Backhand looping away from the table

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 6 months ago

Michael Lam

Michael Lam Asked 6 months ago

Hi Jeff and Alois, 

Can you please make a video on the backhand loop AWAY from the table? When I'm backhand looping close to the table, I just use my wrist and I have no problem with that. But when I'm away from the table, I try to use my shoulder more into the shot but I end up missing a lot.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 6 months ago

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your question regarding backhand looping away from the table. We cover this area in the tutorial on the Advanced Backhand Topspin.  Here are some tips.

When you are backhand looping from away from the table, the dynamics of the stroke do change compared to when you are close to the table. Here are a few key points to consider:

While close to the table you might rely more on wrist and forearm, when you are further away you need to engage your whole body to generate power. Bend your knees and use your hips to rotate your body, which will give you more power and also help with accuracy.

The further away you are from the table, the more your stroke needs to arc. Use a longer, more pronounced swing that starts lower and finishes higher compared to the short stroke used when you’re close to the table. This helps generate the topspin necessary to bring the ball down onto the table over a longer distance.

While your shoulder does get more involved in a loop from a distance, it is crucial to maintain coordination between your shoulder, elbow, and wrist to ensure a fluid motion. Over-relying on the shoulder alone could lead to inconsistency. Make sure you still engage your forearm and wrist in the shot for spin.

Timing can be more challenging when you are away from the table because you have to anticipate the ball’s trajectory over a greater distance. Work on your footwork and adjusting your position to hit the ball at the optimal point in your swing path. This is often when the ball is starting to descend and is about waist height.

Practice consistently to develop a rhythm. Drill with a partner, focusing solely on your backhand loop from a distance.

Trying to hit the ball too hard can often lead to errors. Focus on smooth acceleration through the ball, and let the spin do the work to carry the ball over the net. Remember, the key to mastering the backhand loop from a distance is consistency and fluid motion throughout your entire body. Incorporate these tips into your practice, and with time, your control and success rate with the backhand loop away from the table should improve.

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