Table Tennis Techniques

Spin ... the hidden side

Top table tennis techniques to help you improve your game.
Spin - the hidden side of table tennis.

Table tennis technique - spin by courtesy of the ITTF

The modern game of table tennis has become one that's dominated by players who use an aggressive attacking / offensive style of play and who impart a lot of spin onto the ball.

So if you're looking to improve your game, one of the first table tennis techniques you'll need to master is dealing with spin.

Dealing with your opponent's strokes when they have imparted a lot of spin onto the ball can be very difficult. The speed at which the ball approaches you may not allow you sufficient time to know how much spin is on the ball.

However, with practice you'll become better at watching your opponent's racket movement and watching the logo on the ball to help you determine the quantity of spin imparted.

Remember, the best way to improve is practice, practice, practice.

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Other advanced table tennis techniques

Of course, coping with your opponents spin shots is an advanced technique, so it's important that you've mastered the basics of table tennis first, such as the table tennis grip, the four basic table tennis strokes and the basic table tennis serve.

But once you've mastered the basics, you'll be ready to move on to an advanced level of table tennis. If that's you, I hope you'll find these tips and techniques useful.

I'll also be covering other table tennis techniques including - the backhand block and forehand block, the backhand loop and forehand loop, the backhand chop and forehand chop.

Then I'll move on to the advanced table tennis serve including the short backspin serve, the backhand sidespin serve, and the forehand high toss serve.

Finally, I'll cover the advanced return of serve including the short push return, the fast attacking push return and the forehand flick.


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Spin - the hidden side of table tennis

Spin plays an important role in the sport of table tennis, so if you're intending to play at an advanced level, you'll need to master this vital skill.

Generally, the ball is struck with either topspin or backspin - although sidespin may also be added.

Let's have a look at each of these table tennis techniques in turn...

 

topspin table tennis

1. Topspin

Topspin is produced by starting your stroke below and/or behind the ball and brushing the ball in an upward and forward motion.

 

backspin table tennis

2. Backspin

Backspin is produced by starting your stroke above and/or behind the ball and brushing the ball in a downward and forward motion.

 

sidespin table tennis Viewed from above

3. Sidespin

Sidespin is produced by brushing the ball in a sideways motion.

Depending on whether your racket moves to the right or to the left, you'll impart different sidespin.


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Spin effect

topspin table tennis

When you impart topspin onto the ball the forward spin will increase the downward pressure on the ball, so after it bounces on the table it will stay low and accelerate forwards.

 

backspin table tennis

When you impart backspin onto the ball the backspin will decrease the downward pressure on the ball, so after it bounces on the table it will rise more and not go as far forwards.

 

When you impart sidespin onto the ball, the ball will bounce off your opponent's racket in the same direction that your racket was travelling when you hit the ball - as shown here -

going to the left...

 

going to the right...

     

sidespin table tennis

 

sidespin table tennis

Viewed from above

 

Viewed from above

     

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Spin practice

Being able to play good spin shots relies on good ball control. If you're a beginner, I'd recommend that you use the following exercises to improve your table tennis technique:

  1. Using the forehand side of your racket and a loose wrist action, bounce the ball vertically to a height of approximately 30cm (12 inches), imparting sidespin

  2. Repeat 1 above, but use the opposite sidespin

  3. Repeat the above, but use each side of your racket alternately

 

My top table tennis techniques:

When practising these exercises, try to ensure that the ball bounces as near to vertical as possible.

Also, ensure that your wrist action produces most of the movement necessary to produce the spin - and that you use a light touch.

As you improve, it's important to develop a variety of strokes because basic spin will be easy for your opponents to read.

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RECOMMENDED TABLE TENNIS BOOK

Table Tennis Service Secrets

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Discover the fastest way to improve your table tennis by 30%

Improving your service and return of service will add three points, or more, to every game you play.


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MORE PAGES ABOUT
HOW TO PLAY TABLE TENNIS
For more information on how to play table tennis and improve your game, take a look at my other tips and techniques articles...

Basic Skills

And watch these video demonstrations...

 

Advanced Skills

 

And here are four great coaching DVDs...

 

Strategies and Tactics

 

Tips

 

Skill Tests

 

Exercises

 

E-Books

 

Personal Coaching

 


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