One of the most foundational aspects of the game is a neutral racket position. Until the ball is approaching, you should not take a backswing.
Based on your hit, your opponent’s positioning, your opponent’s racket angle, and your opponent’s timing, you can adjust with your feet… BUT not take the hand back until you visually see the incoming ball or even until the ball crosses the net. How will this benefit you? There are 5 primary ways and many secondary ways it will benefit you…
Five Primary Benefits
- You will have a smoother transition between backhand and forehand.
- You will have balance to be able to move to the ball.
- You will be able to adjust your shot selection based on the incoming ball (choosing the push or flip or loop or block or smash or whatever).
- You will be able to adjust the length of your swing based on the speed of the incoming ball.
- You will be able to adjust the height of your racket based on the height of the incoming ball.
Check out the below video of Sarah Jalli (#1 US Ranked Mini-Cadet) demonstrating a neutral ready position while moving her feet in position and smoothly transitioning from forehand to backhand and backhand to forehand.
If you want to follow Sarah’s path it starts by being able to stay in a neutral position, watching the opponent’s racket, watching the incoming ball, and adjusting to the incoming ball! I hope you make good improvement this year! I’ll see you soon right here at the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy in Akron, Ohio!