The game of table tennis can get highly competitive, and face your opponent with grace, you need to be on top of your game. This requires regular training. Usually, the pros play with a partner or a coach to master their game technique. But not everyone can afford a coach, and you don’t have a partner available when you want to practice ping pong by yourself. What to do at such a time? Well, the good news is that you can do your ping pong training all by yourself if you put your mind to it!
All you need is a ping pong table, ping pong spins, some balls, and a paddle. If you are strong-willed and dedicated, there is nothing you can achieve in the game of table tennis. We have compiled some ways that you can adopt to learn this game on your own.
Usually, people think that it takes two persons to play ping pong. Here we are going to tell you some interesting ways to not only practice the game alone but also enjoy yourself while doing so. Imagine the surprise of your opponents who consider you an unskilled amateur because you have no practice partner or coach, but you can beat them at their game because you have been training alone on the side.
There are various ways to play ping pong alone. You can master your skills in this game, even if you have no partner or coach. Let us check out some ways on how to get better at ping pong without any partner.
With a Table Tennis Robot
It is a great way to practice ping pong alone using a robot designed explicitly for ping pong practice. What these little genius machines do is that they shoot balls at the practicing player. According to a set timer after every few seconds just like an opponent would do.
This is a costly way to practice the game alone. A high-end table tennis practice robot would cost more than two thousand dollars. However, there are low priced versions of such robots available in the market for a few hundreds of dollars.
This is the next best thing you can manage instead of a live opponent. You have a contender to play your shots at and return their strokes even if it isn’t a real player. This is the closest you can get to the real thing.
Be your Robot
You can become your robot for your ping pong practice when you are alone. What you are going to do is to feed the ping pong balls to yourself. So, you drop one ball in front of yourself. Practice your hit on it as it came to you from an opponent. This is not as beneficial as having a real partner or a practice robot do it for you. However, it is better than no practice at all. There are some advantages as well as practicing this way.
For example, with this way of practice, you can improve your service a lot. This method allows for spin practice as well. You can practice a combination of different strokes and enhance your timing and rhythm. This method helps to learn how to hit dead or float balls.
Use the Playback Position
This is the most common way to practice table tennis alone. Most ping pong tables are foldable. This means they can fold them in the playback stance. In this way, half of the ping pong table turns into a wall, where you can hit the ball, and it will come back to you.
While this is not the best way to train yourself for the game, it will improve your serves. The problem with this method is that the table is not going to through any spin shots at you. So you don’t have the opportunity to practice return spins.
If you look at the brighter side, you can practice your spin shots via this method. Because you will know what the outcome of your shots is without actually playing the game. Where you cannot focus on mastering the skill because of being in the moment.
With a Return Board
In case your table tennis table is not foldable, or you don’t have a table at all to practice on, you can get a return board. A returned board is designed explicitly for ping pong single play. When you hit a ping pong ball to the returned board, it makes the ball bounce back to you, much like the foldable ping pong table.
There are many different options for return boards available in the market. There are also plenty of online tutorials available on how to make your return board. That can be a good option if you are short on money and don’t want to spend a lot for this purpose. A readymade return board would cost more than two hundred and fifty dollars. So your DIY return board project should cost a fraction of that money if you are good at handy work.
Practice your Serve
Your serve is a very crucial part of your gameplay. If you know how to position your serve right, you can gain an automatic point just at the start of your ping pong game. This is why it is a great idea to put some time into practicing the serve.
With the help of your wrist, you can create spin in your serve shots, proving to be the best practice you can get.
Serve shots come in different styles, and there are various techniques to improve each of those styles. You have a lot to practice with your serve such as ball placement. Getting the ball to hit the end line and various kinds of spins. Allotting some minutes to practice your serves each day can go a long way for your ping pong skills and make you a great player.
One great way to improve your game technique is a shadow play. You don’t use your shadow for this method if you want to master your skills. It is best to get a mirror and see your reflection. Here, you mimic the motions of a rally, like you are hitting a ball. You don’t use a ball for shadow play.
With proper technique, you will quickly notice any mistakes in your moves and correct them. In case there is no large mirror available around you, you can record your gaming style. Then sit back and critically watch your play. This seems somewhat like a hassle, but it can prove to be a great way to examine yourself and improve yourself.
There are online practice drills available that you can watch and incorporate in your pretend play. If you adopt a can-do attitude, there is nothing you cannot accomplish on your own.
Watching others play the game is also a great way to learn new techniques and notice the mistakes that you should avoid. You should watch an entertaining ping pong match. It refreshes you but also lets you learn from the best without spending a penny. Several table tennis videos of highly crucial matches are available online that you can watch and learn directly from the pros.
A site from match videos, you can also find many great coaching tutorials. Where the experts teach amazing techniques and tell you how to correct the mistakes you might make.
Staying in Shape
You cannot be a good player with a bulging tummy and your body being a lazy mess. This is why it is crucial to bring your body in perfect condition before you try your luck in any competition or embarrass yourself.
While the game of ping pong is an excellent exercise in itself that provides physical training to your whole body, this game needs to be fast and agile. There are many workouts specifically designed to train for becoming a better table tennis player. They include different styles of warm-up sessions and involve ladders in the drills.
Another great way to get your body ready for excellent performance at table tennis is running. It helps you stay in excellent condition physically. Running has many other health benefits aside from helping you improve your game of ping pong.
Wrapping it Up
The conclusion is that having no coach or partner is not a good excuse for a lousy game. If you make up your mind, you definitely can improve your game to a great extent all by yourself.
Hopefully, this article has shown you enough ways to practice your game alone and be great at it.
Mark is a Bloomberg BusinessWeek-based digital entrepreneur, blogger, and table tennis enthusiast. He is a former professional table tennis player with the career-best USATT ranking of 2689. He is also an ITTF Level 3 certified coach and conducts weekend coaching programs in and around the New York area. Mark is also a pool player by passion. He was first introduced to the game of pool at a very early age by his granddad. He had a natural knack for the game and quickly learned the ropes, and by the time he was 15, he was already participating in local leagues. He aims to make it into the APA league someday! Mark started his own blog by starting Indoor Games Zone, where he loves to share his years of experience with the audience. He covers ping pong, pool, air hockey, shuffleboard, and foosball.
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