I need help with my forehand stroke

Submitted by Jeff Church
(Florida, USA)

I need help with my forehand stroke.

My grip on the racket (paddle / bat) is poor.

The racket is vertical and should, I believe, be more parallel to the table or horizontal.

My finger always creeps into the center of the racket.

There may be other problems with my forehand that you will see, and I appreciate any comments or suggestions.

A short video is right here:

Please provide any comments or suggestions, and I will work hard on making improvements.

Thank you for this service.


----- Martin's Reply -----


Thanks for submitting your question and your video.

It appears that you have your own table tennis table and robot in your garage which is a great asset to have.

You haven't told me how long you've been playing table tennis but you obviously have good hand / eye co-ordination as you appeared to hit almost every ball back onto the table. That's a good foundation on which to build further.

The main problem you have is that you are too stiff and rigid in your upper body.

Try to relax your muscles as you play your strokes and let your racket arm flow backwards and forwards.

When you play the forehand you need to rotate your upper body more as you play the stroke.

In the video you are predominently using your arm to play the stroke.

Your upper body should rotate approx. 45 degrees to the right then turn back to face the ball, whilst your body weight should move from your right foot to your left. You also need to try and bend your arm more at the elbow and less at the wrist.

As you say, your racket is a bit too vertical, although it's not too bad.

You also say that your finger goes towards the middle of your racket. You should try to correct this because it will become more of a disadvantage when you have to play a backhand stroke immediately after playing a forehand. However it is not critical at lower levels of play.

I also noticed that your stroke is too horizontal and parallel to the table top. Try to play it so that your arm and racket start the stroke from a slightly lower position and finish slightly higher than you are currently doing.

You are also striking the ball a little bit too close to your body which means that you are a little bit cramped when playing the stroke. Give yourself a few more inches by standing slightly further to your left.

Also, remember to always bend your knees and don't stand too upright for any stroke.

I hope that helps you.


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