Enhancing Your Pickleball Game With Ping Pong Techniques


When we think about the skills that transfer between sports like tennis and pickleball, we often overlook the influence of ping pong. Ping pong, also known as table tennis, shares many similarities with pickleball, and understanding the techniques used in this fast-paced game can significantly enhance your pickleball skills.

In an episode on the Pickleball Fire podcast, a seasoned pickleball instructor and avid ping pong player, we explored the connection between these two sports and how ping pong techniques can be applied to pickleball.

According to Deb, ping pong encompasses principles such as topspin, underspin, blocks, block drops, and third shot drops, all of which have their place in pickleball, albeit on a smaller scale. While the spin in ping pong may appear more pronounced due to the ball hitting the table and bouncing away, the same principles hold true in pickleball, albeit with less intensity.

One technique that Deb highlighted is the loop, which involves extreme topspin. In ping pong, a player hits the ball from a low position below the table, bringing it up so that it bounces on the table and crosses over to the other side of the net.

This loop technique is reminiscent of a skilled pickleball player who can take the ball below the net and create an offensive opportunity. To keep the ball in play, they must impart a significant amount of topspin. This results in the ball approaching the opponent with pace and spin, making it challenging to handle.

Conversely, the chop is a technique that involves extreme underspin. In ping pong, this shot causes the ball to travel back towards the person who hit it. In pickleball, you may have witnessed players executing a shot similar to the chop. This often occurs when they hit a drop shot with a slice, causing the ball to appear as if it will bounce on your side of the court before unexpectedly returning to their side. This backspin creates a deceptive shot that can catch opponents off guard.

It’s clear that pickleball incorporates elements of ping pong, making it beneficial for table tennis players to bring their loop and chop techniques to the pickleball court. By mastering the loop, you can generate offensive opportunities by taking the ball below the net and applying topspin. And with the chop, you can surprise your opponents with a shot that appears to be heading towards your side before spinning back to theirs.

So, if you’re a table tennis enthusiast looking to elevate your pickleball game, don’t underestimate the power of ping pong techniques. Embrace the loop and chop, and watch as your skills on the pickleball court reach new heights. Remember, the fusion of these sports can unlock a whole new level of strategy and excitement in your gameplay. Get ready to unleash your inner ping pong maestro on the pickleball court!

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Written by Billy Pickles

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