Ramblings on Ping-Pong

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, we moved into a new office space couple of months back. Our CEO was too generous to setup new ping-pong table in the lunch break room. To be honest, I played ping-pong in the college and maybe was one of the worst ping-pong players that time.

However, recently after playing and practicing with my colleagues looks like I have improved a lot compared to my past self. We usually play for around 15-20 minutes per day. Yes, not more than that. We don't want to invite our boss's fury on us.

Ever since I started playing ping-pong officially in the new office, I observed significant changes in my game and my reaction to other players. Following are some of the things I have been observing since last few days.

  1. I have improved serve quite a lot. Thought there are time when I hit the net while trying to serve close to net on opponent's side (Just to make sure he will not able to reach the ball so away from his position). There are two kinds of serves I usually do, backhand and forehand. Both of these spin the ball very well. The key is to serve the ball diagonally and confuse other player as opponent usually expects ball to come in straight line

  2. Spin is another key while serving. This will catch an opponent off guard. A colleague of mine is really good at spin and he gets me majority of times when I am uncertain of ball direction

  3. While serving, try to serve the ball so that it will bounce high and close to other player's body. If this is accompanied by high speed, it is almost impossible for other player to return the server. I am working on it right now. But be careful while doing so. This will cause your ball to go away if done carelessly.

  4. Accuracy is the key - If you are able to put a ball anywhere in the court on your mind and hand's command, you will be pro.

  5. As you might have seen it, when ball lands right on the table edge, it spins abruptly and it becomes almost impossible to track it down thereafter. My goal is usually this, to hit the ball smoothly and lightly so that it lands right on the edge. If done properly, there is no way opponent can return it successfully. However, when done improperly, ball can go away.

  6. Smashing a ball is another key. I am not good at smash. 8 out of 10 times either ball hits the net or zooms past the table causing foul. One day - when I will master it, I can be more formidable opponent.

  7. Try to find out opponent's weakness. You can play with them few times or practice a bit before beginning actual game. This can give you hints about beating your player with your skill. Just don't be deterministic. Bring varieties in your game

  8. As I mentioned, smash is my major weakness. There are few of my colleagues who have high rising serving style. If I could master smash, it could come to my rescue to score maximum number of points without any virtual efforts.

  9. As I mentioned in point 7, opponent's weakness is major advantage. For example, some people cannot return cross court or diagonal server, some of them have difficulty reaching the call landing very close to the net, some cannot hit spinning delivery and for some, V shaped hits are major headaches. Point is - Keep practicing and you will get there.

  10. Finally, I have been practicing a lot lately. Obviously without wasting my office hours. (Other day when I crossed my boundaries, I spent 1 more hour working since that was kind of fair in that situation). My main weakness is unforced error that happens when I try to hit the ball hard with overconfidence and it goes away almost all the time. Though I am poor at handling smash, my opponent beats me with smash only 4 out of 10 times. But for other times I lose at the mercy of unforced errors.

This was all I had to say in this post. Hope I will get better at ping-pong by time. Thanks to my colleague who taught me how to use back-hand and techniques to spin the ball. Serve has been my strongest point and smash's been the weakest so far.

If you have any tips for anyone to get better at ping-pong, do comment in the comments section. I will be more than happy to review the guidance.

Update : My boss announced a DuetHealth ping-pong doubles tournament for next month. Pairs will be chosen randomly. This is going to be a fun. I am hoping not to get the best player out there but the person with whom I share the best rapport. This is so amazing and I cannot wait until groups are finally decided.

Jayesh Kawli

I am a web and mobile developer working at Wayfair in Boston, MA. I come to learn so many things during course of life and I write about things which helped me and feel like they can help others too.

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