Playing Table Tennis: A Beginner’s Guide

Playing ping pong is a popular recreational activity, and some people just take it for granted that not everyone plays it. It’s like volleyball or bowling; when you get invited to play, it doesn’t matter what the final score is. What’s important is that you played. Ping pong is played by two (or four) players, and with only a table, a ball, and paddles.


Even the table tennis table itself is very plain and simple. A regulation table is 9 feet long and 5 feet wide, with the top at a height of 30 inches. Rackets are easily available in any sporting goods store. For casual players, rackets or paddles are all alike. Of course, for an experienced player, the rackets start to get more sophisticated, with the added rubber and plastic construction providing more power and spin to the ball.

It’s easy to get movin’

For a couch potato, it’s hard to get excited about table tennis. But it is easy to learn. The rules are simple enough. For beginners, as well as between friends, there’s no need to keep score, too. Just in case there is no one else to play with, you can always play against yourself by putting the table tennis table up against the wall and hitting away.

As a game, ping pong relies on reflexes. In real terms, what that means is that to get better at returning balls, you just have to keep on practicing until hitting the ball comes naturally. Keep on practicing until your movements become reflex actions. Instructors and coaches tell their students that it takes 3,000 repetitions for muscle memory to develop. If that is true, then you should be able to get some results after two weeks of practicing for one hour per day.

Find a fellow player

But like boxing, there’s not much fun in shadow boxing. You have to play against another person in order to enjoy pingpong. If you just want to learn how to play it, you can find someone who already knows how and is willing to teach you, or you can find someone who doesn’t know anything about pingpong but wants to learn the sport as well.

A friend who knows how to play pingpong will be a big help in teaching you and playing against you. On the other hand, if you have a friend who is also a beginner, then the both of you can get better whilst playing with each other. Table tennis is not an expensive sport. It does not need expensive equipment. It looks like a fast-paced game, which it is, but you can dial it down to your level of enjoyment. Pingpong is one sport which scales well to a player’s abilities.

If you want to engage in a sport which can be a great aerobic workout, pingpong is just what you need. Of course, you might want to join a club for a great workout. Otherwise, you would have to be content playing with yourself. Either way, getting a table tennis table of your own is easy to do, as these are available in most sports shops.

Tammy Bishop believes that it’s never too late to get off the couch and start playing a sport – any sport. She has her own table tennis table at home, and enjoys playing a game whenever she can.

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