I am constantly asked how do I improve my table tennis consistency?
3x Exercises that can help you develop your consistency
1. Multi-ball or TT Robot:
If you have a sparring partner who can do multi-ball (Multi-ball tutorial click here). This is a system that was introduced by the Chinese to increase consistency by hitting 100’s of balls within a short space of time. The system develops muscle memory and gives you the ability to hit thousands of balls working on footwork, technique and consistency. This system is extremely beneficial and compared to a normal practice of 1 ball per rally, followed by time spent on picking up the ball, its a no-brainer
Table Tennis Robot
If you don’t have access to a sparring partner or coach and wish to get similar results, you can purchase a table tennis robot. The same principle applies, you are able to hit many balls within a short space of time.
The issue (of which you may or may not agree with), the variety of shots accessible and the spin received can be unrealistic. Furthermore, most people after a given time (shortly after initial use/purchase) you will most likely get bored. This is due to limited sequences and zero interaction, or feedback.
2. Single Ball Training
The polar opposite is a ‘single ball training session’ but with a twist! One of my former coaches had a theory (if you train with one ball in a large hall) it encourages your full focus on a single rally and reduces unforced error’s. When you have lots of balls nearby, your focus is reduced on unforced errors.
I must admit this helped me in two ways; 1) my focus became “match like” and 2) the disappointment of an unforced error (was thought) about while fetching the ball.
Look to implement the suggested training at least once a month and this can be decreased or increased in order to have greater development. I also believe this type of training is better suited for advanced players…
Having the perfect technique is not vital for consistency but it may harm progression.
The key regardless of a poor or good technique is to find what works for you. Once established you must focus on re-enforcing that movement and make it muscle memory. If a technically varying stroke has been developed and used in match play, you will notice many unforced errors. This is due to technical deficiencies and anything that has poor foundations will ultimately fail in some sort of way. So repetition of a correct movement is vital in maintaining a stable stroke through an exercise into a match. Please note, different strokes are needed for different types of balls received, e.g. a backspin ball requires a different stroke to a topspin ball.
They say 6000 repetitions are required to build muscle memory. Therefore, I would focus on developing a stroke that works and follow it up with 6000 reps.
Equipment plays a big role when it comes to consistency, therefore you must make sure you buy a good bat that will give you the best possible chance of developing your game. A few personal recommendations for developing or advanced players please click here
There’s no real secret to becoming consistent, it’s about correct reps and developing the correct mindset.
Written by Eli Baraty
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