Best Tips for Ping Pong Practice – From Beginner to Pro

With this article, you will learn the most effective ways for ping pong practice - from hiring personal trainers to trying shadow play
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Last updatedLast updated: November 11, 2022
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There’s a lot more to ping pong than simply hitting a little ball across a table. In reality, this is a competitive sport and takes a lot of skill to win extreme matches. And, just like everything in life, if you want to be good, you need to invest time in ping pong practice. While this seems obvious, the hard part comes when you don’t have a partner to practice with. Ping pong is a two-player sport so is it even possible to practice ping pong by yourself?

The astounding reality is that yes, it is possible. In this article, we’ll walk you through some innovative ways to practice, even by yourself. There are not excuses anymore. Your path to becoming a better ping pong player starts now! 

What ping pong practice does for you

Elite ping pong players can move the ball really fast. What happens then, is you have only a second or two, at usually less, to react and hit the ball back. Successful ping pong players do not spend their time thinking about the perfect move. Instead, they just instinctively know what to do.

Those instincts come from years of practice. The more muscle memory you have, the better you can simply react to the ball and hit it in the best way possible. 

Tips for practicing table tennis solo

Best Tips for Ping Pong Practice - From Beginner to Pro
Don’t have a partner to play with? Don’t let that stop you. Instead, consider these tips to practice ping pong on your own. 

1. Workout more

While it’s not soccer or long-distance running, pin pong still requires you to be physically fit. Your reflexes need to be strong so leg muscles should be powerful. Furthermore, scoring comes down to wrist movements and muscular forearms. 

If you haven’t already, get yourself to a gym. Ask trainers about the best weights and programs to build muscle in your arms and legs. This will greatly improve your ping pong game while also making you a healthier person. 

Overall, ping pong is a great sport to keep you physically fit Trusted Source Health Benefits of Table Tennis Aside from being a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family and friends, table tennis also offers surprisingly great health benefits. Like most sports, table tennis offers great mind-body stimulation, aerobic exercise, and social interaction. . Ping pong improves your reflexes, burns calories, and is easy on your joints. 

2. Watch championships

The best are the best for a reason. They have turned their years of experience into amazing prowess and technique. Watching professional-level tournaments will not only inspire you but show you what you could be capable of. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, why not the most recent Olympics in Japan. Trusted Source How China's Olympic Ping Pong Gold Medals Explain Its Economy - Bloomberg Whether in sports or in markets, the country’s advantages outweigh its flaws. There ping pong, also known as table tennis, wowed the world with its competitive spirit. 

3. Shadow play

Do you know other ping pong players that are slightly better than you? Perhaps you could suggest a bit of shadow play. In this scenario, you are an observer but get to be up close and personal. You can even think of it as a mentorship. 

Ask your shadow player about specific moves they made as well as their overall practice regime. You’ll learn a lot and as a result, become a better player. 

4. Back-play table

The setup of ping pong tables allows the option to keep one-half of the table up, essentially creating a wall. This way you can hit the ball, have it bounce off the table wall, and then play again. It’s a simply yet effective way to play an entire game by yourself. 

There are many ping pong tables you can purchase and while they do require a bit of an investment, in order to improve your skills, you will need to purchase one. 

Beginners might enjoy a more affordable option, such as the Butterfly Easifold 16. With its bright green color and easy playback feature, it is perfect for both two players and single play. 

Those that are ready for a more slightly advanced table will enjoy the Cornilleau 300X. It can actually be used both indoors and outdoors, so if you want a change of scenery or a place that is more inspiring, this is a great option. 

5. Practice robot
Best Tips for Ping Pong Practice - From Beginner to Pro

Unfortunately, we’re not talking about playing against full-scale robots here. Rather, ping pong practice robots are able to shoot balls at you with different techniques. So, if you want to practice returning a ball hit with a backspin, you can program your robot to do so. 

The beneficial aspect of a practice robot is that it shoots balls really fast. You can steadily increase the speed as your own skills increase, allowing you to improve at your own rate. 

6. Invest in equipment

When you start playing ping pong, it’s better to dive in and not worry too much about the right equipment. But if you find you really enjoy the sport and want to take your ability to the next level, the right equipment is essential. 

The good news is that even if you are an aspiring professional, there affordable equipment options. For example, you can find a nice selection of paddles under $50

The right ping pong balls are also important. While they may look similar, there are many differences between practice and tournament balls. Finding the right ones will help you get ready for competition. 

7. Learn new tricks

There are some pretty cool online videos that demonstrate new ping pong tricks. While you don’t want to get too fancy too quickly, it can be pretty inspiring to learn new tricks. 

Furthermore, any practice is good for your game. The better you can manipulate the ball, the more in control you will be of the game. 

8. Don’t overcomplicate

Believe in yourself. You are actually capable of hitting the ball, reacting to your opponent, and improving your game. Too many people spend countless hours examining ping pong videos. The reality is that if you make it fun, you’re more likely to keep playing, which in turn will make you a better player. 

9. Perfect one move

There are many different ping pong moves and they all look pretty cool. But instead of rushing out to try to learn them, pick one move and learn that one really well. 

One problem with elite ping pong is that the ball comes at you really fast. If you don’t have good reflex skills, or are still working on them, it can be very intimidating to decide which move to use. 

Take some of the anxiety out of the game. Learn an all-purpose skill that works really well in a lot of situations. Practice it until you can perform it automatically. While there will be times when you need more moves, this one expert move will still give you an edge against most competitors. 

Then, once you have your move perfected, you can work on other skills that need more finesse. Again, stick to one new move and work on that until your muscles react instinctively. The less you have to think during a game of ping pong, the better you will be. 

10. Online courses

If there is one thing the recent pandemic has shown us is that online courses are fun and convenient. Furthermore, they can be completed wherever you are, even if you are on vacation or on a business trip. 

Look for an online course that has theory and practical components to it. It should come from a reputable source and have solid reviews. Online courses will cost some money but they should be affordable. 

The one caveat with online courses is that you get out of it what you put in. Typically, your instructor will show you a certain move and then you are expected to practice it on your own. While it would be lovely to think you’ll just become a better player by watching the videos, the point of them is to show you how to practice. 

Tips for practicing table tennis with someone

While there are certainly ways to practice ping pong alone, you will need to play with other people to really improve. 

1. Friends

Best Tips for Ping Pong Practice - From Beginner to Pro

Ping pong doesn’t always have to be competitive. Instead, you can have some fun with friends and make it a social atmosphere. Invite a few buddies over and go at it a bit. Even a bit of practice will help along the way. 

If you have another friend who is as excited about ping pong as you are, even better. This way you have a buddy to watch ping pong games with, discuss strategy, and who won’t mind you trying to hit balls at them. 

2. Hire training

For those that are steadily progressing on their ping pong journey, the next step will be to hire a professional for training practice. Friends are great but if you want to beat professionals, you need to train with one. 

Ping pong trainers are beneficial for numerous reasons. They are usually professionals themselves, so they will have a wealth of knowledge. They can discuss specific matches and explain technical terms. 

Trainers will hold you accountable. They will set up strict training regimes that you should follow. This will allow you to really see your results. 

Finally, trainers will be critical. Obviously, you still want to enjoy the game but whereas a friend will merely tell you how well you are doing, a trainer will give you specific feedback. Trainers are able to see what exactly needs to be improved and this constructive criticism will make you a better player. 

3. Social events

Ping pong tables are cropping up in a lot of exciting places. Check out your local rec center and there just may be a weekly or daily gathering of people interested in the sport. Start talking and find out how others practice and what tips they may have. 

Being social around ping pong will also keep you interested in the sport and inspire you to keep up with your hobby. 

Final thoughts

Ping pong is a really fun sport. You can certainly play it on an amateur level but if you feel like you have more potential in you, why not try to improve? The great think about ping pong is that you can practice with a partner or even by yourself. You can check out videos of ping pong tournaments, set your table off for solo-play, and even hire a professional to help. Ping pong practice is the perfect way to help you enjoy the game even more. It allows you to be more confident and see the practical results of working hard. 


Health Benefits of Table Tennis
Aside from being a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family and friends, table tennis also offers surprisingly great health benefits. Like most sports, table tennis offers great mind-body stimulation, aerobic exercise, and social interaction.
How China's Olympic Ping Pong Gold Medals Explain Its Economy - Bloomberg
Whether in sports or in markets, the country’s advantages outweigh its flaws.
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