WELCOME Everyone. You will find here lots of tips how to improve your TABLE TENNIS game. I hope you will find something here for yourself. ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Backhand Push

Backhand Push.

                     Backhand push is one of the easiest  if not the easiest stroke to master. It is design to cause difficulties for the opponent to attack. Short and low push limits your opponent’s options and allows you to take initiative.

                There is hardly any body movement involved in the stroke and it is produced at the elbows, with the bat facing the ceiling. The bat travels forward and downwards direction and stroking the ball between 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock as figure below shows:

Even though it is easy stroke to master a certain amount of control is required in order not place the ball in the middle of the table. It is easy spot for the opponent to start attack and take initiative. The best result is achieved if the ball is placed low and short or long, close to the edge of the table.
Control can be achieved by playing the stroke close to the body and using elbow and wrist. Use of the shoulders and weight transfer is not as important as it is in drive strokes due to the fact of minimal power and speed required in the stroke. The amount of spin can be controlled by position of the bat at the contact with the ball. The closer to 6 o’clock position the slower and the spinier the bounce is. Aversely the closer to 9 o’clock position the less and the faster the bounce is.
Many beginning players make a mistake by learning to push only across the diagonal but it is vitally important to execute the shot with the same effectiveness down the three major lines of play.  Major lines of play are: across the diagonal, down the line and into the middle.
To develop control and accuracy with that stroke a various targets can be used or alternatively you can cover up area you don’t want to play by using towel. As with forehand push it is also good to practice with different amount of spin in order to keep your opponent on his toes and let him guess the amount of spin.  

Friday, 10 June 2011

Forehand Push

Forehand push.

Forehand Push is a very often neglected stroke, as players prefer to attack. It is regarded to be the toughest of all the strokes as it requires a good deal of practise to master properly. However, a well placed push could gain advantage by putting an opponent off balance. The best place to push is either short, wide or into a crossover point. It is not an easy stroke and if anticipated by your opponent can be attacked more easily.  
In the stroke; the wrist is used to brush underneath the ball, producing backspin. If you are returning a short serve or touch, you must put the right leg (left leg for left-handed) under the table in order to get close enough to the ball. The shot is produced from the elbow and requires very little swing. The bat is held in an open angle and it moves forward and slightly downwards. The ball is brushed at the top of the bounce or just before. The wrist is used to give more or less backspin. After the shot is completed you should quickly come back to the ready position as the opponent can put you off balance by playing fast to the backhand.
It is good to practice that stroke using different amounts of spin as it could make your opponent misread the oncoming ball and give you a high return. In order to achieve that; you need to contact the ball at the back instead of underneath. To add some disguise to the spin, the follow through should look as if you have brushed the ball underneath.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Backhand Drive

Backhand Drive
Shorter and quicker than the forehand drive which means it could be a powerful weapon in table tennis if properly executed. The purpose of this stroke is to play aggressively and stop your opponent from playing an attacking stroke or weaken that stroke. Properly executed backhand drive goes as follow:
Feet shoulder width apart square to the line of play. With the bat held at a slightly closed angle, the stroke starts slightly to the left of the abdominal.  Elbow at about 90 degrees slightly lower than the bat and wrist bend downwards. Bat moves forward in an upward direction and striking the back of the ball at the peak of the bounce. The wrist should be turning at the point of contact. Free arm should point towards the ball to assist with your balance.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Forehand Drive

Forehand Drive
Forehand drive is stronger than backhand drive due to the fact that the body is not in the way of the shot. Moreover forehand drive is the basic attacking stroke that can be developed into more advanced topspin strokes.  Forehand drive produces a bit of topspin because the racquet is in slightly closed position and the follow through is played in upwards direction. Good forehand drive produce travel of the ball low over the net and it is used to force errors from an opponent or set you up for a winning shot. For that reason it is good to strike the ball early with speed.
 To simplify I have divided the stroke into for phases (please notice that the phases goes into a cycle as shown on the picture below):

Please be aware that the descriptions are for the right-handed players. For the left-handed players consider opposite parts of the body.
1.       Ready position: Bat above of the height of the net; feet should be shoulder width apart and in relation to your last target your right foot slightly back; close to the table; leaning slightly forward; weight on the front part of the foot
2.       Backswing: Rotate body to the right at the waist; arm back at the elbow and downwards; closed bat angle; weight moves on to the right leg
3.       Forward swing and contact: path of the bat is forward and upwards with slightly closed angle; waist rotate to the left keeping a space between arm and the body (to help with this imagine that there is an orange between arm and the body); weight is transferred from the right leg to the left; contact with the ball at the top of the bounce and in front of the body.
4.       Follow through: to the point where bat is pointing in the direction of intended point of play; then return to a neutral ready position using semi-circle move.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Types of grip

Types of grip

Even though there are many types of grip in table tennis (shakehand, traditional Chinese penhold and reverse penhold backhand (RPB), Japanese / Korean penhold, Seemiller grip, V-grip, and pistol grip) we will focus on two primary ones. Shakehand and traditional Chinese are the most widely used. Both grips are shown on the picture above.
Traditional Chinese penhold (TCP) is mainly used in China and it have many advantages which include: good forehand strokes and good range of serves, it allows easy push and block on backhand strokes. However if you want to play backhand topspin it might be bit tricky as you have to bend you arm unnaturally. The range of reach on backhand side is as well quite limited, forcing players to use forehand on majority of the table. This action requires very well developed footwork and lots of stamina. This is the primary reason why most of players in Europe have chosen handshake grip. If you would like to play close to the table use your forehand drive or topspin and just push and block with your backhand side, this style is perfect for you.
However if you would like a good range of strokes and compromise very little if any control and spin handshake grip is perfect for you. Very important element to keep in mind is the amount of tension you exert in a forearm. To tight grip can slow down you shots and lower control over the ball. However it doesn’t mean that the forearm stays lose all the time. It might vary depending on the type of stroke you could be using at the time. Serves and soft touch shots require less tension than smash.  Advantages of the grip include: good range of shots on forehand and backhand side, attacking easily on both wings. Disadvantages: this type of grip produces what is called “crossover point” a place where neither forehand nor backhand could be easily executed.  A decision has to be made in a very short period of time and a player has to move in order to make a good quality shot.
 The type of grip you choose is entirely up to you but it is good to analyze what kind or player you are and what grip is best for you. Your coach should be more than happy to help you out with this decision.
Dan k.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

What table tennis can do for you?

What table tennis can do for you?
I don’t know you but if you visit this blog we have something in common. We both love table tennis!!! It is amazing game that is both fast and makes you think on your feet. On a good day as my friend says “it makes you feel that you’re invincible”.
If you a person who just started or thinking about starting to play table tennis, you should consider this benefits:
a)       Health and fitness – it will make you heart pump faster thus improving your aerobic fitness. You will feel that you have more energy to do your other activities. Moreover it is a game that you can take at your own pace and you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the benefits.
b)      It will make you think on your feet – on higher level table tennis is very fast game thus make very little time to response. After playing it for a while you will develop strategies that you will have to implement in a matter of milliseconds.
c)       Everyone can play – literally you can start at any age whether 7 or 70. You will still enjoy the benefits.  Timo Boll started to play at the age of 4 and he is currently ranked top 10 in the world.
d)      You can play all year round – due to the fact of table tennis being indoor sport you can enjoy it all year round.
e)      You can make lots of new friend – Table tennis is a sport that attracts many people from different backgrounds and walks of life.  Naturally if you join clubs or attend tournaments you will make a lot of friends. Generally table tennis players are very friendly and eager to help so don’t be afraid to say: “Hi my name is … I’ve seen you play and I would love if you could give me a knock for 5 min.”
 I hope you will develop a positive addiction for table tennis. There is no better feeling on the planet than to make a great shot or rally!!!