Initiating children* into the sport of table tennis requires a coach with a high level of concentration, observation, seriousness as well as technical skills. This initiation should consist of 8-10 repeated sessions, each with its own specific structure and objectives. Each session should last approximately 60-75min. The coach should not progress to the next session unless the objectives of the previous session are achieved.
In the first session, the children familiarize themselves with the coach and the training environment. During this session, the children will quietly run around the area forwards, backwards and sideways. When the coach blows the whistle, the children change from running forwards to running backwards, and when he blows the whistle again, to running sideways. The children must also exercise their sense of perception. For example, after the running exercise the children run and catch a wooden object found in the room, then a metal object and vice versa. Another exercise is to have the children run with hoops then put them down and sit inside them without touching them. This exercise can be repeated several times until all the children are able to do it without touching the hoop while sitting in it. A variation of this exercise is the following: The children leave their loops on the floor, run in the room for 1-2min in different directions, and when the coach blows his whistle they have to run and find their hoop. Ropes or rods can be used to replace the hoops.
In this session, the objective is to develop a bond between the coach and the children. At this point the subject of table tennis is not talked about at all. In addition to developing a bond with children, the coach must evaluate each child's readiness, discipline, and accuracy of play. During the session the coach must watch every child's movements. This is very important for the following sessions.
This session will be repeated many times until all the children move comfortably. They must learn to use the secret corners of the room, without any difficulty, and to walk, run, and jump without colliding into each other even when they run or jump backwards. Drums or some other rhythm-devise is used throughout these exercises. Finally, the children are divided into groups of three or four. The coach should not forget that the aim is to increase the attention and concentration of the children and to hone their senses.
* The age of 7 is considered as the most appropriate for a child to start table tennis training.
Source: Table Tennis: From A to Z e-book