Sports & Wellness
Table tennis master: how to perfect your game
Do you still play table tennis like an amateur? Here we give a few tips, that will help you to play like a pro.
Table tennis is
becoming more and more popular every year. And this is not surprising,
considering that there are not so many sports you can play with no special
equipment, basic training or a profound briefing on safety rules.
To start playing
table tennis you need just a table – any table and a net – any net. Out top
table tennis coach, Farhaan Ahmed, is sure that beginners can easily play on a
dining table with a couple of books put instead of a net. Then you need a
couple of ping pong paddles, a ball and here you go.
dozens of amateur matches with your family and friends, you might want to
upgrade your table tennis skills and make your game more proficient and
exciting. At Sport Session we understand you. Here is what you need to know to
become more skilful at table tennis.
Basic Table Tennis Moves
So you can bounce
a ball with your paddle somehow. Now it is time to learn how professionals do
that. Table tennis players use several moves. Let us look at each of them.
This is one of the
fundamental moves in table tennis. When the ball comes to your arm, which is
holding the paddle, you rotate your body and hit the ball over the net to your
opponent’s side. Make sure that you are holding the paddle with your thumb
facing the net. Imagine a tennis player hitting a ball with his\her racket. Get
it? Now use the move in your table tennis match.
fundamental move, although opposite to the first one we have learned. When a
ball comes to the arm, which is not holding the paddle, you move your paddle
across your body’s centre to the other side and hit the ball. This time you
must hold the paddle with your thumb facing your chest.
To do a table
tennis serve means to hit a ball with your paddle, making it bounce on your
side of the table, fly over the net and hit your opponent’s side. Serves are
used to start every rally. After that, you just have to make sure you send a
ball to the opponent's side each time.
Pushes are used to
deal with short balls. That is when your opponent lands a ball on your side but
very close to the net. If this happens, you lean forward and slightly hit it
from below. This way you manage to send the ball back to the opponent’s side
without making it fly off the table.
Moving on to more
aggressive table tennis movements. Flicks are also used when a ball is close to
the net. However, instead of just hitting the ball from below, you use your
wrist and elbow to send the ball to the other side fast. Professional players
can send the ball so efficiently, that it hits the table and flies away
quickly, and the opponent doesn’t have time to react. Flicks can also be
forehand and backhand.
To make a ping
pong ball spin, you have to brush or skim it with your table tennis paddle
instead of just hitting it. Spins take time to learn but once you’ve mastered
them, you can control the power of your hits and the speed of the ball. Spins
also make it impossible for your opponents to predict your next move.
You can call it an
aggressive spin. When you swing your paddle from low to high and spin a ping
pong ball in an aggressive way, it will fly very fast, making it harder for
your opponent to return it.
Apart from the paddle moves, you need to learn the footwork and correct standing positions. This demands good coordination and concentration skills as well as developed reflexes. So if you want to master all the hardcore techniques you need to hire a coach. He or she will show you how to move the whole body properly in order to perform efficiently and not to get tired quickly.
Things to know about table tennis paddles
The colour matters
You may have
wondered, why ping pong paddles have a red and a black side. It seems this is
because to make paddles they use two different types of rubber. These two
materials possess different properties so they paint them in different colours
for players to distinguish.
Black rubber is
tackier, which means it contacts more with the ball and is better for spins and
forehands. It is also more comfortable for long strikes as you get to feel the
ball more while hitting. Red rubber is harder, which means it is faster and
less tacky. Red rubber is used more for backhands and straight hits without
The side of the table matters
Which colour to
play also depends on the side of the table the ball is aimed at. Here is the
advice from Farhaan Ahmed.
“Your side of the ping pong table is divided into right and left zone. If you are right-handed and the ball goes to your right, you use a forehand move and a black side of your paddle respectively. When the ball goes to the middle or to your left, you use a backhand move and a red side of the paddle. For left-handed people, it is vice versa of course.”
Read more: 10 things to know about table tennis
Fun table tennis games for a group
Table tennis is a
universal game because you can play it alone, with partners and in a group.
What is a better way to entertain your whole family? Here is our list of games
to play in a group. Some games are tough to play but if you are not afraid of a
challenge, pick up your paddle now!
2 VS 2
A game with normal
table tennis rules but here you play with two people on each side. The players
in each team have to return the ball in turns so you cannot hit twice in a row.
Advice from Farhaan Ahmed: “Remember to
be respectful and follow the sportsmanship rules. After you hit the ball, step
back and give your teammate space for manoeuvres. This way he has better
chances to return the ball and your team to win.” 2 VS 2 will fit perfectly
for a company of 4. You can play simultaneously without having to wait for your
This is a game
involving multiple balls. The players serve several balls simultaneously
without having time to rest or prepare for the next move. This is where you learn
to control your reflexes. There can be 2, 4, 6 or more players. Just remember –
more balls, more fun.
King of the hill
This is an optimal
game to play when you have odd numbers of players. In the beginning, the “King”
is chosen, and then all other players stay in line to challenge the King. The
challenger and the King play a normal table tennis game until one of them wins
by two points. If the King wins, the next challenger comes in. If the
challenger wins, he/she becomes the King. The game can last as long as you
like, just make sure you stay at the table as long as possible.
Around the world
A funny game to
make everyone run and laugh. It is a last-player-standing game, where the last
player wins. You can play it with as many people as you like, just make sure
everyone has a paddle. The players have to move clockwise or counterclockwise
while returning easy balls for the opponents in turns. Those, who failed to
serve or to bounce the ball, lose.
Become a table tennis master
Hopefully, we have
warmed up your interest in table tennis. This is good physical exercise and a
fun game for the whole family. Moreover, this is your chance to become a sports
master without lifting a heavy bar. Looking for table tennis courses? Find your coach at Sport Session and master your aggressive swing right now.
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