Anticipation and Proper Footwork in Table Tennis - Carl Hardin

Newgy Robo-Pong

Anticipation and proper footwork is the key to being in a balanced position to stroke the ping pong ball in table tennis.

The best table tennis players are not able to defend the entire ping pong table; therefore you must anticipate which of the three possible areas your opponent has selected to return your ball: your forehand, backhand, or your center court. The following information will enable you to be in position to defend 1/3 of the table instead of trying to defend the entire table.

Key #1 Primary position-start moving to a position opposite where your ball lands in your opponent’s court before/or as your ball lands.

Key #2 The Secondary positions- adjust your secondary position based on what you see. Watch the direction of your opponent’s stroke to the ball and their blade angle.

At the completion of your stroke start moving to your primary position before your ball lands in your opponent’s court.  Your primary position is opposite the position your ball landed in your opponent’s court. Then your final move is to your secondary position to return the ball from a balanced position to stroke the ball to your selected target. The secondary position is determined by your opponent’s stroke direction to the ball and their blade angle.

Watching your opponent’s blade direction of travel to the ball will indicate which part of the table – forehand, backhand or center court – their ball will land in, and the angle of his blade will determine the applied spin or hit. Now with this information start moving to your anticipated secondary area before your opponent contacts the ball. In order to maintain balance and control, you must make the final adjustment with your feet.

Remember: Improve your anticipation for better footwork in table tennis (MSH) Move, Stop and Hit.

Carl Hardin – USATT Certifiied Coach

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Coach Carl’s Column: Forehand Footwork Drill by Carl Hardin

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To best utilize this drill, practice 30 minutes 3 times a week for 4 weeks with the forehand stroke only.

To start off, be sure you are using the perfect table tennis posture - Lean forward until your heels start to come up off the floor and your stance distance between your feet is greater than the width of your shoulders, this will shift your body weight to the inside of the balls of your feet. Note: The playing arm side foot should be 3 to 4 inches to the rear of the other foot.

Now turn on your Newgy Robo-Pong 2050 table tennis robot. Adjust the control panel to the following settings: Normal Mode, Left 8, Right 17, Speed 9, Wait Time 2 seconds, Robot Head Top-Spin and Head Angle 2.

You are now ready to begin this drill. As the robot head moves, start moving your feet to the location that the robot will send the ball and wait for it to cross the net before starting a back-swing.

The reason it’s best to move your feet first is your back swing shifts your body weight back to the heels of your feet, which makes it difficult to move quick enough to be in a balanced position to execute a proper stroke. Therefore it is very important that you do not start a backswing and/or reach for a ball until you have moved into the proper position to execute your stroke.

Every ball has a target. Your primary target is to return the ball that lands in your forehand court with a counter or loop stroke to your opponent’s forehand court, return the ball that lands in the middle back to your opponent’s middle and the ball that lands in your backhand court back to your opponent’s backhand court.

Continue this same drill for 30 days or until you’re able to be in your table tennis posture position and balanced to execute a perfect stroke 100% of the time and able to return 80% of the balls to within 12 inches of your opponent’s end line and to the forehand court, middle end line or backhand court.

After you meet the above goals, reduce the wait time in small increments until you reach the ultimate goal of 1 second of wait time with proper table tennis posture, footwork and balance to execute a perfect stroke. Then you will be ready to start the Forehand-Backhand combination footwork drill.

Carl Hardin

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Coach Carl’s Column: The Perfect Table Tennis Posture by Carl Hardin

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The perfect table tennis posture is key to excellent footwork. The key elements to the best table tennis posture are: feet wider apart than the width of your shoulders, body leaning forward enough to shift your body weight to the balls of your feet. Also the wide stance will move your body weight to the insides of the balls of your feet. Next, position your elbow at least 4 to 6 inches in front and away from your body opposite your opponent. Now you are in perfect position, ready and able to move in any direction quickly with perfect balance.

Now observe your opponent’s direction of swing to the ball; with this information you move to the opponent’s selected target before he makes contact with the ball and wait until the ball crosses the net before moving your blade or start your stroke for a counter or until his ball lands in your court before starting a back-swing for a loop stroke.

Important: Never start your stroke before moving in position to stroke. Why… because moving to stroke first shifts your body weight to your heels making it nearly impossible to move.

Carl Hardin

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Coach Carl’s Column: Stance and Footwork Tip from Carl Hardin

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Here’s a quick tip to help with your stance and footwork in table tennis:

You should lean forward in your stance enough to shift your body weight to the balls of your feet, the heels of your shoes start to come up off the floor and your stance wide enough that your body weight is shifted to inside of the balls of your feet. Since your weight is already on the inside of the balls of your feet, you can move quicker, farther and with better balance to execute your stroke.

Carl Hardin

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Free Newgy Robo-Pong Training Seminar

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FREE Newgy Robo-Pong Training Seminar at the Newgy Table Tennis Center in Gallatin, Tennessee!

Do you want to improve your table tennis game so you can beat your friends or win an upcoming tournament? Thinking about getting the Newgy Robo-Pong to help with this? Or maybe you already have one but don’t know just how much it can do.

Here's your chance!

Maximize your Newgy Robo-Pong: Learn how to best utilize all the features of your robot to improve your table tennis game!

  • Spin and shot selection, head angle adjustments
  • Oscillation, ball speed and ball frequency
  • Randomization controls
  • Pre-programmed drills
  • Programming your own customized drills
  • Plus, much more!

See how the Robo-Pong can improve your table tennis skills while having fun and getting a workout all at the same time! This seminar will consist of both demonstrations and play/practice with the Robo-Pong and other seminar attendees.

This seminar is FREE to the first 25 people to sign up! Sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 days!

Friday, Oct. 28, 2011:  6-9 pm

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011:  9 am-5 pm

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011:  9 am-12 Noon

First come, first serve basis; Men, women, all ages and all skill levels!

Taught by USATT Certified Coaches Carl Hardin and Roger Dickson

Newgy Table Tennis Training Center

805 Teal Drive, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 USA

To sign-up for this free seminar, email robopong@newgy.com or call 1-800-556-3949 to reserve your spot!

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FREE Newgy Robo-Pong Training Seminar!

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Do you want to improve your table tennis game so you can beat your friends or win an upcoming tournament?

Here's your chance!

Maximize your Newgy Robo-Pong: Learn how to best utilize all the features of your robot to improve your table tennis game!

  • Spin and shot selection, head angle adjustments
  • Oscillation, ball speed and ball frequency
  • Randomization controls
  • Pre-programmed drills
  • Programming your own customized drills
  • Plus, much more!

See how the Robo-Pong can improve your table tennis skills while having fun and getting a workout all at the same time! This seminar will consist of both demonstrations and hands-on activity with the Robo-Pong and other attendees.

This seminar is FREE to any Newgy Robo-Pong (2050, 2040, 1050, 1040 or 540) owner. Sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 days!

Friday, May 20, 2011: 6-9 pm

Saturday, May 21, 2011: 9 am-5 pm

Sunday, May 22, 2011: 9 am-12 Noon

First come, first serve basis; Men, women, all ages and all skill levels!

Taught by USATT Certified Coaches Carl Hardin and Roger Dickson

At the Newgy Table Tennis Training Center

805 Teal Drive, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 USA

To sign-up for this free seminar, email robopong@newgy.com or call 1-800-556-3949 to reserve your spot!

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FREE Newgy Robo-Pong Training Seminar with USATT Certified Coach Carl Hardin

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Maximize your Newgy Robo-Pong: Learn how to best utilize all the features of your robot

  • Oscillation, ball speed and ball frequency
  • Spin and shot selection, head angle adjustments
  • Randomization controls
  • Pre-programmed drills
  • Programming your own customized drills
  • Plus, much more!

Improve your table tennis game while having fun and getting fit all at the same time! This seminar will consist of both demonstrations and hands-on activity.

This seminar is available for FREE to any Newgy Robo-Pong (2050, 2040, 1050, 1040 or 540) owner. Sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 days!

Friday, March 18, 2011: 6-10 pm                                                                                                                                                    Saturday, March 19, 2011: 9 am-6 pm                                                                                                                                            Sunday, March 20, 2011: 8 am-12 Noon

Up to 10 people in each session; First come, first serve basis; Men, women, all ages and all skill levels!

Newgy Table Tennis Training Center:  805 Teal Drive, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 USA

Carl Hardin Bio

Carl Hardin is a USATT certified Assistant International Table Tennis Coach. Carl has coached Bob Powell- the previous six-time Ohio State Table Tennis Champion, Samson Dubina- six-time Ohio State Table Tennis Champion and 2009 United States Olympic Table Tennis Team Member, as well as Pierce Scott- the 2009 National AAU Junior Table Tennis Champion. Carl currently conducts Table Tennis clinics in the Ohio Tri-State area and demonstrates how to use the Newgy Robo-Pong table tennis robot for fun, fitness and training.

To reserve your spot, or for more information, call 1-800-556-3949 or email robopong@newgy.com.

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COACH CARL’S COLUMN: Coaching Technique by Carl Hardin

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Table Tennis coaches need to be aware of how their students learn— some by watching, some learn by hearing, some learn by doing, and some learn by feeling. All are important, but the coach needs to focus on the way the student learns best. The coach can determine this by trying each method out or a combination. When you know which method works best, practice using it and then learning will become much easier for the student.

Keep records on your students’ fundamentals. Do not proceed on to the next assignment until your student can perform the current activity with 80% accuracy. For example, when training with a table tennis robot, set it to a faster level of speed and/or oscillation if the student can perform 50% accuracy without footwork or stroke break down. Then continue the drill until the student can reach the 80% accuracy level. Then overload the student again by increasing the drill difficulty until the student reaches the 80% level. If the footwork, stroke breaks down or if success is below 50%, then you need to lower the difficulty.

By keeping records you can your keep your students advancing according to their ability.

Carl Hardin

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COACH CARL’S COLUMN: Build a Solid Foundation for your Table Tennis Game by Carl Hardin

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To maximize your potential, it is important to start by building a solid foundation for your table tennis game. It is best to build this foundation by developing each skill one step at a time.

1.Start by developing the proper blade grip:

When you play you see the ball but your blade angle and direction of swing is by feel, therefore you must develop a feel for the blade angle. You can develop this feel by bouncing the ball on the blade; forehand side 25 bounces, backhand side 25 bounces, next alternate 1 bounce on the forehand side and 1 backhand side for 10 bounces. Make sure you can do these drills with no more than 2 misses.

2. Stance:

The width between your feet should be greater than the width of your shoulders, knees bent, and lean forward until the heels of your shoes start to come up off the floor, now you are in position to do your footwork.

3. Footwork:

The outside foot moves first, (example) when you want to move to the right direction, your left foot is the outside foot, to move left your right foot is the outside foot.

Watch for my next blog which will teach you how to develop perfect strokes in table tennis.

Carl Hardin

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COACH CARL’S COLUMN: Are you committed? by Carl Hardin

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Here are some of the attacks against your commitments; pressure thoughts about needing to win or fearing to lose, awareness of others’ expectations, other competitors’ gamesmanship, injuries, nets and edges, poor lighting and slick floors. None of the issues would matter as much to you if you weren’t striving to be something greater. However the higher your table tennis game elevates, the greater the potential for distractions that can suck the commitment right out of you like a mental game undertow. The good news is that nothing can happen in your competition that can unseat you from your game, unless you let it.

Turn everything to your advantage. After a demanding table tennis match, most competitors can tell you what they would have done better or differently. Often they can do this immediately following the competition. Curiously few table tennis players can step back from the action, while it is occurring, in order to resolve whatever is challenging them. The first step to turning any situation to your advantage is to take at least 30 seconds to ask yourself, “What is happening here, and what do I intend to do about it”? Under stress most table tennis players’ mental processes pick up speed. You have to discipline yourself to do the opposite. Take time, make space, step back and do some self inquiry. It will save more of your games than you can believe.

You have to expect people to act differently at pressured events; total commitments means that you do not take anything that happens in competition personally. In table tennis, as in life, you have to have confidence in your own game. You know where your focus has to be. Get your attention only on the game. By the time the competition ends none of that stuff will matter, unless you are looking for excuses.

Everything that happens in table tennis competition is practice for what happens next. Committed table tennis players are learning machines. Wimpy table tennis players get hung up on problems and mistakes and never move forward. Committed players can lose a tough match, get up, assess what happened, and then put the new learning into play. All table tennis competition moves them forward. Believe it or not committed table tennis players are proud that they showed up for the competition; they do not sweat what other think of them.

Remember there are only three things that you can control: what you think, what you visualize, and what you do. You can not do anything about the points you have already played. You can not do anything about your history of performance in pressure situations. You cannot do anything about the score to this point. You have to forget all of that, other than whatever learning you have gained about how to play the shot, and go for it. Have a plan for a strong mental game and work your plan. Keep positive thoughts, they become words and follow you like your shadow. Your greatest competition is in your mind.

Carl Hardin

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