Table Tennis Footwork

Last updated 3 months ago

Anjana Sri S

Anjana Sri S Asked 3 months ago

Greetings to you sir and thank you so much for your tutorials! My question today is about reaching the spot to the ball. Often I'm not ready for the ball in correct position. I have seen your video where you say to move, stop and play. But I'm not getting it. Is there any way to practice and be ready for the ball in right position? Thanks for your time!

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 months ago

Hi Anjana,

Thank you for reaching out and for your kind words about our tutorials.  It's great to hear that you're actively looking to improve your movement and positioning in table tennis. The principle of move-stop-play is crucial for maintaining balance and control when hitting the ball. Here are some tips and drills that can help you get better at this aspect:

1. Shadow Play: Start without the ball. Imagine playing a point and visualize the ball coming to different parts of the table. Use your footwork to get into position as if you were actually playing. This helps build muscle memory for common movements.

2. Simple Drills: Partner up and have your training partner play the ball to one specific location on the table repeatedly. Practice moving to that spot, stopping, and then playing your stroke. Gradually, your partner can start varying the placement to help you adapt to moving to different positions.

3. Falkenberg Drill: An advanced drill that involves your training partner mixing up shots to your forehand corner, backhand corner, and then to your wide forehand again. This forces you to use different footwork patterns quickly and efficiently.

4. Random Balls: Use a robot or have a coach/partner feed you random balls around the table. The unpredictability forces you to stay alert, move quickly, and get into position.

5. Footwork Ladder: Use an agility ladder to improve your foot speed and coordination. There are many footwork drills you can do with the ladder that simulate the movements done during a table tennis match. 6. **Core Fitness:** Having strong core muscles is helpful for quick, explosive movements and for maintaining balance when stopping to play your stroke. Incorporate core exercises into your fitness routine.

7. Video Analysis: Record yourself during drills and matches. Look at how you move and identify any patterns where you might be late or out of position. Sometimes seeing the issue can help you address it more effectively. Practice is key to mastering movement and being able to get into the right position more consistently. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen overnight; keep working on it, and you'll see improvement over time. Remember that every small step you take is towards significant improvements in your game! Good luck, and keep enjoying your table tennis journey!

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Rick August

Rick August Posted 3 months ago

Random drills are a good way to improve your footwork but if you use a robot you will probably need to run the drills at a slower ball repetition rate since it is harder to anticipate where the ball is going.  With a partner you have visual clues on where the ball is going especially for blocks.  For the robot, you have to depend on the flight of the ball to anticipate where the ball is going.  This can be done but it is harder, so start slower and gradually increase the ball rep rate.

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