First trip to the table tennis club

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 4 years ago

Jim PingPalHal

Jim PingPalHal Asked 4 years ago

Tomorrow evening is my first trip to the only table tennis club that I can feasibly attend. I have no idea what to expect, so I'm planning on just showing up with my bat and asking anybody if they want to play.

I'm generally hoping someone collecting the money will ask me if it's my first time coming and then will maybe point me in the right direction. The first hour is open play, then they apparently do some matches. What I'm hoping to get out of it is to play some better players, learn a bit, and maybe talk equipment to see how different paddles feel.

How do clubs deal with new players? Is it like prison? Should I find the best player in the club and slap them in the face with my paddle as a show of dominance.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 4 years ago

Hi Jim,

Your last option is probably not a good one... ?

I would go with the option of getting there and looking for the person who looks like they are in charge and ask them what happens at the session.

Hopefully, they will approach you when they see a new face and let you know what is happening.

It will be really interesting to hear your experiences.  Going to a club is something that we encourage players to do... It has been a long tie since I have experienced this myself so hopefully you can share for all to hear.

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Jim PingPalHal

Jim PingPalHal Posted 4 years ago

I'll definitely report back. I'm kind of nervous but also very excited to play new opponents who are better than me. 

Jim PingPalHal

Jim PingPalHal Posted 4 years ago

I ended up going to the club for about an hour and a half last night.

When I got there the guys running it were setting up the tables and everyone made introductions. They were nice dudes and there were already 3 other first timers there helping out.

I ended up having a hit with one of the other first timers although he was not a new player, just visiting the area. Everyone I ended up playing against was very easy going to talk to and offered tips and advice. I think I picked what ended up being some of the better players in the club to have my first few matches against so I soundly lost, but I really feel like I learned a lot from last night.

I'm not used to seeing that amount of spin and pace on balls coming back to me. My normal practice partner isn't trained and I don't really have any outlet to be exposed to "real" table tennis. So most of the night I was just grinning from seeing how the ball was reacting. Returning good serves require much more control and decision making than I'm used to. Seeing big looping forehands coming back at me was fun to try and react to.

The guys I played said I have pretty good technique for a beginner and I did make some good winning shots and decisions, but just the consistency wasn't there. I still consider myself a beginner and that was the first time I've played a match on a table that wasn't confined to a garage, so the space and area and calibur of player made basically every ball returned to me a new experience/situation. It has made me want to keep playing this level of competition because I know it would really bring me up to speed.

Unfortunately it was also an extremely long day for me as I have a long commute and my day went "drive-work-pingpong-drive-sleep-get up and drive/work again" and I barely saw my wife and daughter the past few days so it's not the type of thing I'm going to be able to do often. 

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Hi Jim,

Thank you.  That sounds like a good experience.  I like to think that we can have faith in the clubs to welcome new players.

Your experience is one of the big reasons we encourage players to seek out a club.  The opportunity to see a wider range of players and styles and shots to play against...

Even if you get there intermittently I am sure it will still give you good benefits.

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