We have understood the most common mistakes for table tennis techniques. Today, we learn the mistakes when choosing the first rackets.
A player asked:
I’m new to table tennis. Which racket should I buy?
I won’t tell you the marques of a table tennis racket that you should buy because the racket quality and table tennis evolves with time. Of course, you are new to table tennis, and you may hear about the best equipment nowadays like Butterfly, Stiga, DHS, Donic, Tibhar, Joola, etc. Each year, there are hundreds of new blades, rackets, and rubber are released.
Mistakes when choosing the first racket
Here is a recap of all of the good advice to choose the right racket.
How to choose your best racket as a beginner
But I want to show you the right way, and some mistakes to avoid when choosing your first racket.
- In your career, you will change/upgrade several rackets. Based on your improvement, you could choose the faster or harder racket.
- As a new player, never buy a pre-made racket, with cheap wood quality, and very thin rubbers. This is very bad for your learning. Bad and cheap wood will eliminate all of the good vibrations to your hand. Too thin rubber forces you to open more your racket to spin the ball (which is a very bad habit).
- Never choose a too soft rubber (softer than 40 degrees on your forehand side, and softer than 35 degrees on the backhand side). If you want to improve fast, choose the hardest rubber that you can manage to hit. The harder you choose, the faster you improve. Chinese kids always play with hard rubbers.
- Never choose a too light blade (Lighter than 80g). The heavy blade is not comfortable to play with at the beginning. But it will prevent you from the bad habit of some players: Hit only by the wrist. Some new players just love playing with the very light blades, because they have a bad habit, (hit with only the wrist). Heavy blade forces you to use your body, and develop the full mechanism of the stroke.
- Never choose too thin rubber, thinner than 1.8mm. Some coach just asks the new player to play with thin, to very thin rubber (1.5mm). No! Playing with too thin rubber, the new players tend to open more his racket. Thin rubber makes the ball “bottom out” very soon. So the players need to open more the racket to topspin and to compensate for this “bottom out”. This is a very bad habit. The ball is weak and less accurate. You will not improve fast with this setup.
- Never choose too hard, too fast blade. Another big problem of new players, they always want “faster, faster and faster”. But they don’t know how to spin the ball. Chinese philosophy about table tennis “The blade gives feeling, the blade is your hand. That is the rubber and your power will give the speed to the ball”.
- Never change equipment because they tell you this one is better. For each type of blade and rubber, try to stick with them for at least 6 months. Try to discover your equipment. Don’t just buy and try in only 2 hours and conclude. You are wrong! Each type of equipment has its own advantages. Try to figure it out! And understand why you need to change (to have more spin, more speed, low-throw, attack style, more control, etc). Understand your playing style, your technique first, and then change your racket later.
- And remember, as a new player, feeling and spin are the most important. My best advice if you want to improve fast in table tennis. Believe it! This message is not to promote any equipment. It’s for you! Based on my own experiences of coaching and playing.
Please watch this video:
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