Table tennis and its complexity demands downright focus, time investment for training sessions, and perseverance for players to improve. So that goes to say that it is essential to familiarize ourselves with the top common mistakes, especially the starting ones, that table tennis players commit all the time. Because otherwise, you may actually end up committing the same mistakes which can really be detrimental to your table tennis progress.
For instance, in contrast to very refined and coherent strokes, body and foot movement, indulging in unorthodox strokes, unhealthy footwork, and/or poor timing shots will doubtlessly result in defective and low-quality shots. And also, correcting these flaws grows more complex as you carry on with common table tennis mistakes.
Tracking your progress and correcting common table tennis mistakes at the soonest possible time will spare you from tirelessly correcting inappropriate habits concerning table tennis. Nobody wants to be very used to mistakes and bad habits such that it would consume a considerable amount of time before those bad habits are unlearned and the new and proper habits are learned.
Read on to further be notified about some of the most common table tennis mistakes.
Excessive body and arm stiffness
Stiff and tensed muscles induce additional weight in your strokes that will only slack up your swing. On the other hand (not in literal terms, kidding), relaxed muscles produce more acceleration thus increasing the speed and refinery of your strokes. A more refined and graceful stroke always bring about higher accuracy, higher success rate, and faster acceleration.
This mistake can be lessened by applying conscious effort to make your body more flexible and limp. This means engaging in flexibility training and more shadow and saturation training sessions.
Using awkward and faulty footwork
The worst tendency of wrong positioning and poor balancing in footwork is producing substandard quality returns capable of being trounced and trampled over by your opponents. Many table tennis players ground their whole foot to the ground. This only incapacitates them from moving precisely towards each ball return and therefore what they do is just reach for the ball. The stroke will apparently be cramped and subpar. This will then result to insufficient energy transfer to the ball, and as mentioned above, providing the ball cheap quality spin capable of being easily attacked by the opponent. The key to overcoming faulty footwork is moving slowly (at first) and simply. To start mastering the proper movement, a multi-ball training specified for footwork moving or a training partner feeding you at ends of the table with a distance forcing you to move are some of the exercises you can put into practice. And, as you go smoother and relaxed with the pacing, you can go faster and faster until the correct footwork is automated.
Having poor hitting timing
Table tennis players sometimes can get too enthralled by the fascination of flashy shots finishing off rallies to garner a point. We all know it should not be the case at all times. When an overly offensive stroke is improperly applied to a chop at its lowest peak, or similarly when a late ball contact is contended against a spiny loop, the most probable case would be an immediate point thrown off to the opponent. Your body and stroke coherence should be consistent with the ball placing.
Playing with the inappropriate racket set-up
Price is not the sole determinant of a blade or rubber’s quality. Seek advices from players who have already experienced playing with your table tennis equipment prospects, or do your research looking for credible online reviews, all before investing in your very own table tennis racket. Better yet, ask some friends possessing the table tennis equipment you eye to lend their racket to you for a quick testing, because in this sense you get to try the equipment first-hand.Even professional table tennis players cave in to this mistake. With the widespread technological advancements, it is not much of a surprise that table tennis players every so often assemble incompatible blade and rubber combinations, although this dilemma most frequently happens with beginners.
Having T.M.I. (Too much information)
Naturally, regardless whether you are newly introduced to table tennis or an already experienced player, you will encounter a lot of seemingly relevant and useful table tennis information from various but not necessarily related sources may it be your coaches, trainers, teammates, or the internet. Having these information spring in your table tennis walk is not much of a bad idea, unless they begin propelling contradictions against each other and thus generating confusion. Apparently, not all knowledge nuggets you obtain will suit your play-style.
The course of action to take when dealing with too much information about table tennis is inclining for the most credible source there is among the feeders. In this case you eliminate the risk of compatibility issues when trying to put into exercises the advises and tips of your hand-picked source.
Not trying to learn the rules enough
Although the dynamics of table tennis is quite simple – just bouncing the ball to-and-fro the opposing sides of the table- there are still a lot much more to learn when we dwell into the deeper technicalities of table tennis. Some table tennis players fail to familiarize themselves with the proper rules. Sure, the rules are in your hands in garage table tennis but it would never be the case in professional settings.
Take the case of the service rule which states that service shall start with the ball placed on top of the resting palm of the player’s non-dominant hand followed by a toss with no less than 6 inches in height. Also, the toss should only project in a vertical motion without any imparted spin. This very specific table tennis rule is oftentimes violated by table tennis beginners.
Of course the last thing that you would want to problem about when you play outside of practice is getting your service pronounced by the umpire as fault just because you violated terms of the service rule, or, in general, if you fail to submit in accordance to all the table tennis official rules provided by the International Table Tennis Federation (I.T.T.F.).
Lack of regular practice
This cannot be stressed too much anymore; the caption above already speaks for itself. It is indeed a mistake not to invest a lot of time for quality training when you are a proclaimed aspiring table tennis professional. Apparently, training with adequate time (of course paired with sufficient determination, motivation, and proper mind-set) is the key to become a better player.
Given the complexity of this sport as compared to the others, with all the necessary information and techniques to learn in table tennis, time and conscious effort is really obligatory to improve yourself. Not practicing in regular terms means just wasting your time invested in occasional training sessions that you attend in.
Generally being impatient
At some point of their table tennis walk, every player has already grown impatient in their journey, may it be in correcting proper strokes, desiring to overhaul improvements in a short timeframe, or mastering proper footwork and weight shifting.
Most players, mainly the ones without professional coaches and mentors, wallow in temporal and halfway measures (or the so-called Band-Aid solution) in changing bad techniques. They try to make minor adjustments for major changes. The tendency for this case may only transfer them to making another poor technique.
Or, for table tennis players who have successfully prevailed over the dreaded routinely practice to change bad techniques and habits, some of them quickly plays in-games and thus dramatically increase the likelihood of turning back to old habits. Playing over matches activates your subconscious field which is responsible for the resorting to muscle memory and playing old habits you used to do. Unless you already mastered your new technique in a habitual manner, you will really fall back to your old habits.
Correcting these common table tennis mistakes is lengthy journey, but it will certainly pay-off when ample time and effort is invested. To be able to effectively eliminate these common mistakes that you keep on doing, you must take a break from playing table tennis matches, may it be casually or professionally. It is necessary to focus and solely focus on fixing the mistakes and not further reinforce it.
Saturation training is the best option in this case. It means devoting an extended period of time trying to attain the end-goal of improving whatever aspect in your skills you are trying to work on. This can be furthered by shadow training to increase your steadiness, sharpness, and automatism of your strokes (to overcome bad habits) and movement (in the case of footwork shadowing).
To end, as this very interesting posed question quotes: “how can you fill your cup when it is already full?” In the same premise, it is impossible to overcome the common table tennis mistakes you experience if you are very much unwilling to empty your cup and rather resort to further reinforcing your mistakes and bad habits.