As a table tennis player with years of experience, I know a thing or two about playing table tennis. As I started the game years ago, I remember how hard it was at first, but as time went by, my skills got better. I sometimes get asked if table tennis is easy or how long it takes to get decent table tennis skills? I can imagine you wondered here for the same reason, so I want to help you understand if table tennis easy?
Table tennis is really easy to start, and with a small practice, you can become decent at it. On the other hand, if you want to compete in table tennis, you will need to perfect many skills such as speed, spin, anticipation, rhythm, force, and accuracy. At this level, table tennis would be hard.
That makes sense. doesn’t it? A table tennis table is relatively small, and you need to stroke the ball on the other side of the net, which will be easy if you have ever played any racket or club game whatsoever before.
But when you want to improve from that casual game, the game’s tempo will rise to unbelievable speed with a considerable spin on the ball while you need to think how to best your opponent the next time you strike the ball, which is usually within 2 seconds. As we can see, the gap between casual ping pong and competitive table tennis is vast.
- Is it hard to learn table tennis
- How long does it take to get good at table tennis
- How can I improve my table tennis fast
- What is the easiest serve in table tennis
- What is the hardest part in the game table tennis
- Is table tennis harder than tennis
- My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Is it hard to learn table tennis
Depending on what your goals are, table tennis can be easy or hard to learn. If you wish to play for fun, you need anywhere between a couple of hours to a couple of days of practice, and you can play relatively well. However, it will likely take years before you can advance in the rankings if you wish to compete.
Let’s take a look at what you need to learn and train if you want to be even above the average in table tennis. There are 3 categories that you need to hone if you want to learn table tennis and become good at it. You need to be physically fit, mentally strong & fast and you need to have proper skills to best your opponent. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Physical attributes
First things first, if you want to even reach all the strikes from your opponent, you need to have at least a decent level of flexibility, strength, and aerobics.
Flexibility is that you don’t have problems getting the ball from hard angles because you need to be fast everywhere. Second, strength is meant to strike with power so that it won’t be easy for the opponent either. Finally, table tennis is a fast-paced sport, so you can’t be out of breath at any point, or the rest of the game will be really hard.
I have an in-depth article about what muscles does table tennis train that I highly encourage you to read so you can know about all the major injuries and how to train well for table tennis.
2. Mental attributes
When your body is ready for a proper game of table tennis, you will need to get your mind to the same level. This includes focus, anticipation & planning, self-encouragement, and traditional mental toughness.
When you learn table tennis, it can be discouraging because you don’t improve as fast as you had hoped for; this requires mental toughness so that you can push through the frustration, hard training sessions, and even tension before tournaments. This is where self-encouragement comes in because table tennis is usually a single sport; you need to be your number 1 fan!
There are more technical, mental attributes to keep in mind as well. During a game, your mind needs to be focused because the high speed and intense spins will throw you off the game as soon as you lose focus. This is why you need to think fast, anticipate your opponent’s mind and strikes & even plan your own! Sometimes it’s smart to think a couple of strikes ahead and see if you can form a plan that will confuse your opponent and give you that desired point.
3. Skill attributes
When your body and mind are in good shape, skills are the degerminators whether you have learned table tennis or not. There is always something to learn, but you will be good when you get strikes, spin, blocking, serving, and accuracy at your desired level.
The game starts with a good service which can be the nail in the opponent’s coffin if you do it well. A good serve needs power, spin, and precise accuracy. When the opponent blocks your service, which is usually the case, you will need to prepare yourself to block the ball and strike back, which is a skill on its own. When the point goes further, you need power, spin, and accuracy all the time if you want to best your opponent.
These 3 components are hard to learn to a good level, but you will win more games than you lose when you do, and it will be so worth it in the end.
How long does it take to get good at table tennis
If you want to become good at table tennis, it will likely take years if you don’t have a natural touch for it. All of this will depend on whether you have a good teacher, how much do you train, and how determined you are to improve. Generally, this can take from 6 months to 2 years and even further.
How can I improve my table tennis fast
If you want to improve your table tennis skills faster than usual, you should invest more time in training, find yourself a good teacher, practice on your own with a foldable table or ball machine, exercise more, and even watch table tennis live or from TV.
What is the easiest serve in table tennis
In general, topspin serve is the easiest serve in table tennis because it the most natural for most athletes, and it doesn’t require much practice to do well. Also, backspin serve is nearly as easy as well. These serves are easy and enable a good level of accuracy for the serve.
What is the hardest part in the game table tennis
The reaction is the hardest part of table tennis. You will need to react fast and choose the right reaction constantly to your opponent’s strikes in a matter of seconds. You need to decide the right amount of power, spin reflects, what strikes you will use, and where you will aim it all at once.
Is table tennis harder than tennis
There are many similarities and differences between table tennis and tennis. In general, table tennis is harder technically, whereas tennis is harder physically. There are more tweaks and tricks in table tennis, but game time, distances, and muscle power is greater in tennis.
I highly recommend that you check the post I wrote on the subject to go in-depth to all the differences that determine whether tennis or table tennis is harder.
My Favorite Table Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here you can find my preferred table tennis equipment that I believe you could benefit too!
- Racket: My favorite racket choice is the beautiful Killerspin Jet800 because it fits my offensive and speed-focused playstyle. The two carbon layers, 2.1mm sponge, and 190g weight makes this racket powerful.
- Ping Pong Balls: New technology and design have made the JOOLA Flash Seamless 3-Star Balls stand out from the other balls. These balls are seamless, meaning they are more durable than any ball with a seam! Even when these balls come at a higher price, they will pay themselves quickly. As a bonus, the design makes me excited!
- Table Tennis shoes: The famous Butterfly Lezoline Rifones is my choice as it is for many others because they are designed specifically for table tennis standards. I like the excellent support, comfortable cushioning, and lightweight sole with great traction, which gets you exploding fast to whatever direction you need to.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.
All in all, playing table tennis is relatively easy and even easier to start when compared to other sports. However, when you really want to get into it and acquire skills that arouse admiration, it really isn’t easy, and learning these skills can and usually will take years.