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Forehand and serve tips?
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Author:  james1 [ 29 Jul 2012, 08:08 ]
Post subject:  Forehand and serve tips?

I am a self taught table tennis player, basically beginner; I have played for a couple years and the only form of teaching I have is by watching instructional videos, getting tips from friends who are better than me, and watching professionals. I also play tennis. Basically I would like to know a few things: Is the shakehand grip a good grip for a short player (around 5'8), how much does the racket matter for spin (I have an OK racket, not the kind you would find in a rec room, but it's not nearly professional-grade either), and what are some good strategies for learning a serve? I use a basic underspin serve which is effective enough but doesn't resemble serves of professionals that well. Also, when returning a low, short ball, is it better to "push" or hit a topspin forehand, and how would you hit such a topspin forehand?

Author:  apophis [ 29 Jul 2012, 08:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Forehand and serve tips?

Thats a lot of questions...

Are you part of a table tennis club? If so see if some of the better players can help guide you to becomming a better player. Also depending on your location you may be able to find a coach that you can pay for a few lessons to work on your techniques and skills.

If you want to develop a serve pick a serve you want to learn, get a box full of balls and practice them until there is none left in the box trying to get consistency, spin and placement.

Shakehand grip is fine, if it feels natural then go with it. On returning a a low short ball, the shot you play depends on a few things like the spin on the ball and your ability to pick how much spin is on the ball to decide how to play a stroke, be it a flick or push.

I cant give too much advice on a bat other then if it was me I'd want to start with a basic all round blade like Stiga Allround Evolution and some 2.0mm Yasaka Mark V rubbers, as its not too fast and you can develop a good FH/BH topspin game with it. Thats making a lot of assumptions about how you play your table tennis though. Check out the pingskills youtube channel for video tips if you haven't already.

Author:  james1 [ 29 Jul 2012, 10:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: Forehand and serve tips?

apophis wrote:
Thats a lot of questions...

Are you part of a table tennis club? If so see if some of the better players can help guide you to becomming a better player. Also depending on your location you may be able to find a coach that you can pay for a few lessons to work on your techniques and skills.

If you want to develop a serve pick a serve you want to learn, get a box full of balls and practice them until there is none left in the box trying to get consistency, spin and placement.

Shakehand grip is fine, if it feels natural then go with it. On returning a a low short ball, the shot you play depends on a few things like the spin on the ball and your ability to pick how much spin is on the ball to decide how to play a stroke, be it a flick or push.

I cant give too much advice on a bat other then if it was me I'd want to start with a basic all round blade like Stiga Allround Evolution and some 2.0mm Yasaka Mark V rubbers, as its not too fast and you can develop a good FH/BH topspin game with it. Thats making a lot of assumptions about how you play your table tennis though. Check out the pingskills youtube channel for video tips if you haven't already.


Thanks for the reply. I am not part of a club although I plan to play for a college team. How expensive would the bats you suggest be? Also are they easy to make (the paddle I have was pre-made).

Author:  Oskar [ 29 Jul 2012, 13:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Forehand and serve tips?

Custom bats can be surprisingly cheap compared to pre-made. When I started I paid about $30 for a pre-made Donic 600. I joined a local club and used that bat for about a year. Then I decided to buy a custom bat and visited a good dealer. I bought a Dawei blade and two Chinese rubbers for under $60. As you can see my custom set up was twice the price of my pre-made, but the quality of the custom was far superior. The biggest difference was having rubbers that allowed me to impart heaps more spin on the ball. Plus, the custom bat just felt more balanced.

I always recommend a beginner - or someone moving from a pre-made bat - should start with a fairly inexpensive Asian made set up. Always err toward a blade and rubbers that is rated as 'ALL' (all round), especially if you reckon your game is headed towards an offensive style. At this beginner stage it is vital that you learn good ball control or touch. The big mistake you can make is getting an 'OFF' rated bat too early and then find you're compromising your technique with balls flying all over the place.

regarding actual technique, keep watching videos, but it is imperative that you find a club or group or sympathetic individual to help hone your skills. Coaching is a sure way to get better, but just doing disciplined drills with a mate or two is great.

Final note: a reputable dealer will construct the custom blade for you for free ... or a very small fee. This is advisable when starting out. One thing at a time. No doubt you'll then move onto changing your own rubbers, which is easy enough.

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