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Training Tips — Drills / Training

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The Basic Eight 0

By Richard McAfee, 1999 USATT Developmental Coach of the Year 
A Complete Training Program In Only 55 Minutes

As a professional coach, I use my Newgy Robo Pong 2000 almost every day. I have found no more efficient teaching tool for introducing new stroke techniques to my students. In fact, many of my students have purchased a Robo Pong 2000 for home use. I have developed the following drill program to give my students a complete skills practice session in a short period of time. The program consists of eight drills. Allowing for a few minutes to reset the robot between drills and you can complete the whole program in only 55 minutes.

 

 

1. Serve Practice (5 minutes)

It may seem strange to you to start a training program off by practicing serves. However, there is no better way to warm-up your spin touch and hand skills. Simply practice your serves putting emphasis on making as much spin as possible as well as good placement.

2. Push Practice (5 minutes)

Set your robot to produce backspin and have it oscillate over the whole table. Practice your pushes with both backhand and forehand. Direct your returns to all areas of the table. Don’t forget to vary the spin of your returns and also make both short and long returns.

3. Loop Practice (10 minutes — 5 minutes with both FH and BH)

Set your robot for backspin and direct the ball to your backhand no oscillation. Using your forehand practice looping and direct your returns to all areas of the table. Start off by making high spin (slower) loops and progress to making faster loop drives. Repeat drill using your backhand

4. Mixed Loop and Push Practice (5 minutes).

 

Set your robot for backspin and have it oscillate over the whole table. Using both forehand and backhand, alternate loops with pushes. Remember to practice directing your returns over the whole table.

5. Counter Practice (10 minutes — 5 minutes with both FH and BH)

Set your robot to produce topspin and direct the ball to your forehand with no oscillation. Start off with short blocks and gradually lengthen your stoke to produce a counter drive. Finally, finish off with full kill shots. Once again, practice directing your returns to all parts of the table. Reset the robot to direct the ball to your backhand side and repeat the drill using only backhand.

6. Movement Drill (5 minutes)

Set your robot for topspin and have it oscillate over one half of the table. Use only forehand strokes and direct your returns to all parts of the table. Concentrate on using proper 2 step movement technique. Also, set the ball feed at a rate that puts you under pressure to move fast enough.

7. Pivot Drill (5 minutes)

This is also a movement drill. Set your robot for topspin and direct the ball to your wide backhand with no oscillation. This drill consists of making two backhand counters or loops and then pivoting and hitting one forehand from the backhand side (repeat). Both counters and loops strokes should be practiced and your returns should be directed to all areas of the table.

8. Serve Return Drill (5 minutes)

Set your robot to produce a short underspin serve, sidespin can also be added. Oscillate the serves over the whole table. Practice making random drops, flips and long pushes. Emphasis should be placed on making good placements. Try to keep your drops very short and cut the diagonal sidelines with your flips and long pushes.

At the conclusion of this drill program you will have practiced all the basic skills of the game. Of course your own individual style will determine which advanced skills you also need to train. Use this program several times a week and you will see a quick improvement in your overall game.

Practice Your Serves 0

First Place


Larry Hodges
Rockville, MD 20852

Newgy Circuit

Set up Newgy robots on three consecutive tables. Set the first and third table on topspin, the middle one on backspin. Players line up on the first table, youngest or lowest rated first, and each try to hit 20 consecutive shots(this can vary, depending on player's level). If a player misses before 20, he/she go to end of the line, and next player goes up.

As soon as a player gets 20 in row on table one, he/she goes to table two, and again has to hit 20 in a row. If a player misses before reaching 20, he/she goes to the end of that line. If first player to reach second table doesn't get 20 on first try, he/she has to wait until another player reaches that table and has a turn before getting next chance.

As soon as a player gets past table two, player goes to table three. An object (a cup, a paddle, etc) is set on the table, and player has five shots to hit it. If player misses, he/she goes to end of line. Again, if the first player to reach third table doesn't hit object in five tries, he/she has to wait until another player reaches that table and has a turn before getting next chance.

First player to successfully run the circuit is the winner!



Runner-up


Robert Mayer
Memphis TN 38141
Bluff City TTC

I have found the Newgy Robot to be useful for even rather mundane tasks such as service practice. By setting a bucket of balls on the table beside me, I can begin serving balls on by one, knowing that the recycling net is there to catch most of them. When the bucket is finally empty, I simply turn the ball feeder on high speed and place the bucket in front of it to get a quick refill so I can begin again.

Newgy Circuit Training, 0

Larry Hodges
Rockville, MD 20852

Set up Newgy robots on three consecutive tables. Set the first and third table on topspin, the middle one on backspin. Players line up on the first table, youngest or lowest rated first, and each try to hit 20 consecutive shots(this can vary, depending on player's level). If a player misses before 20, he/she go to end of the line, and next player goes up.

As soon as a player gets 20 in row on table one, he/she goes to table two, and again has to hit 20 in a row. If a player misses before reaching 20, he/she goes to the end of that line. If first player to reach second table doesn't get 20 on first try, he/she has to wait until another player reaches that table and has a turn before getting next chance.

As soon as a player gets past table two, player goes to table three. An object (a cup, a paddle, etc) is set on the table, and player has five shots to hit it. If player misses, he/she goes to end of line. Again, if the first player to reach third table doesn't hit object in five tries, he/she has to wait until another player reaches that table and has a turn before getting next chance.

First player to successfully run the circuit is the winner!



Runner-up


Robert Mayer
Memphis TN 38141
Bluff City TTC

I have found the Newgy Robot to be useful for even rather mundane tasks such as service practice. By setting a bucket of balls on the table beside me, I can begin serving balls on by one, knowing that the recycling net is there to catch most of them. When the bucket is finally empty, I simply turn the ball feeder on high speed and place the bucket in front of it to get a quick refill so I can begin again.

Chair Drill 0

An adaptation of a drill presented by Victor Tolkacheva at a Dan Seemiller clinic known as the "CHAIR" drill. Done to work on footwork, aerobic fitness and concentration, the chair drill requires the placement of a chair about 4 feet behind the table and the robot to be set on topspin. The chair drill starts with student behind chair, first moving left beside chair as ball crosses the net. Moving forward and to the right, the student must then execute a FH counter or loop to the cross - court angle. After doing the stroke, footwork away from the table places the student in position to start all over again! Increasing the frequency of the balls requires the feet to work more and more efficiently and changing the robot from topspin to underspin will dramatically increase the effort needed to perform at a consistent level. I highly recommend doing this drill first as shadow practice to familiarize yourself then be a test of the additional factors that weakens a persons ability to loop / counter. If you have a training partner, both can do this drill at the same time and really tax the timing aspects of footwork. BUT USE CAUTION not to hit your partner with the follow through of your stroke or you might need to find a new partner!

Footwork Drills 0


Yeushan Goan 
Milwaukee, WI

The Newgy Robot is very useful for footwork practice. You are forced to keep moving because the robot rarely misses. Here are some footwork drills you can do with your Newgy Robot:

One-Step Footwork 
1. Set Oscillator Control Levers to 2,5 (narrow sweep range). 
2. Adjust oscillator speed so ball are place at each end of the sweep range. 
3. Hit ball coming to your forehand court with forehand strokes, hit balls coming to your backhand court with backhand strokes.

Two-Step Footwork 
1. Set Oscillator Control Levers to 1,6 (no oscillation). 
2. Alternate your forehands and backhands to hit balls back.

Three-Step Footwork 
1. Set Oscillator Control Levers to 2,5 (narrow sweep range). 
2. Adjust oscillator speed so balls are placed at each end of the sweep range. 
3. Hit balls coming to your forehand court with backhand strokes and balls coming to your backhand court with forehand strokes.

Stepping In/Out Footwork Drills

Two-Step Footwork 
1. Set Oscillator Control Levers to 1,6 (no oscillation). 
2. Adjust head angle and ball speed so balls bounce twice on your side of the table. 
3. Step in to forehand hit a ball after it bounces once, then step out to forehand hit the next ball after it bounces twice, step in to backhand hit the next ball after it bounces once, and finally step out to backhand hit the fourth ball after it bounces twice. You should be moving in an "8 on its side" (_) route.

Three-Step Footwork 
1. Set Oscillator Control Levers to 2,5 (narrow sweep range). 
2. Adjust head angle and ball speed so balls bounce twice on your side of the table. 
3. Hit balls in the same manner as described in previous two-step footwork drill, except you now need to take 3 steps to make it to the balls.

Notes: 
a. If you find the 2,5 sweep range too wide for you, change it to 1,5 or 2,6. 
b. If you find the 2,5 sweep range too narrow for you, change it to 2,4, 3,5 or even 3,4. 
c. If you're right-handed you should step in with your right foot closer to the table, or you won't be able to bring your playing hand close to the ball. 
d. If you're left-handed, you should step in with your left foot closer to the table.

Step-Around Footwork Drill 0

Lawrence Au

Here's a good drill for footwork and variation in your strokes. It can get vary fast paced and tiring but very useful as it simulates a point in real play. Set your Newgy to give a medium height ball about 4-5 speed and 5-6 frequency to start. Aim the Newgy into the back-hand corner. Hit 3 easy backhand balls consecutively cross-court and on the 4th shot, run around with a quick side step and hit a forehand smash down the line similating a kill in a real game. Then immediately side-step the other way, getting back into position to hit 3 backhands again. As you get better, increase the speed and frequency. You can also practice variations in your shots by blocking the first backhand, looping the next backhand and then smashing the 3rd backhand before running around. This drill gives you a good cardiovascular workout from all the running around, helps develop variation in your shots, quickens your footwork and rehearses a point that is played a lot in real game situations. Just look at Deng Yaping.