Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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6 Types of Footwork Drills

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6 Types of Footwork Drills
Maximum Improvement with Your Power Pong Robot
By Coach Samson Dubina
There are several different types of footwork drills that you can and should be doing with your Power Pong Robot.  
#1 Systematic Side-to-Side Footwork Drills
On a daily basis, you should be doing standard footwork drills like one forehand, one middle or backhand, middle, forehand.  These drills allow you to focus on your basic technique and improve your balance, positioning, and timing with great focus on details because you know where the ball is going.  Most professional players start off a training session with at least one systematic drill, and you should too!
#2 Semi-Systematic and Random Footwork Drills
After doing a couple systematic drills, you should begin semi-systematic or random drills where you don’t know where the ball is going.  These types of drills challenge you in a game situation because you need to be alert and adjustable based on where the robot fires the ball.  To turn any drill into a challenge, just click the random button.  The robot will then randomly link the specified balls in a random pattern.
#3 In-and-Out Footwork Drills
The ability to move in-and-out is currently the most under-developed aspect of the game.  Start with a simple drill like forehand warmup.  Hit one ball on the rise, then move back, and hit one ball on the fall.  Then continue moving in-and-out.  There are different techniques for moving in-and-out, but the most basic one that you need to master is the two-step-shuffle, where the outside foot initiates the movement and both feet move for every ball.  Start slow, start simple and later link it together in more complex patterns.  There is nothing wrong with starting at 15 balls per minute to get the technique right.  Also, consider video recording yourself with your smartphone and watching to make sure that it is done correctly.
#4 Short Game Footwork Drills
There are five options that you have against a short ball – push short, push long, flip, loop, and smash.  However, none of these shots will be effective at all unless you have the correct footwork, balance, positioning, and timing.  First, isolate these shots by themselves, then move toward linking them together in the rally.
#5 Game Situation Footwork Drills
These are my favorite Power Pong drills because they are closest to match play.  Setup the drill for a short serve, a deep backspin push, a series of topspin balls, then a few lobs or smashes.  Once your basic technique is good, you should slowly develop the ability to link the shots together.
#6 Isolation Footwork Drills
So you have been doing game situation drills for a few days and you always struggle with the deep backspin ball or your forehand or the short no-spin ball to your middle or the high sidespin ball to your backhand.  What do you do?  Well, you step back from the game-situation drill and you isolate one particular shot.   You repeat that shot again and again, then link it back.  No matter what your level, you are never above the basic fundamentals of the game.  There is no shame in practicing the details of basic technique several hours a day – the pros do it and YOU should too!

So you want to improve?
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