Many people think of ping pong as a game you play at home because it's common to own a table, even if you don't play seriously. But now that the world is opening up again, you might also consider playing at some other places. You'll find table tennis paddles and much more at your local table tennis center. Playing there allows you to try your hand at more competitive opponents, which can be fun and challenging. As you do with any sport, increasing interest means learning and practicing more to improve your game. It will also help you expand your circle of friends after lockdowns have ended.
If you spend some time at a table tennis center and decide to join, one of the following steps is to purchase your first table tennis paddle. For most people, it's the step that signifies they love the game and will play it more seriously. There's nothing wrong with ordering a racket online, but if you have a ping pong pro shop anywhere in your area, you might give them a try. They have knowledgeable salespeople who often play themselves and can give you helpful advice. If you go to a big box store, there are several mistakes you can make when choosing and buying a racket – avoid making them.
Once you begin playing at a table tennis center, you'll be in the right place to acquire many good habits. One of them will be playing on tables with regulation height nets of six inches or 15.25 centimeters. It's surprising (and unfortunate) to find out how many people do a lot of playing on a table with a nonstandard net and then have a difficult adjustment to playing at regulation height. You also need to begin playing against opponents who place a spin on the ball and learning to make shots with a spin yourself. It's a significant part of competitive ping pong play, and the sooner you start, the better.
Some players like to play against practice robots and even go so far as to have one at home. If you're curious, you can see and try one out at many table tennis centers. While they certainly don't completely match the experience of playing against a person, they do have value for working on some skills. Becoming a better player requires practice and training. The training part is easy to overlook but matters a lot. Some skills like improving your footwork are much better developed through drills and training than by playing practice games. It's best to balance training and practice.