21 Ping Pong Tips That’ll Dramatically Improve Your Skills!
Wether you’re a beginning or a professional ping pong player, you can always improve your skills! In this post, we will cover some ping pong tips for beginners and advanced players!
First, we will cover the easier stuff, and then, we dive in to the more advanced table tennis skills that could help you win the next world championship of ping pong!
Ok, maybe we got a little too excited. But these tips will definitely help you take your ping pong game to a whole new level.
Ready for some ping pong tricks? lets do this!
1. MASTER YOUR GRIP
Many beginning ping pong players don’t even know how to hold the paddle the right way. Your grip is crucial if you want to win the game.
There are a few ways to hold a ping pong paddle, but the two best ways are the penhold grip and the shakehand grip.
Both grips actually tell you how to implement them in their name, shake hand grip, meaning your hand should be in the same position of a hand shake.
Pen hold, is like holding a pen.
If you’re a beginning ping pong player, stick to the shake-hand grip.
If you are more advanced, try the pen hold grip, although its not for everybody.
Below are images of both grips, try to practice with both so you’ll be able to choose the one you like the best.
2. GET A HIGH QUALITY PADDLE
Having the right ping pong paddle is very important. Get a cheap paddle, and its like trying to fish with a fork.
Seriously, take the time to read this post where we ranked the best ping pong paddles.
If you’re going to a battle, you better pick a good gun. Playing ping pong is like going to battle. Almost. well, you get the point.
3. POSITION YOURSELF RIGHT (DONT STAND TOO CLOSE)
This is one of the most common mistakes beginners make. They stand too close to the ping pong table.
Take a few steps back, that way, if you need to come forward youll take a step and get closer to the net.
But if your opponent serves a tricky shot, you’ll have more time to respond if you’re further back!
4. WATCH PROFESSIONAL PING PONG PLAYERS IN ACTION
If you’ve heard of Anthony Robbins, the motivational speaker, he always says that “modeling success” is the best way to achieve success. We simply couldn’t agree more.
If you want to become better at ping pong, you should definitely watch, and model (mimic) what these players are doing. Notice how they’re hitting the ball. Watch their footwork. Look at how they hold the ping pong paddle.
Below is a video of some plays out of the 2013 World Table Tennis Championship, watch the video and see how much you can learn from just watching these players.
5. MIX YOUR SERVES AND CONFUSE YOUR OPPONENT
Theres nothing better than being unpredictable when it comes to your ping pong serves. We know. If you have ever played against a good ping pong player, you just didn’t know whats coming.
Do NOT serve the same way every time. Throw a fast serve, then do a pure spin (hit the ball with an angle), then a short serve(forcing your opponent to quickly come closer to the net), just mix your serves up and confuse him/her!
Mixing up your serves will confuse your opponent, as he will need to react fast. The same actually is true to the game itself; surprise your opponent by changing the angles on him and the direction of the ball, and you will be invincible (or at least very hard to beat).
6.BE BOLD, AND MIGHTY FORCES WILL COME TO YOUR AID
This beautiful quote always gives us the chills, and its so true in ping pong as it is in life. Attack, attack, attack, and you’ll set yourself to win any ping pong game.
Especially when your opponent hits a long-serve, get to the ball quickly and hit it hard and fast.
Attacking your opponent will also position him in a “defensive” state of mind, and he will be less likely to hit back with an attack of his own, unless hes a good player.
Play on the offense and make him react to you, and not the opposite.
7. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE (THE 10,000 HOURS RULE)
Have you heard about the 10,000 hours rule? basically, research have shown that every if you do 10,000 hours of almost anything in life, you will become a master.
The same is true in soccer, basketball, and even starting a business.
If you want to become a master in the game of ping pong, you have to practice. If youre just playing for fun and to beat your friends, thats totally fine, this tip is more for those who want to become a ping pong behemoth.
While you dont have to actually practice for 10,000 hours, make sure you practice. We highly recommend getting a ping pong robot (we reviewed them in this post) as they will help you practice by urself and are very fun to play with!
8. WARM YOUR BODY UP BEFORE YOU PLAY
Its so annoying to lose a point just because you pulled a muscle or just wasnt warm enough and fast enough to get to the ball. This tip is pretty self-explanatory.
Warm your body up before you play, you can even jump in place for a bit, stretch your body, and get ready to crash your opponent!
9.LOOK AT YOUR OPPONENTS PADDLE & STANCE WHEN HES SERVING
Keep your eyes on his paddle and stance, youll be able to detect at least how fast hes going to serve the ball.
A common mistake is looking at the ball, don’t do that unless you want your opponent to confuse you.
When you notice a pattern in your opponents serves, use it to your advantage; is he always serving deep? or does he spin-serve very often?
Most ping pong players follow patterns and you should use that in your favor, if you know what your opponents’ next move is, its so much easier to prepare yourself to a counter-attack.
10. WHEN YOU HIT A RETURN – KEEP IT LOW
Remember, the purpose is not just to return to ball; you want to hit the ball low so it will be harder for your opponent to hit it back without hitting the net.
You probably noticed that yourself, the closer the ball is to the net, the harder it is to hit it back in a good way, without fouling yourself.
Keeping your returns pretty low will also prevent your opponent from maneuvering the ball or being too creative with his / her returns.
11. IDENTIFY YOUR OPPONENTS GAME STYLE
Like in any game, most ping poker players follow a pattern. In fact, the better your opponent is, the more obvious his pattern will be.
You might not be able to predict his every move, but is he usually hitting it hard? or is he more of a “spinner”?
If you notice his pattern, you’ll be able to position yourself in a better way, and will increase your odds of winning the game.
12. YOU CANT WIN WITHOUT A GOOD FOREHAND
You need to develop a killer forehand if you want to be a good ping pong player. Work on your footwork, move from side to side and practice your forehand.
We also highly recommend strengthening your forearm with different exercises, that’ll help you hit harder and for a longer period of time.
Most times you will return and even serve with a forehand (the same is true in tennis, by the way) so you better develop a strong forehand – focus on what matters.
13. LEARN TO SERVE WITH A SPIN
Serving with a spin is actually easy. Learn to serve with a sidespin and your opponent will not know what hit him.
Checkout the video below to learn how to serve a sidespin –
It will be difficult to master at first, but once you get it right, its a game-changer (literally).
14. WORKOUT AND BECOME A BETTER PING PONG PLAYER (YES, REALLY)
Ping pong is a sport. If you want to win in basketball, you better be able to jump, right? And we don’t know of a good soccer player that can’t run for long distances without getting tired.
The same is true for table tennis. Workout and stay in shape, make sure your working on your cardio so you have the stamina to last in long games.
You also want to work on your shoulders and arm muscles to be able to hit without getting your hands tired.
15. KNOW THE RULES
This one is basic, but we’ve seen people who foul to some very basic rules so we thought we should remind you the rules of ping pong.
In fact, we recently published a post about the rules, which you can read here.
For instance, did you know that you must throw the ball, when serving, at least 6 inches above your hand, or it will be considered a foul? if you have not known that already, read the rules again.
16. CELEBRATE YOUR POINTS
We’re not kidding. Research have shown that when you celebrate your points youre demoralizing your opponent and actually motivating yourself.
When you score a point celebrate by shouting: “oh yeah!!!” or “woooohoooo” or “I totally crushed you, you loser, now go home and cry to mommy”… ok we got carried away again, but you get the point.
17. PING PONG IS A MENTAL GAME
You have to be strong mentally to win in any sport. Ping pong is definitely a mental game and you have to keep your head right. Stay focused, and control your temper.
Lost a point? your opponent won last game by a fluke? thats fine. You’ll get him next time.
If you let him get in your head, you won’t be able to win. The known “tilt” in poker, where a player just cant think right and try to win back by playing bad hands, is also true in ping pong. Stick to your game plan and you’ll be fine.
18. FIGHT FOR THE INCH
Have you ever watched the movie “any given sunday?” in El paccino’s beautiful speech to his team, hes telling them that “they must be willing to die for the inches” if they’re going to win.
Well, we’re not going to be as dramatic as El, but hes 100% right.
You’re always an inch away from hitting the ball, so make the effort and fight for it. Don’t get lazy on your returns, stay on your toes and win the inch – and you will win the game.
19. CONTROL YOUR BREATHING
We can bet you never thought about your breathing when playing ping pong, unless you’re a very good player. If you dont pace your breathing right, you’re going to run out of breath, and you can even mess up on your returns & serves.
A good way to breath is to exhale when you return and quickly inhale back. Before the game starts, do some breathing exercises. Take a few deep inhales hold for 5 seconds, and exhale slowly. This will clean your lungs and will help you play for a longer period of time.
20. HIT WITH YOUR ENTIRE BODY WEIGHT, NOT JUST YOUR WRIST
Most amateurs ping pong players hit the ball with just the power of the wrist / arm. Thats a huge mistake.
If you want to hit the ball with some power, you want to use your entire body weight.
You want to lower your center of gravity and rotate your entire upper body and hit the ball with some serious power.
Practice that tip and you’ll do some serious damage.
21. Implement These Ping Pong Tips – And You’ll Get Better
Have you heard the saying “knowledge is power”? well, its not always true.
We believe knowledge is potential power. If you don’t implement and actually take action on the tips we just gave you in this post, it won’t matter that you know them.
You need to actually follow them. And when it comes to the game of ping pong, live by them.
LETS SUM THINGS UP
We hope you learned something new from this post, we invested a lot of time and effort into it.
Ping pong is a fantastic game, its extremely exciting and can be played both professionally or just for fun with your buddies at home.
However, becoming a master at ping pong will take time and a lot of effort, just like any other sport. Theres much more to table-tennis than a couple paddles and some balls.
You need to know how to hit some tricky, fast serves, and how to position yourself right in order to return the ball when your opponent is trying to score.
Theres also, of course, the net that you will hit from time to time and will get fouled, but thats just part of this fabulous game.
Learn to win, and learn to lose, and most importantly, enjoy yourself, after all, this is sports and either way you should have fun.
If you want to improve your ping pong skills, we recommend you give that post another read. When reading it twice, you’ll make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Don’t hesitate to comment below with questions or feedback, we would love to hear from you!
Last, if you liked this post, please go ahead and share it via social media, so we can grow TableGamez.com.
To go back to the ping pong section, click here.