Translating Rally Practice to Matchplay

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 1 year ago

Kenneth Tham

Kenneth Tham Asked 1 year ago

Dear Pingskills,

I am a recreational player but desire to get better progressively at table tennis. However, I find that even though I practice regularly twice a week, my match play against stronger players does not improve. I usually practice rallies with other players of similar ability or slight stronger than me. However, when it comes to matches, I cannot seem to execute the topspin shots that I practice in rallies. This is because matches usually start with short serves and some pushes. And the rallies usually end with some mistakes on pushes or an attack from my opponent. I usually also do not feel confident to attack the short or underspin balls. Do you have any suggestions on how I can better translate my topspin and attacking shots I practice in rallies to a match situation and improve my matchplay? Thanks.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 year ago

Hi Kenneth,

I see this a lot with players.  I think the first thing is to spend more time on the first couple of balls in the rally during training.  Practice more of your serve and return of serve and also pushing.  These strokes give you the opportunity to play the topspin strokes.  Often players don't get to that part of the rally because of the errors in the first few balls.

Then think about the translation from the push to the topspin.  That is the key stroke to focus on.  Start with some simple drills where you know that the ball is coming long to you.  After that start to get your training partner to put the balls into different positions and at times in the rally when you aren't expecting the long push to come.  This will take time to build up to and then a little more time to trust yourself in a match situation.

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Kenneth Tham

Kenneth Tham Posted 1 year ago

Hi Alois,

Thanks for the tips! They are helpful.


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