Training with a Robot

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Samson Dubina with a Robot

Top players and coaches agree that table tennis requires a variety of training types. Some examples of training include drills, robots, multi-ball practice, serving practice, matches, plus a variety of physical training. Within those types of training, a multitude of variations are excellent. To be a complete player, one must be able to win against any playing styles: looper, chopper, pips, lefty, etc…

When I don’t have a partner to train with, I use my robot, which provides a lot of variety. Have a look at the drills in my video. I’ve shown the Robo-Pong 2050 pre-programmed drill number so you can do the same drills if you have this particular robot. There are a lot of programmable robots that allow you to customize combinations of balls so you can do specific drills.

For drills such as #28 and #59, I set the robot for topspin/sidespin. This is best performed by adjusting the robot head to the left or right 3 clicks. This variation has done 4 things for me:

  1. Improved my concentration
  2. Improved my ability to follow the ball closely with my eyes
  3. Improved my ability to counterloop against lefty and right hook loops
  4. Improved my ball placement on “weird” balls

Some key advantages of training with a robot are:

  • It can be hard to find a practice partner that is as consistent as a robot, feeding various types of balls.
  • Even if you have a good training partner they may not always be available.
  • You can practice at any odd hour of the night.
  • The repetition really helps your consistency.
  • If you have a robot with a catch net, you don’t have to pick up balls.

Give it a try, it’s fun I promise you’ll have a good challenge.

Samson Dubina is an accomplished player and coach. He was the US Nationals Men’s Singles Finalist in 2010. Learn more about Samson.

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2 Responses to “Training with a Robot”

  1. Arthur Lui says:

    I use a Newgy 1040, which unfortunately can’t be programmed. It would be nice to have all of those set drills.

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  2. Stan Kobylanski says:

    This is a nice selection of drills. I like to include a consistancy drill, hitting from 6+ feet away from the table – backhand side, forehand side and middle and eventually random.

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