Defending the middle

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 6 days ago

Roger Noyes

Roger Noyes Asked 2 weeks ago

Hi Coach,

Trying to improve my ability to receive balls to the middle, the zone where a shake hand player goes from backhand to forehand, usually more towards the shoulder. 

Using a machine; topspin, one ball on the center line taken with the backhand, one ball 4-6" from center - at my shoulder - taken on the forehand. Play one or two balls to each place or another drill with random placement. I also include these balls in more game like drills.

Keeping a wide stance has helped, as does returning to neutral position. It seems I end up playing this ball late and close to my body. What is the best way to receive this ball. 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 2 weeks ago

Hi Roger,

I think you are on the right track.  Making a decision for that ball is the real key.  The more you can get that ball n the middle and decide whether to play it with a forehand or backhand the better and faster you will start to make that decision.

Also have your partner play some balls out wide so that you are not staying int he middle area only.  After a while see if they can get you caught in the middle and then out wide by playing wide then to middle then finding the opening out wide again.


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Roger Noyes

Roger Noyes Posted 6 days ago

Hi Coach,

Thank you for suggesting some out wide balls. Inexplicably knowing there would be wide balls relieved me of the locked down duality: on the center line or at the middle, and improved my decision making.

A training partner is always exhorting himself: watch the ball!

Many thanks


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 6 days ago

Glad that helped you. It is an important aspect of all training. 



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