Return of serve

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 15 years ago

Gary Unknown

Gary Unknown Asked 15 years ago


I'm coming back to the game after a very long break. I'm getting back to a good standard but against the really good players I'm struggling with to return serve effectively. Once I do get in the rallies, I've got a good chance of winning the points, but at the moment I'm at a disadvantage on my return of serve.

Any ideas on the best way to go about improving this area of my game?

Thanks a lot!

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 15 years ago

Hi Gary,

Congratulations on making a comeback - I know what it is like. I took 7 years off and it is the return of serve is a particularly tricky part of the game. So the simple answer is practice. Try to play as much as you can against good servers.

The first thing you need to do is focus on what the ball is doing after it hits your bat. This feedback will help you determine the corrective action you need to take to return the serve on the table. Try to use your bat like a rudder to counter the spin your opponent is generating.

Once you have mastered this, you will only start to be beaten by variations of your opponents serve. They may place more or less spin on the ball. You need to watch for signs as they are serving such as their bat speed and even the sound of the ball on their bat. As you concentrate on improving your serve you will begin to pick up on the variations and be able to deal with them.

Good luck and remember that returning serves is one of the hardest parts of the games and even the Olympians can fail to return an opponents serve quite a few times during a matc. Keep practicing and you will get better!

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