Sports are man’s attitude to good health. They are our lifetime possession, so enriching, so benefiting. All come with their own set of plus for you to gain big, both indoors and outdoors.It is up to you to decide that what suits you the best, they know its working and later on master it to get the upper hand. Today I’ll be speaking about one such sport that’ll not only keep you active indoors but will keep you active outdoors as well. It can be played all the year round because it is an indoor sport-Table Tennis. But before getting on, let us know the inside of it.

Its Birth

Once a parlor game, table tennis began as a game of leisure in the 1880s, when lawn tennis players decided to play indoors in their effort to beat the winters. So the equipment had to be different from that of lawn tennis to make the game possible and enjoy it. Wooden frame bats, covered with animal skin, struck the rubber or cork balls, on both sides of a table. Today the complexion of the game has changed and so its approach, making it more entertaining and captivating. This game has crossed boundaries, traveled the distance and gained stardom in every sports-loving country.

Its Transformation

Going down the memory lane, when we look at the equipment, table tennis paddles were devoured of fancy sponges or sticky rubber. The paddle’s wooden frame only had a slim covering of sandpaper, disallowing friction with the ball and at the same time curbing its spin. This led to long rallies and at the same time strategizing a win, rather than relying on speed and power for dominance. Today, the scenario is completely different, table tennis paddle has earned a new facelift, with one side red and the other black which goes to suggest that the paddle was donned by spin heavy rubber on one side and the other side was spin less.

Table tennis

Getting in the groove

To help you come to grips with all the table tennis lingo, we’re going to take a look at the basics, players incorporate while playing table tennis. How they master their skills and take the game to the next level.Also, we’ll look at the all necessary armory – Table tennis racket, Table tennis balls, Table tennis table and a Practice Partner.

Choosing a suitable paddle

The first step to begin with as an aspiring table tennis player is to get a racket that suits your play style. This holds immense relevance while getting your hands on the game.

table tennis shots

What to look for?

Pick the rubber type that suits your style.

If you are defensive in nature, you should choose a paddle with rubber that minimizes spin. But your gameplay is just the opposite, then you will need a rubber with more stick to give you the spin edge.

Sponge thickness beneath the rubber.

Here also your nature of play comes into force. If you are defensive the sponge underneath the rubber should not be thick because of thicker sponge springs the ball of the paddle in a jiffy. This aptly suits the attacking players.

Handle for the right grip.

A good grip can always turn the tides in your favour and handle is the area to get your hands on the game.The handle you choose should comfort your grip and the popular types that’ll aid you are straight and flared.

Create your Benchmark serve

After getting a suitable paddle, matching your play style, give birth to a service that catches your opponent on the wrong foot which forces him/her to play to your strongholds. It is this service that’ll set the momentum and be the deciding factor in earning you the point. So, you need to be a creator of a few of them and spin is one good option to be incorporated because when a spinning ball bounces off your opponents paddle giving you the view of the direction in which the ball is moving.

table tennis serve

Effects of ball spins:

  • Topspin will force your opponent to pop the ball up and hit it for a longer distance.
  • Backspin will keep the ball down, forcing your opponent to hit it into the net.
  • Left-spin will keep the ball to your left.
  • Right spin to your right.

Now it is up to you to decide on which spin you should use that’ll force your opponent to hit the ball in the direction of your choice.

Now how to decide on the spin

  • If backhand gives you power, left spin will be best suitable (move your paddle to the left while hitting the ball).
  • If forehand gives you power, right spin will be apt (move your paddle to the right while hitting the ball).
  • If you love playing at electrifying speed, moving away from the table, top spin will serve the purpose (move paddle up while hitting the ball).
  • If you want to play at lower speeds, close to the table, backspin will do the trick (move paddle down while hitting the ball).

Once you have decided on the type of spin for your serve, you can bring in top spin or backspin, along with a sidespin to strengthen your game plan.

Countering your Opponent’s Spin

It’s not that your masterstroke will work all the time. At times your opponent will also try to have his/her say. So, it is necessary to know how to counter your opponents return. While facing a return, watch for the direction of your opponent’s paddle because this will tell you about the movement of the ball. If your opponent was able to return your serve there is likely some sort of spin on the ball. Your opponent will either try to overpower your spin with another type of spin, return the ball without adding a spin of his or her own, or add even more of the same type of spin. The way to tell what kind of spin is on the ball is to watch the direction of your opponent’s paddle while he/she is striking the ball. If the opponent does not put in any spin to the ball then just look for the spin you put in. if its paddle movement is in the direction of the spin you put on the ball then he/she is trying to minimize the spin and this will give you an opportunity to decide for your next shot. If the direction of the paddle is in the opposite direction of the spin you put on the ball then he/she is trying to add some spin. Here you have to show some constraint, you have desisted yourself from showing aggressiveness with a careful return by aiming in the direction that you originally moved your paddle to serve or else you’ll end up losing.

To prepare you need

  1. A practice partner.
  2. Serve to your partner and have him/her put spin on the return.
  3. Practice returning these shots.

How to return with power

table tennis player serving

If your opponent hits the ball too high, you can make him pay for it by hitting the ball with utmost power over the net. This might lead your opponent, returning the shot into the net. To get your hands on it:

  1. Find a practice partner.
  2. Ask him/her to hit easy shots to you.
  3. Get into a good athletic position.
  4. When the ball is in the air, lower your arm.
  5. Angle the paddle a bit forward.
  6. Sweep your arm upwards and forward at the time when you are striking the ball (This is necessary because this gives you the opportunity to power your shot and spin as well).

Remember the essential four – forehand drive and push, backhand drive and push are those strokes that’ll keep you in table tennis. And mastering this art will decide your dominance in the game.

Look for Your Opponent’s Weakness

table tennis by family

After having known the basics of table tennis, you should also know how to maximize on your opponents weakness.You can:

  1. Find out during warm ups and the early point stage of the game.
  2. Switch up your shots by placing them in different spots to keep your opponent guessing.
  3. While hitting at your opponents weakness, do not play shots that are difficult for you and do not always hit in his/her areas of weakness because it might lead you to attempt those shots that are harder.

So, are you ready to gain that gold like luster? Sweat yourself out in the chamber of hard work in earnest, following the above-mentioned steps on a regular basis, and the results will be in your favor.

Read: 5 Drills That Will Help You Get Better At Table Tennis

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