Top table tennis techniques to help you improve your game.
Spin - the hidden side of table tennis.
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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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.
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.
OK, let's start with spin...
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 is produced by starting your stroke below and/or behind the ball and brushing the ball in an upward and forward motion.
Backspin is produced by starting your stroke above and/or behind the ball and brushing the ball in a downward and forward motion.
Viewed from above
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.
So what happens when you impart spin onto a table tennis ball?
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.
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...
Viewed from above
Viewed from above
Using excessive spin is particularly effective when you serve.
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:
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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Improving your service and return of service will add three points, or more, to every game you play.
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|For more information on how to play table tennis and improve your game, take a look at my other tips and techniques articles...
Basic Table Tennis Skills
And watch these video demonstrations...
Advanced Table Tennis Skills
And here are four great coaching DVDs...
Table Tennis Strategies and Tactics
Table Tennis Tips
Table Tennis Skills
Table Tennis Exercises
Table Tennis E-Books
Personal Table Tennis Coaching