There are five steps, roughly in this order. Serving takes practice, often alone with a box of balls as you serve, over and over. Take your time; don’t rapid-fire serve. Visualize what you want to do with each serve as you practice, and then try to match what you visualize. You might want to get a coach to help at the start, or watch what top players do, and perhaps get their help. Learn to follow your serve with an attack – often it’s the threat of the follow-up shot that makes the serve effective as opponents try to be too perfect with their returns. (Have a question about spin? Here’s my article Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spin – But Were Afraid to Ask!)
Yahao Zhang, 2012, U-21 US National Champion tells how how important matching the right table tennis equipment to the style of game you want to play. In order to play your best game, you’ll need to know how your equipment will affect the ball. In this article Yahao will focus on the thickness and hardness of sponge and the way it affects your shot quality.
This cool new table tennis video featuring Jean-Michel Saive, welcomes you to STIGA’s Calibra family of rubbers with plenty of slow motion shots showing the spin and trajectory these exceptional rubbers produce. You can read complete descriptions of each rubber’s attributes by clicking on their name at the bottom of the video window!
Overall, I’ve learned an important lesson. I’ve learned that the decision to continue playing is yours. Regardless of the environment or playing conditions, if you want to keep playing table tennis, then you will. It’s easy to come up with excuses to not practice. You could say that you’re too busy and that you should focus on school or try out new things. But the reality is that playing a couple hours every week won’t take away much of your free time, and if you hadn’t practiced, you probably wouldn’t be spending that time meaningfully anyway.
One of my best friends from Japan suggested that I try the new Nittaku rubber – Fastarc G-1. At first, I was a bit skeptical. I don’t like making equipment changes. After trying Fastarc, I know this is one of the best equipment changes that I have ever made. The powerful sponge teamed with the grippy top sheet is the perfect combination.
Many players face a devastating choice: Should you serve with lots of spin, with the serve going long and allowing the opponent to loop, or should you sacrifice spin, even serving with no spin, so you can keep the serve short? Actually, you can do both. In fact, the spinnier the serve, the easier it is to keep short.
Nearly every coach will tell you to first learn to serve with great spin. Holding back on the spin so you can serve short is a good way to develop a bad habit. When you can get great spin on the ball, then you learn to serve short – but this happens automatically. To get maximum spin, you need to whip the racket into the ball at full speed (using the arm to get the playing hand moving, and snapping the wrist into the ball just before contact) but barely graze the ball. Nearly all of the energy from your arm and wrist goes into spin. When that happens, the ball barely comes off the racket – and so it is easy to keep the ball short. Those who have difficulty serving short with spin are having trouble mostly because they are not grazing the ball finely enough – and so the solution isn’t to serve with less spin; it’s to serve with more spin by grazing the ball more.
While you should vary your spin serves to all parts of the table – at least until you find out what gives your opponent trouble and what doesn’t – there are certain spin serves that are generally more effective when done to specific parts of the table.
The main principle to remember is that, in general, opponents will have more trouble returning a serve that spins away from them than one that spins into them. For example, when a righty serves a forehand pendulum serve to another righty (so that the ball breaks to the server’s right, the receiver’s left), if the ball is served to the wide backhand, the ball spins away from the receiver, and is usually harder to receive than the same serve to the forehand, where it breaks into the receiver. Similarly, a backhand or tomahawk serve to the forehand is generally more difficult to receive than one to the backhand, since it also breaks away from the receiver (to the server’s left, the receiver’s right). There are three reasons for this.
The Kardashians spent the evening at the table tennis hot spot, SPiN New York Wednesday, October 5th. It just so happens that Kim decided to take the attached photo and tweet it out to her 10,206,862 followers!