Insufficient consistency in training drills

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 6 years ago

Arjan van Luttikhuizen

Arjan van Luttikhuizen Asked 6 years ago

Hi Alois and Jeff,

Recently me and my training partner have started the 52 week training plan. We both have a couple years of club level experience but somehow we still struggle with the consistency of our basic strokes. It really shows in the footwork drills where we aren't really getting to do much footwork at all! It was already fairly noticeable on week 5 but the three-ball drills in week six were barely useful to us!

For me personally I feel like my forehand drive is a little stiff and I have trouble placing it right, backhand is all-right but far from perfect. I think greatly varying depth is my biggest problem. My partner has it the other way round, he's a Chinese-penhold player that does not use the classic backhand block/drive at all. The only way he can play the ball from his backhand side is by pushing or with a reverse backhand stroke - the latter leaves a lot to be desired.

Our pace, placement and height all vary too much during these drills, and finger hits/edge hits are way too common. When one ball comes at an awkward angle, pace or height then the consistency of the next ball suffers greatly as well. This usually causes a chain reaction forcing us to stop the rally or just fail trying to fix it. About 70-80% of our footwork drill rallies are cut off early.

How should we continue our training?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 years ago

Hi Arjan,

It sounds like it would be better for you to spend a few weeks focusing on consistency with strokes only.  Spend time aiming for consistency of the stroke by seeing how many balls you can get in a row without a mistake.

It is important to get the basics right first so that you are able to keep the ball in play a little longer to make the drills more effective.

Even, when you start back with the Training plan, only use the weeks as guide.  It is OK to spend a few weeks with each session to make sure you are feeling comfortable with the drills you are doing.

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Arjan van Luttikhuizen

Arjan van Luttikhuizen Posted 6 years ago

Thanks Alois, we'll go back to just training our consistency and doing drills that we felt comfortable with so far. I'll make sure we pay extra attention to stroke execution - though we only really have ourselves and each other to correct mistakes in form.

What do you think of a Chinese-penhold player never using their bat's "forehand" side to play balls from their middle/backhand? I've been worried about this in regards to my partner for a while now because it seems to me that it negates one of the biggest advantages of playing penhold in the first place. (elimination of the crossover point)

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 6 years ago

Hi Arjan,

I think that is a good decision to go back to the consistency.

Regarding your friend, I think you are right here.  It is important for a penholder to have a good solid normal backhand.  A lot of penholders at club level now are trying to use their Reverse Penhold backhand too much.

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