The Basic Eight: A Complete Training Program In Only 55 Minutes

Newgy Robo-Pong

As a professional coach, I use my Newgy Robo Pong almost every day. I have found no more efficient teaching tool for introducing new stroke techniques to my students. In fact, many of my students have purchased a Robo Pong for home use. I have developed the following drill program to give my students a complete skills practice session in a short period of time. The program consists of eight drills. Allowing for a few minutes to reset the robot between drills and you can complete the whole program in only 55 minutes.

1. Serve Practice (5 minutes)

It may seem strange to you to start a training program off by practicing serves. However, there is no better way to warm-up your spin touch and hand skills. Simply practice your serves putting emphasis on making as much spin as possible as well as good placement. 

2. Push Practice (5 minutes)

Set your robot to produce backspin and have it oscillate over the whole table. Practice your pushes with both backhand and forehand. Direct your returns to all areas of the table. Don’t forget to vary the spin of your returns and also make both short and long returns. 

3. Loop Practice (10 minutes — 5 minutes with both FH and BH)

Set your robot for backspin and direct the ball to your backhand no oscillation. Using your forehand practice looping and direct your returns to all areas of the table. Start off by making high spin (slower) loops and progress to making faster loop drives. Repeat drill using your backhand

4. Mixed Loop and Push Practice (5 minutes).

Set your robot for backspin and have it oscillate over the whole table. Using both forehand and backhand, alternate loops with pushes. Remember to practice directing your returns over the whole table. 

5. Counter Practice (10 minutes — 5 minutes with both FH and BH)

Set your robot to produce topspin and direct the ball to your forehand with no oscillation. Start off with short blocks and gradually lengthen your stoke to produce a counter drive. Finally, finish off with full kill shots. Once again, practice directing your returns to all parts of the table. Reset the robot to direct the ball to your backhand side and repeat the drill using only backhand. 

6. Movement Drill (5 minutes)

Set your robot for topspin and have it oscillate over one half of the table. Use only forehand strokes and direct your returns to all parts of the table. Concentrate on using proper 2 step movement technique. Also, set the ball feed at a rate that puts you under pressure to move fast enough. 

7. Pivot Drill (5 minutes)

This is also a movement drill. Set your robot for topspin and direct the ball to your wide backhand with no oscillation. This drill consists of making two backhand counters or loops and then pivoting and hitting one forehand from the backhand side (repeat). Both counters and loops strokes should be practiced and your returns should be directed to all areas of the table.

8. Serve Return Drill (5 minutes)

Set your robot to produce a short underspin serve, sidespin can also be added. Oscillate the serves over the whole table. Practice making random drops, flips and long pushes. Emphasis should be placed on making good placements. Try to keep your drops very short and cut the diagonal sidelines with your flips and long pushes. 

At the conclusion of this drill program you will have practiced all the basic skills of the game. Of course your own individual style will determine which advanced skills you also need to train. Use this program several times a week and you will see a quick improvement in your overall game.

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How To Increase Your Reaction Speed Using the Newgy Robo-Pong 2040

Newgy Robo-Pong

Table Tennis is one of the quickest reaction sports in the world. When two attacking players meet, the one with the quicker reflexes has a definite physical advantage over the slower player. The slower player will be forced either to back away from the table, or use shorter, less powerful strokes in order to try and keep up with his quicker opponent. Fortunately, you can train to have faster reactions and the Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 is the perfect tool to work with.

Your reflexes are controlled by your Central Nervous System (CNS). To develop faster reflexes, you must put the CNS under stress (overloading) by working against balls coming at quicker and quicker intervals. Coaches often do this type of practice by using multi-ball technique. The coach feeds balls at an increasing rate to the student, with the goal being to increase the student's stroke frequency. However, doing this type of training with the Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 offers several advantages for both the student and the coach. 

  1. The student can train by himself 
  2. You can exactly control the ball frequency and thus measure your improvement 
  3. Robo-Pong 2040 never gets tired

It is a good idea, when starting this type of training, to establish your current reaction baseline. By this I mean, finding out what is the quickest rate of ball speed that you can execute a full stroke against. To do this set your Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 at the following settings: 

  1. Oscillator pattern on 1-4, this will cover the forehand side of the table only. 
  2. Oscillator speed on 5 or 6, medium speed 
  3. Ball speed on 5 or 6, medium speed.
  4. Ball frequency on 4 to begin with.
  5. Turn the robot's head to select Topspin.

After warming up with forehand counters, try slowly increasing the ball frequency one level at a time. At each level, execute several forehand counters and then try to make a full kill shot. Repeat this a number of times for each level. When you reach a level where you cannot react fast enough to land 70% of the kills shots successfully on the table, that is your current reaction baseline. Once you find this point, make a note of it. With regular practice with your Newgy Robo-Pong 2040, you will quickly see a rise in this baseline and your overall reaction time.  


Pyramid Up (Half Table)

Set your Newgy Robo-Pong to oscillate over one half of the table, either to your backhand or forehand side with topspin. Set the ball frequency level to 4. Set the ball speed in a comfortable range. Gradually increase the ball frequency, staying at each level for about one minute. Your goal is to make as long a stroke as possible while still being successful at least 70% of the time. At level 4, you should be able to use a kill stroke (long stroke) continuously. As the ball frequency increases, you will find that you have to shorten your stroke to keep up. At the highest frequency setting (10), your Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 will be delivering balls at approximately 90 per minute. At this speed, you probably will have to switch to a very short stroke (block). However, continue to push yourself to make as long a stroke as possible (counter or kill) while keeping inside the 70% success rate.

Pyramid Down (Half Table)

Set your Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 as described above. However this time start out with the ball frequency setting on 10 and slowly work down. Spend one minute at each level. In the beginning of this drill, you may only be able to block the ball back. As you decrease the ball frequency, try hard to lengthen your stroke. Work back down to a level where you can execute a full kill stroke successfully at least 70% of the time.

Advanced Reaction Drill 

Set your Newgy Robo-Pong 2040 for full oscillation (3-4), topspin, set ball speed at 5 or 6, set ball frequency at 9-10, and oscillator speed at 9-10. These settings will produce random balls covering the whole table at 90 balls per minute. Start off with just trying to block as many balls back as possible and slowly try to move from blocking to counter strokes. If you are able to return 70% successfully, then increase ball speed.

Basic Elements to Remember
  1. By overloading your Central Nervous System you can increase your reaction time. 
  2. To make the drill more difficult you can also increase the ball speed. 
  3. Drill both the forehand and the backhand sides. 
  4. Retest your baseline reaction as described above to note your improvement.
Final Note

Every player must be able to attack, defend, and counter attack. Quick reaction times are a key element in a player's ability to do all three. The quicker your reaction time becomes, the more often you will be able to attack, the better your defense will be, and the quicker you will be able to counter attack. It is not enough to just have good stroke technique; quick reactions are essential to our sport. As a full time professional coach, I know of no better way to train this part of your game than working against the ultimate practice partner, the Newgy Robo-Pong 2040

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Advanced Aerobic Movement Drills

Newgy Robo-Pong

Table Tennis is a demanding physical sport, requiring excellent footwork and a high aerobic capacity. Here are several advanced movement drills that will greatly increase your footwork skills, balance, leg strength, heart recovery rate, and aerobic capacity.

Warning! These are very demanding drills. Start off slowly; try to do from 8-12 repetitions of each drill. Work your way up to 24 repetitions.

Physical Setup

You will need barriers of some kind (wall or surround) placed 6' to the right and left sides of the table behind your end line and parallel to the sides of your table. Set your Newgy Robot to send an underspin ball deep to the middle of the table. Set the ball feed between 1 and 3.

Forehand Movement Drill

The concept of this drill is to execute a forehand loop, then move to your right (right-handers) and touch the barrier, then return in time to receive the next ball. Standard two-step movement should be used, do not cross your feet. Adjust the ball feed and/or the distance of the barrier to force you to move as fast as possible. Try to keep your upper body from leaning sideways while moving as it will negatively impact your balance.

Backhand Movement Drill

Same drill as above, except that you will be executing backhand strokes and moving to your left.

Up and Back Movement Drill

Set your Robot to deliver a short underspin serve to the middle of the table. Set the ball feed between 1 and 3. You will also need a barrier between 10 and 12 feet back of the table on your side (wall or surround).

The concept of this drill is to execute a forehand flip, then move back as quickly as possible and touch the barrier behind you and return for the next ball. Alternate between forehand and backhand flips. This is a great drill for defenders.

Important Note: Please remember that these are very strenuous drills. Start slowly and work your way into shape. You will quickly see an improvement in both your physical conditioning and footwork speed.

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