March 6, 2023 - Don't Practice Missing

Often I see players do drills where they try smacking the ball back and forth as if they were pros. (If you are a pro, then this doesn't apply to you.) They rally at a pace they can't control, and so their balls fly all over the court or miss. If they do hit but not at the place they are supposed to be drilling to, then the opponent's shots go all over the court or miss. It's pandemonium! Drills should not be, "hit-hit-mishit-miss." They should be "hit-hit-hit-hit-hit-hit-hit-hit-hit-hit..."

Some think that by practicing at such speeds, they can learn to play at that speed. The part they are missing is that they are practicing missing as much as they are practicing hitting the table! By flailing away at the ball, they aren't improving their technique, control (putting the ball where you aim), or consistency. Instead, work on having great technique, control, and consistency. Have a coach or top players look at your strokes (or watch them on video yourself and compare to top players) so you have good technique. Do drills where you focus on hitting the ball within six inches or so of where you are aiming for control. Count how many shots you can do in a drill to work on consistency. When you have those three, hitting hard is easy.

And then, maybe, just maybe . . . you'll be a pro!