Serving the ball

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 9 years ago

tyrone pullan

tyrone pullan Asked 9 years ago

Hi im Tyrone from the philippines, my church mate was a very great table tennis player, he was so professional when it comes to different spins of the ball during services, and thus, he easily counters every serve, he has this service that is really intriguing, when the scores during a match is tight, he uses his service that makes my eyes unfocused because the ball WIGGLES at air, and is difficult to look at, it was like a snake wiggling at airborne, and when i return it, the ball strikes to the net, of course the second attempt i will push the ball higher, but an easy topspin for him, it was not a familiar serve, neither the pendulum services, how does he make the ball wiggle at air ? Can you please help me ? I really want to learn that serve!


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Tyrone,

Good serves can be rally baffling to start with.

The first thing to remember is that the ball can only spin one way.  It can't curve different ways or change spins.  The key is to watch the contact of the bat on the ball when your opponent serves to get a first good clue as to what spin is on the ball.

Then watch the ball in the air.  It will curve one way.  This will give you another clue as to the spin on the ball.

If you really want to improve this aspect of your game, take a look at the lessons we have in our course titled Receiving Secrets.  You can access this course through our Premium membership.  You can do this on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.


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Thoughts on this question

tyrone pullan

tyrone pullan Posted 9 years ago

Thank you sir, but i am aware that the ball can only curve on one way only because of the effect gained from the contact between the ball and the rubber, i am capable of side spin services that curves the ball during my service. But this is really weird that is why im asking pingskills.com, the ball curves in air from left to right and then left again and then right, bullying my eyes.


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Tyrone,

As you mentioned the ball can only spin one way. Sometimes servers can trick you with some fake actions after the serve. If you think that they ball should curve one way but it actually curves the other it will look very strange. Many people interpet this as if the ball actually was spinning two different ways. Pay close attention to the serve and the actual contact of the bat on ball. Then track the ball closely. It can take a lot of practice to get used to a really good serve so keep persevering.


tyrone pullan

tyrone pullan Posted 9 years ago

Thank you sir jeff, players do use different movements after services to hide the service and to fool opponents, same for instance, the player served a sidespin and immediately changed the position of his wrist after the ball had contact on the bat, I learned this technique at pingskills. I also do this to others, and in fact they will expect that i served a backspin, but is actually with a sidespin, but im not being crazy but the ball served by my friend actually wiggles at air, if i could post a video on youtube i would do so to help you understand my problem, but he is at another place. Yesterday I asked him and he said that "he is toying with the serve," I don't actually understand it,but he was like playing the ball around and when the ball leaves in contact with the bat, it wiggles. He also said that he uses it in tournaments, so I didn't expect that it was an illegal serve. What do you think?


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

Hi Tyrone,

I still think it is just a fake movement that makes the ball look like it wiggles. As the ball can only have one spin on it, it can't move both ways in the air.



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