Coach Samson Dubina 2016 US National Team Coach 2015 - 2018 USATT Coach of the Year
 

To see this website as it was intended, please update to a modern browser!

-->

The Drills

Read the benefits of various drills!

Newgy Robo-Pong 2050
Every robot comes with FREE LESSONS when purchased through www.samsondubina.com
If you are a beginner, I would recommend starting your practice with drills 1-5.  With the spin set on TOPSPIN and the head angle set at TWO, select the drill number and begin.  If the drill is too fast, then give yourself more time between balls by adding +20% on the wait adjust.  As you progress, make it more fun and challenging by decreasing the wait adjust, giving you less time between balls.
 
Drill #1
One ball will be thrown to your backhand and one ball to your forehand.  Get into position, line up your body with your feet at equal distance from the table, line up your body so that the ball comes to your belly-button, and swing going forward.  Next, move your feet into position to the forehand side with your right foot slightly back (for righties) and stroke the ball.  All of these balls have topspin and you may be hitting the ball off the end of the table.  In that case, close your angle down and focus on hitting closer to the top of the ball.
 
Drill #2
The ball will now be thrown one to your wide forehand and one to your middle.  Use your forehand on both of these balls.  Focus on getting into position then hitting the ball.  Also, try to keep your balance – no leaning or reaching allowed!
 
Drill #3
This drill is a great combination of the first two drills implementing footwork to link your backhand and forehand.  One ball will be thrown to the backhand, one to the middle, and one to the wide forehand.
As a challenge, sometimes use all forehand to make the footwork more intense, and sometimes use backhand from the backhand corner.  Also, focus on placing the ball well, particularly at the middle (player’s transition point) and wide angles.
 
Drill #4
This is the most advanced of the first five drills because it combines moving side-to-side with moving in-and-out.  The first ball is thrown to the short backhand, then suddenly to the deep forehand, up to the short forehand, then deep to the backhand.  The drills continues in that cycle until you push the stop button.  Also, you can set the timer or number of balls so that the robot automatically turns off after a set time or ball count.  I would recommend starting at 1-2 minutes for the first week.  After several months of training, you should be able to perform the drills for 5 minutes without a break – what a workout!
 
Drill #5
The faulkenberg drill covers the most common patterns in table tennis - first to the backhand, second to the backhand (but use your forehand on this ball), and third to the forehand.  Usually, in table tennis, players will first play to your backhand if it is weaker, next you might want to step around and play your strong forehand, after that you opponent sees the open court and plays to your wide forehand.  After playing a forehand, he will probably pick on your backhand again. 
 
Once you have established solid basics and can consistently put 90% of the balls on the table, try moving to the next series of drills, which are more advanced.
 
Drills 6-10 are much more advanced in ball speed and timing compared with the first five drills.  When doing these systematic drills, continue to focus on getting in position then stroking the ball to a good location.
 
Drill #6
This drill gives you two balls to the backhand followed by two balls to the forehand.   When hitting the backhands, keep your feet parallel to the table, start your racket near your belly-button, and stroke the ball forward.  When hitting your forehands, shift your weight slightly back onto your right leg (for right-handed-players) keeping your right foot slightly back, take your swing back and let your body and arm swing forward through the ball.  If this drill seems too difficult, start by setting the wait adjust to +50%.  This will give your 50% more time between balls to recover for the next hit.  After you can successfully play 90% of the balls on the table, try experimenting with various hitting speeds.  Start playing one backhand slow, then one backhand fast followed by one forehand slow, then one forehand fast. 
 
Drill #7
This is one of my favorite drills because it requires me to make small footwork movements for every ball.  One ball is thrown to the wide forehand, one ball to the middle, one ball to the backhand, then one ball again to the middle.  Stay on the balls of your feet so that you can make small, quick movements.  Once your feet are in position, focus on rotating the waist and shoulders so that you can easily play down-the-line or crosscourt.  If you don’t properly turn your body, most of your forehands will be going crosscourt to your opponent’s strong forehand.  For more of a cardio workout, use your forehand on all of these balls.   By setting the timer, see if you can do 5 minutes without a break while still maintaining the correct footwork and strokes.   As you can see, footwork is such an important part of table tennis that many of the robot drills are designed to improve your footwork. 
 
Drill #8
Moving in-and-out is the most neglected part of footwork in table tennis.  This drill will give you one slow ball to your forehand, one medium ball to your forehand, then one fast ball to your forehand.  For this drill, focus on moving in and out while changing the length of your swing – short stroke for closer to the table and longer stroke for further from the table.  Start close to the table with your right foot slightly behind the left.  After hitting your first forehand, quickly move back about 12 inches by pushing off with the left foot and shuffling backward with both feet.  Remember, the left foot initiates the movement, but both feet move together.  Next, hit your second forehand with a slightly longer stroke while still keeping the ball low and deep.  Again, move back quickly to prepare for the next hit.  The third hit will be your longest swing.  After completing this stroke, push off with the right foot to move forward back to the table.  Continue this process of moving and hitting while remembering to keep your weight forward and varying your swing based on your positioning.  This in-and-out footwork is especially helpful when playing against pips players who often vary the depth of the blocks. 
 
Drill #9
This unique drill will make you jump further than any of the previous drills.  Starting with a ball to your backhand, you then have to move very wide to your forehand, back to the table for another forehand, back to you wide forehand, then another long movement back to your wide backhand.  The cycle continues as you make big movements from the backhand/forehand transition and small movements while playing the forehands.  In order to make the bigger jumps,  I would recommend bending your knees more so that you can keep your body low throughout the movement.   If the long jump is too difficult, I would recommend turning your robot off, and doing shadow strokes to speed-up your footwork.  Some of the best players in the world tell of times that they did 2-3 hours of shadow strokes per day.  Within the first 6 months of playing, it is vitally important that you develop solid footwork and strokes. 
 
Drill #10
This drill will give your one ball to your backhand and one ball to your forehand.  However, the forehand balls will be alternating one to the middle and one to the backhand.
 
First ball to backhand
Second ball to middle (use your forehand)
Third ball to backhand
Fourth ball to wide forehand
 
For the ball to your middle, make sure that your shift your weight with both feet and push your weight slightly more on your right foot.  When hitting your forehand, your feet should be parallel to the table with your right foot slightly further from the table.  Shift your weight to your right foot and turn your shoulders back with your stroke.   As you begin your forward swing, rotate your shoulders forward and shift your weight to your left foot.  Next, return to the backhand.  When the following ball is thrown to the forehand, move into position, then shift your weight and rotate your shoulders.  If you are really daring, try performing this drills using all forehand.  This will require fast footwork and excellent conditioning.  Set the timer for one minute and practice your serves for one minute while resting.
 
Here is a video of all 64 drills:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR_6GjVrJWs
 

Category: