Long pips vs no spin

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 9 years ago


D K Asked 9 years ago

Hello again

I have a problem with returning no spin serves with my long pips backhand.

I can do anything I want but the ball is always high and the opponent just smashes it.

I am also trying to twiddle, but the result is always the same.

Do you have any advice how to deal with it?

My primary strategy is to force the opponent to use slow spinny loop. But if an opponent uses no spin serve, I can do only a no spin high return or even higher weak chop.

Even if an opponent makes a smash, I know how to chop it back, but if I am playing a match I simply cannot force myself to go back, I will just become "frozen". Or i I am able to go back, I cannot force myself to make a chop, I just hit the smash and throw it higher. Do you have any idea why is it happening?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi DK,

Against a no spin serve you need to push your bat forward fast and hard at the ball.  This will put a little more pressure on the server.

Twiddling can also work well if you can do it.  Practice twiddling even when you are not practicing.  You can do this in front of the TV as well.

Keep tracking the ball well all the way.  This will help you to make better choices of movement and move back when you see the ball go up higher.

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Gordon Hume

Gordon Hume Posted 9 years ago

Hi, DK

As an LP player myself, you have my sympathy: opponents who serve or return the ball with no spin are very tiresome -- and how they know it! LOL

As Alois says, a fast aggressive return can work, preferably to their crossover point to try and catch them out even if your return is too high -- but make it long to cut down their choices.  A Chen Weixing side-swipe can be good too (see here) to wherever they don't expect it.

If, like me, you prefer to play matches closer to the table, you're going to need to move back at least a little way as soon as you feel you've given them an easy smash, etc, so maybe when you're practising your chopping from further back you could include a footwork exercise where you move forward to the table after each chop and then back off again quickly before the next ball.  That way it might become more automatic for you to "unfreeze" and move?

Good luck!


D K Posted 9 years ago

Thank you,both of you.


That is the main paradox: I am a player who likes playing from a long distance,because I need several seconds to react because of my poor eyesight (it does not allow me to see fast ball)

But I am often forced to attack because some of my opponents just push,and I have to push too,because I can not do a topspin (and in fact I hate using offensive strokes,but I know that they are sometimes neccesary),and also my trainer and teammates are trying to make me a long pips attacker like my strongest teammate,who is a backhand dominated longpips attacker. This confuses me,because everyone recommends me to avoid defending and I do not want to surrender my chop and these two things are interfering with each other


D K Posted 9 years ago

And alois:

I know WHEN I should go back
But the problem is that I am simply unable.....

Do you have any idea how to train it when no one wants to train with me?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 9 years ago

You can practice with a robot.  Practice a lot of footwork movements for a defender.  Take a look at this previous question and video response. Defensive Footwork.  I think it will help you.


D K Posted 9 years ago

Thank you very much

You are the first player who gives me  useful advices

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