Stance While Serving

Table Tennis Serving

Last updated 7 years ago

Abhinav Upadhyay

Abhinav Upadhyay Asked 8 years ago

Hi Alois,

I see that many players stay very low while serving, for example Timo Boll. What is the technical reason behind that? Does it improve the quality of serve in someway? I like to toss the ball high, not as high as Samsonov but high enough that it is awkward to stay low and toss the ball that high, what should I do in such a case?

Also, how far back from the table should we be doing the serve? I see that Timo Boll usually stands on the side of the table with his right leg almost under the table while serving. I fear that I might contact the ball over the table and therefore prefer to stand from a safer distance back.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Abhinav,

The reason for staying low with the serve is firstly helps you to keep the ball low on the serve and it also helps you get into a good ready position for the next ball.  As you are already low you don’t have to go down after the service.

If you are more comfortable with the high toss serve make sure that you focus on getting into the ready position as quickly as you can for the next ball.

The reason they are so close to the table is that you want to hit the ball close to the end line.  If you are hitting the ball from too far back, you give your opponent more time to read the serve.  It is hard to hit the ball from over the line even if you want to so give it a try.

In the picture below you will see 3 angles drawn on the screen.

The angle of 132 is his leg angle at the start of the serve.

The angle of 77 is actually when he hits the ball on his serve.

The angle of 148 is his angle in the ready position.

You can see that he bends his leg a lot at he point of contact which then allows him to move quickly into his ready position. 

Samsonov serving and the angle of his legs


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Thoughts on this question

Jeff Church

Jeff Church Posted 7 years ago

I am a beginner, and trying to learn the backhand serve.  Sometimes I hit the table when I practice the serve.  So, I wonder how far back from the table end line should I stand?  I am confused by the last sentence:  " It is hard to hit the ball from over the line even if you want to so give it a try."   Can you rephrase that response, and comment on how far back to stand?  Thank you!  


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Hi Jeff,

You can stand where you can comfortably touch the table.  Have your hand close to the end line and your right foot where the toes are in line with the end line of the table.  You need to feel balanced when doing the serve.

Give that a try and let me know how it feels.



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