Last Updated on October 26, 2023 by Sorin Petroj
There are several ways to progress, regardless of your level of play and number of training sessions, and here we will explain the seven best tips to improve table tennis fast.
For practicing alone, we recommend trying the FastPong Training System for improving reflexes, accuracy, and ball placement precision.
It is more important to train correctly in table tennis, not just a lot of time. Our suggestions will explain what you can change quickly and maintain later through regular training.
1. Learn a new service
We are watching many players who have one or two serves and only use them all the time. They tell you how they know it best and have not learned other services when you ask them.
No matter how good the service is, if you don’t change it during the match, the opponent will soon learn to return it. Today’s table tennis, which is played up to 11 points per set, requires a lot of changes. The more willing you are to make changes, the more successful you will be.
Changing the service can confuse the opponent and lead him to make a mistake. It doesn’t have to be an ultra-fast or cut ball, but different enough to give you back a lovely ball to attack. It would be best to have at least three different services you often use between the points. Also, it will be great to have one that you will serve in rare but important moments.
This is one of the top 7 best tips to improve table tennis fast. Honestly, it’s not difficult to learn a new service and practice it to make your game progress by at least 20%. See further examples of what services to practice.
What types of serves to learn?
The good side of this exercise is that you can train independently without a partner.
You can use a box of training balls cheaper than professional ones and use them only for practice services. After training, at home, if you have a table tennis table or in a club, prepare a box with balls and practice the service without anyone returning the balls to you.
Each table tennis player knows individually the specific serves he has learned. We will list a few examples as ideas that you could bring to your matches.
Types of Table Tennis Services
- Forehand short-cut serves (With an open racket, you cut the ball forward as in pimpling. Make sure it falls in the part of your table as close to the net as possible so that it also falls into the opponent’s part of the table as short as possible.)
- The backhand short-side service runs from the middle of the table and aims toward the opponent’s forehand side. You should have good leg spacing and stand with your eyes straight toward the opponent. When you cut the ball at the last moment, turn your racket slightly downwards to achieve a side rotation.)
- Long and fast services (Here, it is essential to have a surprise factor. You will achieve this by taking a position as if giving a short service. At the last moment, make a quick move like a forehand drive and a clean ball toward the opponent. Also, the ball must fall as close to you as possible, and the table line to fall on the opponent’s part as close as possible to the end of the table and the line.)
- Forehand service that goes to the side of the table (Like with pimples, you have to lower the top of the racket down to get the ball’s trajectory that will go towards the sideline of the table to the opponent’s side. This service can make the opponent go all the way to the other side. It is similar to playing a Pickleball sport with those paddles. Then, you have the whole space to transfer the ball to the other side, which is empty.)
- Reverse pendulum serves (It’s a little more complicated but very effective. See how it performs in the Table Tennis Skills for Advanced Players section.)
2. Don’t hurry between points
This is more of a psychological factor, but it dramatically affects the match’s outcome. Many table tennis players don’t think about it, so they play to pass the ball as soon as possible. However, the break between points affects you very well.
Firstly, if you are impressed by the last point, you have little time to plan the next point calmly.
Secondly, the opponent will not see your quick reaction and nervousness, so you gain confidence. In addition, you have the opportunity to think of the next point and tactics of play in those few seconds. As we all know, you can use a towel to wipe every 6 points.
However, we are talking about other points where it is essential not to rush to serve as soon as possible. As in standard tennis, you have the right to tap the ball on the table or the floor several times before performing the service. Of the psychological tactics, this is the most important of the seven best tips to improve table tennis fast.
Timo Boll’s style of play is the best example of how to stay calm and focused on the whole match.
When should I take a break?
A break is never wrong to make. There are certain moments during the match when it is crucial to take a break to improve your game and the game’s result.
For example, when an opponent gets several points in a row. Then if you slow down a bit with the service or wait for the service, you can influence him to interrupt his excellent series of points.
The second most important moment is when the result is 8:8 or 9:9. Then, 2 points can decide the winner, and that is why it is crucial to tap the ball a little or take a towel. As you do this, think of the next point. You will be better prepared than if you were immediately served in a hurry.
The third moment, my favorite for the break, is when you lead by a 4.5 points difference, and your opponent only gets you a point difference. Then, with a short break, you stop his series just when he thought he would catch up with you. As he gets closer, he has self-confidence, but you will break his series of points with that break.
3. Speed up your footwork
Table tennis has accelerated so much in the last few years that you can’t play without good footwork. It doesn’t matter if you play recreationally or if you are a professional. Working on the footwork can improve your game by up to 30%.
Firstly, try to practice movement at the table without the ball and opponent. It’s called “dry training,” which means you move and improvise points with a racket at the table. It would be best to do this in batches of 2 minutes each. Keep in mind that you are bent at the knees while doing this.
Secondly, go for a run occasionally and make short sprints. Even if you do it once a week, you will see an improvement in the speed of the ping pong table after a while. The body needs to get used to these short and fast movements.
Moreover, good table tennis footwork is essential for your progress. Regardless of the level of the game and age, every player can improve their movement and thus raise the level of the game.
For example, the Power Pong Omega robot is quite expensive, but for footwork and basic skills, there are affordable ones. See the ratings and features of the best and cheapest robots in our section Ping Pong Robots Under $ 500.
4. Practice keeping the ball on the table without hitting it hard
One way to increase the safety of holding the ball is to practice it. Sometimes it is boring to pass the ball many times without a final point.
However, gaining self-confidence and making the opponent make the first mistake is vital. There are attractive and faster points, but most often, those players who transfer one ball more to the table win.
Once you gain that security, you will easily amplify the ball and choose the one you want to be the final one. Since this is one of the seven tips to improve table tennis fast, I will show you how to do these table tennis drills in training.
Exercises for transferring as many balls on the table as possible
When warming up the forehand and backhand sides, do not immediately increase the shots, but switch as much as you can. If your partner or opponent does the same, still look at yourself and do what is best for you. Also, it can be pimping all over the table with movement as an exercise. You ask the opponent to do such an exercise without anyone entering with a topspin. This way, you will get the safety of pimping.
Secondly, the first exercise after warming up must be dedicated to safety in training. This means that the goal will be to do as many rounds of the same thing as possible. For example, if you do two times forehand plus one backhand, practice it as often as possible without stopping.
Thirdly, aim to return the service first, the second ball to enter the topspin (rotated), and only at the third ball to finish the point. This way, you will gain a game plan from the third ball and know that the first two will be for the start of the points.
Moreover, you will see progress quickly if you pay attention to these things in the next month. You won’t be surprised at your opponent’s serves, pimps, and topspins. On the contrary, you will have the answer and always one ball more on the table than them.
5. Determine the concept of the game
Every player should have the concept of a game of table tennis. There is no universal formula as to which concept is best.
However, you need to analyze your strengths and weaknesses and conclude what your concept is based on. We will help you look at your game from multiple perspectives to find the proper advantage. It would be best if you determined what works best for you. Because otherwise, you will play ping pong as your opponent dictates.
If you know your strongest advantages, you can persuade your opponent to give you such balls in various ways to use them. Take a look at some examples of the game concept. You will then determine your concept, but defining it and sticking to it is the most important thing.
Examples of the concept of the game in table tennis
Predominantly offensive style of play with forehand side force. You will always strive to attack the first or second ball and cover 80% of the table surface with a forehand. So you will also serve that the opponent must return mainly to the forehand side.
Mostly a stopper style of play by waiting for the opponent’s mistake. This means you will not aspire to topspins because your blocks are safe and will wait for the opponent to attack. Then, with safe and precise blocks, you make him move more and make mistakes.
Mostly an attacking style of playing with the backend. There are players whose backhand is naturally stronger and force as much of the table as possible to cover with a backhand. Indeed, the forehand must be satisfactorily safe, and then you consistently score a backhand.
Predominantly has a defensive style of play. This means that during 90% of the match, you will defend with a pimp and move away from the table. So your concept is to return as many balls as possible until the opponent gets tired or makes a mistake.
Aggressive attacking style to get the point from one or two balls. This is a complicated concept and requires a lot of training. The focus is on an attack with strong topspins on both sides. If the opponent returns the ball, the goal is further to strengthen the second or third ball.
6. Best Tips to Improve Table Tennis Fast with different and better players
All of this that we’ve analyzed so far won’t make sense if you play every day with one or two of the same players.
One of the seven best tips to improve table tennis fast is to play with as many different players as possible. If it’s possible, and with better than you, this way, you will learn from your mistakes and be better every time.
I know a lot of players who even pay for table tennis lessons, but always with the same person. Then when the match with the others starts, they get lost and can’t cope with different balls. It is crucial to play games with as many various partners as possible.
Even if you are better than others, play with them. You will do well in those matches. I also recommend going to tournaments where the opponents are weaker but where the system is to play many games. One tournament with 10 matches is worth 3 pieces of training at home.
Why is it important to play matches with better players?
Firstly, a psychological factor is learning to accept defeat. Your game will improve when you accept that and start thinking only about the next point. The best table tennis players do not show emotions when losing points but always focus on the next ball.
Secondly, you will always learn something new and valuable from better players. Sometimes it’s a new service, a specific block, side pimping, etc. The next thing is that by playing with them, you will see your mistakes and what you need to work on in the future.
Moreover, from experience, I always won after a strong tournament where I suffered defeats, returning to matches with players of my level. When you feel the experience and the strength of the blows of the better ones, of course, it will be much easier for you with the weaker ones.
7. Make videos of your matches and training
The last of the seven best tips to improve table tennis fast is to record matches and exercises. Nowadays, modern video cameras and smartphones are a pity that sometimes you don’t take videos and see yourself playing later.
Of course, a coach can always give you good advice. However, when you see yourself, you will know precisely how to fix a particular move. You have noticed that you always notice an opponent’s mistake, even when you play. This is because we always see better from the side than our movements while we play.
Therefore, when you take a video, you will have a good insight into both the shots and the movement at the table. You can watch my matches and training on the following YouTube channel. Believe me, I corrected a lot by looking at myself in the video.
Also, I recommend that you do it from time to time, but accept the mistake and practice it in the following pieces of training.
How to Improve Table Tennis Fast – Conclusion
Look at this as a long-term process, step by step, to success. These tips will help you speed up your game, reflexes, and strokes little by little.
Therefore, try to practice a little of everything, and you will see results quickly. You will feel more excellent and vital when you start a new match because you know you have improved certain things. We hope these seven best tips to improve table tennis fast have helped you progress in this sport.
Second, there is no order to follow. It is essential to use every item and advice in training and tournaments. In the end, the overall result will be positive.
Working on yourself is very important, and when you succeed. After that, your opponents will be the least of your problems.
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