Trying To Improve My Backhand Topspin

This question about the backhand topspin was submitted by
Richard Genet from New South Wales, Australia

Table tennis questions

Hi Martin,

I'd like some coaching advice about my backhand topspin please.

I'm known in my club for having a weak backhand, so it's targeted during matches and critical points.

I've been doing self-analysis with a ball machine and camera.

Here's a short video...

I believe the main problem was a lack of stability in my backhand arm movement.

Lot of vertical movement in my elbow, trying to lift the ball to generate topspin.

Ingrained habit for many years, so hard to correct!

What I've been focusing on is:

  1. Keeping my elbow relatively still; out to the side and slightly forward. (Timo Boll seems to have his elbow permanently well out to the side on his backhand)

  2. The stroke then created by rotating my forearm about my elbow.

  3. Start with my racket (bat/paddle) at my stomach and finish out in front.

  4. Some cocking of the wrist at the backswing, but not worrying about the wrist too much at this stage. Keeping wrist relaxed and trying to stabilize the forearm movement.

  5. Also, relax my shoulders as I noticed if tense in my shoulders they rise up during the stroke which makes it all less stable.

I still don't always achieve all of this, but working 3-4 times weekly with a camera.

Taking some time to change old habits but I'm determined to find a decent backhand!

So...what's my question?

Am I on the right track, focusing on the right things?

That's kinda general, so specifically...

I finish with a bent elbow. Should I be straightening my elbow more on the follow-through?

See Ma Long backhand - he seems to be also pushing forward during his backhand stroke, I don't really get what he's doing?

Anyway, the object is to get a half-decent backhand, not join the world tour :-)

So focus on a few key points, keep practicing and checking my technique.

Thank you very much for your time!

Best, Richard


^ Top of page ^


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

 By Martin Hughes
 Owner and Editor

Table Tennis

Read my downloadable books for the best information

Ebook - The Rules and Regulations Explained Ebook - The Real Secret to Choosing Your Table Tennis Racket Ebook - Service Secrets Ebook - Improve your Doubles Play

Richard,

Thanks for your question and your accompanying video.

Your backhand is what we'd categorise as an "old fashioned backhand" that's lacking in speed and spin.

It's a "holding stroke" that will not win many points unless the opponent makes a mistake.

Table tennis today is more focused on generating greater speed and spin on every stroke.

To increase speed and spin on this stroke, I recommend taking the ball earlier off the bounce in a line with the left hip (if the ball went through an imaginary hole in the racket) and closing the racket angle to brush over the ball more to create more topspin by using a faster acceleration of the wrist.

The follow through will be slightly longer but should still allow time to take up a recovery position to return any stroke from an opponent.

I hope that helps you.

 

Martin
www.AllAboutTableTennis.com

 

Read more coaching advice given, here

 

Request coaching advice here

 


^ Top of page ^


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

 

Advanced Skills

 

Strategies and Tactics

 

Tips

 

Skill Tests

 

Exercises

 

E-Books

 

Great deals at Amazon.com

Claim Your FREE Membership
and Join the TOP TABLE

Claim Your FREE Membership

And get Exclusive Information via Email from
AllAboutTableTennis.com

Tips •  Strategies •  Techniques •  Tactics
Rules •  Equipment •  Coaching •  News & much more

Enter your details here

First Name

Email address

We respect your privacy

Join me at the Top Table Join me at the Top Table

Claim Your FREE Membership and Join the TOP TABLE

And get Exclusive Information via Email AllAboutTableTennis

Tips
Strategies
Techniques
Tactics
Rules
Equipment
Coaching
News & much more

Enter your details here

First Name

Email address

We respect your privacy


^ Top of page ^


How this site is financed

AllAboutTableTennis.com (AATT) is completely free to use.

However, it's run by one person only (Martin Hughes) and has high running costs that need to be paid for.

This web site receives thousands of visitors every day and therefore, to keep it completely free to use, advertising and affiliate links appear on this web site.

However, these adverts and affiliate links do not influence the advice and recommendations given on this web site.

My intention has always been to give you the best possible information, advice and recommendations, based on my 48+ years involvement in the sport.

Advertising

Adverts appear automatically on my site, provided by third parties, and are not directly controlled by me.

When you click on an advert, it's tracked to AATT and will generate a small payment to me.

Affiliate links*

Affiliate links are links to other web sites who sell related table tennis products.

These work in the same way as normal links, but when you click on it, the link is tracked to AATT and, if you make a purchase, may generate a small payment to me.

They do not cost you anything to use, and any products you choose to buy will not cost you any more than if you went directly to that web site.

These are principally links to Amazon, Megaspin and Bribar, but may include others from time to time.

These links are identified by having an asterisk (*) by its side.

AATT cannot identify any user who clicks on an advert or affiliate link.