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How long does it take to become Pro at table tennis

Is it feasible to be a super good table tennis player? The answer is Yes! But you must follow the right way! Many players play and train a lot, but stick to the same level. Today, let’s learn the secret to being a very good player in table tennis.

How long to reach the top of the world

In general, it will take you 10 to 15 years to reach the top professional table tennis level. A lot of players who train 5 hours a day for more than 15 years. But they are still not in the top 200 in the world! Why not?

I have said several times,

“that is the quality of training who decides your level. But not the quantity”

So, to be a very good player, you need the right training system! The training system that any pro, any super good player has passed. So do you! To become a pro, you need to train like a pro.

How long does it take to become a very good ping pong player
How long does it take to become a very good ping pong player

I don’t say that you will become Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin, a World Class player. You should ask yourself “What is your ultimate goal?”. You can be the World Top 100, or the top player in your region, or in your country. Let’s assume that, you want to the National level, around World Ranking #500. Is it feasible? Yes!

But many players and coaches failed to achieve this goal. Because they don’t know the right way to do that.

Tomokazu Harimoto with his father has trained only for 9 years. Since Harimoto is 5-6 years old. Now he is only 15 years old and is already at World Ranking #3. Amazing! What is the secret? It’s the quality of training!

Harimoto training with his mother at 5 years old
Harimoto training with his mother at 5 years old

The toughest skills to teach any player is how to think and control the situation. And the toughest skill to teach any table tennis coach is the ability to think even more freely, more flexibly. Many coaches didn’t understand the foundation, the theory behind the game.

The coach just sees only one design that can help improve one individual player. The coach needs to understand several types of playing. If he is not flexible, and experienced enough, you will suffer. Due to that, you can only become an average player, but not the good, or the best player. Because of your training system, your coaching has a limit, a limit of creativity, which could be predictable for your peak performance.

To be good at table tennis, you need solid techniques, well-prepared physical, and good mental/ tactics training. Yes! You need all of these. And a good coach can help you.

How long does it take to be very good at table tennis

Well. Have you read the paragraph above? If yes, you understand that it all depends on your training routine.

  • If you train alone, without a coach, without any training program. To become very good, you need 50 years (or impossible, I’m sorry to say that).
  • If you train in a club, around 1-2 times/week. Well, good luck. Maybe you can reach the National level after 40 years (or nearly impossible).
  • If you train at a very young age, 2-3 times/week with a good coach. You can reach the top National level after 20-30 years.
  • If you practice at the elite academy, 3-4 times/week, with the top, national coach. You can reach the top level after 15 years.
  • If you have the genome of Waldner inside, your father is the top player, coach. You can reproduce the same routine as Tomokazu Harimoto (around 10 years to reach the National/ International level).

Table tennis is a very hard sport. So you just stay there, and dream? How to make the dreams into reality.

Answer: Have a coach, and start to train like a pro.

What is this level? Backhand with 2 legs flying on the ground
What is this level? Backhand with 2 legs flying on the ground

Having a good coach is the key

The Asian countries (China, Korea, Japan) have adapted to modern table tennis. While the rest of the world still stays in the same position. It’s all about the “vision of the coach”.

A good coach will guide you to the right road of success. No matter 1000 hours, or 10 000 hours of training, without a coach, you will get to nowhere. That’s the coach that makes you jump up during your career.

You always need a coach - even at the world class level
You always need a coach – even at the world-class level

The coach must think for the player. Think for a long run, not a short win. If the training time is insufficient, training methodology is wrong, the direction of development is bad, is not adapted to the new trend, then you will be never the top player.

How to be good at table tennis (with videos)

Here is my answer to your question: How to be good at table tennis. Yes, if you follow these 8 training videos, you can become a good player. Of course, not the very good, and top players. I recommend you master the 10 basic skills in table tennis.

But don’t worry. Just practice and enjoy your evolution every day! These videos are recorded by ITTF and performed by the World Class players. So the technical quality is very high.

Training Video 1 – Forehand Drive

How to play table tennis - Forehand Drive

Watch this video.

For the forehand drive technique, to be good, you should focus on the elbow and the body coordination. Learn to do the weight transfer, and try to feel the ball with a relaxed grip.


Training Video 2 – Backhand Drive

How To Play Table Tennis - Backhand Drive

Watch this video.

The backhand drive is the first step to perform a backhand topspin technique. It’s not difficult. But many players forget the basic steps. Use your elbow, and close your racket! Guide the ball with your fingers!


Training Video 3 – Forehand Topspin

How To Play Table Tennis - Forehand Topspin

Watch this video.


Training Video 4 – Backhand Topspin

How to play table tennis - Backhand Topspin

Watch this video.


Training Video 5 – Block

How to play table tennis - Block

Watch this video.


Training Video 6 – Service Basics

How To Play Table Tennis - Service Basics

Watch this video.


Training Video 7 – Reverse Pendulum Serve

How To Play Table Tennis - Reverse Pendulum Backspin Serve

Watch this video.


Training Video 8 – Service Receive

How to play table tennis - Service Receive

Watch this video.


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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

10 thoughts on “How long does it take to become Pro at table tennis”

  1. Hello Coach

    I am 61 and love playing table tennis. How long can I be able an intermediate player. I am practicing daily 2 hrs.



  2. Hello Coach

    I am 61 and love playing table tennis. How long can I be able an intermediate player. I am practicing daily 2 hrs. I am average on consistency BF and FH drive, loop and top spin



  3. It’s completely understandable that with a good coach, quality training, consistent and frequent practice schedule, the bonus and added benefits of young age, and, of course, passion and love for the sport, that you can achieve the highest levels; however, coaching is not cheap, if you were to train 3 to 4 times a week with a good coach, for several years, that is a thousands of dollars and a lot of time to allocate for training, especially if you also work. I can understand that these methods are effective for someone very young and with access to all these resorces ( lots of money, and access to good coaches / tt academies ). But what if you are someone in your late 20s early 30s who works 40hrs a week, plays frequently (several times a week), and constantly working on implementing technique adjustments through advice given by others who play as well. Its clear that they can only go so far, but perhaps you might have some good advice that can benefit that bracket of folks in the average human type category that can help get them beyond the “just ok” player one day 🙂
    Thank you for all your posts and great advice by the way, I follow your blog and love your work.

    • Thank you. I always wonder how to make my players improve faster. I think that this sport is not so difficult with the right training, and practice. Thank you for your support.

  4. Yes i have coach emrattich, but me question is i have seen ovtcharov and bojan Tokic ween they traning and ovtcharov is really good at the long points.How can i get hos position thank you where much for your amazing videos

  5. hi coach thank you for your videos. is it a good idea to spend a month in china for training camps to learn the working culture and methodology? is there any scholorships? is it possible for you to give some ideas to train in china in a economical way? thank you once again for sharing your knowledge in all your videos


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