Chinese table tennis coaching and education always focus on the solid foundation of techniques. Today, we learn the basic strokes in table tennis (Forehand loop) and how to improve the shot quality of this technique.
In the beginning, every new player should learn table tennis step by step and slowly. Chinese coach guides the new player in the very small detail.
This young player is learning how to drop his racket, and to learn the “power from the ground” concept.
Table Tennis Basic Strokes: forehand topspin shots
In table tennis, the shot is considered as a “quality shot” when it has both “spin” and “speed”.
Quality means “Spin” and “Power”.
The key to improving the power in the Forehand topspin is to incorporate the lower part of the body in the forehand shot. Not only, snap the ball with your forearm, but you should also do the weight transfer, and rotate your body.
To increase the spin of the shot, you should also “accelerate” into the ball, at the moment the racket hit the ball. That’s why you should relax your wrist, and quickly “brush” into the ball. Chinese coach focuses on this small detail.
The quick impact is the key!
You can clearly see the concept of Chinese table tennis technique. “Hit by the leg” and “Power from the ground”.
There are 2 forces during the forehand topspin stroke
- forward force (to provide speed), and
- “Lifting force” to lift the ball, to spin the ball.
The weight transfer of the body is the forward force. And the rotation of the body with your forearm is the lifting force. That’s why Chinese players use very hard rubber, to minimize the power loss, and transfer all of these force to the ball.
At the amateur level, if you want to improve, you need to repeat your technique every day. Repetition is the key!
Western coaching versus Chinese coaching
The difference between the coaching I’ve seen in China, and in Europe (or France) is: In China, they repeat only one technique until you master it.
While in Europe, the coach mixes up several techniques during the training session. So you have less time to master one technique. So my advice is: Focus on the quality, improve one technique first, feel it! Always aim to hit harder, faster and spinner!
So this training is the fundamental techniques. The coach will exaggerate some gesture, like drop the racket more, hit forward more, and use the leg more, longer stroke. This exaggeration is necessary for the new player! Because you will remember the stroke easier when you do the slower and longer stroke. So if you are the amateur player who wants to change, modify your technique, you should do a slow, and longer stroke first.
How about the top level? If you already have the fundamental in table tennis, you should improve the “explosiveness” of your shots.
Forehand basic strokes step by step
Based on Chinese coaching, there are in general 4 steps to perform the forehand topspin technique in table tennis: Ready position, Yin pai, Stroke, and Follow Through.
- Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- For right-handers, let your right foot be slightly behind your left (to generate power)
- Knees bent, body crouched (leaning forwards), both arms out in front of you.
- Yin Pai is how you prepare your shots.
- Put your racket back.
- Elbow close to the body
- Keep your racket at about a 45-degree to 60-degree angle.
- Do the weight transfer, use the “power from the ground” concept.
- The body mass should be transferred from the right foot to the left foot (right-hand player)
- “Accelerate” and brush the ball to spin the ball
- Rotate the hips to generate the power, hit the ball forward
- Your follow-through in front of your body, pointing in the direction where you’ve hit the ball. This will guide the ball forward.
- Move back to your ready position for the next shot
Shorten strokes to improve the quality
Today, I will show you some tips to improve the quality of the shots.
Even at the top level, players need to train and improve their techniques every day. Because table tennis evolves fast. With the new ball, players need to hit even harder, faster to gain advantages.
Ding Ning is practicing how to “answer” to the mid-long ball at his backhand side. There is two option:
The coach has asked Ding Ning to “shorten” her strokes. The same gestures at the beginning, but she needs to flick, or to push, only at the last moment.
Shorten your stroke, to increase the “explosiveness” (power and speed) of your shots.
This will make the opponent harder to guess what is your next shot.
Longer stroke is easy to be predictable.
How to increase the shot’s quality in table tennis
You can clearly see that Ding Ning opens her racket like she will push the ball.
But at the last moment, she closed the racket, and flick the ball. This is the key at the high level! The split second but the great effect to surprise the opponent!
With this tip “Shorten the stroke”, Ding Ning has increased the quality of her shots. Faster and Explosive! Harder to predict!
So this is the routine in table tennis. At the new level, if you want to learn the new technique, learn the technique slowly. Do the longer stroke. This way, you will learn the technique quicker.
Until you have the good technique, the next step, you need to improve the technique. One way to do it is to “Shorten your stroke”.
Shorten your stroke will increase the “explosiveness”, the speed of the shots.
And enjoy more this wonderful sport! That’s it for today! See you, EmRatThich.