Learning to play table tennis is as challenging as learning to play any sport. Many people choose this leisure activity as a way to have fun and stay in shape. Once the rules have been learned, however, making the ball go to the desired position to score points can be challenging. Often the easiest way to learn how to play successfully is to watch other people play each other. This reinforces the understanding of the rules, the ball's movement and how the table's surface affects the game. Here are 12 tips and strategies for improving table tennis, or ping pong, play against one or more opponents.
Part of being successful is getting into a rhythm with the ping pong paddle and ball. This is achieved through practice.
While heavy force on the ball is key in many sports, table tennis rewards the light, deft touch.
Hitting the ball into an area that is in bounds but the opponent cannot reach is a popular and effective strategy.
Choose a strategy that highlights the player's strengths and exposes the opponent's weaknesses. Mix up ball placement with long and short shots.
How hard or soft the return on the ball influences its placement and how high it will bounce off the table tennis table. Watch the opponent's hands and where the ball is coming from, especially during serves.
The slightest change in paddle angle and force will affect the direction of the ball. Using an overhand or underhand stroke impacts both force and angle.
Many beginners have difficulty making contact between ping pong paddles and the balls. Moving the hand into the ball's projected path will help, using hand-eye coordination.
Use table tennis paddles with an even surface free of worn spots, tears and warping. The handle should be comfortable and have a smooth surface. Choose equipment on par with skill level.
Stand about two steps back from the table's edge to allow for optimum reflex reaction. Vary movements and body height.
Players who control their emotions will have better success. Keeping an even temper and not allowing distraction from a poorly placed shot will assure better mental attitude and play.
Comfortable clothing is key to playing well. Clothing should be non-restrictive and not interfere with movement. Do not wear new or tight-fitting shoes. Soles should have a grip compatible with the playing surface.
Players do not become skilled sensations overnight. Playing frequently, having patience and practicing regularly will help improve anyone's game.