Table tennis can be a fun and rewarding sport to play. With the proper training, and with acquired skills and endurance, anyone can learn to play table tennis well. More popularly known by its trade name, ping pong, table tennis may seem like a ballet when watched, but it can be difficult to learn.
If you are interested in playing table tennis, then you will benefit from table tennis training. Whether you are playing the sport as an enthusiast, or as a prospective international competitor, then you need to know the basics of the game, its rules, and even the physics that govern it.
In a nutshell, table tennis is played by two or four players, who face each other on opposite sides of a table, and are separated by a low net. Each opponent needs to keep the ball in the air, and they do this by hitting it with a paddle or racket from one side of the table to the other, or by bouncing the ball on the table if the force exerted by the paddle is insufficient to send the ball farther. Scores are awarded to the opposing team if the other team is unable to hit a ball that is in their capacity to hit.
There are two main skills that you will learn when you engage in table tennis training: speed and spin. You need to hit the ball at high speeds, and you will need to think on your toes as well, as table tennis is a very fast game. You will also need to give the ball a spin when you hit it with your racket. This spin can change a ball’s flight path, making it difficult for the other team to estimate the proper location with which to hit it. The best table tennis players can hit balls at speeds over a hundred kilometers per hour, or at speeds approaching seventy miles per hour.
Games can also be won by a good racket. Also called the bat, a racket will have two sides coated with a rubber mat. You can customize this rubber matting by estimating what speeds or spins you are comfortable with. When you are able to hold the racket expertly in your hand, and shift from one side of the racket to the other, then you can explore the advantages offered by the different table tennis racket rubber surfaces.
How you hold the bat can also make a difference in your play. In addition to building your endurance, table tennis training will make you find what holding position is comfortable for you. In general, there are three different holding positions for the table tennis racket. You can hold it as you would a pen, giving you greater grip, but less control over what rubber surface you choose. You can hold it like you would hold a hand in a hand shake, giving you more leeway to spin the racket and change your surfaces, but lessening the power of your grip. An experimental grip, the V-grip, combines the advantages of both grips, but needs skill to use and learn.
If you are interested in training to play table tennis, contact your local gym or physical fitness program for availability of table tennis courts. When you start your training, begin by viewing videos or DVDs to aid you in understanding the game. You may also need to do hands on training while watching table tennis training videos or DVDs, such as when you are instructed on how to hold the racket, or how to position yourself when you start playing.
Table tennis is difficult to learn, but with the proper training, you will be able to play it with some skill in no time. All you need to do is practice, take care of your gear, and you can enjoy table tennis and the exhilaration it can offer.