Training your table tennis skills by yourself

Racketlon Canada

This racketlon tips article is brought to you by Chris White, table tennis coach at PongBoss.com.

Today I’d like to talk about a few ways you can practice table tennis by yourself. Although there is no substitute for a coach or a skilled friend, there are some things you can do solo to improve your game. They will not be as effective as the ones you can do with a partner but luckily some of them are best done by yourself.

Service Practice

Serving can give you an advantage or it can lose you the point. There is nothing more frustrating than sending the ball into the net on your serve. Pro players practice their service for hundreds or even thousands of hours by themselves until they no longer miss any shot and it becomes second nature.

In the beginning you can focus on keeping the ball short and low. This way your opponent will have a difficult time attacking and will increase the chances of him making a mistake.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when practicing your service:
– Don’t serve with another ball in your hand as it can affect your toss and mess with your consistency
– Try to make the ball bounce twice on the other side of the table because it will make it more difficult for your opponent to return.
– To improve accuracy, place some targets on the table and try to hit them.
– Tie a string on two drying clips and attach them to the net posts. This will create a small gap between the net and string for you to aim at, ensuring you keep the ball low.

Table Tennis Robots

Table tennis robots are one of the best ways to improve your game. What makes them different from humans is their unrivaled consistency. They can shot the ball in the exact same spot, making it great for perfecting your strokes. What’s more, they can also help you develop better stamina and improve your footwork.
They come in all shapes and sizes and depending on the cost, they can do basic things, like shoot a number of balls in the same spot or they can do advanced drills and exercises and can be programmed by yourself. Here are some things to try for your next training session.
– To better simulate real conditions, you should keep moving your robot’s position to different places on the table. Try placing in very close to the net or even lower its height.
– The repetition of hitting the same ball in the same place can easily make you forget about footwork and correct stroke mechanics. Always remember to twist your waist and bend your knees when practicing forehand loops for example.
– Start with slower balls and gradually increase the speed as you become used to it.
Robots are great for practicing but they can also contribute to developing bad technique. This is why you should never train for too much without checking back in with your coach.

Physical Fitness

Table tennis is demanding, no arguments here. If you don’t move you lose.
As a beginner, technique is more important than physical condition. Once you get better you will realize this is no longer the case. Your opponents will be faster and will not tire as easily, so you must keep up or lose.
So what can you do to improve your physical fitness?
Jogging – this will increase your stamina, which will make you last longer in game. Other activities that will help with stamina include bicycling, dancing, swimming.
Weight training- the faster your swing, the harder it is for your opponent to respond. All of your muscles are involved when playing table tennis, but your waist muscles, the ones that help you rotate your torso are especially important. Go to the gym and strengthen your hips, shoulder, and back muscles and your opponents will definitely notice.


If you want to get ahead of the competition and increase the number of training hours you put in, there is no easier way than to practice by yourself. Of course, it won’t be the same as with a practice partner but it will definitely increase your table tennis skills.

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