How to Practice Ping Pong Alone

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Ping pong is a rising sport in today’s society. This is because it involves skill, strategy, and quick thinking which are three things that attract highly competitive people.

You may be a beginner in the game or someone who has played it for years, but no matter what, practice is always a must. However, with friends any family busy with work and other commitments you may not always have someone to practice with.

Luckily there are plenty of ways to practice ping pong while alone. In this article, we will go over seven different ways you can do so at home. Using these may just make you the next ping pong legend.

How to Practice Ping Pong Alone

Method #1: Use the Playback Position

To make ping pong tables easier to move and store they almost always fold up. Along with this, they are able to fold up just one side at a time. If you do this it will then create a wall on the other side of the net that you are able to hit the ball against.

This will help you train yourself to serve well and hit it multiple times in a row. Since the one side is a wall you will also be able to see the effect of each new hit without having to focus on a game that is going on in front of you.

Method #2: Return Board

Similar to using the playback position, a return board is essentially a board that you hit the ping pong ball at and it will come back to you. This is better if you want your hit to go past the net to see how it would play out since this board is at the end of the table, not right after the net.

The downfall to this is that the ball may not always return to you since there is so much more room for it to go astray. However, if you don’t mind picking up extra ping pong balls then this is a great way to go!

Method #3: Shadow Play

This one might sound a little crazier than the others but it is proven to help your ping pong game!

Without using a ball, simply act like you are serving and then act like someone is hitting it back. Then simply go through the motions of playing a game of ping pong.

Although this seems quite simple, you will be able to practice various scenarios and work on moving or reacting to hits quicker. This will give you a lot of theoretical playtime that will benefit you in the long run.

Method #4: YouTube

This is not really a physical practice of ping pong but it can help just as much. When football teams are trying to train for a better year they often watch old games to pinpoint what went wrong and how to do it better. The same can be done with ping pong.

You may not be able to watch yourself play but you can watch others and see their techniques and strategies. Then you can see what went wrong for them in a certain play and learn how to do it better.

There are also many coaching videos you will be able to find. These are from highly experienced people who have been playing ping pong for years. That way they can give you pointers on what is best to do in certain situations and you can fine-tune your skills.

If you want to take it one step further you could even take notes on what people are doing wrong and then figure out how to fix these mistakes. Then later you could practice these while really playing ping pong.

Method #5: Physical Fitness

This doesn’t directly relate to playing ping pong but it will help your ping pong game as well as your body and health in the long run. Making sure you work out and are physically fit is a great part of many sports. Although ping pong may not have as much physical activity as other sports, being fit still helps.

Making sure your arms are strong is a must since this is the main body part used while playing ping pong. While working out, doing speed and agility training can also help you out greatly. Since much of ping pong is moving quickly from side to side and moving quickly in general, agility training is a must.

Method #6: Swing and Move

This is close to shadow play but it is done without even a paddle, therefore it also works itself into the physical fitness method as well. This is simply using your arm to imitate swings that you might use during a game. Doing this will get your arm use to doing the motion and build up the muscles/mind process you need to do so.

Eventually, you will want to work in going from one side to the other so that you can move sideways with ease. This will help your agility training greatly so that you are always able to move around easier than your opponent is in the game. This may seem like a silly thing to do but in the end, it will help a lot.

Method #7: Practicing Serves

This one is going to be the most time consuming and seem quite annoying at first but it will help your game so much! This is basically getting a lot of ping pong balls and practicing serving them across your ping pong table.

The reason this takes so long or may be annoying is that you will eventually have to pick up the ping pong balls to keep going or at least clean-up. However, it is worth it to fine-tune your serving. During actual games, you often don’t have time to dwell on your serve and what might need work within it, therefore this is the perfect way to figure that out.


It might seem silly to believe you can practice ping pong alone but it is a must for many people who want to improve their game. Luckily there are ways to play full games alone such as using the playback table, or a board that will send the ball back to you.

There are also great things that can help prepare your entire body for the game such as shadow play, physical fitness, and swing and move. All of these things will condition your body to do better in environments like a ping pong game.

If you don’t feel like doing any of these physical activities then there is always YouTube to turn to so that you can see how other people play and figure out new things to try.