Ready position after pendulum serve

Table Tennis Footwork

Last updated 6 years ago


M V Asked 12 years ago

Hi coach,

I have a problem of getting into a ready position quickly after doing my pendulum serve, i am right handed and do my serves the traditional way. The problems i face are:

1) how do you get into a ready position quickly, i am always on the move when my opponent has made the return so i end up not making an attack on the third ball

2) i have a problem of maintaining correct distance from the table, a lot of times when i get a deep return to my backhand i find it too close to my body to make a return, so i end up making a loose return or end up hitting the net. if i move a bit back i end up struggling to reach for a short push

3) should i move back or sideways after the serve?  

4) any exercise that can help me improve getting into ready position quickly?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 12 years ago

Hi Manish,

For the 3rd ball, you need to follow through after your serve and get yourself into the ready position.  It is almost one motion.  Then you will be ready for the next ball.

You should move directly into the ready position so your movement will differ depending on which serve you have done and where you have ended up after your serve.  It is vital to get into the ready position as soon as possible.  You can practice this even when you are doing serving practice.  After each serve you can get quickly into the ready position and play a shadow swing for the next ball.

With the Pendulum serve have your right foot back as you serve so that you can push off and get it into the right position for your ready position.  Your left foot should almost be in the right position already and will only need a small adjustment.

It is probably best for the deep backhand that you stand a little further from the table.  This will allow you to hit the ball that is deep.. For the shorter ball it is a matter of working on your foot movement into the short ball.  You need to move only your right foot in and out quickly.  This is something that needs to be practiced to improve it.  Practice short pushing with your partner.  After each short push get yourself into a position to make a topspin.  Then when the ball is short again move in with your right foot.  You may start by only making 2 or 3 pushes in a row.  As you work on it you will start to get more.

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M V Posted 12 years ago

thanks a lot coach.

that was a very detailed answer.

thanks once again.

Rahul Ramesh

Rahul Ramesh Posted 11 years ago

Hi Alois

You are saying that to keep our right feet back but pro players like xu xin keeps both his legs parallel. Actually i am really confused with this please kindly explain.... thx in advance

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 11 years ago

Hi Rahul,

If you mean parallel for the serve some of the Chinese players do that to be already in the ready position. Most find it easier to move with the serve and then move into the ready position. Try both ways and see which works for you.

After the serve you should be quite parallel to the table so that you are ready for both forehand and backhand. 

Erriza Shalahuddin

Erriza Shalahuddin Posted 10 years ago

That's a great video, coach. It helps a lot in my pendulum serve. Is there any different with returning to ready position after reverse pendulum?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 10 years ago

Hi Erriza,

You can use the same principles with the Reverse Pendulum serve as your feet are in a similar position.


RAJESH KUMAR Posted 10 years ago

this is great video. thanks

Martin Coronel

Martin Coronel Posted 10 years ago

if you are right hander and your opponent backhand side spin flicks the ball deep to my fore hand how can i return that

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 10 years ago

You should try to topspin the ball.  You will need to allow for the sidespin on the ball.  The ball will be curving in towards you so move a little to your left to give yourself space to make the topspin shot.

Martin Coronel

Martin Coronel Posted 10 years ago

thanks it is working perfectly as i understood 

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 10 years ago

Good to hear.

Stan S

Stan S Posted 10 years ago

Fantastic video: perfectly clear and great demo's, too.  I can't wait to try this advice.

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 10 years ago

Thanks Stan.

Martin Coronel

Martin Coronel Posted 10 years ago

what if the player stomps(aftershock) which foot should he stomp with 

and why do they stomp after the serve

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 10 years ago

A lot of the time it is just part of the action of serving and then moving.  If he is right handed he would probably stomp with his left foot.

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

Awesome video. If I plan to play forehand from the BH corner, and stay there after the serve, what is the most suitable footwork to get to the long push to the forehand? Is the cross step only option, or I should still try to jump with both legs?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

I think jump with both legs is the fastest.

Johan B

Johan B Posted 7 years ago

Interesting. I always stomp with my right foot. And if I remember getting ready after serving (if...! :( ), I just push up with the left foot right after the stomp

Johan B

Johan B Posted 7 years ago

push off* obviously, otherwise I'd hurt my knee lol


Manfred Posted 6 years ago

I only stomp if my pendelum serve miss the table. 

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