Preparation Exercises

Preparation Exercises

You need to develop a feel for the grip of the rubber surface and how much force you have to put into your motion to make the ping pong ball spin. You'll need high quality competition table tennis rubber for this to work. If your rubber does not allow you to do that it is not suitable for high level playing.

Throw the ball sideways into the racket and brush across the bottom of the ball. You'll have to adjust the table tennis racket angle so you drive the ball straight up and not away from you. When the ball falls back try to catch it on the racket surface so it goes straight up.

Exercise two starts the same way, but instead of catching ball, reverse the racket angle and let the ball bounce on the other side of the racket. Since the spin reverses after the first bounce, the opposite slope will now make it bounce up again. Give it a bit of extra force and the spin will reverse again. See how many you can make without losing control. Obviously this exercise is much more difficult.

The next exercises help you develop racket hand control. Toss the ball up without spin and catch it with the racket, allowing it to bounce as little as possible. Raise your hand and meet the ball as it drops. Learn how to control your racket hand. The same exercise as before but this time have a friend throw the ball to you from about ten feet away. Again, catch it with as little bounce as possible.

This exercise is designed to teach you the feeling for underspin. Swing the racket under the ball, making it go straight up, and then bounce on the ping pong table directly in front of you. Make sure you first adjust the racket angle so the ball bounces straight up, not sideways. Once you've mastered that, gradually make it bounce on the table closer and closer to the net until you can make it bounce over the net.

You will notice that the ball will bounce in the opposite direction of the rack motion, and when the ball crosses over the net it will bounce back towards you. This exercise will teach you the feeling of brushing over the ball. You will use that feeling for topspin shots. Swing your racket over the top of the ball and make it roll. Try to achieve this without letting the ball skid of bounce at all. You can clearly hear the ball bouncing or skidding when your touch is too heavy. When you do it right the ball will quietly start rolling and you'll only hear the topspin trying to grab the table.

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