Footwork timing

Table Tennis Footwork

Last updated 9 years ago

JinMeng Lai

JinMeng Lai Asked 10 years ago


Can I enquire for footwork, be it footwork training drills or playing a match, after hitting a shot back, when do we move next to the new position? After we see the ball moving towards us, or before that?

I am asking because I cannot seem to get the timing right which makes it feel messy and sometimes I am even moving and hitting at the same time(no stability) and also a lack of coordination between both the legs and arms. Is there anything I can do to improve as well?

Any advice? Many thanks

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Jin Meng,

This is common.  The first thing to do is do a lot of training drills involving footwork.  You can go through the drills we have listed in our Training Secrets DVD.

During a rally it is important to watch the ball closely.  This will give you the earliest information about where to move next.  By watching the ball you will also see the other cues like their bat and hand, body position and feet that will help you read where the ball is going.  You don't need to be watching any of those things during the rally as by watching the ball you will see these through your peripheral vision.

After each shot make sure you are balanced so that you will be able to move in any direction. Balance is a crucial part of being able to move well.  If you are unbalanced during a stroke or after a stroke, it is really difficult to move and play a successful stroke.

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Thoughts on this question

ryan spintastic penner

ryan spintastic penner Posted 10 years ago

I agree with Alois.  Without balance, quickness seems like excessive motion with no productivity.  Quick foot work must be balanced. 

Abhiram Reddy

Abhiram Reddy Posted 9 years ago

I have the exact same question but can you please specify the best time to i should use my footwork and make my movement . I understand the part about getting into balanced position after making my stroke but when exactly should i move into position for my next stroke? Do i  start moving before or after my opponent makes his stroke(say he makes an aggressive stroke ,so do i anticipate where he is going to hit and how hard by his body movements/racket angle/backswing or do i move after he makes his stroke) ?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Abhiram,

It is important to watch the ball closely and then react to what you see.  Anticipation depends on what you see with the ball and also the cues you will get from his body movements.  It is impossible to tell where the other person is going to hit the ball until they make their stroke.

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