16 Useful Table Tennis Tips Will Make You a Pro

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  • Post last modified:November 1, 2023
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No one in this world wants to be a loser. Everyone wants to finish a match with a smile. But how can you do that? How can you differentiate yourself from others?

Morning shows the day

A proverb that means “if the beginning is bright you can very well expect the rest will be bright too, just like a bright sunny day.” 

Yes, from childhood, we are hearing this from our guardians. That’s true in every field of our life. If you don’t work to develop your technique in table tennis from the start, you will fail to taste success.

Here are my 16 useful table tennis tips that will show you the road to success.

16 Useful Table Tennis Tips

Here are the 16 tips in table tennis that will help you grow from a beginner to an advanced player.

  • Hold your bat in a proper way
  • Learn 4 basic strokes
  • Get the perfect racket
  • Develop your ready stance
  • Focus on footwork and wrist movement
  • Keep the ball on the table
  • Keep the ball as low as possible
  • Read the spin
  • Know the rules of the game
  • Work more on the third ball attack
  • Play along the lines
  • Strengthen your topspin play
  • Always upgrade yourself
  • Ready with plans A, B & C
  • Develop a strong mental attitude
  • Practice, practice, and practice

1. Hold Your Bat in a Proper Way

The first thing is how you hold the Table Tennis Bat. Yes, the grip is the most important factor. If you have a wrong grip and you are used to it, it will be very difficult to rectify. You have to give a lot of time to rectify your table tennis grip.

My technique of holding the paddle was not correct in the past days, which restricted my level of play.

You need a proper table tennis grip. Holding the bat properly may be inconvenient to you in the early stages, but it will help you in the long run. This has paramount importance among all table tennis tips.

Take advice from your coach for your perfect grip.

2. Learn Four Basic Strokes

The player is delivering a forehand push shot during a table tennis match

There are four basic strokes that you need to strengthen. These are:

  1. Backhand Push
  2. Forehand Drive
  3. Backhand Drive
  4. Forehand Push

Start with a backhand push as it is easier to adopt. Then comes the forehand drive or counter. After that is the backhand drive. The last one is the forehand push because it is harder than the other three strokes.

3. Get the Perfect Racket

Choose the racket that focuses more on control, rather than speed and spin. First, you must have to learn the art of controlling a ball. Once you feel confident about it, go for an all-round racket that has everything i.e. speed, spin, and control.

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How to Easily Select a Perfect Table Tennis Racket?

4. Develop Your Ready Stance

The player is in her ready stance while receiving the serve.

A ready stance in table tennis is the position where you feel comfortable standing to cover the playing area. It is the position where you take your stance to receive the service.

Take your stance at approximately one arm’s distance and bend on your feet with your eyes at the net level.

You should know your strength and accordingly fix your ready stance. Like, if you are a right-hander with a strong forehand, then take your stance slightly left from the center of the table.

Again ready stance is always a variable factor. If you are playing with a top-aggressive player, then you should take your stance a little further from the table. This will give you more time to react to the speed and spin.

If you face a left-hander opponent, your ready stance position will be different. During the match, if you are stuck in the backhand and want to play more on the forehand, then again your stand position changes.

So ready stance is a variable position. It varies according to your opponent, the situation, and your plan for making a stroke.

5. Focus on Footwork and Wrist Movement

Proper footwork in table tennis plays an important role in developing your technique. If you are stuck in one fixed place and play with your arm movement, that will give you a bad result.

The wrist also plays an important role. It is more prominent during short play, like short serve, flick, and short return. If your wrist is very tight, then the amount of spin generation will be much less.

So, you need to have a strong and flexible wrist. Some exercises can help you to make it.

To be a good topspin player, you need good footwork and wrist movement. Because power comes from legs, your core, and hand action whereas you can generate spin by the movement of your wrist.

This is one of the most vital table tennis tips to build your basic technique.

6. Keep the Ball on the Table

Keep the ball on the table. That should be your mantra.

The table tennis ball is very light and when you touch the ball, it slides from your bat. That’s why I have earlier mentioned the importance of control for a beginner.

Table tennis shots are a combination of speed and spin. It is a very fast-paced game and the ball can travel at a speed of 100 km/hr.

And there are also three types of spin i.e. topspin, backspin, and sidespin. Again sidespin can be combined with the other two spins and can make a rotation of 50 rotations/ second.

All of these make it hard to return the ball and place the keep ball consistently on the table.

Here control plays a big role. It will help you play longer rallies without an error.

7. Keep the ball as low as possible

This is more important when either you serve or receive. Your focus should be always to keep the ball as low as possible to restrict your opponent from playing winning shots.

However, there is an exception when you try to play a shot with lots of spin and speed. It is better to go with the high elevation to place the ball at the edge of the table with speed and spin. That will reduce errors in your shots.

8. Read the Spin

You have to develop skills to read the kind of spin that your opponent will impart. It is as important as stroke-making.

Keep a close eye on your opponent’s racket when it makes contact with the ball. Judge the kind and amount of spin and react accordingly.

Like if it is a topspin, the angle of your racket has to be closed and in the case of a backspin, it should be opened.

It’s a combination of alertness, observation, judgment, and reaction.

9. Know the Rules of the Game

You should be aware of the rules of table tennis. Knowledge of service rules is very important, otherwise, you will commit a faulty service.

10. Work More on the Third Ball Attack

The Third ball attack is “serve and attack”. When you are ready to serve with the ball in your hand, then you have total control over the game.

Deliver the services in such a way that your opponent bounds to do what you want. Then attack to finish the point.

11. Play Along the Lines

Playing to the lines is important because your opponent has to cover more area to return the ball.

But you have to be a master in your technique. The ball comes with high speed and spin and it’s not easy to place the ball on the lines consistently.

12 Strengthen Your Topspin Play

The player is delivering the forehand topspin during a table tennis match.

To be good at Table Tennis, you have to be a good topspin player. If you watch a match, you will find that the majority of winning points come from topspin play, particularly from forehand topspin.

Though topspin play is a combined effect of your whole body, three components take part in a major role in your topspin play.

  1. Your leg movement
  2. Strong and controlled core movement
  3. Your hand movement

The power comes from your legs and core. Hands help to generate speed and spin. Any single component can do nothing like your hands alone can not give you the result. It’s a combined effect and the coordination of all the components gives a good topspin.

Out of the 16 table tennis tips, this one is a must-to-learn technique to advance to the top level.

13. Always Upgrade Yourself

Play with different players under different conditions. You will always find something new, new strategies, new techniques. Find your loopholes, consult with your coach, and work on them.

The selection of the racket has a big impact on your performance. As you become better and better, you have to upgrade yourself with the kind of rubber and blade that matches your playing style.

This is the era of technology. New technology comes on very short notice with an improvement of the rubber or blade. Also, every year ITTF publishes a handbook regarding the rules, playing conditions, and equipment. Keep a close watch on the happenings.

14. Ready with Plan A, B, C

Table tennis is a fast game. So it is impossible to think about everything during the match.

You have to study your opponent before the match. Discuss with your coach and be ready with different plans. If plan A does not work, switch over to B or C like that.

The execution of different plans is really tough. You may be successful in practice season but you need enough courage to implement it in the match. Your experience may make out the situation.

15. Develop a Strong Mental Attitude

You may be a very good player, but it’s a different ball game in the match. You will feel the tension and nervousness.

The more you will be tensed, the more you will commit mistakes. Your opponent may also tease you. Like, when your shots go out of the table, he may shout “Good shot, man”. That will tempt you to go for more attacking shots which never bring good results.

To get out of these situations, take a break. Take a deep breath and relax. Remember the magic words “I can, I will, I must!”. That will change the whole scenario.

You need to play frequent matches to handle this situation.

Final Word

Practice, Practice, and Practice

This is my last and most vital tip to you “Practice, Practice, and Practice”. There is no alternative to hard work in this world. The more you practice, the more unbeatable you will be.

Remember the famous proverb:

Practice makes a man perfect.

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