Receiving a service

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 1 month ago

Keyoor  Lele

Keyoor Lele Asked 1 month ago

How to decide whether to receive the service in counter or push or attack?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 month ago

Hi Keyoor,

Deciding how to return a serve in table tennis largely depends on the nature of the serve you're receiving and your own strategy or strengths.

Here are a few tips to help you make this decision:

First and foremost, determine the spin and speed of the incoming serve. A heavy backspin might require a push or a chop to keep the ball under control, whereas a less spinny, float serve might be an opportunity for a more offensive shot like a topspin.

Pay attention to where the ball is landing. If it’s deep and fast, you might be more limited to a block or a counter-drive; if it’s short, you could think about a flick or even a short push to maintain control and keep the pressure on your opponent.

Your position relative to the table and your readiness to move can greatly affect your choice. If you’re caught off-balance, a simple controlled return might be best. However, if you are well-placed and expect the serve, take the initiative with a more aggressive stroke.

Play to your strengths. If you're great at forehand flicks, use that shot when possible. However, always be working to broaden your range of effective returns.

The best way to improve your decision-making is through practice. Work with a coach or a training partner to serve you a variety of serves. The more you practice, the quicker and more accurate your decision-making will become during matches. Every serve and match situation is different, so there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer, but these guidelines should help you start making more strategic decisions when receiving serves.


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