Height of head above the net

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 11 years ago

Bjorn Holm

Bjorn Holm Asked 11 years ago


I'm a relatively tall guy, 190 cm. I also have quite long legs proportionally.

I'm an intermediate player, and I'm struggling to get my footwork right. In particular, I'm having trouble keeping my body "compact", as I'm not sure exactly how much I should bend my back and my knees, and how much I should spread my legs. Some more experienced players have given me the advice to "get down", as far as my face being almost at the same height as the net! My questions are:

For the ready position, is there an "ideal height" above the net or is it completely personal?

To get closer to the net, am I to "bend over" or to bend my knees, and to what extent? 

 If I'm to use mainly my legs, I will need to spread them _very_ wide, whereas I could keep them closer together (although still spread out) if I "bend over". 

 Kind regards,


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 11 years ago

Hi Björn,

I think the body position is more about your own balance and ability to move quickly, rather than how high above the net you are.  I like to encourage players to get down quite low.  It is more about your legs than bending from your waist..If you bend too much from the waist you will put a lot of pressure on your back which is not good.

Your legs need to be fairly wide so that you have good stability.  Take a look at our lesson on the Ready Position.  This will show you what I am talking about.  Think about this in relation to your own body.

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Bjorn Holm

Bjorn Holm Posted 11 years ago

Thanks for the super quick reply! Really helpful. Especially the part regarding the legs. I've been looking at Wang Liqin (he's 180) and he's standing very low and with the legs quite spread. 

 I think one of my main problems is that I don't have a point of reference, i.e. I'm practicing differently every time, and thus not "learning", and becoming increasingly frustrated at missing shots... Sometimes I become so frustrated that I end up abandoning the idea and play without thinking of my posture etc. Which I guess won't do if I want to improve. 

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 11 years ago

Keep working on the legs.  I think as yo improve this is the single biggest difference between really good players and average players.  Keep reminding yourself about it after every few rallies.  Your leg muscles should be hurting if you are doing any repetitive footwork drills.

David Rowland

David Rowland Posted 11 years ago

Recently, I also went through a frustrating period of adjusting to a lower stance.  The change made my whole game feel awkward for weeks.  The angle and timing of my strokes were off, my body was sore -- not what I was expecting from what was supposed to be "good" technique.  Finally, though, I got used to it.  Once it began to feel natural, the other parts of my game started to get better.  Being in the right position allows all of the other stuff -- stroke technique, footwork, etc. -- to fall into place.  So, hang in there, man.

Julio Torres

Julio Torres Posted 11 years ago

try to copy Vladimir Samsonov, is a little bit taller than you (2 or 5 cm aprox.)

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