consistency than with your arm alone.
4. Take the ‘Get Ready’ position
Stay balanced with knees bent slightly, ready to spring in any direction. Always come back to the get ready position between shots.
5. Train Automatic
Visualise how you want your strokes to look, including your body position, the movement and the direction of the shot. Then practise that skill repeatedly until it becomes automatic. Rehearse in your head and by playing the shots. Eventually it’ll happen without thought.
6. Get your own table tennis racket
Every racket has its own “feel” so get to know your own racket and use that. Get to know it like a second hand. Treat it with respect and keep it in a case when you’re not using it. Make sure it is clean after each use. The care you give your racket will show in the thoroughness of your technique.
7. Sidespin Serves
Top players use sidespin on almost every serve. This is usually mixed with topspin or backspin; One of the best combinations is a sidespin/backspin serve that is low to the net and bounces twice on the other side of the table. This type of serve will shut down your opponent’s return options.
8. Go low over the net
The lower over the net you place your shots, the less angle your opponent can use and the harder it is for him/her to hit it with power. The only exception is the lob where you aim to land the ball as close to the edge or corner as you can.
The main goal during practice is to develop your game and work on some part that needs improving. When you complete, play to win, though saying that, you can still learn a lot about your game if you study your matches when they are done.
10. Join a club
To really make progress you’ve got to find others who want to play, compete and improve. Start with someone of similar playing ability to you and start playing and practicing regularly. Try competitions, eventually moving on to play against better players. Got a garage or a garden? Why not start you own club with your friends, family and neighbours, it’ll be a great way to have fun and get moving.
If you need any equipment to get started or to take your game up a level, check out our range of table tennis bats, balls, tables , nets, cover and even robots in our table tennis department here.