Flick against a long ball and topspin against a short ball?

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 6 years ago

Aaron Lin

Aaron Lin Asked 6 years ago

So we know that the standard flick/flip is an attacking stroke used against a short ball, but is there any situations where it's correct/effective to use a flick against a LONG ball?

And likewise, the topspin i know is the standard way to deal with a long ball, but if the ball is short is there any situation where i could use a topspin against a short ball, instead of pushing/flicking a short ball?

Was just thinking about this situation on paper. thanks!

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 6 years ago

Hi Aaron,

It's great to see you thinking in different ways. I really think that the ability to question things helps us improve!

For a long ball the topspin stroke is always going to be more effective because you can take a bigger swing at the ball, so I don't see any advantage in trying to flick a long ball.

For a shorter ball, it would be great to be able to topspin it but the problem is that because it is short, and will bounce twice on the table if we let it, we can't actually play a big stroke because the table itself is in the way. Nowadays to try and attack the ball with topspin people are using the backhand sidespin flick which is proving to be very effective!

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Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Posted 6 years ago

Jeff, is there a FH version of the BHSP flick?

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 6 years ago

Hi Rohan,

Not really. The backhand is used since you move your wrist to a position where you can get a lot of rotation on the bat and hence generate a lot of bat speed. That's why when you watch the top players they often move over to the forehand side to play the sidespin backhand flick return. 10 years ago you would almost never see someone move that far over to make a return.

Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Posted 6 years ago

I just tried and see what you mean.  You can get at least 270 degrees or more rotation of the wrist on the BH and maybe 150 degrees of that occurs before contacting the ball.  But on the FH side you can probably get no more than 180 degrees with maybe only 60 degrees of that before contact.  That's a really big difference.

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