Hitting the ball at the top of bounce

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 11 years ago

michael chillemi

michael chillemi Asked 11 years ago

When ever i read/watch videos on the loop most say to hit the ball at the top of the bounce. I was wondering how do you know if your hitting the ball at the top of the bounce and what would be some excercises to help with this?


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 11 years ago

Hi Michael,

The reason people say to hit the ball at the top of the bounce, is that it gives you the greatest room for error to get the ball back onto your opponents side of the table. If the ball is quite high then you draw an imaginary straight line from the ball right to the table. If the ball gets lower you need to add topspin to be able to hit the ball with any speed as the topspin will cause the ball to curve downwards.

So to know if you are hitting the ball at the top of the bounce, you need to get used to watching the flight of the ball. The trouble with this advice in a match is that you shouldn't be trying to move in and out too much. This means you don't always have a great deal of control of whether you hit the ball at the top of the bounce. However if the ball starts to drop, then it really limits your options. Hitting the ball earlier than the top of the bounce can be a good option too because it means that the ball has travelled less distance before you return it and that gives your opponent less time to react to your shot.

To improve your loop, I really like a simple exercise where you play one loop from your forehand corner and then one loop from the middle of the table. Have your training partner block the ball back to you in these 2 spots. This develops your footwork and ensures that you get into a good position to play the stroke. If you can improve your consistency using this exercise, then you will be hitting the ball in a good position.

So although it is true that hitting the ball at the top of the bounce is good, don't worry too much about it but ensure that you hit the ball earlier so it does not drop a lot below net height or you won't be able to play as strong a stroke.

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