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UpSideDownCarl
07-14-2011, 01:54 PM
So, in Table Tennis there is Match Play and Training. Match Play is important and I have seen many players improve to a certain degree just by playing matches. But there are many training techniques that will help a person improve different aspects of their technique like footwork, stroke, attacking short balls.

What are some of your favorite training drills to improve your skills and get to the next level?

Here is one I like that is simple. This is for someone whose stroke has a mechanical problem that needs to be changed. One of the hardest things to change is a habit that has been part of your game for a long time. You keep playing and you seem to be getting better but you continue doing the same things wrong, and that is hard to change. This drill is for that and it is very simple:

You take a ball and you bounce it, not too high, on the table. Then you hit it. This is like self hitting in baseball. You can hit the ball off the first bounce. I like hitting the ball off the second bounce. It has a different timing. I used this drill, first to get the correct contact for looping underspin. You can really focus on the subtleties of how you contact the ball here. Also, since the ball has no spin on it, it is sort of like hitting a dead ball. What you do when you hit a dead ball is similar in technique to what you do to hit a ball with light underspin. So at first I just worked on getting that contact where you catch the edge of the ball, let the ball sink in to the rubber, and then you accelerate your stroke to get heavy spin. I also used to have a follow through that came across my body; my bat would end up past my left shoulder and my body would end up turned a little to the left. The second thing I used this drill for was developing the follow through where the bat ends up in front of my head at the hight of my hair line. I have heard this described as "the salute". I never understood why this was useful in table tennis until I could do it. Now I get a lot more spin and I get ready for the next shot significantly faster. After that, I worked on getting my legs more bent and using my legs and the rotation of my hips to get more power into my stroke. Then I used this simple technique to get the precise timing of when to use the wrist during the stroke to get more spin. All in all this technique may have done more to make it so I can get to a higher level as a player than anything else since I have changed a lot of habits that would have prevented me from getting to a higher level; habits that otherwise might have been almost impossible to change for someone my age (46 as I am writing this, not old, but old enough to have trouble changing my habits). Anyone who has tried to train people who started out with a lot of bad habits knows how hard it is to get a person to change those habits. Part of why the drill I mentioned is so effective is that it is sooooo simple. You are not even trying to get the coordination of timing when to hit the ball like you wold be if it was coming at you. This frees you up to focus on many different aspects of the stroke.

I will post more training drills that I like soon. But for now, I am looking forward to reading some of the drills that other people on this forum like and have used to help their game improve.

YosuaYosan
07-14-2011, 05:24 PM
You could say that my latest training is the subversion of your training sire..
Meet Joo de Wall (twisted from JSH), my favorite 'training partner' who gives me light-medium underspin balls :D Yep, 'he' is a wall..

The purpose of the training is simply to feed yourself with light-medium underspin balls when you train alone..

1. I set my table like 3 feet from the edge of the table.
2. I start to bounce the ball on the right side of the table, twiddle and do a backhand loop (against a no spin ball of course). This helps me deal with my opponent's block after my forehand topspin (defender-style). This helps me to vary my game other than chopping the ball back.
3. The next ball should be a light-medium topspin which is similar to a pushed ball. If it goes to my forehand, I twiddle and loop it, if it goes to my forehand sometimes I step and use my forehand or backhand loop again. This helps me to initiate the attack or to force my opponent to send a spinny ball to my pips.
4. And so on and so on..
5. ???
6. PROFIT !!

Pros :
- You can find Mr. Joo de Wall almost everywhere ! The flatter the better !
- Screw robots, Joo de Wall rules ! 'He' costs you almost nothing and the randomness of the ball return adds up the awesomeness no robots can achieve!
- When nobodys around and no robots around Joo de Wall is your friend..
- Good training for playing against defender..

Cons :
- Makes you look lonely :( and somewhat crazy having a wall as a friend..
- Depending on the wall's hardness and how you hit, the ball will wear out FAST esp. 1 star balls !

Hmm.. Yeah thats all I think..

UpSideDownCarl
07-15-2011, 04:39 AM
YosuaYosan, I love your drill. That is excellent. :) And if you have a hard smooth wall, very little friction, the wall is like antispin so the more you topspin the ball, the heavier the underspin that comes back to you will be. An excellent way to practice. Now I am starting to think about it, I kind of like the idea of having a wall as a friend if the wall is going to hit back to me. Joo De Wall is a much better hitting partner than several people I can think of. :)

chughtai
07-16-2011, 05:54 PM
my technique is really simple its only because i dont have a partner who can knock really good so i prefer just to play games in order to improve my game i have drills for footwork but really need someone who will do a short drill of mutiballs well i really have a vigerous drill for my serve 2 hours just srving and serving which is really boring but gives me an idea what serve should be used in a match

UpSideDownCarl
07-17-2011, 10:16 AM
@ YosuaYosan: I had fun playing with Joo De Wall tonight for a little while. First I hit with my favorite choppa, then I did a few buckets of multi-ball underspin, then I was ready to face Joo De Wall. :)

@ chughtai: Here is a simple technique that will enrich your match play.

First Version: you alternate serves as though you are playing a match, you don't do anything differently than if you were playing a match in terms of how you serve and what happens after that, but you don't count points. The benefit of this is, since you are not counting points, you do not think about whether you win or lose the point so you take more risks and try shots that have a higher difficulty. Over time you get better at those shots because you are trying them more often. This does not replace match play, but if you do this, you will get better at certain things that would not improve as fast with just match play.

Second version: One person serves and keeps serving until the other person takes two points in a row. You still are not keeping score or counting. But, to get to be the one serving you have to take points. So there is some incentive in winning the points but you still are able to try higher difficulty shots and let yourself make mistakes.

If you can play matches and you have a situation where there is nobody waiting to play next, so you have some time on the table, something like this is worth doing for a while.

Here are two more Serve and Receive drill that would be valuable for many players.

1)
**First Person serves with Pendulum serve from backhand side to opponent's backhand side, short underspin serve.
**Second Person pushes serve short to the backhand side.
**First Person steps around backhand to attack with forehand to opponent's backhand side.
**Then you play the point out.

2)
**First Person serves Pendulum underspin short, center.
**Second Person pushes short to the center, or a little on the forehand side of the table.
**First Person moves into position to attack with the backhand, inside out to the deep forehand (ala Zhang Jike, better to master this in the center of the table before you go all the way to the forehand side).
**Then you play out the point.

YosuaYosan
07-17-2011, 12:49 PM
Ah, I hope you enjoyed it :D
However for some people, it could be quite frustating imo..
But I assume it won't bother an experienced yoga instructor ;)

And thats some excellent service training I could try, thx sir Carl !

UpSideDownCarl
07-17-2011, 04:49 PM
Ah, I hope you enjoyed it :D
However for some people, it could be quite frustating imo..
But I assume it won't bother an experienced yoga instructor ;)

And thats some excellent service training I could try, thx sir Carl !

It is true, it could be frustrating. Figuring out the right angles so that the ball will land on the table, figuring out how far the table should be away from the table; that all takes a little work, but well worth it. And my experience with yoga might help me with things like this. I am confident that it has helped me learn good technique in table tennis faster than I might have otherwise in spite of being 46 years old.

Here are six multi-ball techniques for improving footwork. You can do these as shadow stroke drills and then you do not even need a table or a person to feed you the balls. When doing it as shadow stroke drills, a mirror is helpful but not necessary. Interestingly, doing these as shadow stroke drills really helps improve your game. But, if you have someone who can feed you the balls, these are not such hard multi-ball drills for the feeder so they are a good place to start in learning how to feed multi-ball, which, with a training partner might be a good thing to learn as well as how to hit multi-ball.

1) The first is very simple. The multi-ball feeder just keeps feeding basic topspin to the backhand side of the table. The ball goes to the same place but the receiver, shifts from forehand to backhand over and over. From this you learn how to step around the backhand to field the ball with your forehand, but you also learn how to go from forehand to backhand quite well.

2) The second one is called the Faulkenberg. It starts like the first one. The first ball goes to the backhand side and the receiver fields the ball with the backhand. Then the second ball goes to the same place and the receiver steps around the backhand to take the ball with the forehand. The third ball goes to the forehand side of the table and the receiver has to use footwork to get from deep in the backhand side to the forehand side of the table. To make the exercise easier you can start with the third ball going to the center of the table which is not too hard to get to. As the receiver gets more proficient with that, the third ball can go to the center of the forehand side of the table. Once it is possible to do this at a decent speed with a high degree of accuracy you want to make the third ball go deeper to the forehand. Part of the exercise is getting back to the backhand side to repeat the drill without a pause.

3) The third multi-ball drill is similar to the first one except the placement of the ball is different. The first ball goes to the backhand side of the table and the receiver fields the ball with his/her backhand. The second ball goes to the middle of the forehand side of the table and the receiver has to do a one-step (a hop to the side) to field the second ball with his/her forehand. This helps with switching from forehand to backhand and with moving from side to side on the table.

4) The fourth multi-ball drill is called 1-2-3-2-1. The first ball goes to the backhand side of the table. The second ball goes to the center line. The third ball goes to the deep forehand. The fourth ball goes back to the center. And the fifth ball goes to the backhand side where the drill started and the drill repeats. The trick with this drill is that the receiver fields all the balls with the forehand. So you are working on the skill of covering the whole table with just the forehand.

5) The fifth is a more advanced version of the forth drill. 1-3-2-1. You might be able to figure it out, just from those numbers. :) The first ball goes to the backhand side. The second ball goes deep to the forehand side. The third ball goes to the center. And then you go back to the backhand side and the beginning. The receiver fields all the balls with the forehand. This drill takes the previous drill one step farther where, while working on covering the whole table with the forehand, you are also working on getting from deep in the backhand side to deep in the forehand side of the table.

6) The sixth multi-ball drill the flip side of the fifth: 1-2-3-1. The first ball goes to the backhand side. The second ball goes to the center. The third ball goes deep to the forehand side. And then the fourth ball goes deep to the backhand side and you start over. The challenge here is getting from deep in the forehand side, to deep in the backhand side and being able to field the ball with your forehand. Most shakehand players will almost never use this in a real match situation but it is still worth working on. However, if you watch players like Ryu Seung Min, Xu Xin and Ma Lin they will use this frequently and if a shakehand player develops the ability to do this kind of footwork, his/her game would only improve. And there are times when, no matter how good a players backhand is, being able to control the whole table with the forehand is valuable.

Okay, those are a few more drills that are worth doing. To do the shadow stroke versions of these drills, all you need is yourself and the floor. Worth doing when you cannot get to a good table with a good practice partner. This will also get you in great shape, but more importantly it will help you improve your strokes and your footwork even though there is no ball and you are not working on the coordination of contacting a ball that is coming towards you.

Now there must be some more of you out there who have some good training tips that will be useful to players on the forum. If just a few people put a drill or two on here, it could provide a wealth of information for people who are trying to improve their skills.

Rhydian
07-17-2011, 07:10 PM
Well Carl.... As I went through the topic and wanted to share something, I noticed that you already posted all the practice techniques or mostly all that I do xD

Another which comes to my mind is:

1. Practicing Backhand topspin:
- Short serve
- ball comes long or half long to your backhand
- backhand loop to opponents forehand or backhand
- block again to your backhand and now you choose how to play:
you can continue attacking to the opponents forehand or backhand (like you started) and your partner blocks all over the table. So you change between forehand and backhand. Or, when the ball is blocked to your backhand, you can play a BH-topspin down the line.


2. Practicing Backhand flip:
There are two methods for this exercise:
The first method is: You serve, your partner gives the ball short to your backhand and you flip (where both of you decided).
The second method is: Your partner serves short and you try to flip immediately.
Don't begin too difficult! You'll get the timing and technique after a while!

These are two exercises which came to my mind because I did them really often in the past ^^ And I think nobody mentionned them here ^^ (I forgot some of the information while reading ^^)

UpSideDownCarl
07-18-2011, 04:01 AM
@ Rhydian, thanks for the post. I think those are great drills for practicing. Thanks.

UpSideDownCarl
07-31-2011, 03:37 AM
Come on, there are more of you out there who know enough training drills that will help. I have a lot more but I will put a few more on now. Knowing new things to practice would help some players change up their routines and get better.

Here is a very simple one:

Long distance, away from the table, from backhand side to backhand side, cross court left to right, one player loops with his forehand the other player loops with his backhand. Of course at a certain point you switch who is hitting forehand and who is hitting backhand.

It took me a long time to be able to loop powerfully off the table with my backhand, against another player's forehand loop. When I became a little more consistent (I still need more work on that), my backhand had a lot more power close to the table. It is also worth practicing looping with the forehand, from the backhand corner.

Here is another one, also simple:

One person chops, and the other person loops. Again, you want to switch roles at certain intervals.

If you do this one enough you get better at chopping (a very valuable skill to work on) and you get better at looping underspin which every player needs to continue working on.

Last one for now:

One player is hitting from his backhand side, cross court. He is putting it in the same basic spot over and over. This could be done with the forehand or the backhand. The main thing is that the ball is being put to the backhand side and to the same basic spot each time. The other player uses footwork to field one with the forehand and the next with the backhand and continue to switch from one to the other.

YosuaYosan
07-31-2011, 09:53 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2M-Dn_pRRQ

Come to my thread ;)
http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?1225-Joy-to-Defenders-to-Train-Without-Robots-!

moriguchi2
08-26-2011, 07:57 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2M-Dn_pRRQ

Come to my thread ;)
http://www.tabletennisdaily.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?1225-Joy-to-Defenders-to-Train-Without-Robots-!
u beat the table :P

scylla24
08-26-2011, 08:51 PM
hmmm if we are just talking about practicing by yourself and improving your skills, I really can't think of that many techniques that will help.

Just having a huge bucket of balls and practicing serving probably will do more for your game than any other solo practicing technique out there.

UpSideDownCarl
08-26-2011, 09:40 PM
hmmm if we are just talking about practicing by yourself and improving your skills, I really can't think of that many techniques that will help.

Just having a huge bucket of balls and practicing serving probably will do more for your game than any other solo practicing technique out there.

No, not practicing by yourself. Drills with a practice partner whether you are feeding multiball, doing serve and receive drills, placing the ball in a specific area, like:

One person hits cross court and the other person hits down the line which means that both people switch from forehand to backhand but each player is doing a slightly different kind of shot. Since down the line is harder than cross court, it would make sense to switch which person was hitting down the line.

Last night I was doing a nice drill with a friend where she was hitting down the line from the backhand side with her forehand, and I was hitting down the line from my forehand side, to her. Forehand to forehand down the line. :)

But serve practice improves your game as well.

UpSideDownCarl
08-27-2011, 02:42 AM
Another Serve and Receive drill:

One person serves randomly, anywhere, trying to get you off balance and out of position, and you have to attack the serve where ever it is. Then you play the point out. First player serves one bucket then roles are switched.

YosuaYosan
08-27-2011, 05:38 AM
This is one practice technique advised by Greg Letts @ his website.
Specifically made for defenders with both a defender partner or a typical attacker.

1. Partner serves a heavy backspin to the defender's backhand. Defender receive and back off to brace the attack.
2. Partner loops to defender's backhand.
3. Defender chops the ball.
4. Partner lifts the ball to defender's backhand.
5. Defender push with his/her lp and back off to prepare for the next attack.
6. Repeat from number 2
7. ???
8. PROFIT !!

Variations can be made such as chopping with the forehand, double loop before lifting, etc
I've tried it and its good fun, very tiring too :D

moriguchi2
08-29-2011, 10:37 PM
a good drill for attacking players... backhand to backhand brushing crosscourt..... one person hits with there backhand a down-the-line shot after at least 4 backhands crosscourt......the opponent hits a forehand crosscourt and the point is free. good for working on patients and brushing with the backhand. also the best thing is both players are drilling

UpSideDownCarl
09-01-2011, 06:31 AM
a good drill for attacking players... backhand to backhand brushing crosscourt..... one person hits with there backhand a down-the-line shot after at least 4 backhands crosscourt......the opponent hits a forehand crosscourt and the point is free. good for working on patients and brushing with the backhand. also the best thing is both players are drilling

A drill that has a control element and then a random element in it is excellent for developing one's skills. Nice drill.

pingpongemil
09-01-2011, 07:03 AM
I think scylla24 is so RIGHT!. The best thing you can do to improve your game is practice services. Your service canĀ“t be to good? If you know you win your two points every time you serve, then it will be uch easier to take a chance on your opponents service.
Otherwise i think multiball is the best practice. I like to practice the "4th-shot" and really hit the ball har, 3 with spin, one attack!

Mr. RicharD
09-15-2011, 11:59 PM
I like your drill Carl. It's great because if everyone learns that skill they'll be able to help out better players with multiball training. Multiball is a skill in itself. There's really no robot that can train you for a game better than multiball drills. Robots are for learning new techniques and focusing on pure spin variations, but multiball is for footwork, and every aspect of an actual game there is.

The best way to drill in multiball is to set locations on the table. Typically I grid the table off into 9 sections for advanced players and 4 for developing players. When starting off I will normally hit to the 1 or 2 but have them only work on forehands. (where 1 is the deep forehand part of the table and 2 is the deep backhand part) but . This will help them focus on their technique. Then I have them aim to specific locations on the table 1, 2, 3, or 4 and then make them work on forehands only. The goal is to get the developing player to grow their stamina to finish an entire drill 2 mins with no breaks and having people use ball hops to pick up the balls and place them in the bucket while I keep drilling. When they can successfully complete 2 min intervals then I move them onto footwork. Mind you all of these drills use light topspin so far.

I do a drill with only forehands working on moving from side to side 1-2-1-2-1-2. When they can successfully complete the drill in 2 min intervals I increase the grid to 9 sections. 1 being forehand, 2 being middle of table, and 3 being the backhand side all the while only still working on forehand techniques. So the drills will start with again 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3. When they have successfully completed this I have them start to work on backhands. I start the whole process with backhand positions as the main focus, but then throwing in forehands in any non backhand part of the table.

Wow this deserves a whole thread, but yeah these are some great footwork and stroke production drills in multiball. The stamina is key because there is rarely ever a 2 min long rally of constant counts and loops. Most points are won within 30 seconds of the service. Working on your stamina will help to lengthen your rallying ability, but also your ability to play at the top of your game in tournaments. Feel the burn boys and girls feel the burn.

blahness
10-23-2011, 04:09 AM
I totally agree with scylla24, if you are playing alone, the best way you have in improving is improving your serves. Put a book or something, or mark the table into sections, then aim your serve to get the perfect placement and pace. This will work wonders for your game. Another thing you can try, is to throw the ball and try to hook it with a FH hook shot, this exercise has done a lot of help in increasing the spin on my FH.

If you have a robot, there's just so much that can be done, especially if you know what you are doing. Am currently working on my BH loop against underspin, which for some reason, is so difficult!!!! Also, the step around FH loop-killing exercise is pretty fun and useful too, copied from Ma Lin. It will improve your step-around footwork by heaps!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z6AyEm8G0s

UpSideDownCarl
10-23-2011, 04:22 AM
I totally agree with scylla24, if you are playing alone, the best way you have in improving is improving your serves. Put a book or something, or mark the table into sections, then aim your serve to get the perfect placement and pace. This will work wonders for your game. Another thing you can try, is to throw the ball and try to hook it with a FH hook shot, this exercise has done a lot of help in increasing the spin on my FH.

If you have a robot, there's just so much that can be done, especially if you know what you are doing. Am currently working on my BH loop against underspin, which for some reason, is so difficult!!!! Also, the step around FH loop-killing exercise is pretty fun and useful too, copied from Ma Lin. It will improve your step-around footwork by heaps!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z6AyEm8G0s

I agree with what you are saying. The idea of this post was to have people mention practice drills that can be done with a practice partner that will improve your skills. If you know any go ahead and list them. There is no doubt that practicing serving is very important and everyone should practice their serves to a certain extent. But then there are serve and attack drills where you can practice serving, receiving and attacking, that simulate game situations without necessarily having counting or the idea of needing to get the point as part of the process. Or stuff like what Ma Lin is doing in the video you posted. :) That is a great practice drill. Multi ball exercises are great for upping your skills.

UpSideDownCarl
11-04-2011, 03:33 PM
Here are some serve and attack drills:

One of the best things to practice, in my opinion, when you don't have someone to hit multi ball with you, is serve and receive drills. There are all kinds.

Simplest ones are random. Just serve like you are in a match, but you are not counting points. One player serves a bucket and then the other player serves a bucket. The random ones, in a sense are more advanced than the more specific ones below because the more specific ones below, you know what is coming next and you get to develop specific shots. In the end you want to get to be able to do the random ones though.

Still simple:

1) A)
1) First player serves short underspin to backhand side
2) Second player pushes back to forehand
3) First player attacks
then play out the point.

1) B) same as above put second player pushes to backhand.

2) A)
1) First player serves underspin to backhand side
2) Second player attacks with backhand
then play out the point.

2) B) Second player steps around backhand and attacks with forehand.

3) A)
1) First Player serves short underspin to forehand
2) Second player pushes to backhand
3) First player attacks with backhand

3) B) First player steps around backhand to attack with forehand

3) C) Second player pushes to forehand; First player attacks with Forehand

4) A)
1) First player serves short underspin to forehand
2) Second player attacks with forehand

4) B) Second player does over the table loop with backhand from forehand side ala Zhang Jike.

Justchill
11-04-2011, 04:03 PM
Thanks, these are simple but good exercises. Please post more!

Der_Echte
11-05-2011, 06:10 PM
These drill don't require a USATT 2000 practice partner, but helps to have a higher level player.

Drill#1

Partner serves chop to BH.
You make fast push to jam him on BH.
Partner gives back a long underspin to your BH.
You step around BH to open with a spinny FH to partner near middle of table.
Partner angle blocks the ball wide FH.
You move from extreme BH to wide FH and make strong attack anywhere with intent to end the point.
(Hopefully landed the ball strong to playing elbow, or wide corner either side.)
Partner stays in the point if possible and blocks or hits anywhere.

Drill #2

Partner serves chop to BH.
You make fast push to jam him on BH.
Partner gives back a long underspin to your BH.
You use a BH loop (fast loop to end point or pressure) or a heavy spin BH loop to open to partner near middle of table.
Partner angle blocks the ball wide FH.
You move from normal ready position to wide FH and make strong attack anywhere with intent to end the point.
(Hopefully landed the ball strong to playing elbow, or wide corner either side.)
OR you decide to land a deep spinny FH loop for the purpose of making strong attack onthe return.
Partner stays in the point if possible and blocks or hits anywhere.