by Samson Dubina

What is the main difference between ping pong and table tennis?
The main difference is the amount of spin produced.  With the right strokes and modern equipment, an elite table tennis player can produce 8000 rpms.  With a purple ping pong paddle from Wal-Mart, your Uncle Bill probably can’t produce any spin.
The Benefits

At the lower levels, table tennis players typically produce spin to “trick” their opponent.  At the higher levels, the main benefit of spin is to control the ball.  Regardless if you are rated 600 or 2600, you should make it your goal during the next year to learn to produce more spin.  Producing more spin will give you better consistency, better angles, better precision on height and depth, better variations, better ability to counter the opponent’s spin…  While at the same time, making it much tougher on your opponent.  Isn’t that the goal anyway?  Isn’t the goal to make it tough on your opponent?  Learning to produce more spin will do BOTH, it will enhance your strokes while traumatizing your opponent!

The Technique

To develop more spin, it is easiest to work on your serve, push, or loop.  Choose one of those strokes. 

  1. Now focus on relaxing your arm.  At the point of contact, your fingers should briefly apply a slight amount of pressure to the racket, but your arm, wrist, and shoulder should stay relaxed.
  2. At the point of contact, focus on lightly brushing or peeling the ball, almost like you would peel an apple.  If the ball were an apple, you don’t want to bruise it to the core, you want to lightly peel the skin.
  3. I recommend starting off by swinging at 60% power.  If you swing slower than that, you won’t have enough racket speed to produce spin.  If you swing faster than that, you run a risk of bruising to the core.
  4. Ask a training partner to return the ball, try various swings and experiment with longer and shorter swings closer or further from the table while getting feedback from your training partner.
  5. If you can’t feel that you are progressing, then try to do the same stroke with no-spin.  Then go back and try it with spin.  As you get a feel for how the spin in produced, you will be able to tell more and more what the exact feeling should feel like. 

Spend the next twelve months producing more spin and you will feel a huge benefit with you deception on serves, your ability to vary your pushes, your consistency on serve return, your stability when looping, and your precision in placement!!!

Samson uses the Nittaku Acoustic Carbon Large Grip Blade with Nittaku FastArc G1 rubber on both sides along with Nittaku 3- Star Premium 40+  balls.

Nittaku Acoustic Carbon (Large Grip)    Nittaku Fastarc G-1 Rubber Nittaku 3-Star Premium 40+ Balls