3 Awesome Footwork Drills

Sarah Jalli

Nittaku Girl Sarah Jalli shares her 3 favorite footwork drills courtesy of the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy. Forehand 1 and 1 Backhand Crosscourt and Backhand Down-the-Line & Forehand Crosscourt and Forehand Down-the-Line Middle Corner Sarah plays with the Nittaku Acoustic Carbon with Nittaku Fastarc C-1 on both sides. Sarah also got to play with the…

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Coaching Tip: Start Drills with a Serve

Most players practice with drills that are very different from what they actually do in a match. There’s a logic to this – you want to perfect each part of your game, and you do that by isolating the shot so you can do it repeatedly, something you can’t do nearly as effectively in a game situation. For example, if you want to be able to loop over and over against a block in a match, you first should practice looping over and over against a block in practice against a ball blocked to the same spot, which doesn’t happen often in a match. However, there’s a time for isolating a shot to perfect it, and a time to match game situations.

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Coaching Tip: Proper Practice Progression Prevents Poor Play

Do you do the Six P’s? Proper Practice Progression Prevents Poor Play. (Or, as I sometimes put it, “…Pathetic Play.”) I’ve actually heard this as the Five P’s, but I’ve added “Progression.” Proper practice progression means starting with the basics and working your way up to more advanced technique for all aspects of your game. It also means practicing these shots in context, i.e. game situations. Think of it this way, using the forehand as an example.

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Coaching Tip: Learning to Counterloop

Once you get past serve & receive, the basic rallying shot at the highest levels is counterlooping. Some do it from way off the table, others from close to the table (often taking the ball on the rise), while most take it somewhere in between, sometime after the top of the bounce (around table level), from five to eight feet back. It’s mostly done on the forehand side, but some do it on the backhand side as well – especially the best players in the world, who often backhand counterloop off the bounce. (Spectators often don’t even realize it’s a counterloop as it happens so quickly, and think it’s just a backhand block.) For this article, unless noted otherwise, I’m mostly talking about forehand counterlooping.

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The Physical Aspects of Your Table Tennis Game: Endurance; Speed; And Strength

To me being in great physical shape is a very important component to a successful table tennis game. There are many aspects to the physical game but today I am only going to cover the ones I believe are the most important for table tennis: Endurance; Speed; and Strength. My name is Seth Pech and I’m currently living in Rissen, Germany. I play at a club in Moorage and will soon play the 3rd spot in our club’s Hamburg 5th league team.

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Coaching Tip: The Falkenberg Drill

The Falkenberg Drill (also called the Two-One Drill and the Backhand-Forehand-Forehand Drill) is probably the most popular drill for players at the intermediate and advanced levels. It combines three of the most common moves in table tennis: covering the wide forehand, covering the wide backhand, and the step-around forehand from the backhand side (since you often want to end the point with your forehand against a weak ball to the backhand). Go to any major tournament and you’ll often see the top players warming up with this drill.

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