Ideally, you should try and return to a ready position after every shot you play.
Try to finish your strokes roughly in front of your body, then you can make a quick transition to the next shot.
This is the process I use…
- I watch my opponent as he plays his shot
- I then track the ball with my eyes, move into position and play my shot
- I try to finish my shot in front of my body, so that I can transition efficiently to the next shot
- As soon as the ball leaves my bat, I then bring my eyes back to my opponent, so I can see as early as possible, what shot he is going to play and where the ball is going.
Your eyes are incredibly important when it comes to recovering quickly. It’s not an aspect of table tennis which gets much attention, but I believe it is vitally important.
If you get really good at watching your opponent as he plays his shots, you will find you have much more time to react, move into position and execute your own shots.
Here’s a video about using your eyes more effectively, which you may find useful: Common ball-watching error – and how to fix it