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3 off-table exercises for improving reaction times in table tennis

Jun 14, 2021
1 min read

Table tennis is one of the sports that require an exceptionally good reaction time. You need to be incredibly agile and quick to deal with a ball that’s being smashed your way at 70mph from just a couple of meters away.

But how do you improve reflexes in table tennis?

There are many coordination and reaction time exercises that can help you improve table tennis reaction time and get better in terms of agility and reflexes. The best thing is, you don’t even need a table for these.

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Effective reaction time exercises at home

On a very basic level, any drill that includes catching and throwing balls can help you improve table tennis reaction time. Here are some of the best ones.

1. Use a reaction ball

Reaction ball is one of the best tools for coordination and reaction time exercises. It is a ball with six sides made of bouncing material. When thrown to the ground or bounced off a wall, the ball comes back unpredictably.

You can improve your reaction time by throwing a reaction ball at any surface and catching it before it bounces for the second time.

2. Have a friend help you

If you do not have a reaction ball, simply ask a friend to stand in front of you, holding two tennis balls. Your friend can drop either of the balls in any direction at random. Your task is to catch the ball before it bounces for the second time.

While you are throwing the ball back at your friend, they should drop the second ball in any direction, and you’ll have to catch it again.

The good thing about this drill is that it moves at a fast pace and the factor of uncertainty calls for incredible reaction speeds.

3. Play other sports

Reaction time is a universal skill. You can learn it from any sport, and it will apply to all fields of your life. This means that if you play any sport that calls for fast reaction times like tennis, squash, or badminton, it will ultimately help you get better reaction speeds.

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