Proper footwork along with agility and stamina is essential in increasing the quality of your shot. It allows for better mobility making you execute better and make returns more accurately. For this reason, it is imperative for players like you to have exceptional footwork.
Table Tennis requires a variation in footwork during a match. Knowledge with footwork techniques will help you align your leg movement with your strokes. In fact, top players give a lot of attention to footwork. It should have these two attributes- “precise and quick”.
Here are 4 Basic Table Tennis Footwork Drills
1. Side to Side footwork
This drill is done by starting from your base position, move from a backhand to a forehand, you must move from your left foot to your right foot, and vice versa; thus, creating short quick steps in shuffling pattern from side to side. Do this swiftly when you are near the table. Always move your outside foot whether you are moving to the left or right.
This is the main footwork used in table tennis. Side to side footwork is used to cover the forehand attack from the pivot corner to the middle of the table. This means you must rotate your body more at the pivot corner and then use side to side pattern with a larger step, in order to move to the middle.
2. In and Out Footwork
When you want to return a short service, you should use an in and out footwork.
For moving inwards towards the ball, step your right foot going forward, positioning your right leg under the table. After your shot, return to the base position, and then move your left foot followed by the movement of your right foot under the tennis table.
After your turn, your right foot then moves back outwards. Then, your left foot return to your base position, in other words, follow this pattern:
Left, right, right and left
3. Crossover Footwork
This drill comes very handy for shots that are too wide and too fast for you to get in position using the shuffle step. The foot that passes the other is determined by a shot’s direction. In order to do this drill, you should move the left foot over the right (if you are right-handed).
The left foot should be utilized as a pivot for the body’s weight. The right foot should be placed wide. When both of the feet are on the floor, the ball should have been hit already! It is faster than using a side to side footwork. In short, it permits you to quickly turn around to pivot the ball.
So, let’s summarize again this pattern:
a. Left foot moves to your left side.
b. Right foot comes next; you should do this while rotating your body at the same time.
c. Body mass is placed on the right foot. The weight is transferred to the left foot during the stroke.
d. Last, come back to the original position.
4. Serving Footwork
One advantage of this move is allowing players to return to shots with better accuracy after the service. During service, most players make a small step forward and go back to the ready position, preparing to shuffle step. This footwork is not as easy as it seems. In fact, this is the most difficult move to master.
In actual the move looks like a little jump. But it is one of the easy ways to lose a point, if you are not fast enough to reach a shot coming to your far right side.
Serving footwork means you serve promptly after you jump into the ready position to respond by pivoting around your left leg.
Appropriate footwork leads to optimal body positions necessary in providing accurate strokes. Also bear in mind that, proper footwork promotes weight transfer correctly. The weight transfer pertains to the forward force.
Remember constant practice of table tennis footwork drills, enables you to get the rhythm of the game. It then results to fluid motion in every match. If you like to develop your table tennis footwork skills, you should create a training regimen using the drills mentioned above. Be consistent with your training and incorporate these drills. If you aspire to be a table tennis pro, hard work and a lot of patience are required!
About the training
Training is among the basics before competing in any sports. It educates you to the history and other facts about your chosen game. In training, different techniques and principles of the game are introduced. All are aiming to enhance your knowledge and skills, which are both essential weapons in your success as an athlete.
The connection between the coach and the athlete is an important factor in the training process. Trust and confidence are necessary to achieve the goal of the training.
Additional tips for playing table tennis:
- Choose your paddle wisely.
This will be your equipment for the game. Select something your comfortable with. That’s among the best thing you can do to ensure your preparedness for any game.
- Get accustomed to your stroke, until you they become natural.
Your best moves come when you do not analyze your skill. Once you’re accustomed to your stroke, you play naturally thus resulting to better game performance.
- Utilize your whole body to make a powerful forehand stroke.
- Ready… your ready position.
An effective ready position possesses balance and prepares your body to move swiftly in any direction.
- Never change paddle often.
When you change paddle often, you cannot acquire familiarity with your equipment. Thus, it can hurt your game.
- Be familiar with what spin is on the ball.
Be in constant eye contact with your opponent’s paddle. Doing such will allow you to predict the spin of the ball. This makes you well – prepared for your next move.
This is the only way for attaining your ultimate goal – WHICH IS TO BECOME A PRO or A CHAMP.