It is a well-known fact that beginners make mistakes in ping pong. However, a disturbing fact is that some professional or intermediate players make them as well. No matter are you a professional or an amateur, you should get an idea about some mistakes that must be avoided. The mistakes we will mention here are the most common and they can have a catastrophic effect on your game. Losing the game is almost guaranteed if you make them all the time. The only good thing is that they can be corrected easily.
You must use your feet to move
All professional players know that moving must be done with your feet (not as obvious as it sounds). You should move your entire body and stay balanced, while your feet are still preparing for the next move. Simply said, moving just an arm to return a ball is a mistake and it is the most common one. By just moving your arm, your shot won’t be accurate, won’t be strong enough and chances are high you will miss the entire table. On the other side, if you move your entire body, your shots will be coordinated and well-directed.
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Speed limit mistakes
A ball in ping pong travels fast, really fast. It is up to you to decide which speed you will use in order to return it. Most players believe that the speed of the returning ball and the speed they should reach must be the same. Simply said, if a ball travels fast, you should return it as fast as possible. The reality is completely opposite. If a ball travels fast, you must slowly return it to the opponent. If it travels slowly, you can perform a powerful shot with a high speed. Note: This doesn’t apply if a ball is spun. In those cases, you always must return it slowly. Trying to return it fast is a severe mistake.
Poking a ball
All beginners make the same mistake. They try to guide the ball by poking it. This is simple to explain. Beginners are afraid of making any mistake that will have a negative effect on the game, obviously. As the result, they try to gently touch the ball, keeping their racquet flat and try to move the ball slowly into the opponent’s field. What you get with this stroke? The opponent will get a slow ball that will jump high after it has been hit his field. It makes it perfect for performing a fast and powerful shot that you won’t be able to return! Instead of trying to guide the ball, as we said, hit it. Practice as long as possible and when you think the ball is suitable for a powerful return, try it. This will end badly in most cases, usually at the beginning, but eventually, you will develop a perfect game and you won’t make a mistake.
You might also want to see our guide on finding quality ping pong paddle.
In order to understand how important avoiding these mistakes is, make them in just one game. Then, play a game without making any of them. You will see the difference.