Part of the curriculum of most schools in the United States is physical education. This could basketball, football or tennis and also the game of table tennis. The faculty in charge will teach the basics and then the student can take it from there. Those who have talent may even tryout for the varsity team to bring glory to the school.
Those who have played this game before will surely have an advantage over inexperienced players. But with practice, a newbie can be just as good with the proper training.
Some people think that the game of table tennis is simply hitting the ball with the paddle but there is more to it than that. It involves hand to eye coordination and fast reflexes given that the ball can travel to speeds up to more than 90 miles per hour.
Part of training involves reading up on the sport. This is because the sport has rules that players have to follow. Someone who is knowledgeable will surely cream those who don’t know anything.
There is not enough time to learn everything there is to know about table tennis in PE class given that this only lasts an hour. Those who are serious should get help from someone after school like those offered in the youth center.
No one can play the game without the proper equipment. This means the student should buy a paddle. This is available in sporting goods store or online. In fact, the cheapest out there will only cost $20.
The first thing that will be taught is how to hold the paddle. There are two ways of doing this but normally, Americans use the handshake grip.
Since this is easy to learn, the instructor can now move on to other things such as how to serve, block and drive. Before hitting a few balls, an important part of training is doing some drills. This is because the game is all about technique and being consistent means fewer mistakes will happen.
When the instructor sees that the person is ready, this is the time that a mock game will be done. This could be someone else who is learning the sport or someone experienced. If no one is available, the instructor will be the one to do it.
Training with someone knowledgeable usually takes an hour and a half to two hours daily. Those who want to keep in shape can even practice at home on weekends by using an ordinary table and pushing this toward the wall. The other alternative will be to play with someone who also knows how to play the game.
As part of the training, the player should never forget to stretch, warm up and cool down. This will get the muscles ready for practice and during competition.
In a month or two, there might be a competition in school. This is where the student will see if all the training paid off.
The player should not feel bad for losing in the first match. The individual should also not gloat over the victory because there are still other players out there who are much better.
Whatever happens, this should simply be taken as a lesson so that errors that were committed can be corrected to achieve a better performance in the next match.