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Fitness Components for Table Tennis

In addition to the high level of skill required to play table tennis, to be successful you need, among other things, good reaction time, speed, agility and coordination! However, which of these are more important? Below is a discussion about the fitness requirements for table tennis, which can help with developing training programs for this sport, and for interpreting fitness testing results and determining the relative strengths and weaknesses of a player.

table tennis matchtable tennis serve

You Need to be Quick, Coordinated and Agile

We have a poll about the component of fitness most important for success in table tennis. Out of the options of Body Size and Composition, Muscle Strength, Muscular Endurance, Power, Speed / Quickness, Agility, Flexibility, Balance and Coordination, and Cardiovascular Endurance, the factors that are considered most important by the readers of this site are speed/quickness, balance/coordination and agility. You can add your vote too, and see the latest results.

You Need to be Quick and Coordinated

In another poll, we asked people to rate the 12 factors of success for sports. Visitors to this site have rated each of these factors for the sport of table tennis, and the most important according to them are: speed, coordination, reaction time, tactics and skill. Table tennis was also ranked 2nd on a list of Sports Requiring Good Hand-Eye Coordination.

Most Important Factors for Success in Order of Importance (data from 2018)

4.3 Speed / Quickness
4.3 Balance & Coordination
4.3 Reaction Time
4.3 Analytic & Tactical Ability
4.3 Skill and Technique
4.2 Agility
4.2 Motivation & Self Confidence
3.9 Flexibility
3.9 Coping with Pressure Situations
3.8 Aerobic Endurance
3.5 Strength & Power
2.8 Body Size and Composition

You can also add your ratings of Which Factors Make Successful table tennis Players, and see the latest results.

Anaerobic and Aerobic Fitness

Table tennis may not appear to be physically demanding (it was ranked 47 out of 60 in the list of the Most Demanding Sports). However, a high level of anaerobic fitness is needed during strenuous rallies in which rapid movements are repeated in a short time period, while a good level of aerobic fitness is required to keep up the intensity over a long match or over many matches during a tournament.

Are You an Expert?

I have found that asking all site visitors for their opinion, while it is interesting, does not always lead to accurate results. We want to know what the experts think. If you consider yourself an expert in table tennis, go here to add your opinion.

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