Top 10 Ping Pong Tips & Tricks | Improve Your Game

Understanding the Basics


  1. Paddle (Racket/Bat): Ensure you have a quality paddle. Beginners should opt for a more forgiving paddle with good control and spin capabilities, while more advanced players are looking for higher velocity with thicker sponges and superior technologies such as Carbon Fiber.
  2. Ball: Use standard 40mm balls. High-quality balls are essential for consistent bounce and play ensuring your moves are repeatable.
  3. Table: A regulation-size table measures 9 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 2.5 feet high. Ensure it's in good condition, free of warping, cracks, or unevenness. 


  1. Shakehand Grip: Common in Western countries, this grip is similar to shaking hands with the paddle. It offers good control and versatility. A perfect grip for beginners getting a feel for the game.
  2. Penhold Grip: Popular in Asia, this grip resembles holding a pen and allows for a more powerful forehand but can be limiting for backhand shots.

Fundamental Skills & Tips

Stance and Footwork

  1. Ready Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, weight on the balls of your feet, and paddle at waist height. This stance ensures you are balanced and poised for your specific strategy. Power comes from your stance and allows for full movement.
  2. Footwork: Practice side-to-side and in-and-out movements to reach the ball quickly. Small, quick steps are more effective than large, slow ones.

Basic Strokes

  1. Forehand Drive: A fast, attacking stroke. Keep your elbow slightly bent, swing your paddle forward and slightly upward, and follow through.
  2. Backhand Drive: Similar to the forehand drive but executed from the opposite side of the body. Focus on a short, controlled swing.
  3. Push: A defensive stroke to keep the ball low and controlled. Use a gentle touch and a forward motion to push the ball over the net. The push is used to even the playing fields and turn the tides back in your favor, if your competitor misplays.

Spin and Serve

  1. Topspin: Brush the ball with an upward motion to create topspin, making the ball drop faster after crossing the net. For best performance, make sure you barely clip the ball, as too much contact will shoot your ball right into the net. 
  2. Backspin: Slice the ball with a downward motion to create backspin, causing it to stay low and slow down.
  3. Sidespin: Brush the ball sideways to create sidespin, making it curve in the air.
  4. Serving: Vary your serves with different spins and placements. A good serve can set the tone for the rally. Think about combinations and what your opponent may be expecting as the element of surprise is crucial.
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Advanced Techniques


  1. Forehand Loop: A powerful, spinning shot executed with a pronounced upward motion. Perfect for attacking backspin balls.
  2. Backhand Loop: Similar to the forehand loop but executed with the backhand. It requires precise timing and technique.


  1. Forehand Flick: An aggressive shot used against short balls. Flick your wrist upward and forward to generate speed and spin. The forehand flick can appear as lightning out of a bottle if done correctly, potentially catching your opponent off guard and playing off of his back heels.
  2. Backhand Flick: Similar to the forehand flick but executed with the backhand. It's effective for quick, unexpected attacks.

Blocking and Countering

  1. Block: A defensive shot to counter an opponent's attack. Keep your paddle close to the ball and use its speed to return it. With a block, you are not using your own power, but simply harnessing the power the ball already possesses and transferring back across the net.
  2. Counterdrive: An attacking return of a fast ball. Use your opponent’s speed and add your own power and spin. Sometimes the best offense is more offense, hence the counterdrive.

Strategy and Mindset Tips

Playing Styles

  1. Attacker: Focus on aggressive, fast-paced shots. Use topspin and looping techniques to overpower opponents. Great for players with a knack for controlled power.
  2. Defender: Emphasize control and placement. Use pushes, chops, and blocks to frustrate and wear down your opponent. This playstyle leans more into the mental aspect of table tennis as a true attacker will become frustrated if his toughest shots are easily returned back over the net. A David V. Goliath approach. 
  3. All-rounder: Balance between attack and defense. Adapt your style based on your opponent’s weaknesses. This play style combines the best of both worlds, forcing your opponent to question how to counter your varying attacks. 

Mental Toughness

  1. Stay Calm: Keep your emotions in check. A calm, focused mind performs better under pressure. When facing adversity, remember that one point can change the tide of a game and you are never too far behind. 
  2. Adaptability: Be ready to change your strategy based on the opponent’s playing style and weaknesses. Thinking on your feet is a vital aspect of ping pong, which comes with practice and confidence.
  3. Confidence: Trust in your skills and practice. Confidence can make a significant difference in your performance.

Practice and Drills

  1. Consistency Drills: Focus on keeping the ball on the table with controlled strokes. Practice rallies to build consistency. Mark spots on the table and aim for those each time building accuracy until you can actively hit any spot on the table you wish. 
  2. Serve and Return Drills: Practice different serves and returns. Focus on placement, spin, and variation.
  3. Footwork Drills: Work on your agility and speed. Use ladder drills, shadow play, and multi-ball drills to improve footwork.