How To Practice Table Tennis Alone (12 Actionable Steps)

By Kimberly


How to Practice Table Tennis Alone

Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is just very easy to learn when you think about it. But, in reality, it is not. To be a good table tennis player, you need lots of practice, either with a partner or just by yourself. And in this article, I am going to show you 12 actionable steps on how you can practice table tennis alone – both with and without a table.

How to practice table tennis alone at home with a table

Practicing table tennis with a table is simple, especially when you have a table tennis return board. With this, you can practice alone at home and even play rallies with it. And if you have a table tennis folding table, then that would be a lot easier.

How to practice table tennis alone without a table

Practice table tennis without a table by using an alternative table (like a dining room table) or anything flat and sturdy. In addition to that, practice with a flat surface against a wall by hitting the ball to the wall, then to the floor, and hitting it back to the wall.

It’s great to learn more about practicing table tennis by yourself, right? You get to be creative in other ways, and you can focus more on enhancing your skills. Although some tips or tricks may require more information, continue reading to learn more about these “best” skills, which you can do at home or anywhere you like when practicing table tennis alone.

An image of a female athlete playing table tennis.

How to Improve Table Tennis Skills at Home

There are several ways how you can improve your table tennis skills at home. However, the best and fastest way how you can improve is to:

Tip #1: Hire a table tennis coach

There are a lot of players who are resistant to hiring a coach because they believe they will surely improve if they will just take practice more seriously. Although someone coaching will surely help you, you can also progress a lot faster with the benefits that your coach can provide you.

Tip #2: Purchase online video coaching

If you are having a hard time hiring a table tennis coach with you, you can purchase online video coaching. A coach will train you virtually or just watch a coaching video online.

Tip #3: Take a video of your games

Take a video of you playing in a match in tournaments or just playing with family or friends. I assure you that this greatly helps you to analyze how you are doing in your games. Just make sure to keep watch on the part where you lose a point because that is the part where you will know what your mistake was.

In addition to that, when you know what your weakness is, you can go ahead and strengthen it and apply it to your techniques where they should be.

Tip #4: Watch the professionals

Another best way to improve your skills in table tennis is to watch how professional players play their matches. You can take note of how they make their shots, their style of playing, how they deliver the ball, their stance, and their movements.

It is not necessary to copy them overall, but just apply what you have learned from them in your games, and you will surely see an improvement as you try to implement what you’ve learned.

Observe what they do in the part where you need to improve, and then you can practice it at home.

Tip #5: Play with different players

You can find a lot of different players with different kinds of styles and skill levels when playing with them. Play with different players to gain more experience and learn from them. It can be helpful to be challenged with your current skill level, and by playing with other players, you will surely improve in table tennis.

An image of two table tennis players in a game practice. Sports concept.

How Can I Practice Table Tennis Without a Table?

Practicing table tennis without a table is easy! Use another table that you can play with. You can even practice table tennis with a kitchen table or anything that is not heavy. If no table is available, players can hit the ball to the wall and let it bounce to the floor, and hit it back up again.

Furthermore, you can try different kinds of tricks can practice, just as letting the ball bounce to the one side of your paddle (some folks call it a bat), or trying to hit the ball high and catch it quietly. There are several ways how you can still practice table tennis even without a table.

Need to know What Is the Size of a Table in Table Tennis? Gotcha covered.

What is a Table Tennis Return Board?

A table tennis return board, or a rebound board, is a sturdy board covered with the rubbers of table tennis. It can be put up on the table or at the back of the table to provide a backboard to play with. The board’s angle can be changed to practice different levels of topspin.

There are also return boards that are mounted with stands that you can operate to move them closer or a bit further away from the table, and you can also adjust the angle at which they should face the table, as well as the tilting of the board.

Besides the fun, one of the best things about using a table tennis return board is that you can engage with it like players usually do in proper matches. And in addition to that, you can have the freedom to stop for an energy break after having a few minutes of practice with it.

Also, you can even spend hours practicing with it with different kinds of drills, just as your footwork, forehand and backhand, and many more.

Practicing with a return board is like playing with friends. You can play rallies for how long you want or how much the tilt is going to be when hitting it while in an ongoing rally.

You can change or add more tilt to the board if you are going to play with long rallies, or you can just maneuver it further away from the table, which always keeps you on your toes.

List of 12 Best Skills to Practice When Playing Ping Pong Alone

We all know that table tennis is a great sport to play, right? In addition to that, it gives us many benefits, just as enhancing both our skills and our stamina, and most of all, it improves our confidence. You will surely be the best player you could ever think of with a lot of practice!

Here are the 12 best lists of skills to practice when playing table tennis alone.

Skill #1: Bounce the ball on one side of the paddle or bat

This trick might be one of the easiest tricks you can practice alone. You just need to keep bouncing the ball on one side and take control of the ball until you can get the hang of it.

Skill #2: Bounce and flip

If you get to the point where you think the first one’s too easy for you, you can try out this next trick where you just do the same thing on the first trick. However, this time, you need to flip the paddle repeatedly from side to side. In addition to that, flipping the bat over is sometimes called “pancakes.”

Skill #3: Bounce the ball on the edge of the bat (or paddle)

As you want to progress and try something more challenging, you can try bouncing your ball on the flat surface first, then bouncing it next to the edge of the bat, and so on. This trick helps you be more focused on the ball and be more precise or accurate on where you should hit the ball.

Skill #4: Bounce the ball under the leg

You might want to take a step forward into the difficulty of these tricks. Try bouncing the ball underneath your leg, or you can try it on under the other leg, or you can just alternate them and keep up with the bounce of the ball.

Skill #5: Spinning the ball

In this trick, not only will you get to know how to spin the ball, but you will also learn how to control it. You only need to bounce the ball on the bat, but this time, give it a little bit of a spin from one way of the bat to the other way. And while bouncing the ball, tilt the bat for the ball to spin.

Skill #6: Bounce and catch

This next trick is quite tricky since you need to bounce the ball, for three bounces, or as many as how many you like, and then catch it quietly. You can also bounce the ball higher and then catch it. Although bouncing the ball is the easiest part, the tricky thing here is to catch the ball. It would be best if you had proper control of your hand so that the ball would not fall to the ground.

Skill #7: Roll the ball

This trick might be one of the simplest, but it still requires focus and control. All you have to do is to roll the ball to the center of the bat and roll it again to the other side of the bat. Easy, right?

Skill #8: Bounce the ball on the wall and to the floor

If you want to level up a little bit, you can try hitting the ball to the wall, then letting it bounce to the floor before you hit the ball up again to the wall. And after getting the hang of it, you can hear the ball having a rhythmic sound.

Skill #9: Switch sides while bouncing the ball to the wall

You will still do the steps on the last number in this trick. However, you are going to switch sides from your right and left while using the forehand and backhand grip. In addition to that, you can also practice it a little bit faster to be more challenged in it.

Skill #10: Practicing with a table sideways

Using a table to bounce the ball and tapping it on the wall is another simple thing you can do to practice table tennis. You can apply tricks number 8 and number 9 here and combine these two to practice with a table.

Alternate your forehand and backhand while hitting the ball to the wall, bouncing it off the table, and tapping it back again to the wall. You can also do this a little bit faster to get the hang of it, just like in an actual table tennis match. With the table sideways, you can learn to control how much power you hit the ball with your hand.

Skill #11: Practicing with a table lengthwise

Like the last number, you can also practice table tennis with a table, but lengthwise. With this, you have more space to practice your techniques, and you can also do more things, just like when playing real table tennis.

Skill #12: Generate a spin

This last trick is a little bit difficult, which you can practice alone at home. To spin the ball away from you, you need to brush the ball faster to the floor. If you can’t get it the first time, you can just try and try until you can achieve that perfect spin.

And after that, you can do other techniques like backspin, to get the ball to come back to you after spinning it. Furthermore, you can also practice your serves with this trick.

An image of a Table tennis female player with a racket and ball.

Next Steps

Investing in a sport requires you a lot of patience, perseverance, as well as time. That is why, hopefully, this article has been able to help you practice table tennis alone at home and be more prepared for what challenges may come to your upcoming match.

After all, practice is what makes a player more skillful and knowledgeable in the game.

Ready to take your service to the next game? Make sure you know the answer to this question: Do You Have to Serve Diagonally in Singles Table Tennis?


Learning from your own experiences is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as a family of sports nuts wannabes.

When learning how to play sports like table tennis, it is essential to learn from various trusted sources. These are the sources used in this article and in our research to be more informed as players.

  • Brown, Ashton. “Table Tennis Return Board – Improve Your Table Tennis Skills.” 30 June 2020, Ping Pong Experts,
  • Larcombe, Ben. 10 Ways to Improve Faster at Table Tennis.” 3 Sept. 2018, Expert Table Tennis,
  • Rosario, Alois. “How to Practice Table Tennis Without a Table.” Ping Skills,
  • Rosario, Alois. “Practicing Alone | Table Tennis | PingSkills.” Ping Skills,

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