Showing a newbie around

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 7 years ago

Arjan van Luttikhuizen

Arjan van Luttikhuizen Asked 7 years ago

I'm about to take a friend of mine to the TT club this Thursday. He has next to no experience holding a paddle and does not play any sport regularly. I'd like to give him a chance to experience the game and have some fun and not get too caught up in the technical details.

Material: Should I let him play with my allround bat with grippy rubbers? Or would it be a better idea to give him something with dead rubbers or a hardbat just so he can get more on the table...

Basics: Should I bother with explaining the correct form of the shakehand grip? Basic serve? Forehand/backhand? What about the ready position?

Shot technique: I'm thinking I'm just going explain the basics I named above and let him hit the ball freely after that. Would that be an alright approach? Or should I try and get him to start with the technique for the drive and push?

Anything I missed?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Arjan,

Give him your all round bat.  I think it is better than a hard bat to start with.  I would just let him hit for a while and then gauge his interest in learning.  Hit the ball anywhere on the table slowly just allowing him to dictate the speed of the ball with you just blocking the ball back, no spin.

As he shows interest you can think about the forehand technique and the backhand technique.  I wouldn't try to do too much on the first session.  Just let him enjoy hitting the ball around. If he is particularly interested in technique then you can move on to backhands and stance and the other things you mentioned.

The Strokes & Techniques page is a good guide as to the order of learning that we recommend. Work your way down the page.

Good luck with your teaching.

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Arjan van Luttikhuizen

Arjan van Luttikhuizen Posted 7 years ago

Hey Alois, thanks for featuring the question on the show!

Yesterday things went great, it's really hard to get this particular person I'm showing around to be enthusiastic about anything so the fact that he wanted to come again next week was good te hear.

Anyway, I took up your advice and made sure to let him know that if he had any questions or wanted any tips he could ask at any time, but other than that we just went out there and played some... well, ping pong. His natural grip didn't seem too far off so I told him to just hold it the way he felt most comfortable, about an hour in he agreed to try out the shakehand grip properly and had no problems adjusting in just about 5 minutes.

I was really surprised how little issues he had choosing between backhand and forehand, and how much he was getting back on the table. Rallies went on for 10+ balls in no time and near the end of the evening I let him play against another beginner. I'm not exaggerating if I say we might have a natural talent on our hands!

He's smart, naturally picking up on concepts like "hitting alongside the ball" (brushing) to produce topspin (with very poor technique but still) and adjusting his bat angle to compensate for light top/backspin on his own accord.

Another fun note, He already knew the basic rules for serving, though, he did struggle to get it right himself for a couple of minutes. I think I know where he got a bunch of his information from though... ^^

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Well done Arjan...  glad he had a good experience... might have another convert to the great game!

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