There is a good reason why the title says “investing” in a table tennis robot, because that is exactly what it is. For professional players who need to practice on a regular basis it is a tool that can be used for a variety of scenarios. By choosing the right robot you’ll be mastering your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses. But how exactly will it benefit you?
What Is A Table Tennis Robot?
Basically, it’s a mechanical table tennis opponent. They come in different shapes and sizes, and all of them have their different set features. Balls are fed into the machine, which are shot at a specific point on the table. Depending on the type of robot you invest in, you can easily set the speed of the ball, the amount of spin the ball should have, and the angle.
The amount of money you are willing to spend will play a part in how much you are going to get out. For example, an affordable yet durable robot can provide basic options. But typically they won’t feature nifty features such as ball spin adjustments, or a return net.
Nevertheless, even affordable robots are going to improve certain sections of your game.
Robots Are Easy To Set Up
It’s important to remember that table tennis robots can never really take the place of a good opponent or an effective coach, but it can help you to set up your table in a smaller space.
For the most part a robot is mounted on the table itself, which means you can push it right up against the wall if you’re struggling with space. Even robots that stand on the floor are relatively small.
Consistency And Accuracy
If there are two things you know you’ll be getting from a robot they are consistency and accuracy. From the basic models up to the more expensive ones, these are the two qualities that should always be present.
Robots are made to shoot the ball in the same place and with a set speed. This comes in handy for several reasons. If for example you want to practice a specific serve return you can test various techniques in addition to experimenting with speed.
With more advanced robots you’ll be able to face more specific shots, like constantly attacking a backspin. Given the difficulty of this attack, you can rely on a robot to create the scenario each and every time.
Above all else, robots are perfect if you want to pay more attention to your technique. With a human partner you can’t really tell where the ball will be going, but with a robot you know exactly what’s coming.
When you feel you are getting more confident with your technique you can gradually increase the speed to a more challenging level. However, don’t forget about your footwork. It’s great that you can give your upper body a good workout, but it’s not going to mean anything if you can’t learn to use your feet properly.
In order to mix it up, change the position of the robot. Most players simply mount the robot in the middle of the other end and leave it there, when it can be used on the corners as well.
The great thing about a robot has to be the specific routines you can set, whether it’s based on footwork, returns, serving or general coordination improvement.
Despite the fact that you won’t be learning to read the body language from your opponent and there won’t be many surprises, you can focus on your weaker areas. Perfecting your technique and the ability to return difficult spins are still going to benefit you tremendously.
Some Added Tips
Avoid playing a static game with the robot. In other words, only practice a certain shot for about a minute or two before switching to something else. You are also risking an injury by hitting the same shot for hours on end.
When you buy a table tennis robot, make sure it accommodates your needs. Are you a professional player who wants to be able to adjust even the smallest detail? Then you can expect to pay anything up to $3000 for a robot with extensive programming features.
Or are you at the beginner level where you simply want a robot to shoot out balls without breaking every five minutes? Some of the most affordable robots cost around $100, but they are not intended for regular use. If you spend a little bit more, for example $500, then you’ll be getting a better quality robot that can stand to work a lot longer. So, choose your robot carefully and always consider your options.
Unfortunately a robot won’t be able to bring that element of surprise to the table, but it will help you prepare when the moment comes.