|Winning Entry for Our Contest|
Congratulations to Adrian Cheung of Canberra ACT, Australia for the contributions to the Coaching Forum contest. The winning entry is listed below for your review and implementation into your training program.
Canberra ACT, Australia
Almost every table tennis player has a common weakness - the mid point. Even top world class players exploit this tactic, the ball is very awkward and difficult to return, let alone attack. Usually if the ball is returned, it comes quite high and short, a perfect set up for your opponent to put away. The Newgy robot is the perfect practice partner to reduce the effects of this weakness.
Stand in your normal ready position at the table. Take note of where your mid-point or shoulder is, and aim the Newgy to that area. Initially set it to a topspin medium height ball, 4-5 speed and a low frequency. Return to your normal ready position, and as the ball comes, take a very quick side step (also moving slightly backwards) and hit the ball using a forehand drive. Alternatively, you can attack/block with your backhand. Now return to your ready position for the next shot.
It is very important in this drill that when you hit the ball, you do not get into position just by simply moving your upper body and not your feet. This can get you in a very awkward position, the ball is even more difficult to hit and furthermore, this creates very bad balance and slow recovery for the next shot. Also, remember that you are pretending you are in a match situation. Do not automatically shift and assume that the ball will be directed to your mid point before Newgy feeds the ball.
To increase difficulty, you may increase the speed and oscillation of the ball. Furthermore, you can add a bit of sidespin spinning the ball into your shoulder.
This is a great drill to practice to eliminate a weakness that your opponent would otherwise exploit. Moreover, you can then use Newgy for you to practice against hitting at your opponent's mid-point!