Table tennis started in England and was a parlor game in the beginning. But with time, the game gained popularity, and finally, in 1988, the game was added to the Summer Olympics.
Although the rules of table tennis seem very simple and easy, the needed skills are challenging. In this article, you will learn all the basic table tennis skills.
What Are The Skills Needed In Playing Table Tennis?
You can play this game with a tennis table, two rackets, a table tennis ball, and an opponent. There are both singles and doubles match at the competitive level. So, if you want to start playing table tennis or have just started playing the game. Then you need proper skills to be a better player. So, here are the basic skills in playing table tennis.
The fundamental skill for playing table tennis is the forehand drive or a forehand. A rookie player needs to learn this basic skill to play. When the ball comes to the paddled side of the body, this shot is necessary. You need to hit the running ball while rotating your body and the other arm. A forehand shot increases the power, and the opponent gets a powerful knock. While playing this shot, you need to put your thumb upwards.
The second fundamental skill is to know the backhand drive or the backhand. When the ball comes to the other side of the paddled hand, this skill is required. You can also play this shot when the ball comes straight at your body. In both of these scenarios, your footwork and stance are important with swinging the racket. You can also play this shot when the ball is fast, as you don’t need to apply force.
Serving in table tennis is important, as your opponent will get the opportunity the hit the ball after an easy serve. In serving, you need to bounce the ball on your side and then to the other side. After every point, players start the new point with a serve. There are so many variations of a table tennis service. You can serve with both forehand and backhand serve. Players who can swing the ball are the best servers.
There are mainly two strategies players follow. One is to play the ball with full force and the other one is to play a short ball. So, when a short ball is played, you need to get closer to the table and lean forward. You don’t need to apply force to the ball as your body movement will automatically apply force to the ball. You can use this skill regardless of which side of your body the ball is.
The flicks are the skill to return a spin shot. Suppose your opponent plays a shot where the ball has a spin and is also close to the net. You may confuse this skill with the push. But here, a motion from your wrist and elbow is needed to deliver the ball to the opponent’s side. Also, you don’t need to apply full force to the ball, as a force can push the ball outside the table.
In table tennis, there are mainly four different spins. Spin is very important in a table tennis match, as it is a tricky shot that can challenge the opponent. No matter whether you want to play defensive or offensive, you need to learn to spin the ball.
- Topspin – Paddle swings from low to high.
- Backspin – Paddle swings from high to low.
- Right Side Spin – The paddle goes left to right.
- Left Side Spin – The paddle goes right to left.
This is one of the modern table tennis basic skills. Recently table tennis players have acquired this skill to put a spin on the ball during the offense. Players play this shot by swinging their racket from low to high to put swing and force. The style of the shot generates topspin and makes it harder to play for the opponent. When there is a monotonous game running, then there is a need for loops.
There are two types of footwork needed in a table tennis match. Players need to move front and back and also left and right. Also, table tennis professionals are agile, quick, and masters at moving anywhere. If you want to play a competitive game, then you need to move quickly. You also need to get back to your original position after playing every shot.
For a game where footwork and moving fast are necessary, the stance is also one of the most important things. First, when you take the service, you must put your other leg in the front and the paddled leg in the back. Also, this is the basic stance. This is the stance you need to follow when you play a short ball. And when you have to defend, put your legs parallel to play both forehand and backhand shots.
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With time and experience, you should be able to be agile with your movement. If you want to pay at the highest level, then you need speed both in your legs and hands. For example, a professional player can volley the ball at 70mph. Though recreational and casual games are different, I am talking about competitions. The game’s pace is fast, and sometimes you will need help to keep up with the game while watching a professional game.
So, are you ready to start a table tennis match? Now that you know basic table tennis skills, I guess you don’t have to face any trouble while playing. But, if you want to compete at a high level, there is only one thing to do. And it is practice. Only practice can take you up to a competitive level.
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