It’s hard to say exactly what makes the “best” instructional video, but from my standpoint it’s simply this: the video has to be able to get its point across and teach its viewers in a simple fashion that can be easily understood. If a video gets too technical and elaborate, often I find that it’s just a “master” seeking to impress people with his “skill”. The best instructors don’t necessarily need to be the best players; they DO need to be the best teachers, able to impart knowledge and make sure that it sticks. To that end, here is a brief list of my 3 favorite table tennis DVDs that I’d recommend for any aspiring table tennis player.
Killerspin Success in Table Tennis Series – this set of DVDs comes as a package deal and is a keeper for anyone’s video library. The chapters are separated across beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of play so that you can find references for whatever degree of skill you’ve got. The videos get straight to the point with very little unnecessary elaboration. It’s approach generally takes three steps: demonstrating a move, showing WHY it works and HOW to use it, and ending with a drill that helps you develop it. The video series is very holistic, and even includes sections about how to determine good equipment, taking care of and repairing your gear, and general body drills for any level to improve reflexes, timing, and footwork.
Table Tennis Master DVDs – this series of DVDs take a completely different approach to instruction, and is great buy for players seeking to improve their game. Each video in their series dedicates itself to a single technique of table tennis, then goes on to expound on that technique. It’s extremely detailed, including many exercises for a given move, how to develop that move, ways and times to use it, and how to apply it singly or in combination with other techniques. If you already play table tennis and want to develop a weak point, or turn your strongest technique into a “killer” move, this DVD series might offer the solution you’re looking for.
Carl Hardin Table Tennis Training Shortcuts – this is something that any table tennis player can benefit from. It’s focus is NOT on teaching you how to play effectively, but on how to TRAIN effectively. Instead of focusing on demonstrating techniques, the video shows a lot of simple but effective training methods that improve your game. Techniques are covered briefly in an “application” fashion, showing you HOW the improvements you get from the demonstrated training method help your different game-moves. This video works for players of any level, helping experienced players by sharpening their game and giving beginners a solid foundation from which they can build their own arsenals.
The reason these three form my “favorites” list is because their varied approaches to teaching table tennis mesh wonderfully with each other. The first set is complete in and of itself and works for any level of skill, teaching all the necessary moves for any level. The second focuses on polishing and mastering individual moves. The third, on the other hand, focuses on training techniques that, taken with the knowledge about move execution from the other two videos, can boost any player’s performance immensely.