The basics of ping pong will always be the same even if you are playing the game as a sport or a game. Practice is necessary and is the only way a person can become better in the game. The following tips and tricks are important and can help you master the art of this game in a very short time. Use them and quickly be a good ping pong player.
- 1 Preparing
- 2 Learn the technique
- 3 Important notes
- 4 Learn more
Get the appropriate paddle
The paddle in use greatly affects the results of a hit. You should use a paddle that you are comfortable with. The paddle should maximize all your playing abilities and help you control the ball easily. As a beginner, you can start with a paddle meant for beginners. The paddle is designed to help you control a ball effortlessly, no matter the speed and spin it comes with. The head and the grip of the paddle also matters. Your paddle should have a good grip and a head that does not cause too much spinning of the ball.
Play with only one paddle
Every paddle has its own characteristics and feel. Using different paddles every now and then makes you lose your specific way of controlling the ball. There is a specific technique of playing that is gained whenever a player uses one specific paddle for all plays. The player knows the expected results of it and is able to control a ball more effectively. You should take care of your own paddle for it to last long and remain as good as new. It should be washed with warm soapy water whenever its surface becomes too smooth.
Grip the bat correctly
There are two main ways of holding the paddle. These are the ping pong paddle gripping techniques. They maximize your playing ability and also allow you to yield specific results. The grips are as follows.
- The shake hand grip
In this grip, the handle of the paddle crosses through the palm and leaves the blade resting between the thumb and the index finger. The index finger rests on one side of the bat and leaves the thumb resting on the other fingers. The other fingers go round the handle in a closed manner. This grip is commonly used by most players as it makes the paddle comfortably rest inside the palm. Shake hand grip exists in two forms. There is the deep shake hand grip and the shallow shake hand grip. The two forms are determined by how much deep the blade of the paddle goes into the palm.
- The pen hold grip
In terms of popularity, this is the second top ping pong grip. In this grip, the paddle is gripped the same way a pen is gripped when writing. The thumb and the index finger come at the front of the blade and leave the other fingers supporting it from the back. The handle passes through the thumb and the index finger. This grip is further sub-divided into three more groups. The groups are; the Japanese, the Chinese and the Korean grips. There is no major grip variation between the three groups. The pen hold grip allows the wrist to move freely when in action.
Remain stance ready
You should get ready to strike even before the ball is tossed. The whole body should be able to move freely in any direction. Gain balance and relaxation before the ball comes. Always get back into position quickly after a strike. You should stand on the opposite side of your dominant hand. This means that the right-handed should stand to the left and vice versa. The dominant leg should be placed slightly forward than the other leg. Your standing position and posture should not hinder your body from moving freely.
Move your foot correctly
Your feet should be positioned in such a way that you can freely move backward, forward, and sideways. One foot should slightly be positioned forward, leaving the other one back so that you can receive the ball without struggling. Foot positioning is crucial and helps you make effective shots. The body is balanced by the legs and your position should shift from time to time so as to accommodate the body movements. Timing is also crucial and is greatly affected by your footwork.
Learn the technique
When serving the ball
Serving gives you an opportunity to make a fully controlled hit. The return ball can be predicted and directed through the serve ball. You have to be able to make the most out of a serve. To learn how you can utilize the serving opportunity, read and understand the following points.
- Learn how to spin heavily when serving
It is important for you to heavily spin the ball when serving. The spin confuses the opponent and might make him miss the ball if he is not keen enough. This is a great serving technique that should be mastered and used every now and then. You need to hit the ball in a brushing/sliding manner so as to successfully spin it. As a beginner, you should start with a backspin serve. This requires you to slide the paddle underneath the ball when hitting it. That slide generates a spin whose strength is determined by the amount of power used when hitting.
- Make a fast serve
Serving the ball in a slow manner creates a chance for the opponent to return it powerfully. The ball should always reach the other side with a high speed. This will make the opponent return it softly and will give you a chance to attack strategically. Side aims are also useful as they will force the opponent to struggle while trying to save the ball. The ball should always be served to a point that is not favoring the other player. Its speed should always be high to prevent any attacks from the other side.
- Integrate different serve spins and lengths
This is an advanced way of serving that makes it difficult for the opponent to return the ball with strategy. The mix up makes the opponent not make a quick decision on how to return the ball and if successful, the return ball is always weak. Some of those serves include deep, short, medium-long and pure spin. The ball needs to be served to a point where the opponent is expected to perform the least. An example of such a point is the elbow. A ball that is directed to the opponent’s elbow point makes him use a wrong counter-attacking strategy that always favors you.
– How to serve Long and Fast:
– How to serve short and Fast:
Returning a serve
Returning a serve may be difficult if a player is not keen enough. The return ball should follow the right path and make it hard for the server to attack forcefully. The following points can help you improve your ability to return effectively.
- Make low returns
A ball sent low creates minimal or no chances for the opponent to put some tricks on the ball. The ball should always be returned low and should fly closely over the net. Such a return creates very small space for the other player to make some angled hits. Low returns are always useful and if you are not able to make them, try to fly the ball higher over the net. This means ensuring that the ball lands almost at the other end of the table. This creates higher chances of him missing the ball as he tries to move back.
- Look at the paddle of your opponent
It is important for you to maintaining eye contact when waiting for a serve. Your eyes should be on the paddle of the opponent so as to be able to gauge the coming serve. You can quickly check how much high his toss goes and then return your eyes to the paddle. Following the ball with your eyes only leaves you open to deceptions. The opponent can easily fool you with a spin that will leave you struggling to recover. That is why your eyes should always be on the paddle and not the ball.
Drive and push
It is important for you to be able to comfortably control the ball with accuracy and consistency. There are four basic ping pong strokes that are used in controlling the ball efficiently. The strokes involve driving and pushing the ball and are as follows.
- Backhand drive
This is a very useful stroke for attacking. It allows you to drive a strong shot that might have a little spin. The backhand drive is used in controlling a lengthy topspin or a float ball. This drive helps you return a serve with much power and the balls fly with a high speed. The opponent hardly becomes successful in controlling this return. This drive is made with the back side of the player’s arm. The return remains in control and effectively hits the target when this stroke is used.
- Forehand drive
Forehand drive is a stroke used for making return attacks. The return is always powerful and cannot be fully spin. This stroke is useful in controlling lengthy topspin and float balls. Middle balls can also be controlled with this stroke as the player remains in a good position to effectively use it. Speed matters a lot and that is why the player needs to always be on the lookout. This stroke should not be used on short balls as it will most probably result to a net hit.
- Backhand push
This is an easy stroke that only requires a push of the ball. The back of the hand is used for this stroke. The player can just hit the ball in a sliding manner and make it return with some backspins. This makes it useful in attacking the opponent in a strategic way that undermines his chances of hitting the ball with some tricks. A backhand push is a defensive push that is used for returning low balls and short balls. Backspin and float balls can also be effectively returned with this push.
- Forehand push
This stroke is a bit difficult and requires the player to push the ball through its back and under. Some backspin may be created through this defensive stroke. Some advanced moves such as dig, chop and forehand touch can be made with the forehand push. The stroke is good for low balls and short balls. Backspin and float balls can also be returned with this move depending on where the balls specifically land. The front side of the arm is used in making this push.
Be able to control the ping pong ball
Ping pong ball needs to be controlled in a balanced manner. It should not be stroke too hard. The ball should always land where you want it to. Being able to control its landing position helps you to successfully deliver a hit through tricking the opponent. You can make the opponent anticipate and wait for a hit on the wrong side of the table. Proper training and practice should be made for you to gain the concept of correctly delivering a ball. Your hit should always be neither too hard nor too soft.
Learn the third ball attack
A third ball means a hit you make after you serve the ball and the opponent returns it. You can be able to control how the opponent returns the ball and use this to your advantage. You should always try to make him return your serve with a high push that gives you an advantage to attack with a strong, spinning hit. An example of such an opportune moment is when you make a short serve that makes the opponent return an averagely long push that gives you the chance to make a very powerful loop. Your third ball attack should make you some points.
Control that temper
Repeated losses in a match can greatly affect your emotions. You can easily lose your temper and end up missing all the other scoring chances that would emerge in a game. Being able to control yourself is important and always gives you good results. If things are not favoring you, try to remain calm and think of how you can use every other moment to your advantage. If your turn to serve comes, use this chance to slow down and gain back your strength. Use that moment to figure out what you should do to improve your performance.
The energy you have should be conserved for the game. It should not be wasted on unnecessary moves and strains. If the game is not favoring you, don’t panic. Instead, remain relaxed and try to check where you are going wrong. You have to be in good condition for the game. The ball needs to be returned in the appropriate manner. Over-hitting it will only make you lose energy and miss some points which would have been gained through controlled playing. Your relaxation is important and will always help you remain focused during the game.
Use whole body weight, especially when making a forehand stroke
The whole body needs to be used if you want to make a strong shot. Your hips need to be rotated and make a follow through on the back weight that is sent to the feet’s front side. This weight transfer helps you make a stronger and precise shot that goes with all the power produced. Using the whole body helps you effectively compensate the force and angle already possessed by the ball. Using your arms only is wrong especially when making a forehand stroke. The arms tend to strain trying to compensate the ball’s force and angle, and this can cause some injuries.
Aim for the corners and edges
It is always hard for all players to successfully return a corner land. Training for corner lands is important. When playing in a game, you should only target the corners if you are confident enough. Driving the ball out of the table leaves you losing important points and should thus be avoided. Targeting the table edges is also important and creates a very good chance for the opponent to miss the ball. The edges are so useful and can give you good points. Combining the corner and the edge moves with speed leaves you enjoying the total advantage over your opponent.
Note your fouls
The best way of learning is through your own mistakes. Practice is always important and helps you notice your weak points. The mistakes you make can easily be dealt with if they are highlighted and taken as a challenge. Knowing the rules of the game is important and will help you note your fouls. You should always practice without violating the rules of the game. This will make you always play within the set rules without struggling.
Train on a regular basis
All your strokes should become your second nature. This can only be gained through consistent training. The training will help you get used to doing everything correctly, and without necessarily having to first think about something before doing it. Relaxation is important in the game and is also gained through repeated training. Let the strokes stick in you and automate all your moves. You should train until you reach the automatic stage where your brain acts without first analyzing.
Try to avoid injuries
Injuries can slow you down or even force you to stop playing. You should avoid getting injured as much as you can. Playing in the correct way can help you avoid arm injuries. Overdoing things is also injurious and should be avoided. Play within a limited amount of time and rest enough before the next game. When working out, avoid any exercises that would cause injuries. Maintain your health and always remain fit for the game. Your coach can help by ensuring that everything is done in the recommended way.
Practicing alone helps you gain consistency with your strokes. Practicing against a straight wall is useful and helps you gain accuracy. When practicing alone, you should try all shots and repeat them until they stick in you. You will notice that the paddle is best felt at this moment. The practice helps in increasing your playing ability and also helps you improve on your timing. Hitting downwards to a floor can also be used as a lone practice. When doing this, the ball should always bounce back to you. You can make it more interesting by hitting at different angles.
Get a mentor
Mentorship is needed in your ping pong training. You should have somebody who can correct you if you practice wrong. In case you have questions about the game, the mentor can answer them for you and help you advance in the game confidently. Your mentor needs to have valuable experience in the game and should be able to show you the correct ways of playing this game. You ping pong school coach can be your mentor and can greatly help you improve in this game.
Join a club/league or match play
The best way of testing one’s self is through getting to a match with an opponent. Playing with others helps you learn various things about the game. You are also able to get guidance in the areas that you are not sure about. A club/league helps you meet with other players. The players can help you improve in the game as they are most likely better and much more experienced than you. You can also attend ping pong camps where you will meet and get trained by professionals.
Ping pong is an interesting game that needs a lot of practice. The practice should be done within the rules of the game. Your physical, mental and emotional attentiveness is needed in the game. You should be able to control yourself and remain relaxed throughout a match. Learning from others is also important. Always interact with other players and ask for guidance whenever you feel stuck. Everything you have learned here is important and will help you improve greatly in ping pong. Always remain focused throughout your training for you to be able to grasp everything quickly and permanently.