How to Improve Reaction Speed in Table Tennis

by Robin Reichert
Practicing table tennis regularly may help improve reaction speed.

Practicing table tennis regularly may help improve reaction speed.

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No matter how great your form and technique, if your reaction speed is slow, you will face defeat in a table tennis match. Increasing your reaction speed can help you achieve greater success in the game of table tennis. The best way to improve your reaction speed is to practice hitting the ball from different angles and at different speeds. Ask a friend to help you practice to increase your reaction speed, which will improve your overall game.

Items you will need

  • Table tennis balls and paddles
  • Table tennis table
Step 1

Practice alone by folding up one end of a table tennis table to form a backboard. Hit the ball against the raised end of the table and then return the ball. Vary the speed and direction of the ball, so that you must work to keep up with the ball.

Step 2

Ask a friend to play a game with you, without a table. Hit the ball to your friend, who will try to return it. Try to hit every shot that is returned to you. Play the ball off the floor, the wall or in the air to condition your reflexes, improving your reaction speed when hitting the ball back to your friend.

Step 3

Find a friend to play a game of short table tennis with you. Press your body against the edge of the table to play. Return every shot without moving your body. Use only your arms and wrist to return the ball.

Step 4

Improve your hand-eye coordination and increase reaction speed by bouncing the ball on your paddle. Try to keep the ball bouncing on your paddle as long as possible. Try bouncing the ball on your paddle while you stand, and then again when you sit down. Use the back of the paddle to shorten the bounce as your reaction speed improves.

Tips & Warnings

  • Play often to keep your muscles in peak condition, and your reaction speed as fast as possible.

About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images