Playing table tennis is essential, we believe, for the attainment of the highest degree of quality of life possible. Should one want to do so successfully however, 3 essential skills need to be mastered. What are these and how do you master them - this article was written for the purpose of providing such answers. In order to convey our 'teachings' more effectively, we have broken them in this article down into steps. Read on and enjoy!

1) Forehand Drive

A forehand drive in table tennis is the most distinctive (consistent - this qualifier leaves the smash out) offensive stroke in the game, the main purpose of such being to force errors from the opponents, and to set up attacking positions. A successful shot should land close to your opponent's baseline or sideline.

How do you carry this out?

Stage one:

  • As the ball is returned, stand in position on the balls of your feet, with knees slightly flexed.
    Face sideways with your shoulder pointing towards the target.
  • Body weight should be on the back foot.

Stage two

  • When ready to strike the ball, point your free arm towards the ball.
  • At impact, rotate your body quickly to face forwards.
  • Aim to hit the ball at its highest point.
  • Transfer body weight from back to front foot.

Stage three

  • Follow through with the bat pointing towards the intended target.
  • Return back to ready position for the next shot.

2) Forehand Push

The forehand push is a difficult defensive shot that requires the player to strike downwards on the back of, and underneath, the ball to generate backspin. Ideally, the forehand push is should change the pace of an exchange or to return the ball in a very low manner.

How do you carry this out?

Stage one

  • Stand square to the table in slight position and keep your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Slightly flex your knees, leaning forward and hold your arms out in front.
  • Keep close to the table.

Stage two

  • When ready to strike the ball, draw the bat backwards to the side of the body (strongest side).
  • Hold the bat in an open angle with a straight wrist and your playing arm just in front of the body.

Stage three

  • On impact, bring the arms forward and ensure that power comes from the elbow and forearm (it is not a swing shot).
  • Aim to hit the ball at its highest point.
  • Transfer body weight from back to front foot.

Stage four

  • After impact, point the bat to where you want to hit the ball.
  • Ensure that your arm does not swing across your body to the left.
  • Return back to ready position for the next shot.

3) Forehand Smash

The forehand smash is the fastest, hardest and most powerful stroke in the aim, the purpose of such being to force the opponent away from the table, if not to win a point outright. The forehand smash is not however, in spite of its appearance, always about force, but a delicate balancing act, requiring the player to execute good timing, technique and precision all at once

How do you carry this out?

Stage one

  • As the ball is returned, stand in position on the balls of your feet, with knees slightly flexed.
  • Face sideways with your shoulder pointing towards the target.
  • Body weight should be on the back foot.

Stage two

  • When ready to strike the ball, point your free arm towards the ball.
  • Raise the racket to a high position to generate downwards and forwards power.

Stage three

  • As the ball bounces off the table, rotate your body quickly to face forwards.
  • Aim to hit the ball at its highest point.
  • Transfer body weight from back to front foot.
  • Return back to ready position for the next shot.

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