Last Updated on May 23, 2023
Playing ping pong is a fun pastime that many people enjoy. It has simple rules, but it does take a little bit of technique and practice to get used to passing the ball back and forth. While some people are naturally good at playing ping pong, others may need some tips and practice to learn how to be good at ping pong.
Even as a beginner, you can learn how to play this game. And after just a few games and following the tips below, you can learn how to win at ping pong too. Some of the tips you should follow to improve your skills and become a pro at this game includes:
In the Beginning
When you first get started, there are a few tips that will help you get used to this game. While the rules are simple, executing the game can be a challenge when you first get started. There are a few things to consider when you first start with ping pong including:
Pick a Good Paddle
The first step to learning how to win in ping pong is to use the right paddle. Choose a paddle designed for beginners, one with tacky rubber to maintain control to make this easier.
Try to find a paddle that will not add a lot of spin to your serves. This helps you maintain more control as you learn how to play. Do not worry too much about the power at this point. It is more important to master the technique and work on power later.
You should try out the paddle before you use it. See which one feels the most comfortable in your hand, using either the pen-hold or the shake-hold grip on the paddle. Each paddle is designed a little differently so try out a few and see how you like them.
Pick the Right Stance
The right stance can make all the difference when you learn how to play ping pong. You should always have the body set and balanced so you can easily move around the table and get to the ball.
After you finish your hit, it is important to return to the ready position, with the arm you use to play ready to return the ball quickly. The stance you choose will depend on what is the most comfortable for you so play around with it.
Generally, if you find your skills are with the forehand shot, then position yourself to the left of the table. If your backhand is better, then be on the right of the table.
Always Be On the Move
With ping pong, you need to be ready to move all the time. That little ball can quickly move all over the place based on how the other player returns it to you.
The good news is that as long as you remain in the ready stance, you should be able to move the ball quickly. The trick here is to be fast. The faster you are, the harder it is to beat you.
Remember the Corners
When you put that little ball in the corner, it is really hard to return, even for some of the best players.
The edges of that table can do the same thing, but the edges are harder to use and still keep the ball in place. You need to practice this one because if the ball does go off the table, you end up losing a point.
Use the corner shot with lobs over the net to see this work. Mix it up a little so your opponent is caught off guard and can’t keep up.
Keep the Shots Low
Your goal here is to keep the ball as low and close to that net as you can, without hitting the net. When you keep the shot as low as possible, it becomes more difficult for any fancy shots to head your way by your opponent. They may even struggle to add enough power behind it either.
Know the Fouls
Just like with any game, ping pong has some fouls that can end up losing you points if you do not pay attention. For example, if you bounce the ball more than one time before it heads over the net, you will lose a point.
You also have to be careful on how high you throw the ball. If you do it more than six inches while you do a serve, you will lose points.
As a beginner, take some time to look up and study the rules. This helps you avoid silly mistakes that will cost you the game.
Developing Your Technique To Get Good At Ping Pong
Once you have some of the basics down, it is time to develop your own unique technique that will help you win the game. Some great techniques to practice include:
Adding a spin paddle
Adding a spin or a curve to your serves is a useful technique that can throw the other party off, but it is a challenge. You first need to learn how the ball is spinning when you return it, helping you properly compensate for the spin as well.
There are several spins you can learn, but mastering the sidespin is one of the best. This can send the ball over to a direction your opponent is not expecting and can give you the point.
Put Effort Into It
Never just use your arm to return a serve from your opponent. Instead, you need to put the power of your whole body behind each stroke. This will catch the other party off guard and can help you win.
For example, try rotating your shoulders and hips as you hit the ball so you control the direction of the ball. This extra power will make the return more difficult for the other side.
Do Not Stay Consistent
In most things you do, consistency is key. This is not true when you play ping pong.
If you are consistent, this makes it easy for your opponent to guess where your next serve will go and they can return it to you easier. But if your opponent is not able to guess where the ball is going, you have the advantage.
Be random with most of your movements while playing. Slow the ball down and then speed it up. Go long and short. Just change it up to make things more difficult for your opponent to guess.
Becoming an Expert
As soon as you have some time to work on the techniques we discussed above, it is time to hone those skills and really become an expert in playing ping pong. Some of the tips you can use to do well with ping pong and to learn how to win at ping pong each time includes:
Have Your Own Paddle
In the beginning, your goal was to pick out a paddle that would help you learn as a beginner. As time goes on, you should start to get a better understanding of what works and what does not work and can choose a paddle that fits your style the best.
Having your own paddle can make your ping pong skills sharper. You know how it will behave and there are no surprises as you play.
Keep your paddle in good working order. Clean it and store safely to avoid any damage to the paddle at all.
The more you practice playing ping pong, the better you will get at the game. You can practice using different methods to help yourself improve. The important thing is to practice each day.
Constant practice will make it easier for you to win when you play ping pong. You will get better at maneuvering the ball and can learn how to master some of the different techniques. You can even learn how to increase your speed.
You do not need to spend all day practicing. But having at least a few minutes set aside each day for some practice will help.
It is fine to do some of the practicing on your own. You may not be able to find a partner to work with so get out a folding table and start a little practice on your own. If you do this against a wall you can practice some of the speed, lengths, and spins that you need to become really good.
You should take some time to practice with others too. Join a local club or find someone else in your area who would be able to practice with you.
The more people you can get to practice with you, the better. This helps you to get more experience and ensures you are ready to play the game against any opponent in the future.
If you want to learn how to be good at ping pong, you need to first learn how to play the game. With a little bit of practice and using some of the techniques we discussed above, you will improve your game and have a lot of fun while playing this game.