There are many issues I might have preferred to know after I was a newbie. A type of is realizing the significance of doing shadow drills periodically.
Shadow drills are one of many most underestimated coaching strategies in desk tennis.
Shadow coaching is a cheat code for speedy enchancment since you possibly can absolutely focus in your method without having to hit the ball.
This makes shadow play probably the greatest methods to be taught desk tennis, particularly as a result of it’s extremely handy since you possibly can shadow play anyplace and anytime you need.
When you’ve got struggled with dangerous habits, otherwise you’re having bother with a selected shot, shadow play is for you.
What’s shadow play?
Shadow play is a coaching methodology that’s practiced by appearing the mechanics of your photographs, with out utilizing a desk tennis ball or desk. You might be repeatedly enjoying your photographs within the air. It options as certainly one of our most effective ways of practising table tennis alone.
This manner of coaching was adapted from boxing. Shadow boxing is famend for its outcomes, and so is shadow play in desk tennis.
This manner of coaching has many distinctive benefits over conventional coaching strategies.
Coaching with out the ball is a good benefit since every time we prepare usually, we’re restricted by the obligation to hit the ball.
When you take the ball out of the equation, you possibly can focus all of your consideration in your kind, weight switch, the transitions between strokes, and your footwork.
An excellent use of shadow play is to right technical flaws in your sport. In case your coach spots a flaw in your method and tells you, even if you wish to right it, you’ll repeat it when enjoying matches.
As desk tennis is a sport wherein we depend on muscle reminiscence, you possibly can’t simply do away with dangerous habits instantly.
Luckily, shadow play is a really efficient software for correcting improper method.
If there’s one thing technically incorrect in your sport, it’s only a matter of enjoying that shot 20 occasions in shadow play earlier than beginning your coaching periods.
It solely takes 1 or 2 minutes, and if you happen to do it mindfully, the right technique to play your photographs will change into imprinted onto muscle reminiscence, eliminating the error or dangerous behavior so much faster.
That is why Chinese coaches place a lot emphasis on shadow drills from an early age, making the Chinese team the most dominant in table tennis history.
How one can get probably the most out of shadow play
Shadow play, like another kind of coaching, needs to be progressed over time. When shadow enjoying, a newbie won’t need to work on the identical issues as an expert.
Shadow play for rookies
If you wish to begin shadow enjoying as a newbie, we suggest discovering a coach who can reveal the right methods for you. You possibly can then observe these methods when shadow enjoying. This manner, you’ll progress so much faster and your photographs will change into second nature.
When you don’t have a coach, take a look at our articles by way of the beginners guide to table tennis. These guides will reveal the right motion, and supply one of the best YouTube movies for visible learners.
One other nice choice is to add a video of your self enjoying on social media and ask for suggestions about your method. For instance, you possibly can go to r/tabletennis and publish a video of your self enjoying, asking for criticism in your method. Different gamers gives you their suggestions, and it is possible for you to to know what technical components it’s essential right.
As soon as you already know the correct method for every of the photographs, you can begin doing shadow play.
You need to goal to carry out the weight switch appropriately and goal for explosiveness and effectivity in your photographs.
We suggest that you simply first observe the method of every of the strokes individually, after which you can begin doing easy workouts that blend these photographs.
A superb train for rookies is one backhand and one forehand. If you are able to do this nicely in shadow play, you may be way more coordinated and environment friendly in your matches.
Shadow play for intermediate gamers
As soon as you already know the core method for mostly used photographs and might execute them appropriately, you can begin doing different kinds of extra superior workouts.
Intermediate gamers can use shadow play for technical particulars, work on transitions between photographs, make their strokes extra environment friendly, and add energy to their photographs.
We suggest that intermediate degree gamers get into the behavior of doing barely extra complicated drills, reminiscent of people who require you to get out and in of the desk.
An instance of an excellent drill an intermediate participant can do is step in, carry out a backhand flick, step out, carry out a backhand loop, pivot, and hit a forehand from the backhand facet.
These extra sophisticated workouts work on the transitions between photographs wherein it’s a must to coordinate shifting vertically and laterally. Getting out and in of the desk needs to be as quick as attainable and the transitions between photographs needs to be seamless.
At this degree, it will possibly assist to make use of a desk as a reference level in your shadow play. It doesn’t must be a desk tennis desk, any floor of an identical top will work.
Shadow play for superior gamers
Superior gamers will have already got very minor technical particulars to right, so shadow play will serve them largely so as to add energy and pace to their sport.
We suggest that superior gamers shadow play as in the event that they had been enjoying in opposition to one other particular person.
A good suggestion is to visualise a serve out of your opponent that you’ve bother with, obtain that serve how you’d need to obtain it, and play the purpose as you’d usually play it.
This method is called “ghosting” and works on widespread match conditions, and it helps so much if you’re on the lookout for higher proactivity while you serve and while you obtain.
When you shadow play visualizing your opponent’s serves and desirous about how one can flick them, you’ll notice that your mentality when receiving goes to be extra proactive since you could have ready your self beforehand.
The identical applies to while you’re serving. If you wish to make third ball assaults, attempt to consider your opponent’s attainable returns and attempt to cowl all the probabilities.
When you’ve got already practiced the whole lot beforehand, no return out of your opponent ought to shock you.
Once you play factors whereas ghosting, attempt to consider what kind of factors you often lose. When you are likely to lose factors if you end up pressured to your huge forehand, attempt to observe the transition between the huge forehand and the return to the impartial place in the midst of the desk.
When you lose factors on backhand exchanges once they goal your elbow, attempt to excellent the transition between a backhand and a forehand once they play to your elbow.
Shadow play workouts
When you don’t know the place to start out, listed below are three nice workouts to start out your coaching.
The perfect drill to observe your forehands in shadow play is three-point forehands.
This train begins with a large forehand, then a forehand from the center, and a forehand from the backhand facet. After that, it goes again to the huge forehand.
The good factor about this drill is that you would be able to observe transitions between forehands protecting the entire desk, and it’s fairly fast-paced. When you do it quick sufficient, you’re going to get a pleasant exercise.
You need to goal to hit laborious in your forehand facet, and due to this, you’ll need to get again to your prepared place as quick as attainable to maneuver to the following spot.
When you do that train nicely, your footwork, transitions, and weight switch will enhance rapidly.
An excellent drill to observe backhand photographs is enjoying a backhand from the nook and one close to the center of the desk.
On this drill you’ll alternate between hitting a backhand out of your huge backhand and one as in case your opponent performed to your elbow, virtually reaching the center.
This train will educate you to not attain along with your arm. As an alternative, it’s a must to transfer along with your legs to cowl along with your backhand.
Many gamers don’t transfer to play a backhand, they simply transfer their arm. This drill is nice for studying backhand footwork patterns if it’s a must to hit out of your huge backhand or elbow.
I might suggest a whole lot of footwork workouts, but when I had to decide on one, it might be the Falkenberg drill.
On this drill, you’ll play one backhand, step round along with your forehand to play it on the backhand facet, after which hit a large forehand.
This drill is right because it covers nearly all sport conditions, a backhand, a forehand from the backhand nook, and a forehand out of your forehand nook.
It’s a excellent train to lose the concern of stepping round to play a extra aggressive shot and it’s nice for individuals who need to play a extra energetic sport, shifting their legs to seek out one of the best shot attainable.
Useful ideas for shadow play
- Training shadow play in entrance of a mirror is a good concept to investigate your method as you carry out the workouts.
- One other good concept is to file your self doing shadow play at house and asking for recommendation from extra skilled gamers. You possibly can present the footage to your coach and have them check out it or add it to social networks like r/tabletennis to have your method corrected.
- Attempt to shadow play 5 minutes earlier than your coaching periods to enter your exercise having practiced the right method earlier than beginning to hit the ball.
- Attempt to speed up within the second of affect. For this, try to be free, conduct you weight switch appropriately, rotate along with your hips, and snap the forearm.
- Take into consideration the 4 phases of the shot, the prepared place, the backswing, the affect, and the follow-through. Attempt to make an environment friendly backswing, explode in the mean time of affect, make sure that your observe by way of will not be too lengthy, and get again to the prepared place as rapidly as attainable.
Alvaro’s been enjoying Desk Tennis since he was 15 and is now ranked inside the prime 100 in his native Argentina. He likes to compete in provincial tournaments and is at all times on the lookout for methods to enhance. Alvaro made his favorite reminiscences with a racket in hand, and he joined the RacketInsight workforce to share his ardour with different gamers!
Blade: Butterfly Fan Zhendong ALC | Forehand: Butterfly Dignics 05 | Backhand: Butterfly Rozena
Playstyle: The Controller