How to practice Chinese Table Tennis Footwork Drills?

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To learn table tennis, one has to follow the proper method and undergo the right training. Today’s article will share the 5 basic footwork drills in table tennis for newcomers. This is also the way that Chinese athletes regularly practice to keep exhaustion from assaulting their legs during any match that lasts for hours, and also to become agile and flexible so as to deliver powerful shots with the correct technique.

1. One Step Footwork

  • Guideline: one leg will serve as a pivot foot, the other leg will move based on the motion of the incoming ball to perform a precise counterattack.
  • As one of ping pong drills, one step footwork is a fairly basic and easy-to-practice step that helps you move around within a limited range to return any shot close enough.

2. Leap footwork

Features: Leap ping pong practice drill is carried out at a fairly fast speed and covers a larger range than the one-step footwork. Players usually use this footwork drill for shots that are slightly far from them.

Movement: Kick the ground with the foot located in the other direction to that of the flying ball. Meanwhile, take a long step in the direction of the ball with your other foot. If the falling point of the ball is located relatively far or relatively close to the body, the direction of the step may fall backward or move forward.

3. Jump footwork

Guideline: First, the foot differs from the direction of the ball to move to where the ball is coming, then move the other foot one step to the side. If the point of fall of the incoming ball is either so far or so close, the direction of the ball’s arrival may deviate back or forward.

Features: the footwork range is relatively large, most of the case serves as a means to counter the speedy attacks far from the player.

4. Double step footwork

Features: This table tennis footwork drill is larger than the leap and single step. It keeps your body stable while delivering the ball. It is usually suitable for ball chop and quick counter or loops

Guidelines: The basic footwork drill is the same as the jump, but does not involve jumping in the air. First, move the foot opposite to the direction of the ball close to the other foot, which is in the direction of the ball. After that, pass foot in the direction of the ball over the one opposite to the direction of the ball.

5. Cross-over footwork

Features: This table tennis technique requires you to have flexible legs to be able to practice high-density moves. It is essential for counter-attacks when the ball is too far from the body. It works best for quick counter-attacks or back loops.

Guidelines: First, use the leg close to the direction of the ball as the pivot, then put the leg far from the ball one large gap ahead of the pivot. After that, move the leg used as the pivot sideways according to the ball’s direction.

Footwork drill for backhand push of penhold racket

The standing position of the backhand push of the penhold racket is near the table. At that time, the left foot is usually at the front while it is the back for the right foot. This is to promote powerful attacks on the forehand ball. This footwork requires fast movement in a short distance to both left and right motions. It is widely used and also satisfactorily coordinates with other movements. If the players need to cover a long distance, they will need the jump footwork in coordination with single-step footwork and some other drills like cross-over footwork.

Footwork drill for a double-sided attack

The standing position of a double-sided attack is close to the table and slightly left, with the legs changing positions in a back-and-forth or horizontal manner. You should use a single step footwork drill to step around to the left for the right attack.

Footwork drill for a backhand loop

The standing position for the backhand loop is slightly far from the table. When attacking or defending, you had better control a relatively large space, so when moving, the jump and the crossover footstep drills are the key, with the combination of some other techniques

Footstep drill for a quick attack along with the backhand loop

When attacking quickly with a backhand loop, the players normally stand relatively close to the table, so you should often take the jump and the leap footwork. When switching to the backhand loop, the combination of crossover and jump footwork is the key.

Footwork drill for chopping the attacking ball

To chop the attacking ball requires the players to stand far from the table and hit the ball as it goes low. This is often used when the players want to change from defense to attack or from attack to defense. When defending, using the jump and crossover footwork is the key, in coordination with other footwork drills. When switching to attack, you should use the jump and leap footwork.

Wish you successful practice!
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Brixton Johansson