Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 9 years ago

Mark Baker

Mark Baker Asked 10 years ago

I do not have a training partner and I drive 40 minutes to play at club level once or twice a week.  I have a robot (newby) that I train on daily but when I get in actual match play, I see so many different balls that I lose 70% of the time.  I especially have trouble with the short backspin serve.  I have trouble setting my robot to duplicate that shot or serve.  Do you have any routines or advice I could follow.

Mark Baker

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 10 years ago

Hi Mark,

Robots are good for the purpose of improving a stroke or something simple like footwork.  It is difficult to then transfer that you matches because you are needing to track a ball in and out and then react to different strokes, spins as you have found out.

You really need to try and hit with someone as much as possible to really improve your ability to win matches.

With the short ball to the forehand, see if you can get the robot to serve the ball into that position.  If not again try to get a practice partner whenever you have one to give you a lot of pushes there in a row so that you can get the feel for the stroke.  It is mainly a touch factor.  The stroke needs to be kept really simple with a very relaxed hand and very little movement of the racket.  It is a matter of getting the racket angle right and then allowing the ball to hit the bat and rebound.

Sorry I can't help much more but finding a training partner is the best solution.

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Thoughts on this question

digby howis

digby howis Posted 10 years ago

Beat advice I could give; 1) watch the best players and study technique on youtube 2) understand the pro's and con's for every stroke you play - understand why your opponents are hitting wining strokes 3) and most important, play friendly matches against opponents that are much better than you. Reason is, 50% of average players lose points through unforced errors. Better players force you to improve quicker, not incrementally. 

Mark Baker

Mark Baker Posted 10 years ago

Thanks Alois/Digby.  I really like the website and have learned much in a short amount of time.


Pedro Arellano

Pedro Arellano Posted 9 years ago

Which Newgy do you have? either way you should definitely be able to practice receiving a push with it. If you have the 2050 than do drill 56. It's one of my favorites. It's a random short backspin serve followed by a deep push to either corner. You have to really loop that sucker, cause the backspin is pretty dang severe. that drill should really help you. You absolutely can get any of the cheaper models to do short backspin serves to you and loops. You just might not be able to get to do a serve followed by a deep push If you have one of the cheaper models. Have you seen Samson Dubina's Training Program on Youtube? The drill I'm talking about is at moment 2:10. That video plus pingskills has helped my game tremendously. I ordered the full dvd pack from pingskills. It was EXTREMELY worth the money. I couldn't be more pleased with the videos. I don't care that they aren't necessarily the best video and audio quality. The teaching is MARVELOUS. Check out the videos if you havent' already. Jeff and Alois have a gift for explaining things in an easy to understand and practical manner. Here is the link to the pingskills dvd's. I guess you can buy a membership to the site and get all these videos and more,but I like having the dvd's. I'll definitely be getting a membership eventually. I have plenty to work on just from these videos. Anywho, good luck to you at the tables! Thanks Jeff, thanks Alois!

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Pedro,

Thanks for providing that insight to the robot drill and also to the very kind words about the sit and lessons.  It is really nice to get such positive feedback.  Much appreciated.

carey marrs

carey marrs Posted 9 years ago

I own the Newgy 2050 robot and one nice feature is that drills can be custom designed on a pc and downloaded to the robot.  How cool would it be if Pingskills started designing drills for your robot.  Now that is a feature I would love to see.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Carey,

The Training Drills download that we have could be adapted I am sure.  Instead of having another player hitting the ball back to you, program the robot to hit that series of shots.  

Download the drills by going to the Free Downloads page and then clicking on the link for Training Drills.   You will see a whole lot of drills there that you can use.  For more information on all of the drills and their purpose, as a Premium member, you can go to the Training Secrets section of the site.  Let me know if you need any help with this.

Marcus Anbau

Marcus Anbau Posted 9 years ago

Robots are great to train consistency and train a certain technique. But one has to have a coach to correct errors or one can quickly develop wrong technique.

Well if one starts late with table tennis in my case at the age of 36 years its hard to get training. Most players a the bottom leagues do no systamtic training they just want to play. One often gets ignored because one is not good enough to keep up with them. One cant get better without training either, somewhat a leathal circuit.

Thats at least how it is in many Clubs in Germany, sadly. I changed club and found one where I can train every day on my own, with my own robot. It does never get tired and is allways in mood:) So for such cases the robot is great, even without a coach.It allowed my to quickly learn and catch up. Good enough to have the better players take me serious and play with me so I can learn more.

I correct myself, for that I use a camera. Most important technique videos I have on my laptop/mp3 player for comparisson.

Once techniques are stable , one has to to do mostly random drills to train at the same time footwork and anticipation. It is more matchlike. Ofc matches are better, but one cant simply play that much matches, the robot helps a lot untill a certain lvl.


I think I have the same robot as this Samson Dubina which has great random drills and I can program my own drills preferably the ones from pingskills here.

I trained a lot Nr. 16(random placement al over the table, all backspin) as on 2.50 min of that youtube video. I just train it currently much faster. I think about every 0.8 secs a new Ball. Helped me to greatly improve my service receive, short push,backhand/sidepsin flick, topspin off backspin, anticipation, reflexes and stamina. I do it on 10-20 min intervalls before I take a break. I did start on the same speed as the guy in the video for the 1st week and speed it up every week.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Thanks for your thoughts Marcus.  Some interesting points there.

Mark Baker

Mark Baker Posted 9 years ago

I posted this original question near July of 2012 when I first started taking table tennis seriously and was still working to figure out all the features of my Newgy 1050.  Everything that has be said and advised here has turned out to be true.  I still use the robot daily because I do not have a practice partner, but I realize its limitations.  I started taking lessons about  3 months ago and my instructor pointed out numerous flaws in my strokes that I was still not aware of after trying to copy the strokes from  It was my fault for not viewing the videos more frequently or while I was doing the strokes.  I would recommend to any beginner to make sure your strokes are correct before drilling on a robot.  Thanks for all the input and keep up the good work Alois, you were right on target.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Mark,

Thanks for this feedback.  It is always good to hear players real experiences.

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