Concentration in Table Tennis

Newgy Robo-Pong

I have a little homework assignment for you.  Stand two feet away from a 5-gallon bucket and toss a penny into the bucket.  Easy, right?  Now stand two feet away from a gallon of milk (with the lid off) and toss a penny into the milk container.  This requires more aiming and more focus, right?

The same is true in regards to your table tennis game.  The amount of concentration that most table tennis players use is directly related to the task at hand.  A very spinny push to your middle might require some fancy footwork and some good concentration to successfully loop.  A sidespin counter loop wide to your forehand might require perfect timing and good concentration to counter loop back around the net.  Everyone puts good concentration on these difficult shots.  HOWEVER, many players lose focus on “easy balls” like a short high-ball that could easily be smashed for a winner.  As soon as they lose 5% of their focus then these players usually don’t move well, become sloppy, lose their spin, miss the “easy ball”, and then become frustrated.  Approach these “easy balls” as being difficult balls.  Approach these balls with 100% concentration.

The same mental flaw is true in regards to playing lower level table tennis opponents.  The amount of concentration that most players use is directly related to the task at hand.  Even when playing lower-rated opponents, bring out your best game with 100% focus and you will have no regrets in your table tennis matches.

Samson Dubina

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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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Stepping Forward in Table Tennis

Newgy Robo-Pong

In table tennis, footwork is important for all levels.  Using the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050 table tennis robot is one of the best ways to improve footwork.  Most players try to improve their side-to-side footwork, which is important.  However, only a few players try to improve their in-and-out footwork.

In-and-out footwork is vitally important for the slow block, especially when you are away from the table.  Watch how Joo Se Hyuk demonstrates the stepping in on this video:

Using the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050, I go to:

Normal Mode


Head Angle 8

Speed  12

L Position 10

R Position 20

Wait 1.40

Oscillator ON

Speed Random 5

This drill will give me varied depths of balls to my forehand.  I focus on staying away from the table, then stepping forward for the slow ball.  I suggest adding this drill to your daily table tennis training routine; you will be seeing major improvements in just a couple weeks.

Samson Dubina

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