Table tennis is a great hobby to keep you active. If you are looking to get into the competitive scene, you undoubtedly want to get better and find ways to strengthen your abilities. Here are a few ways to help you improve your table tennis skills.
The first thing you want to address when trying to improve your table tennis skills is starting at the fundamentals. Your basics in terms of movements and skills are needed to be strong and consistent. Without such strong fundamentals, you will not be able to improve with more advanced techniques. There are tons of resources out there that will help provide ideal exercises to hone your skills. Start with learning and building on a basic shot, learning to consistently rally with both forehand and backhand and on both sides of your table. Through mastering your abilities from the ground up, you will be able to see improvement in your overall performance and your game.
Use Your Whole Body
One thing many beginner players overlook and forget is that table tennis requires the use of your entire body. Many players starting out will focus solely on their arms and upper body. In fact, to be a strong and consistent player, you have to use your entire body to gain rotation for the power in your game. Your feet are also important in this body movement and placement and footwork will help ensure your shots are controlled and accurate. This is because if you are light on your feet and have good positioning, your upper body will be put in a position to hit shots that you are more accustomed to and translate to better control.
Focus on Timing
It is important for players to examine their techniques in order to improve. One of the things that players should keep an eye on is their timing. It is good practice to make contact with the ball at its peak bounce. Making it a habit to hit the ball at this apex will ensure your shots are controlled. Hitting the ball when it is on its upward or downward motion changes your rhythm as a player and can cause you to make more mistakes and have less control and accuracy. This is also because your body is having to adjust that differs from your practiced and learned patterns. This will cause you to begin reaching and losing accuracy and power. Hitting the ball consistently at the top of its bounce provides the optimal conditions to be able to control your shots and gain the most power on your shots as well.
Find and Develop Your Strengths
If you are trying to improve your table tennis skills for a more competitive scene, it is a good idea to learn your capabilities. Having a good self-awareness of your skills and strengths means that you will be able to hone your abilities and use those strengths as weapons to use in a match. With your understanding and confidence, you will want to position the ball to find spots where you can play to your strengths, setting yourself up for success. This will also translate to you being able to recognize the shots and opportunities when they open up, and react quickly. Additionally, understanding your strengths will also help identify your weaknesses and allow you to learn what parts of your game need more attention and work.
Practice and Repetition
At the end of the day, the best way to improve your table tennis skills is through constant practice and repetition. Practicing solo, you should focus on hitting the ball the same way and hitting key spots of the table until those swings become muscle memory and are natural reactions. One of the best ways to practice alone is to use a table tennis robot. It's a machine that will be your practicing buddy to level up your game fast. Additionally, you will want to practice in more competitive settings as well, to help you learn to play under pressure and put yourself in-game type scenarios that you cannot prepare for through individual practice. Playing with others with similar or stronger skills than you will allow you to develop and strengthen your own game.
Improving your table tennis skills won’t happen all at once, it will take time. It is important to have patience throughout your training but also important that you remember to enjoy yourself while playing table tennis. Highlighting your enjoyment of the sport and hobby will ensure that you stay interested and dedicated to playing and further improving. Losing that interest will hinder your ability or desire to improve your game. At the end of the day, if you are passionate and love the game and sport, improving will be all that easier.