Robo-Pong 2050/1050: Drills 11-15

Newgy Robo-Pong

In this blog posting, I’ll be detailing drills 11-15 on the Robo-Pong 2050/1050 and giving some tips on how to perfect your table tennis game using these drills.

Drill #11

This drill simulates the most common pattern used by Olympic Table Tennis Medalists Zhang Jike and Wang Hao.  With the new development of the backhand banana flip, most of the world’s best table tennis athlete’s choose to serve short to the forehand.  After the receiver is drawn from the backhand corner, then the next ball is quickly attacked to the deep backhand.  This is the pattern of this drill.  It first gives a short serve to the forehand followed by a quick ball to the backhand.  After the backhand, the robot gives you a short rest to prepare for the next rally.  Instead of continuing with a marathon rally, this drill stops after two balls to give you time to recover.  If you are a right-handed player, make sure to step forward with your right foot, let the ball reach the top of the bounce, make a quick flip down-the-line, get back quickly in position and perform a backhand loop.  When backhand looping, be sure to stay on your toes, lean forward, and brush the ball primarily using your wrist and forearm.   If this drill seems to be too difficult, start at +40% wait adjust and gradually decrease your wait as you improve.  If this drill seems too easy, try to use forehand on both balls, which requires you to move a longer distance in the same amount of time.

Drill #12

This is the first footwork drill that starts with a serve.  The robot serves a short topspin ball to the short forehand, followed by a quick ball deep to the middle, followed by a medium speed ball to the backhand, and ends with another quick ball to the middle.  The critical element to remember is to make small adjustments with your feet between middle and backhand.  When hitting the middle ball, use your forehand and shift your feet slightly from your back foot (right foot for righties) to your front foot as you rotate your waist.  When hitting your backhand, keep your feet more parallel to the table.  If you are close to the table while hitting the middle ball, you probably won’t need to move forward for the backhand.  However, if you are far from the table while hitting your middle ball, you will need to move forward to hit the slower ball thrown to the backhand.  Also, you should try to keep score.  Play games to five points.  If you can make all four balls on the table, then your score one point.  If you miss any of your four hits, the robot scores one point.  After a game to five, pick up the balls and take a short rest to regain your focus.

Drill #13

This is another great drill that combines the serve with a short rally, similar to a game.  After the four balls, the robot gives a short break so that you can recover for the next rally.  First, the robot will give you a short ball to the middle, followed by a deep topspin to the forehand, a slower ball to the middle, then another fast topspin ball to the wide backhand.  If this drill seems to be too difficult, try shortening your stroke on the fast balls (to give you more time) and keep your normal stroke on the slow balls.  Usually, you should play the middle and forehand balls with your forehand and the backhand ball with your backhand.  However, by being more creative, you can add more variation and depth to your game.  Sometimes, try using your backhand from the middle ball or your forehand from the backhand ball.  I like to try to finish the last ball with a killer backhand loop.  See if you can make seven out of the ten.  If you are making fewer than seven, then slow down and add more spin.

Drill #14

This drill gives you one ball to the short forehand, followed by a deep ball to the forehand, followed by a deep ball to the backhand, followed by a medium-soft ball to the middle.  After the ball comes, you will get about three seconds to rest between every series.  Try to perform this drill for five minutes continuously.  During the entire five minutes try hitting different locations.  Flip the first ball to the middle, loop the second ball to the wide backhand, loop the third ball with your backhand to your opponent’s middle, then step forward to finish the last ball wide to your opponent’s forehand for a winner.  After you have become familiar with this drill, try to vary the speed and spins on your attack.  Try to loop the first ball at 60% speed, the next ball at 30% speed, then the last ball at 90% speed.   Being consistent while varying your shots is the key to improvement in table tennis.  More variables in your game will make it difficult for your opponent to adjust to your attacks.

Drill #15

This is one of my favorite drills on the Robo-Pong 2050!  There is a table tennis training center in Faulkenberg, Sweden that often uses this drill – that’s where it got its name.  This drill starts with short serve to the forehand, followed by a deep topspin ball to the backhand, followed by another deep ball to the backhand (use your forehand for this ball), and concludes by a difficult topspin ball out wide to your forehand.  If your feet are fast enough, use the side-to-side shuffle movement while moving to the wide forehand.  If you aren’t quick enough, I would recommend using the cross-over step.  For righties doing the crossover step, start by taking a mini-step with your right foot, take a big step with your left crossing over your right, and contact the ball as your left foot contacts the floor.  After completing the last stroke, get back in position.  Although this drill stops after the fourth ball, it is critical to develop a good habit of getting back in position.  I would highly recommend using this drill in your daily table tennis training routine!

Samson Dubina

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