Table Tennis Footwork Tips
Table tennis is a paddle and table sport played either individually or in pairs. To make quality shots, mastering good footwork is crucial. Here are some tips to get you started.
It is essential to get the right posture if you want to move correctly and quickly during the whole game. In order to do this, you need to keep your knees bent and slightly lean forward as you play. Your feet should be about a foot apart as you grip a table tennis racket just above your waist, and your distance from the table should be around 40cm. For best weight distribution, you should put all of your weight on your toes instead of your heels, as this will allow you to lean forward easily.
There are a lot of drills to train your footwork, but the best way to improve agility is the “ladder drill” which should be done every day for 5 minutes. It includes the following ladder exercises: step forward and backwards training, pivot step, lateral jump, twisted, jump back, small step, and relax.
The footwork needs to be precise and quick, so to achieve the best movements, you need to master these four main footwork patterns:
- 2 steps pattern. It’s composed of 1 big step of the right foot and a small jump of both feet. After serving, you can use this move to return to the ready position.
- Quick jump pattern. Used for moving forward or backwards during the rally. It is very important to move from a distance near the table to a distance about halfway.
- Side by side feet movement. Move your body to the right by pushing your left foot to the ground and moving your body to the right. To make quality shots, you need to change the centre of gravity between the feet. This will allow you to do weight transfer correctly.
- Cross Over Pattern. When covering a larger area quickly, use this pattern. Your left foot can be used as a pivot, and your right foot can be moved across as you play your shot.
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