Welcome to my guide of the top 5 best table tennis tips and tricks for players who are fairly new to the game. So you've already bought one of the best table tennis tables based on our product reviews and have been playing at home for a while now.
So you're now hitting a few good shots and might be a table tennis player who started playing in the office or at home with your family. You're ready for the next step! With this article, I want to help raise your standards and step up a gear with your ping pong game.
At this stage we often fall back on the same basic shots or strokes that we always rely on in order to win.
The problem with this is that we fall in to bad habits and that doesn't improve our game long-term.
It takes time to become great at this game, and to be honest, if you play with better players than yourself you will start to become much, much better.
It always helps to get a few pointers to massively improve your all-round game
There are loads of videos on the internet which help beginners with the basic strokes, serves and shots but none that really help you to learn about the important details.
Controlling the ball, judging the timing of hitting the ball and learning to find a rhythm which will give you a flow as if you were a boxer or dancer!
After all table tennis is an art-form like every other sport. We want you to turn from a good player into a GREAT one!
Practise does make help you improve no end, so here are 5 top tips & tricks:
1. Hold The Paddle Or Bat Correctly
Holding the paddle or bat will definitely improve your game and give you the flexibility to cover a range of shots that's needed to step up to the next level.
Officially there are two main ways to hold the paddle.
- Handshake grip
- Penhold grip
The Handshake grip is the most widely used grip in USA and Europe. The Penhold grip is commonly used in China, Japan and most of Asia.
That said, the Penhold grip is actually fading in popularity because you can play a wider variety of shots with the Handshake grip.
Take your time to think about which grip you want to use and watch the professionals play on Youtube to see how they do it.
Search for Ma Long videos and see how he holds his bat. He's the current World number one from China and he uses the Handshake grip!
Then check out top Chinese player Xu Xin who uses the Penhold grip. Both are really brilliant players that you can learn from.
2. Timing Is Everything In Table Tennis
You know, timing is everything!
In life you might win the lottery just when you need the money the most!
It's the same with hitting a ball, if you hit the ball with the correct stroke at the right time it bounces off the table like magic - I can't quite explain the feeling!
For me, the ultimate would be to hit the right strokes at the right time all the time! But doing it more and more often gives me confidence to hit better and better every time.
Try not to get into sloppy mode and make sure that every shot counts.
Move for the ball and make that shot count
A lot of new players tend to get a little stressed because it takes time to master great shots, so I recommend that you watch the Youtube videos and see how the pro's move their feet and how they hit the ball.
Beginners get stressed over committing errors while attempting to control the ball rather than hitting the ball in a more simple fashion.
Because of the stretched out positions that beginners can use it takes time to recover their arm and body into a 'ready' position.
Table tennis is best played with a conservative swing on both the forehand and strike, constraining completely on most shots.
Shortening the swing will also ensure precision and help you to be more exact with your position.
3. Learn To Control The Ping Pong Ball
The other side of managing the table tennis ball is when new players attempt to whack the ball much too hard.
The outcomes of this strategy are never that great and you will end up losing a lot of points.
Keep in mind that for every stroke, there is a great amount of velocity that you can use.
It's all there already, even for gentle shots otherwise the ball wouldn't arrive on the opposite side of the table.
The golden rule is neither to hit the ball too hard or too soft. However, do practise a lot to gain instincts about how to hit it simply right.
While receiving the ball from your opponent you will need to get to the opposite spot from where they originated the shot very quickly.
Pause for a split-second causing your opponent to think about what you might be up to, then return the ball back in the same direction that it originated from.
4. Learn Foot Movement
If you watch the foot movement of the professionals, you will see they stand with one foot forward and the other slightly back ready to receive the serve.
This means that they are balanced and ready to move forward, backwards or sideways to return the ball. They make sure that they have coverage around the table.
Foot-work is the foundation, along with getting into position to hit the right shots at the right time.
Without good footwork and body movement you tend to play lazy shots and they wont be the most effective.
5. Get A Mentor
If you join a local club you meet other players who are better than you and they will help you improve.
Most clubs have contacts with professional coaches who can teach you how to play properly. It's a great way to improve and have that excitement of seeing yourself grow as a player.
I used to have Alison Gordon as a mentor, she was the England's #1 at the time and I learnt loads from her at the training camps I used to attend during the summer holidays when I was a kid.
Summer table tennis camps are a great way to meet other players from around the country and learn from the professionals.
To summarise, the tips above are not really to help you improve your shots or expand your tool bag with new serves.
These beginner's tips and tricks aim to help you decide what to think about when improving your game when you're just starting out.
There are a lot of factors which come in to play when you want to start improving your game and these things aren't really discussed much in the Youtube training videos I've seen.
So I do hope that these tips will help you with your over-all game.
Just keep your head cool and take you time to improve!
Until next time; we hope you have enjoyed this article on The Best Table Tennis Tables Reviews so happy smashing! Onwards and upwards!