July 6, 2020 - Side-to-Side Training for Improvement and Health

Table tennis is a game of movement, and most of that movement is side-to-side. To master the sport, you must be a master at patrolling the five-foot width of the table. Which is why players who wish to improve do lots and lots of side-to-side footwork drills. (There are also in-out drills, but that's a separate issue.)

But you don't need a table to do this - you can do it at home! Just find a place where you have room, and measure off five feet. Then, either with or without a racket (but preferably with!), just practice your side-to-side movement, just like it was a game! Make sure to cover both corners, stroking forehands and backhands alternately over each. Then perhaps do the same, doing just forehands, and covering half to two-thirds of the table as you go side-to-side. Then do it again with your backhand, perhaps covering half the table. And then, when you're ready to go big-time, do the three-shot 2-1 drill sequence: a backhand from the backhand side; a forehand from the backhand side; a forehand from the forehand side; and repeat. (And then perhaps add an in-out drill - perhaps reach in for a short forehand ball, then step out for a deep backhand, and repeat.)

Do this, and you not only will improve your table tennis - dramatically! - but you'll also get great exercise. Who needs to go out and run ten minutes when you can do it inside? (If you want to count, it's 1056 five-foot moves to a mile!)