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View Full Version : Are Robots beneficial, or detrimental?



jedimasterplk
12-13-2011, 10:02 PM
Lads (and lasses) what are your thoughts about table tennis robots?? do you think they are beneficial, or more detrimental than beneficial for training? personally, I feel that they are good for keeping fitness levels up - however, they can put your timing totally off, and lead to bad technique in my opinion. One of the things I have done with my robot is increase the time in between successive balls in order to have more time to focus on my stroke technique - and really groove the stroke properly.

What are your thoughts? and do you find robots beneficial, detrimental or a mixture of both?

http://www.teessport.com/images/products/zoom/1203338702-54140400.jpg

Steven
12-13-2011, 10:38 PM
It's not 'natural'. Instead of having an opponent using a certain technique and hitting the ball back from where you shot it, there's a machine that doesn't show a technique and always shoots from 1 place, no matter where you return it.
I think that if you're playing against a machine, you're not training on learning how opponents react to your shots, and you're not learning how to expect a return's range, spin and placement based on your opponents technique and where he's standing. Normally you don't really notice that you're learning these 'predictions' but I think it's a really important part of the game.
But on the other hand there are ofcourse good sides, like reacting to unsuspected shots and getting a solid technique.

dici
12-14-2011, 12:35 AM
For me, the order like Good training partner > robot > casual training partner.

Robot still useful up to some point, especially you still can use it to do the basic technique training, which to me it is a must for every routine if you want to really good on TT. But after that, if you want to do some more higher level skill of drill, then probably with a good training partner is better. I have tried to do drill with robot, but it looks like fail miserably to me lol... The only issue for me is I don't have a "good" training partner, when I mean good, is that at least know the basic of every thing...

Belisar
12-14-2011, 06:33 AM
Good for someone new who needs to get their basic technique together. for that you need a regular ball at a regular pace.

After that the usefulness declines.

Mezmer
12-14-2011, 06:53 AM
The one thing I did find my Robot really useful for was practicing serve returns as you can set it to do some pretty nice serves that have A LOT more spin than a human can produce on the high settings. I used to struggle with different spins but after using the robot like this I found my retutn game improved ten fold.

At first with the robot just putting my bat on the ball made it fly off vertically about three feet clear of the table and then as I got used to control it I found human players serves seemed much easier in control in comparison. Obviously this doesn't help with deception and variation but just getting used to spin propertities it was great.

YosuaYosan
12-14-2011, 07:43 AM
Beneficial.
Just make sure you have the correct technique or else you don't know that you are developing a wrong technique.
Robots aint a coach and coach aint a robot ;)

azlan
12-14-2011, 09:51 AM
To a point, yes. It helps if you are still developing your technique. It doesn't help much if you're combining your trainings with footwork.

jedimasterplk
12-14-2011, 09:11 PM
Thanks everyone, for your valued comments and opinions!

Mr. RicharD
12-14-2011, 10:23 PM
It all depends on how you train with it. As with all training if you do not have a coach or someone who knows the proper technique needed you will develop bad habits which is only natural. The robot is best used first with a coach or higher level player who understands technique. Then the best way to train with said robot is to record all drill sessions and go back and talk to your coach / player. The robot is best for teaching a player about spin and also frequency. Depending on which robot you have oscillating head or non oscillating it will produce different frequency balls for you which can be adjusted either manually or preset if digital.

Robots are a great training partner when you don't have an actual player to hit with, but are only for the basic to intermediate levels of play. And by intermediate I mean at an international level. Many players in the U.S. say they use the robot for warm ups and such, but this is not a learning experience for them mostly just a light warm up before training their students or with practice partners.

The robot is no different than a coach who is multi balling in regards of position on the table. If you have a coach who multiballs from the side or from farther away you can still set up your robot in a similar way, but as with multiball you'll want someone to help pick up the balls or use the net recycling system to collect the balls and direct them back into the bucket. The difference between the two methods of training is that the multiball is best used for learning variations in spin and depth of rally, but the robot is best for first learning spin and practicing consistent strokes at a set pace. The problem with multiballing and practicing with a partner is that you are likely not able to teach your students as efficiently because of their errors and your return of their errors. Your multiballing may work, but is less likely able to provide them with confidence as you hit the balls to them. Where as hitting to a robot involves much less emotional effort on their part and more technical effort on their part.

It's all preference, but the best ways to train for beginners would be robot > multiball > coach/player and for intermediate to advanced the best are multiball > coach/player > robot.

Matt Hetherington
12-14-2011, 10:27 PM
I have always found that they are good for building repetitive technical consistency and footwork more than anything else, they're also great for building endurance out on the table. Despite that I have always preferred a person feeding my multiball, they can make you stretch yourself out that extra bit and throw in the unexpected to make sure you stay focused 100% also they can create more game-like variation in the length and spin of each ball. So I think they are beneficial to answer the question but as I said I prefer a person whether feeding multiball or training

Ovtcharov
12-14-2011, 11:45 PM
Of course it can be beneficial. Even when you're still developing your technique you can use a robot without a coach in my opinion! Just bring a camera and make a video of yourself playing. After the training session against your robot just analyse the video and look for errors in your technique (or upload your video to the forum, lot of good players out here who can help). The next time you're going to your training hall you got to focus on your bad habits and get them out of your stroke(s). You can achieve a lot with self-reflection.

I really think it's a great way to train for older players who have discovered this wonderful sport (too) late and are still willing to train. My experience is that older players who start late often have difficulties finding a good way to develop/train.

Young players on the other hand should always be surrounded by coaches to help them out!

YosuaYosan
12-15-2011, 07:03 AM
I have always found that they are good for building repetitive technical consistency and footwork more than anything else, they're also great for building endurance out on the table. Despite that I have always preferred a person feeding my multiball, they can make you stretch yourself out that extra bit and throw in the unexpected to make sure you stay focused 100% also they can create more game-like variation in the length and spin of each ball. So I think they are beneficial to answer the question but as I said I prefer a person whether feeding multiball or training

Ah indeed Bro Matt :D
From the fitness side it could be quite an exercise :)

And true for the repetitive technical consistency. It helps your brain to connect the neuron pathway for your technique FAST.