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    1. Top | #1
      Hridoy is offline
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      How to improve the footwork ?

      Hello TTD members. Hope everyone doing well. Need your help to improve my game.
      I want to improve my footwork.
      Which exercises should I do ?
      Out of the table, which physical drills are important for the footwork ?

      Thanks in advance
      Hustle and Hit and Never Quit

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    3. Top | #2
      scragnoth is offline
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      In the videos below, there are some good exercises to improve footwork.

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      3Ttabletennis (03-22-2017),Ahmad Arnous (03-17-2017),Dan (03-17-2017),Hridoy (03-18-2017),Ilia Minkin (03-17-2017),NextLevel (03-17-2017),Suga D (05-28-2017),UpSideDownCarl (03-21-2017),yoass (03-17-2017)

    5. Top | #3
      Dan is offline
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      The two videos above cover most of what you need. I'm also a big fan of skipping using a rope. I have found players are much lighter on their feet from doing skipping practice.

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    7. Top | #4
      Ilia Minkin is offline
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      Another thing is moving between shots: http://tabletenniscoaching.com/node/2188

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    9. Top | #5
      mr. tom is offline
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      The falkenberg drill:

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    11. Top | #6
      talbon is offline
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      If you are an amateur player (like me), you'll probably want to focus on improving at the table rather than with physical drills out of the table. At my level, I feel that footwork has very little to do with physical fitness and much to do with a better grasp of how to move around the table. Read on my rant below if you want.

      As for physical drills (do I really have to? :P), rope jumping and jogging (dancing maybe? :P) are cheap and available to everybody


      A few things I've learned about moving/footwork:

      #0. How tense I am when playing dramatically affects my footwork. Simple tips for me: relax, lower my shoulders, don't crouch excessively, lean forward, stay on my toes. Crouching too much, playing on my heels or with flat feet, staying stationary in between shots and tensing up is the perfect recipe to be incredibly slooooow (especially when receiving serves). For instance, taking a step (even almost in-place) or springing up a bit as the player executes his serve toss gets me in the right dynamic to receive the serve.

      #1. Improvements to my footwork are driven by, and in turn drive improvements to my stroke technique, so (at my level) I think of them and train them as a whole. For instance: I've worked a lot on properly integrating my FH and BH together. I want to switch between BH and FH quickly if I misjudge the player's intentions, and I want to retain control and power in that situation. I keep trying different things, adjusting my stroke form, body position and my footwork to find out what's most efficient.

      #2. Adjust my position with respect to the table right after hitting the ball. For sure I know where the ball I played is going to land. By default (and prior to the opponent hitting back or to the ball even landing) I cover the worst case returns that the opponent can perform (left/right extremes on my side of the table). Visualise some kind of triangle/cone originating from the landing point of my shot, extending towards the extreme return placements on my side of the table, and move to the middle of it. Also it keeps me in a dynamic stance, and I'm faster to move to meet the other player's shot afterwards.

      So to practice "footwork", I'll go with very simple drills that have strong elements of randomness.

      # Have a knock with somebody, playing anywhere on the table. If the partner is overwhelmed I'll limit my returns to one half of the table (their strong side). To make things more difficult, I'll force myself to play -say- no spin balls accurately to the player's bat, at a regular pace; to make things easier for myself I'll slightly vary the shot location (wider? to the hip?), depth and spin. I'll purposely adjust the pace of the exchanges to practice #1 and #2 somewhat comfortably (if I'm too comfortable it's not good, increase speed/spin).

      # Play simple schemes (such as backhand to backhand, falkenberg), but after a very quick warm up add randomness to them. If I'm doing the drill the partner gets to return the ball wherever they want once in a while, then we go back to the previous routine. For instance, in a backhand to backhand drill, the partner randomly plays to my FH, I return to BH and we restart BH to BH (or we play the point). Without randomness, I feel the drill is a waste of my time. When I know where the ball is going my footwork and body stance have nothing in common with a game situation.

    12. The Following 6 Users Like talbon's Post:

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    13. Top | #7
      songdavid98 is offline
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      I agree with talbon.

      Unless you already know how to move around the table and want to move around faster, the physical drills won't help very much (they're still good for you to do though). I know lots of physically not-so-fit players that can move around the table really well. I'm going to make a safe guess that they are not able to do the physical drills, but they know how and when to move when adjusting to the ball.

      I don't know how good you are, but I'll start from some of the basics.

      I suggest that for starting out, microadjustments are best. Simply do forehand to forehand with someone (or backhand to backhand). You will soon realize that in your stroke, there will be a sweet spot that gives you the best result when you do you forehand/backhand. Your goal is to hit that sweet spot everytime. If you can't find a sweet spot, go work on your stroke.

      You want to move using really low hops with both feet. Move your feet little by little to adjust to the ball and hit the sweet spot each time. As for when you move, you mostly do your hopping at the same time as your backswing.

      If you are better than this, or are getting better, you can move on to a 2 point forehand: one forehand shot from your forehand corner, and one forehand shot from the middle of the table, and repeat.

      After that, the falkenberg drill is good. If you can do the falkenberg drill consistently, you have a pretty good fundamental of footwork in training.


      In games, the situation might be a little different. If you find that you aren't able to move for certain shots, that means that you aren't moving for every shot. You should be moving for every shot.

      If you are moving for every shot, and you are still missing, it might be your technique. It might not be obvious for some players, but your technique is different from when you are standing still than when you are moving. Take a video and see what's going on. For example, I know that when a ball goes to my middle, my forearm tends to default to going upwards, which might be bad against a fast topspin.

      If you are having trouble covering fast shots to your middle, it might be your technique. Lots of players have these emergency shots they do when the ball goes to their middle. Some move their elbow over and use their backhand. Others turn their body and move their elbow behind their body and do a forehand. If you have time, definitely move.

      If you having trouble against blockers, you might be forgetting to move in and out. Some people block slow and dead, and fast with topspin. Stay a safe distance away from the table to adjust to the fast ones, but move in for the slow and dead ones.

      If you are scrambling to get balls far away from you, you either got outplayed, which is part of life, or you are not moving back to a neutral position on the table.
      Last edited by songdavid98; 03-20-2017 at 01:44 PM.
      Always go forward

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    15. Top | #8
      yogi_bear is offline
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      Random backhand-forehand drills for multiball training. Start slow and increase the speed as you progress.

    16. Top | #9
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      A great way to improve quad strength and footwork explosiveness/strength is to do isometric squats.

      Its easy, you dont need to go to the gym adding extra weight and its an exercise focused on strength not adding useless bulk on your muscle like the typical squat/weightlifting exercise

      Just hold the position for 20 seconds and even more if you can. Sumo squats are great because TT players have also their legs wide open (ok not so wide like in sumo but the muscles targeted are the same :P)

      I suck real bad so I train to suck less

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    18. Top | #10
      3Ttabletennis is offline
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      Here are some other exercises (away from the table) to increase the speed and power of your feet:

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    20. Top | #11
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      I think it's worth mentioning: take video!

      You will see your timing and movement much more objectively than just "feeling" it.

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    22. Top | #12
      PingPongPolly is offline
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      Just getting back into table tennis after 25 years and these videos will be great for building back footwork speed. Thanks

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