BEGINNERS : Improve your table tennis skills
1. HOLDING THE BAT AND SERVICE
Corresponds to holding the handle and the positioning of the fingers on the bat paddle. Holding your bat correctly will allow you maximum feeling and to easily play your forehand and backhand drives. At the beginning of each exchange, the service is the only strike where you should bounce the ball on your half-court before the ball passes over the net. As your training goes by you will see that the serve can become a fantastic weapon!
During a rally, it is unusual for the ball to land on the table in the same place twice. To play the ball in the best way possible and to be effective, you will have to move quickly. With this in mind, there are two kinds of footwork:lateral footwork (from the left to the right side) AND deep footwork (from the front to the back)
3. ACTIONS ON THE BALL
- TO FOLLOW THROUGH THE BALL This is the most basic strike on the ball. The aim is to control the ball as well as being able to feel the contact between the ball and the bat. This strike will allow you to have longer rallies with your partner.
- TO STRIKE THE BALL The purpose of the strike is to increase the strength of the bat when it hits the ball. The aim is to learn how to give more speed to the ball and to discover the feeling made by the variation of rhythm.
- TO GIVE SPIN TO THE BALL This action is the key characteristic of table tennis. It enables the player to give more or less spin to the ball. Well mastered, this skill will be a way to make huge steps forward.
- TO SOFTEN THE BALL To soften the ball means to feel the ball and control it. This action requires a correct balance of the strength of the bat when it hits the ball. The aim is to understand that by adapting your action on the ball, you can determine the course of the ball.
4. TACTICAL BASES
Table tennis is a dual sport that requires dexterity and precision. The aim of the player is to break the rally, in other words, to win the point by stopping your opponent from returning the ball on the table. To explore those tactical bases, look at some exercises which will help you to make the difference!
ADVANCED : Play like a Champ!
Footwork and ball positioning are closely linked. In fact, the variety of balls placed unfavourably on your court means you must be well positioned to play your strike effectively. Therefore, the quality of your play is closely linked to the quality of your footwork. Here are the main types of footwork:
- Sidestep This is the most used footwork in table tennis. It allows quick and effective lateral moving.
- Swing The swing is the step that allows you to play a ball which reaches your backhand spot in forehand drive. Usually, it is used to break up the rally either by attacking with a forehand drive or by shifting the rhythm of play.
- Forward or backward sprint This step will allow you to move as fast as possible from the front to the back of the playing area.
- Cross-step This is the most difficult to use effectively. This step is only used during high range moves.
2. TECHNICAL STRIKES
Attack: This is one of the most used offensive strikes. The attack allows you to get a very tight ball course. When used with higher speed, this strike is perfect to break up the rally and win the point.
Unlike the attack, this strike gives a top spin effect to the ball. The top spin is an offensive strike that you can adjust according to the bat orientation and slope at the time of impact with the ball.
This is THE strike of the table tennis game because it allows you to take advantage on every type of ball. Look at all the types of top spin you can play!
4. BLOCKS AND DEFENCE
The block is the main counter attack strike. It allows you to keep the ball on the table against your opponent’s attacks (control block) but also to take the initiative of the game against a weak attack (active block) or to change the rhythm of play (lateral block, top spin block…) The defence strikes are usually done quite far away from the table, therefore the opponent is situated in a favourable position allowing him to attack. The aim of the defence is to maintain a continuous rally against an opponent who intends to break it up. These rallies are very spectacular. There are two kinds of defences: top spin defence and backspin defence.
This is this only “closed” skill in table tennis, in other words the service is not dependent on a strike played by the opponent. This makes the service a very strategic strike, beyond a simple kick-off. The service has an impact on the rally progress so it is necessary to focus on it carefully.
The main goal of table tennis is to take the advantage of the rally before your opponent in order to finish the rally before him or to urge him to make a mistake. This results in a general tendency of players, especially at high competition level, to play short serves. It is therefore imperative that you are proficient in this type of service!