Table Tennis Footwork Patterns For Beginners You Need to Know

You are a new table tennis player, so you have less knowledge about footwork patterns. Don’t worry because this article will provide detailed information about table tennis footwork patterns for beginners when taking part in this activity to improve your overall skill. Let’s find out together!

Table Tennis Footwork Patterns For Beginners pingpongglory

What Is Table Tennis Footwork Pattern?

For an amateur, this term may be strange. However, it is one of the basic skills that need to apply when participating in this kind of sport.

Footwork patterns can be defined as the most effective way to position and move our legs when playing this sport. It is a necessary skill that requires every player to master as it will help you recover quickly when having injuries and make your shots more powerful.

If you are not a professional in this sport, you may find it hard to perform this activity as you do not understand how to move and position your legs after doing a service.

Read more: Methods And Tips: How To Play A Forehand Loop In Table Tennis?

After the service, it is clear that you need to move your legs in the best and most effective way. Many people mistake of grooving their forehand topspin with their feet positioned as a planted tree in the same place. 

During the match, they cannot find the optimal way to move their legs and cannot perform their skills efficiently.

Table Tennis Footwork Patterns For Beginners

footwork patterns in ping pong

As we all acknowledge that footwork patterns play an important role in performing a good table tennis match, the following information will give you some necessary ideas to help you have more accurate movement:

Read more: How To Play Ping Pong (Table Tennis) For Beginners & Professional

Pattern 1 – Two Steps Footwork

It is one of the most common techniques in this sport, helping you return to the ready position quickly. You can use this skill when you complete your service and after your service comes back.

The skill has two steps with different aims.

The first one is the big step of the right foot that will help change the service stance to the ready one quickly.

Next, you combine two feet to complete a small jump, which can play a role in adjusting your body and your feet to the next ball.

Pattern 2 – Quick Jump

With this technique, you can have backward and forward movements more precisely. Even you might make the movement from a close distance to a mid-table distance.

A proper backward and forward movement reminder that you can apply is that you should change your position immediately when you see yourself at a close distance from the table.

Another important note is that during every match, you ought to position yourself in a way that you can attack and serve every long ball.

Pattern 3 – Side By Side

Side By Side footwork drills in ping pong

This technique is the way that helps you to move laterally during a table tennis match.

The most important thing is how to keep your body in a balanced state. To achieve that, move with both feet and don’t rush; keep steady footwork.

To apply this skill, you need to remember two things: when you move right, your body should move to the right, and your left foot needs to be pushed onto the ground. 

By contrast, if you move to the left, you should move your right foot first and then use this leg to push your body to the left.

Pattern 4 – Cross Over

Among all the basic techniques that every player needs to master, cross-over is the most significant one that helps you turn around to pivot the match’s ball speedily.

There are some instructions that you should follow to master this pattern :

  • Move the left foot to the left side
  • Make your right feet follow as well, and then push your body in the same method
  • Bear all the body weight by the right foot. Then, the body mass will transfer to the left during taking the stroke
  • Return back to the ready position

Basic Footwork Drills

Basic Footwork Drills in Ping pong

Besides footwork patterns, there are some simple footwork drills that you need to master as well.

Backhand, Forehand

It is the most simple basic footwork drill. When applying this skill, you need to change immediately between the backhand and forehand topspin or drives.

Read more: Ping Pong Backhand Shots You Should Learn

There are some tips for this drill.

  • Do not alternative your grip when you are in forehand or backhand strokes
  • Be certain when you side shuffle into movement and position among strokes
  • When practicing, switch roles with your fellows and control for them

Forehand (Middle), Forehand (Wide)

It is a simple drill, but in this skill, you just need to make the most of your drive or topspin.

One of the most recommended tips for this action is spending time practicing shadow training, which means practicing skills without training.

Moreover, it is advisable to practice before a large mirror and work on some aspects such as movements, weight transfer, stance, and balance.

Dedicating your time to training is a worthwhile investment till you become comfortable and smooth when you move and position your whole body.

Backhand, Forehand (Wide), Backhand, Forehand (Middle)

With this drill, you need not aim to play at a fast and intense speed. 

When you practice table tennis footwork patterns for intermediate, you should slow down your speed and focus on making your movement right and retaining the match’s consistency and control.

Further reading:

What is the proper footwork for table tennis? – ActiveSG

How to Play Ping Pong (Table Tennis) (with Pictures) – wikiHow


Playing this sport requires some basic skills and techniques that you need to spend time mastering these things.

Hopefully, this article has given you detailed information about table tennis footwork patterns for beginners so that you can gain an understanding of these skills and have more efficient matches in the future.

Read more: 

What is the best way to choose a Ping Pong Table – A Buyer’s Guide

Buying Guide – How to Choose Table Tennis Shoes?

Table Tennis Conversion Top Buying Guide

How to choose for Best Ping Pong Paddle For Beginners

Buying Guide: How to Pick Up Ping Pong Ball?