Table tennis is a fast-paced and Incredibly competitive sport. Therefore it requires Vigorous training to be able to play very well. It is quite essential that you get serious and give everything you have if you want to master this sport. That includes well-planned and long sessions of training.
While it’s best to carry out these sessions along with a partner or a coach, it might be expensive to afford the coach or challenging to find a partner to practice with.
Don’t sweat it! you can practice table tennis by yourself. Besides, with strong willpower and dedication, there’s nothing the human mind cannot achieve. All you have to do is get a paddle, a couple of balls, and some other necessary equipment to get started with developing your table tennis skills.
Although coach guidance plays an integral part in your skill development, because you don’t have one doesn’t mean you should stop training.
In this post, we have designed a step-by-step guide to help you learn and develop your skills without the help of a coach or partner. All you have to do is find a way to incorporate these tips into your day-to-day schedule.
Tips to help you practice table tennis by yourself
Tip 1 – Footwork Drills
No doubt, you must have heard this a thousand times, footwork is an essential aspect of table tennis. In fact, it is regarded as the foundation on which all Strokes depend.
Therefore, as a beginner, you learn how to correctly position your feet and your body before taking any other basic lessons such as Strokes. It is crucial to actually dedicate time to get a correct positioning for every shot taken.
The best part is that you don’t have to be at the club to practice footwork. This drill can be done anywhere in your home or even in a park. This drill aims to help you develop speed and stamina while Mastering the correct footwork.
Do not be too stiff in a particular direction move in all directions from back to front and side to side. These movements are what you will experience in a real match.
Furthermore, whenever you change position, always try to act as if making strokes. This is important to help you get prepared for challenges you might face in an actual match. For example, you can prepare for a front or backswing while moving towards the ball.
More so, try to practice and master a lot of footwork combinations. For instance, we can do a shuffle step to cover short distances and crossover footwork for covering vast distances.
All in all, always keep your feet flexible why practice your footwork anyway you are. Plus, if you really want to perfect your table tennis skills ensure you stick to a consistent practice schedule.
Tip 2 – Shadow Training
Shadow training, or shadow play as it often referred to, is a series of drills geared towards building and perfecting your table tennis skills.
All you need to get started with shadow play is get a paddle and a mirror. However, If getting a mirror not be an easy option, then you can make use of a camera or smartphone to record yourself practicing the strokes. Most coaches will advise you to record yourself practicing as it allows you to analyze your movements later.
This self-training tip is essential; it helps point out the wrong moves you made when practicing your drills. This is referred to as shadow play since it requires no balls.
You can also play some music so that you can tune your movements to the beats of a song. Here are the steps you need to follow.
Tip 3 – Physical Fitness
As mention earlier, table tennis a very competitive sport. This means you will be in constant moving, and if you can’t keep up, then you lose.
As a beginner, you will be told to focus more on mastering the techniques and being consistent. However, as you progress, you will see the need to be physically fit if you want to stay on top of your game.
At this point, you probably will be playing with better opponents possessing more techniques and better consistency. Therefore, you’ll be forced to move more as the ball will continuously go to hard-to-reach spots.
The next question is, how do I improve my physical fitness?
Running or Jogging
This exercise helps you work out the leg muscles and increase the capacity of the lungs. Also, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your stamina, which means you would be able to play longer in those neck in neck, long games.
Other similar activities, you could go swimming, dancing. Stationary bicycling, bicycling, etc. to help improve your stamina.
Table Tennis Robots
Table tennis robots are designed to help newbies or self-learner to get ahead within a short period. These robots will shoot the balls to the right and then the far left, which will force you into moving a great distance to play. This way, you get to kill two birds – improve stamina, stroke and footwork skills.
This is another incredible way to be a better table tennis player. Having a stronger stroke means your opponent will find it harder to respond, when playing the table tennis, all muscles, especially the waist muscles, are involved in the game. The waist muscle is responsible for torso rotation, and that’s where the stroke power comes from. Therefore, doing some exercises in the gym to strengthen your muscle will make you a better player.
Having a good coach or a partner is invaluable – no doubt! But if you are looking to be a better player, then these tips mentioned above will get you started. And in no time you should start playing better.
Note, it’s vital that you stick to your training schedule, be determined and persistent to play table tennis excellently. If you have an issue, you can always get a lot of tips and guides online.