Ever wondered why you would need to practice table tennis alone? And even if you do, then how to do it correctly and effectively? As a racket sports guy, I have come across a lot of similar concerns, and for that reason, it was crucial to highlight all that is necessary to know being a table tennis player.
Some of the following is my own experience but there’s also some part in which I have spoken to other table tennis guys about to provide you with this exhaustive guide about how to practice table tennis alone.
Not only do you need to practice table tennis alone, but you must also know how and why. Always have your goals straight. Keep your aim in mind and set your targets for any session of practicing. This ensures a sense of self-achievement in the best way possible.
Continue to read, and you’ll get all your answers right here!
Why Is Practicing Table Tennis Alone Important?
Some players never really take out their time for practicing table tennis on their own. They consider self-practice is of no use at all. If you too think the same, then let us make you go through some critical factors of why practicing on your own is also as important as practicing with a partner. Here’re a few reasons why self-practice is a must at times in table tennis.
Opportunity of Self-Analysis
Practicing alone gives you time and space to analyze your tactics. It provides you with a broader horizon between how you are playing and how you should be playing.
This analysis and critical approach for your own game are as crucial as anything else. You observe you learn, you make amends, and then you improve. This whole chain of self-analysis is the key in any game, especially in table tennis.
While playing table tennis alone, you observe your game with the aspect of improvements. Table tennis requires consistent form and practice, so you need to keep up with your match by self-improving your service, wrist work and footwork.
Better Preparing Alone
Have you ever wondered how nicely you can prepare your own self if you wish to? Sounds strange, but yes, you yourself can be your best trainer when you play alone and concentrate on your own self, you observe yourself, and then you teach yourself.
Less or No Distractions
When practice alone, there are almost no distractions around you. This is quite strange, but even your opponent or partner in table tennis can also cause a disturbance for your own game while improving their own.
You need to concentrate and give your game time for reaching the expertise, and for that, you must learn to play with zero distractions.
Set Gaming Strategies
When you are your own coach, teach yourself differently. Try new tactics. Learn new methods. Set your own boundaries and reach it with your practice.
Apply all the new strategies to yourself first, before practicing it before an opponent. You must learn how to master the art of any procedure or trick in table tennis.
By practicing your shots and serves on your own, you can master the art of explosiveness in table tennis. Learn to serve your energy in the best way for controlling and utilizing your strength.
Practicing by your own means helps fine-tune against your weaknesses and imperfections. It makes you sharper in your precise movements and attempts. You can work on it again and again; repeat the move, and you’ll get in the rhythm.
Letting aside all the other game tactics and to focus on your strength and its utilization entirely is the key importance and outcome of self-practicing.
In table tennis, it is essential to main your lower body strength, especially your back and legs for steady movements and precise approach. See your physical strength improve while following a continuous routine of self-practice.
How to Prepare Yourself For Practicing?
Here’re a few things to be done when you are looking to practice all alone.
Get Well Hydrated
Water is the source of your activeness and energy throughout your game. Nobody will recommend you have some food before your game as it makes you lazy. But water is a must!
You must hydrate yourself enough to stay sharp. And so that your mind doesn’t divert your attention for being thirsty.
Maintain your Shape
Fitness has always been a top priority for any sportsman. And so, it should be yours even if you are playing table tennis. You are wrong if you do not consider fitness essential in table tennis just because it doesn’t require much energy.
Your lower body fitness, i.e. your back and your legs need to be in the perfect state for an active movement throughout the play.
Get Familiar with the Rules
Knowing the rules of a sport are obviously very important but even more so when doing that alone.
Get yourself familiarized with all the rules, especially basic ones. Learn the rules of practicing alone, serves, throw among other things. so that you can spend your time productively applying them on your game.
Improve your Footwork
Involve yourself in exercises that enhance your footwork. This is essential for an efficient practice routine. For example, try Cross Leg play if you wish to cover long distances and try shuffle venture for covering short distances precisely.
It is well known for how much a person learns when he observes something very keenly.
Observe others play and note what they lack in their game and what strengths do they have. Learn how they are utilizing their strengths in their game and how they are pulling off every shot.
This observant attitude will help you learn and make amends to your gameplay. Professionals always tend to observe first before they execute it.
Go Through Training Videos
There are many popular training videos for table tennis self-practice available online. You can look up their guiding series for having a more precise idea of how to start and how to carry on with it.
How to Practice Table Tennis on Your Own
Now let’s finally come to the point of this whole discussion; how to practice table tennis on your own? We’ve gathered some of the most widely-practiced tips and methods for active gaming sessions when you are playing alone. Have a look!
Use a Table Tennis Robot or a Machine
You might be thinking what a table tennis robot is? Here’s our guide on the best table tennis machines for the sake of practicing alone.
In short, it is an automatic gaming companion for shooting the balls for you on your custom adjustable speed and spin of the ball.
It can be adjusted for beginners or pro-level as per your practice style. You just need to connect it to a power source, and all you have to do next is play! Follow some of the techniques we’ve mentioned below for playing with a robot.
For efficient play, you must change the robot’s position each time. You can alter the angles of shooting for the unique practice of your reflexes.
Look out for your footwork and the reflex of your stroke. You should turn a bit and bend your knees for each forehead strike you wish to take.
Initially, keep the speed of the ball launch slow, and then you can increase it gradually as you proceed.
Try selecting the color of a ball for a specific shot. Each colored ball must indicate what are you going to do with it. For example, fix an orange ball for obstructing, and whenever an orange ball is shot, only block it. Same can go for other shots and colors.
Try the Playback Position
For this practice, you just need to fold up your table into half so that your ball reflects when it hits the other half.
This practice enhances your serves and spins and allows you to practice multiple shot skills while judging what they can do.
Use a Table Return Board.
Try using a table return board. It reflects the ball you shoot and make your game continuous. The reflections are, however, quite slow, but you can still practice a lot.
Practice Serving on Your Own
When you are playing solo, you have the advantage to focus on your serves. They are mostly missed out when you practice with an opponent in the rage of defeating them.
But when you are alone, you are free to enhance your serving skills, which are as crucial as the whole gameplay. Follow the tips mentioned below for this type of self-practice.
- Start with serving just one ball at a time.
- Be precise on short focuses that you must go for.
- Never hurry. Invest your time in playing three successful serves rather than 30 unsuccessful ones.
- Practice long and quick serves with similar arm movements to that when you play with an opponent.
Shadow play is to play in front of a mirror or record yourself while playing. There are some special techniques and practices that you must repeat in shadow play, which are described below.
And for that, stand in a bent position with your feet almost 1 foot apart. Now follow the below-mentioned techniques repeatedly.
- Practice the small exchange, which is also known as a short transition of your center of gravity.
- Now repeat forehand two points attack.
- Then, move towards practicing forehand two points attack with backhand drive transition.
- Now practice only backhand attack at two points.
- Then, you must practice forehand attack at the pivot and the wide forehand position. This practice helps you learn to cover greater distances and significant steps.
- Repeat backhand to forehand transition in your primary position with just rotating your body.
- Now, in the end, you must learn the most common situation of table tennis that is forehand 2 points attack with the backhand transition. You must exercise this very well.
Disadvantages of Self Practice
No matter how much you invest in practising alone, you can still lack many basics which can be covered only while practising with a partner.
Keeping that in mind, we’ve observed some very common drawbacks of self-practice that we’d also like to bring into your knowledge.
Drains your Motivation
Practising by your own self doesn’t involve another mind in the game that works as an opponent for you. And this is a very crucial involvement in a game for making you practice against someone’s mind and body.
While you play by yourself, you can often feel a bit demotivated when there’s no one to give you a tough time other than your own self. It is still suggested to continue your practice even if you don’t feel like, but no one can deny the power of motivation which can add an extra boost.
It Can Bore You
Playing against yourself is not often against yourself. It can more likely be “with” yourself. And by playing with yourself, you can get bored very quickly.
You must still find ways to keep yourself going, motivate your own self. But this is one of the most common and natural response a player can experience while he or she is against his own self.
Doesn’t Improve Coordination
The skill of tackling your opponent’s mind with your mind and body both is an art of coordination which you might not feel improving while you are just playing with your own self.
Coordination always requires to be against someone, that isn’t you. However, you can still work on your response coordination, footwork, hand movement, service practices and all others as discussed above.
But even after that, there’s a need for response against the attack which can only be improved with a partner practising with you.
Considering the importance of self-practice, the effectiveness of practicing with a partner still remains unmatched. However, anything is always better than nothing, and while sticking to this notion, practicing on your own keeps you in the game.
Gather all the information you can, learn more, practice hard and your self-play will in no time exceed par excellence.