Confused by pendulum serves

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 3 years ago

Otfried Krumpholz

Otfried Krumpholz Asked 5 years ago


I just played my very first tournament. I knew that I wouldn't stand a chance against the much stronger players, but what was really frustrating was to lose nearly all points when receiving services immediately - i.e. when the opponent used pendulum serves with a lot of sidespin. It seemed I couldn't wrap my wits around it - misreading very often whether it was top or backspin. It seems to me that the pendulum, or maybe the reverse pendulum serve is the most difficult to read because the motions are so small. Maybe once you could make a video explaining more detailed how to spot the kind of spin that is generated with a pendulum serve? And, do any hints before you do?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Otfried,

Returning serve is one of the hardest parts of the game.

We do have a video that covers this on Returning a Short Pendulum Serve in our Intermediate Receiving section.  In there we go through each serve and show how to handle them.

A lot of it is to do with experience of seeing the serves and then dealing with them but by going through the  Introduction to Receiving section you will get a lot of handy hints that will speed up the process.

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Otfried Krumpholz

Otfried Krumpholz Posted 5 years ago

Hi Alois,

I found and watched the video "Analysing Serves" that gave me just the info I needed. My coach also gave me the tip to watch for the end position of the bat of my opponent - in some serves it becomes very plain, where you just cannot have just effected a topspin but have your bat horizontal. However in pendulum serves it is pretty tricky. I will keep what I learned from that video in mind and see how I can now deal with it at the table. Thanks anyhow, the video was really helpful and I can recommend it very much.


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