Table Tennis Basic Skills
Hi I'm Judy Hoarfrost from Paddle Palace Table Tennis Company and our topic today is the basic skills of table tennis. You know one of the great things about table tennis is it can be enjoyed by anybody no matter what your level, no matter how old you are or how young you are or how good of physical condition you're in it's a fun sport. However, if you go to a club or play in a tournament you quickly learn that there's a huge gap between playing recreationally and playing the sport of real table tennis. So I'd like to just talk a little bit about the basic skills that can get you going because if you learn just a few basics get just a little bit of coaching, your game really can get a whole lot better very quickly. So first of all is how do you hold the racket, the grip. Basically this is a shake hands grip. You hold it so that the V of your finger is right there, your thumb is on the bottom and your finger is on the other side, it's also at the bottom. The mistake I see a lot is people will hold it so their finger is up, this is not a good grip. You want to just hold it so, and then you also don't want to change your grip. When you're hitting forehand, backhand, don't change your grip. A modern game of table tennis is way too fast to be changing and you become really inaccurate in your shots so next there's the basic strokes of table tennis. I like to start people off with the drive. There is the forehand and backhand drive. This is what it looks like. That's the forehand drive. Here is the backhand drive over on this side, here you go. O'kay so with the forehand drive you're going to start in ready position. You're a little bit crouched like this. You're not way crouched, you're not standing up. I see people play like this and you know they're no good the moment you see them standing up like a statue. You're in a nice little crouch and then you know you're going to hit a forehand so your left foot if you're right handed, your left foot is slightly forward. Your right hand is near your right hip, a little right there, about right maybe slightly in front of your right hip and your racket is a little bit closed meaning it's not open, it's not straight up and down but it's closed like this. So you're kind of coming over the top of the ball and then you're following through over by your head, over here. Now notice that it's not an all arm shot. That's a mistake I see a lot is people just, they just hit with their arm like this. You want to use your body. You're actually rotating your whole body, your left shoulder is there to begin with and then you're rotating around like this. If the ball goes off there you're not going to reach for it, you're going to move your body over, use a little footwork and use the same stroke no matter where the ball is, it's the same stroke. That's how you get consistent and that's how you get good in a sport of table tennis is if you can groove in a consistent stroke. Backhand you start out in front of your left hip, racket is closed and you follow through in the direction that you're hitting the ball. I would start out learning the drive first. Some coaches like to start people out with a push. A push is an under spin shot where your racket begins open and it looks like this. Notice your racket is open, you're coming under the ball. It's a more defensive shot. Here is forehand like this but basically you are following through in the direction of the ball, you're staying crouched, your foot, like if you're doing a back hand push your right foot is forward and you're leaning into it. A lot of it is here again, is you're using your body. There is the loop shot, maybe one of the most fun shots in table tennis. A loop is similar to a drive in that your racket, it's a top spin shot and your racket is a little bit closed but it's you're starting a lot lower and ending higher. You're brushing the ball and you're getting a lot of top spin so here's an example of a loop, well, o'kay. That's all we have time for, sorry but don't forget, learn some good serves. Get a bucket of balls, serve, serve, serve, serve. There's a serve in every point so don't ignore that and the important thing in table tennis besides having fun is learn basic strokes, maybe join a club, get an instructional DVD at paddlepals.com. We have lots of instructional materials there and just have fun.