Top players and coaches agree that table tennis requires a variety of training types. Some examples of training include drills, robots, multi-ball practice, serving practice, matches, plus a variety of physical training. Within those types of training, a multitude of variations are excellent. To be a complete player, one must be able to win against any playing styles: looper, chopper, pips, lefty, etc…
When I don’t have a partner to train with, I use my robot, which provides a lot of variety. Have a look at the drills in my video. I’ve shown the Robo-Pong 2050 pre-programmed drill number so you can do the same drills if you have this particular robot. There are a lot of programmable robots that allow you to customize combinations of balls so you can do specific drills.
For drills such as #28 and #59, I set the robot for topspin/sidespin. This is best performed by adjusting the robot head to the left or right 3 clicks. This variation has done 4 things for me:
- Improved my concentration
- Improved my ability to follow the ball closely with my eyes
- Improved my ability to counterloop against lefty and right hook loops
- Improved my ball placement on “weird” balls
Some key advantages of training with a robot are:
- It can be hard to find a practice partner that is as consistent as a robot, feeding various types of balls.
- Even if you have a good training partner they may not always be available.
- You can practice at any odd hour of the night.
- The repetition really helps your consistency.
- If you have a robot with a catch net, you don’t have to pick up balls.
Give it a try, it’s fun I promise you’ll have a good challenge.
Samson Dubina is an accomplished player and coach. He was the US Nationals Men’s Singles Finalist in 2010. Learn more about Samson.