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How to do a forehand flick | Pro tips

Forehand flick is a difficult technique in table tennis to deal with the short ball on your forehand side. Some players tend to move further to the right side and perform a backhand flick. However, if you don’t have quick footwork, you can do the forehand flick to return the ball aggressively. This stroke is also called the forehand flip.


How to play the forehand flick technique in table tennis?

The flick is a wrist and forearm-based move against a short ball. So that a player can change direction, speed, and spin, as well as a flick or push a ball short or long with a quick wrist change, the beginning position is identical to that of the short push.

How to do a forehand flick | Pro tips from PAUL DRINKHALL

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In table tennis, how to deal with the middle ball? When the opponent serves to the middle, you will use the forehand flick or the backhand flick? It depends on some situations.

Here is my video about this technique:

table tennis forehand flick: 3 tips to remember

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Here are the 3 steps to do the forehand flick techniques:



Step 1 Footwork

First, you need to step your right foot forward to the table. Your body should lean to the right side.

Step 1 Move your right foot foreward to prepare for the shot
Step 1 Move your right foot forward to prepare for the shot

Step 2 Hitting on the table

Second, contact the ball when it is at the highest position (at its top bouncing position). Depending on how much backspin on the ball, hit the ball at the position of 3 o’clock or 4 o’clock.

Step 2 - Put your elbow close to your body and prepare to flick the ball on the bounce
Step 2 – Put your elbow close to your body and prepare to flick the ball on the bounce

Step 3 Return back to the ready position

Third, quickly come back to the neutral position. Prepare to attack the next shot, the ball returned will definitely be a long ball.

final step - come back to the ready position and prepare to attack the next ball
final step – come back to the ready position and prepare to attack the next ball


3 tips to do the forehand flick correctly

Here are the best tips that you can play this technique correctly:

Learning POWERFUL Forehand Flick | MLFM Table Tennis

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  1. Don’t pull the racket behind your body. For the short ball, you must put your racket close to the ball.
  2. This stroke is not the forehand topspin counter-attack, you should contact the ball at a lower position, and lift the ball by acceleration.
  3. Use the wrist to add the acceleration, and hold the racket loosely for this type of stroke.

Zhang Jike also trains the new type of backhand flick, called “Boomerang” or “Strawberry Flick” (as a counterpart to the “Banana Flick”).


Backhand vs. Forehand flick: which is better?

It is possible to return short serves using both approaches, but one is more difficult than the other. The forehand flick can be used infrequently by modern table tennis players because it involves less movement than the backhand flick.

table tennis forehand flick technique
table tennis forehand flick technique

To offset an opponent’s weak backhand side, you can use a backhand flick. If you backhand flip, you expose yourself to left-handed opponents. Known as Ma Long’s forehand attack, the player has a reputation for exploiting the weaknesses of opponents who employ backhand flicks.

Fan Zhendong – How to Play the Right Backhand Flick

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For example, Fan Zhendong or  Lin Yun-Ju professional table tennis players, use the backhand flick to aggressively return short serves.

backhand flick of Fan Zhendong with high elbow
backhand flick of Fan Zhendong with high elbow

The backhand flick is easier to do than the forehand flick since it requires a lot of wrist movement. When dealing with short sidespin and topspin serves, this method is effective.

They’re particularly effective against serves delivered from the backhand side of the court.

Read more: How to choose the right forehand rubbers.



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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

6 thoughts on “How to do a forehand flick | Pro tips”

    • For under 11 boys,
      – practice serve for 15 minutes
      – practice drills for 10 minutes
      – practice mental (receive, 3rd ball attack) for 10 minutes
      – focus on consistency, and spin

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