** Dignics 05 On Sale! – Save 5% Thru September 3 **
CAD 1.32
Your Account
Progressive Drills to Improve Rallying Skills

Progressive Drills to Improve Rallying Skills

(By Larry Hodges )

Many players rally very well in drills, but not so much in matches. Once they get into a match, they not only lose consistency, but they also rally like a drill, hitting the ball right back at the opponent rather than trying to win the point with placement. Here is a progression of drills you can do to solve this problem – but do them in this specific order. (If working with a partner instead of a coach, take turns.) The key is to first build up accuracy from both the forehand and backhand sides, then do so off random balls, while always attacking (and reacting to) the three spots you should always go after in a match – wide forehand, wide backhand, and middle. (People often forget to practice shots to the middle and reacting to such shots, and so can’t do either effectively in a match.) A few notes:

  • Do each drill until you are proficient at it. After that, perhaps two minutes each as you work your way through the progression. Once proficient at each, you should be proficient at these types of rallies in matches. (You don’t necessarily have to do all of these drills every practice session from here on, but once you gain proficiency in them, you should come back to them regularly as a “tune-up.”)
  • The middle is where partner’s elbow (roughly the midpoint between forehand and backhand) would be in a rally, typically a little to the left of the middle line (for a righty). For these shots, partner stands toward the middle and plays his choice of forehand or backhand.
  • “Side to side random” means partner goes randomly to both corners, but not middle.
  • “Complete random” means partner goes randomly to all three spots, the corners and the middle.

Drills Progression

1.      Forehand to forehand warm-up.

2.      Backhand to backhand warm-up.

3.      Forehand down the line to partner’s backhand.

4.      Forehand to partner’s middle.

5.      Backhand down the line to partner’s forehand.

6.      Backhand to partner’s middle.

7.      Alternate forehand and backhand, to partner’s backhand.

8.      Alternate forehand and backhand, to partner’s forehand.

9.      Alternate forehand and backhand, to partner’s middle.

10.  Random side to side, to partner’s backhand.

11.  Random side to side, to partner’s forehand.

12.  Random side to side, to partner’s middle.

13.  Complete random, to partner’s backhand.

14.  Complete random, to partner’s forehand.

15.  Complete random, to partner’s middle.

16.  Both sides serve topspin and rally placing the ball to any of the three spots – forehand, backhand, or middle.

Latest News

LATTA Open Tournament: Aug. 24, 2019!!! Register Now!!!

August 21, 2019
Hello Table Tennis Enthusiasts, LATTA OPEN:  SATURDAY, AUG. 24, 2019 (USATT SANCTIONED TOURNAMENT!!! Come join us this Saturday… Read More

Ask The Experts: Jörg Bitzigeio, No. 268

August 21, 2019
Ask The Experts: Jörg Bitzigeio, No. 268 Butterfly Table Tennis Question and Answer Question: Would like to check… Read More

Coaching Tip of the Week: Strategic Tactics

August 19, 2019
(By Larry Hodges) Tactical thinking is what you do to win now; Strategic Thinking is what you do… Read More

U.S. Juniors and Cadets Excel in El Salvador

August 19, 2019
(By Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF) The 2019 El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open, an ITTF Junior Circuit Event, was… Read More


August 18, 2019
(By Steve Hopkins) PongPlanet is a full-time table tennis club with a variety of programs for adults and juniors… Read More

Bulgaria Open Recap: Harimoto’s First Win of 2019

August 18, 2019
(by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTF) The 2019 ITTF World Tour, ASAREL Bulgaria Open was played this week in… Read More

Tawny Banh Joins Butterfly

August 18, 2019
Tawny Banh Joins Butterfly (by Steve Hopkins) This week, Bowmar Sports announced that Tawny Banh, coach of Los… Read More


August 15, 2019
2019 South Shore Butterfly Open  $10,000 in Prize Money!   November 16-17, 2019   Highland, IN (Chicago Area)    … Read More
View All News

Get the latest from Butterfly

Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.