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One of the problems of teaching young beginners table tennis is that they just don’t have the ball control to keep it going. Since neither can keep the ball going, neither gets great practice. It would be far better if they could hit with a stronger player who could keep the ball going to one spot so the player can concentrate on one shot. But this is usually impossible. There are more young players than there are good players. However, there is one way to improve - multiball.

To use multiball, you must have a bucket of balls available. One person (the instructor at first although later the kids themselves can learn to do it) feeds the balls to the person practicing. He/she does so by hitting the balls with his/her racquet in whatever fashion is desired to the spot where the player is waiting. The bucket is placed on the table near the net, and the feeder stands to the lefthand side of the table (the righthand side if the instructor is left-handed).

The feeder can control the shots far better than if he had to hit the player’s often errant shots. He can go at whatever speed and pace is desirable for the given player.

The only disadvantage of multiball is that one person does have to feed. However, a beginning player gets well over twice as many good shots off in a given time than would be possible if hitting with a partner. This may make it worth the effort. This is an especially good method to get players started off on each stroke before sending them off to the table to hit among themselves.

What seems to work best is the following schedule.

  • Whenever a new stroke is introduced, start with a demonstration so the students know what they are supposed to do.

  • Have them line up and do multiball with the coach one at a time. Here it would be advantageous to have more than one coach so the players can spend more time hitting and less time waiting in line.

  • After each child has practiced the stroke to be learned, they can be sent out to the table. They will probably still hit the ball all over the place, but they will do better than they would have before. With practice, they will be able to do the strokes acceptably and with time, they may surprise you with their skill.

During multiball, the coach grabs ball out of a box and hits them at the player.

Copyright Larry Hodges

Copyright Mark Nordby, Dan Seemiller, John Oros

Copyright USA Table Tennis

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Last Update : 06 Kasım, 2002

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