Ping Pong can be a very fun, if sometimes challenging game to play. It is even a sport that is played at the summer Olympics every four years. While it is great when you have someone there to play against, what happens when you are alone but feel the urge to get in some table tennis. The answer is to find out how to play ping pong by yourself. There are some different approaches, some that are closer to playing a game and others that are more practice drills, but let’s dive into looking how to scratch that itch when you are all alone.
Use the wall
Perhaps the easiest method to playing a few games of ping pong in one player mode is to move your table up against the wall. When you hit the ball across the net the wall will be there to knock it back your way. There are a few downsides, first off being that you’ll want to have a cleared out space on your wall or be able to easily take down some of the decorations. Also, if you don’t hit use your table tennis raquet with enough force, the ball might not make it all the way back to you.
Fold your Table
Many table tennis tables including some table tennis converstion tops have the option to fold up. While this is often used for storing the table when not in use only folding down half the table gives you the option to have the folded up half of the table perform duties as your partner, knocking the ball back to you. This lets you get a good deal of practice in without having to purchase any additional equipment.
Remember that some of the best ping pong balls are not overly expensive. If you have a good supply built up you can look at purchasing a catch net. This is a device that will attach to the far end of the table and catch your shots as you make them. While it will stop the balls from ending up all over the room it won’t hit them back, so you’ll mostly be working on your serve.
The company iPong makes what they call a Trainer Robot. This is much like a ball machine used in tennis. You load a number of ping pong balls into it and set it on the far end of the table. This machine will then shoot ping pong balls at you for you to return. The device will keep them coming until it runs out of balls in its hopper. This can help you work on returning balls, but they will only be coming in on one trajectory and speed, so it won’t have the thrill of another player changing things up.
A return board is similar to a moving chalkboard or whiteboard. This board can be placed at the end of your table and angled up or down as desired. This angling can help change the return trajectory of your ball. This will change-up the game somewhat and be closer to having another player on the other side of the table. Some people will use multiple return boards at the far side to cover even more table and provide a more realistic opponent.
While not having a human on the other end of the table will limit how challenging your game may be, there are a number of ways to play ping pong by yourself. This can also serve as great practice and training for sharpening your skills. As far as costs go they range from free to having to shell out a bit of money to pick up some new gear. You’ll need to find the right set of options that will work for you and your desired level. We would love to hear how you play by yourself in the comments below.
Carlo Mantuano says
This is a great guide for solo ping pong training. The use of a return board is what I prefer since its surface is almost entirely covered with the type of rubber used for ping pong paddles, making you feel like you have an actual opponent and you’ll notice eventually the outcome of the spins that you put on the ball.