Beginner/ Intermediate Points to Remember

Rowden Fullen 2009

  • Rotate the body on the FH.
  • Take the playing-arm shoulder back prior to executing the FH.
  • Drop the racket arm to topspin.
  • Generally play the ball in front of the body on both FH and BH.
  • Have bat, ball and head close together in the drive situation.
  • When it is necessary to smash get the bat up first.
  • Always end up square to the opponent.
  • Keep the free and bat hand at approximately the same level.
  • Start and finish the stroke with the racket in a central recovery position.
  • Keep the bat arm elbow down between shots.
  • Don’t cramp either elbow.
  • Don’t move the hand/fingers too much on the racket. If you have to move something move the thumb rather than the forefinger.
  • Don’t run away from the table.
  • Relax the free hand.
  • Relax the forearm.
  • Relax the face.
  • Use the legs in the spin strokes.
  • Don’t reach, move.
  • Limit the stroke length, especially close to the table.
  • See the ball earlier, play your stroke, watch the opponent.
  • Habits are difficult to change form good ones rather than bad.
  • Take the ball in front of yourself when pushing.
  • Take the ball earlier when pushing.
  • Use the forearm when pushing, not the wrist.
  • On the FH push the pressure of the forefinger is important in achieving the correct action.
  • Achieve different spins with differing bat angles.
  • Use differing areas of the racket to achieve different spins.
  • Achieve different lengths with differing touch.

Modern Table Tennis

Biggest difference over the last 2/3 years is that the minimal speed in table tennis has increased noticeably.

Ready position square

Many still have left foot forward on FH or right on BH. Balls to the middle then cause problems. It is same if you keep the shoulder forward you then create a weakness. If you move in (say to the short ball) it’s important that you move back in the same movement.

Finish all strokes square

It is vital that players stay more square and are ready for the next stroke. Distance from the table is now nearer, it's harder to win points from back with the big ball (due to lesser spin and no glue assist). Even defenders chop and move forward to be ready for the shorter ball.


Now one big step not several small, speed of the essence. Most players are standing wider so that less movement is needed.

Backhand from Middle

BH from middle is now common, many top men are following the women and using their tactics, using the BH much more from the middle, both against the serve and in the rallies. (Maze, Bentsen, Schlager, Cioti, Crisnan, Kreanga, Chuan, Chen Qi, Boll)

Table Manufacture

Nearly all tables now have a composite surface and are not made fully of wood. As a result the ball doesn’t bounce and tends to slide it is therefore very difficult to judge the ‘peak’ of the bounce and this particularly affects the women’s game as they drive more than spin and in consequence need to take the ball at the top of the bounce latest, or preferably 2/3 centimetres before.

The big ball and glue (or boosters)

or in future pre-glued rubbers It’s much more difficult to play float or no spin balls with a glued up racket. Spin tends to give some measure of control to the shot. The fast loop glue players tend to have problems against defenders who can float well and servers who use long, fast float serves or serve or play short with topspin. The float ball tends to just spring off the racket.

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