ELIMINATE LONG STROKES
A very simple drill with the Robo-Pong 2000 can help beginners eliminate the following common mistakes: hitting forehand or backhand shots with feet perpendicular to the net (like a tennis player), using strokes that are too long (like a tennis stroke, for instance), and stretching for a shot instead of moving the feet. Set the robot to deliver balls right down the centerline of the table, and alternate between returning the ball with your forehand and backhand. Adjust the frequency of the robot, concentrate on moving your feet before every shot, and in almost no time you'll see results. If properly done, this drill doesn't give you time to hit the ball with a slow stroke or inefficient stance.
(Editor's Note: Instead of doing this drill with the ball being delivered down the centerline of the table, you may wish to do this drill with the ball being delivered to your backhand corner. Unless you are a backhand oriented player, playing backhands from the center of the table is normally not your best choice for a stroke. Probably 80-90% of players have stronger forehands so this is the preferred stroke when returning a ball down the center of the table. By doing this drill with the ball being delivered to the backhand corner, you will execute the backhand from your "normal" position and then step over to return the next ball with your forehand. Using a forehand to return a ball delivered to your backhand is considered "good form"; whereas, using a backhand to return a ball delivered to your forehand is normally considered "poor form".)
- Jena Newgarden