Learn to play table tennis

Exercises and Tips for Learning to Play Table Tennis and Improving

Learning to play table tennis isn't easy. Here you'll find all the information and tutorials to help you improve your table tennis skills. Serving, forehand, backhand, and topspin will no longer be mysteries to you thanks to these tips.

Beginners: the basics of table tennis

Gripping the racket and serving

This involves how to hold the handle and position your fingers on the blade. Holding your racket correctly will allow you to have maximum sensation and play easily on both forehand and backhand. As the starting point of every exchange, the serve is the only shot where you must bounce the ball first on your side of the table before it crosses the net. Through learning, it can become a formidable weapon!

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Movement

It's rare that during a rally the ball arrives twice in the same place on the table. To play the ball under good conditions and be effective, it's necessary to move quickly. To do this, there are two types of movements: lateral movements (from left to right) and depth movements (from front to back).

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Tactical basics

Table tennis, a sport of ultimate duels, requires skill and precision. The player's objective should be to end the rally, meaning winning the point by putting their opponent in a position where they cannot return the ball to the table. To achieve this, here are some strategies that will help make a difference.

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Ball actions

Carrying: This is the most basic action on the ball. The objective is to control the ball but also to become familiar with the sensations produced by ball/racket contacts. This action will allow for maximum exchanges with your partner.

Striking: Action that involves increasing the force with which the racket strikes the ball. The goal is to learn to increase the speed of the game and discover new sensations produced by variations in rhythm.

Rubbing: This action on the ball is what characterizes table tennis the most. It will eventually allow you to put more or less spin on the ball. Well-mastered, this skill will lead to significant progress!

Damping: It's about feeling, controlling the ball. This action requires a real adjustment of the force with which the racket makes contact with the ball. The goal is to understand that through a suitable action on the ball, its trajectory can be controlled.

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Cornilleau designs equipment tailored to all your needs; here are our equipment suggestions for beginners.

For outdoor practice:

- 300X Outdoor Table: Suitable for players of all levels, it impresses with its simplicity and durability.

- Tacteo Racket: Easy to handle, it offers performance in the game that will suit most players.

- P-BALL Outdoor Ultradurable: Specifically designed for outdoor use, they are heavier and more durable to withstand windy conditions.

For indoor practice:

- 300 Indoor Table: It combines the excellent rebound quality of particleboard playing surfaces with the robustness inspired by outdoor tables.

- Perform 500 Racket: Its grippy coverings ensure consistent trajectories and spin in each of your shots.

- P-BALL ABS EVOLUTION 1* : Training ping pong balls designed for regular use

Experienced players: become a table tennis pro

Movement

In table tennis, footwork and ball placements are intimately connected. Indeed, the more or less varied placement of opponent's balls on the half table implies being ideally positioned to effectively play a shot. The quality of play is therefore closely linked to the quality of movement. Here are the main steps: Sliding step - Pivot - Sliding step + pivot - Sprint - Crossed step.

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Strikes

Striking in table tennis, along with the top spin, is the most commonly used offensive shot. It allows for a very tight ball trajectory. Also, combining increased speed, this shot is ideal for attempting to end the rally to score the point.

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Top-Spin

Unlike striking, this shot involves imparting a topspin effect (forward spin) to the ball. The top-spin is an offensive shot that can be varied depending on the orientation and angle of the racket at the moment of impact with the ball. It is the quintessential shot of table tennis as it allows for taking initiative on balls of all kinds. Take note of all the variations of this essential shot!

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Block and Defense

The block is the counter-initiative shot par excellence. It allows for both keeping the ball on the table against opponent's attacks (control block), as well as taking back the initiative in the game against a less forceful attack (active block) or varying the rhythm of the game (side blocks, chops...). Defensive shots are generally performed far from the table, with the opponent being in a presumably favorable attacking position. The objective of defense is to maintain the continuity of the rally against an opponent who seeks to end it. These phases of play are very spectacular. There are two types of defenses: the lifted defense (or high ball) and the chopped defense.

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Serves

This is the only closed skill in table tennis, meaning that by nature, executing a serve is not dependent on a shot made by the opponent. This very particular characteristic makes it a shot that goes far beyond simple engagement. The serve conditions the entire rally, so it is imperative to pay close attention to it.

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Serves

This is the only closed skill in table tennis, meaning that by nature, executing a serve is not dependent on a shot made by the opponent. This very particular characteristic makes it a shot that goes far beyond simple engagement. The serve conditions the entire rally, so it is imperative to pay close attention to it.

Discover in video

Discover the equipment specially designed by Cornilleau for competitive players:

- Table 850 W : the reference for high-level competition tables

- Excell 3000 Carbon : a true reference for OFF+ players

- P-Ball ABS EVO *** ITTF X3 : the balls used in international competitions