Drills & Exercises for Table Tennis

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Though table tennis can be a game played just for fun, many people treat it like a serious sport. In fact, table tennis is played at the Olympics. So if you want to show off some smooth moves when playing a friendly game against your neighbor or want to win a competition, practice a variety of drills and exercises.

Backhand and Forehand to Backhand

  • This drill requires two players. One will be allowed only a backhand stroke while alternately hitting the backhand corner and then the forehand corner. The other player is allowed both backhand and forehand stokes, but is only allowed to hit to the backhand corner. After ten minutes of doing this, the first player is allowed both strokes but only to the backhand corner, while the second player is allowed only backhand strokes but to both corners.

The Falkenberg Drill

  • The Falkenberg drill, which is one of the better known drills in table tennis, helps improve your game on all fronts, but it specifically addresses accuracy. It’s a high speed drill that uses more than one ball at the same time, which improves concentration. One player will act as feeder, hitting backhand balls, while the other player is drilled. The player being drilled has to continuously move in order to sequentially hit a backhand, a forehand from the backhand side, a wide forehand and then a backhand from the original position. This is repeated until the feeder has run out of practice balls.

Footwork Drill

  • As with most sports, one of the best ways to score a point in table tennis is to serve to a corner your opposition can’t reach. To prepare for this during the footwork drill, one player will hit a backhand twice to the second player’s backhand corner, then one to the forehand corner and then repeat. The second player has to hit a backhand and a forehand from the backhand corner and then a forehand from the forehand corner. After five minutes, the players switch strokes.

Five Ball Training Drill

  • A large majority of ping-pong points are scored within five strokes. In order to help players think of a table tennis volley as a process for a point rather than a process for individual strokes, you can use the five-stroke drill to perform the pattern of strokes that frequently leads to a point. Both server and receiver try to force the other player’s hand into returning with their desired stroke. The first ball is a serve, then a return, then an attack, a defensive stroke or a counter attack and then a second attack. When playing against an opponent, a player can determine what stroke they can expect to get after each return.

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