Some success of the Chinese National Team has come from frequent training. “Typically they do seven hours of training each day – both table play and physical training away from the table” However, most of us are not professionals and have many other activities. We find it hard to have time to go to the local table tennis club or to have a good practice partner. One solution may be robot training. It is efficient, convenient, and quality. It sounds easy but it can be frustrating and hard.
Here are some tips that will help you be more successful:
- Set goals
Setting goals will give you a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. It will motivate you and help you know what you need to work on. Focusing on your goals will help maximize the quality of your training. For instance, I set goals for a speed I should reach on a drill.
- Be adjustable
Whether it is your body condition or mood, you should adjust the difficulty of your drills. You probably will not be able to reach your goal on your first try, so you should adjust the drill to make small steps towards it. For example, I tried to practice forehand 1:1 but it was too fast and wide, so I slowed it down and set the balls closer to each other. Gradually, I increased the difficulty as I improved.
- Vary your drills
You should always practice different drills or add variation to them. This will help you become adjustable to all types of balls. If you play the same exact drill every time, then you will only be able to play against a specific spin and speed.
- Be creative
Imagine your problems and try to solve them with your own drills. This is one of the most efficient ways to improve because it is customized just for you.
- Challenge yourself
Always raise the bar so that you can keep improving. You should try to get comfortable with what you are not comfortable with. This is another way of improving your efficiency.
- Be ready to make mistakes
Starting off with robot training can be very hard, so you have to be patient and keep trying your best. Most of the time when I start to practice, my first round is very low quality. However, I just keep trying and I start to feel better.
- Organize your time
Make sure you are not spending too much or little time on each drill. This is another factor for efficient training. For example, sometimes I do not feel content with a drill, but I move on to the next drill and try it again the next day.
- Balance robot training with human training
You should not over replace robot training with human training, because the feeling is still different. There are still some things that robots do not do as well as humans.
- Have fun!
You should have fun when you are playing with the robot. If every time you feel miserable, then your training quality is not as good. Focus on the positive aspects of your training and just give yourself a break sometimes.
With all this information, you might want to purchase a robot. There are many quality robots but I recommend the ones that are compatible with a phone or tablet. They are the most convenient and adjustable. You can get some of these quality robots from Paddle Palace.
Hodges, Larry, and Cheng Yinghua. The Secrets of Chinese Table Tennis, 2005,