Top Spin down the Line

Table Tennis Strokes & Technique

Abdullah Gilani

Abdullah Gilani

Last updated on 04-Dec-2015 05:49:06 AM

Hey Alois, 

I have been playing table tennis for over 2 years now and my game has progressed to a very good level but there is weaker side to my game, my top spin always goes diagonal and they keep blocking and blocking until I lose the point, I need to be able to do a top spin down the line to confuse them. Please make a video showing the racket angle and a good body position for this shot. I will be most thankful because I have a tournament coming up and i believe that this shot will give me an edge.



Alois Rosario

and Alois Rosario said...

Hi Abdullah,

The key to playing a topspin down the line is to keep your fingers and wrist relaxed.  It doesn't take much change in the position of your fingers to get the ball to go in a different direction.  You don't even need to alter the position of your body.  You could try hitting the ball a fraction later, that may help as well.

Anyone who would like to see a Video response to this question and is a Premium member, can click on the "Vote for VIdeo Response" link at the top of this page.  Get your vote in now. 

Here's a video to answer the question...

Comments on this question

Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor commented...

on the 18-Nov-2011 11:45:43 PM

What a nice tip and little trick. This has always left me confused why they can send me the wrong way on a loop as I used to look at the shoulders were pointing.

Excellent Keep the videos coming guys and what a Coup getting Simon Gerada onboard.

 Many Thanks


Tim Sodelund

Tim Sodelund commented...

on the 19-Nov-2011 03:58:21 AM

This will help me thanks pingskills

Harikrishnan U

Harikrishnan U commented...

on the 19-Nov-2011 03:04:00 PM



Chau Giang

Chau Giang commented...

on the 20-Nov-2011 09:09:55 AM
Thank you for your video Simon, Such an interesting concept: varying the time of impact to Change direction of the ball. Often you hear: 'just think of where you want the ball to go & face that direction'. This method provides a clear & more specific way to learn the shot. shall try to learn it.
Andy Liem

Andy Liem commented...

on the 20-Nov-2011 10:33:19 PM
Great explanation, thank you so much, it's help me alot.....
Mayo May

Mayo May commented...

on the 27-Nov-2011 12:44:05 PM
Is this the same for a fade sides spin shot ?
Ji-Soo Woo

Ji-Soo Woo commented...

on the 27-Nov-2011 05:39:45 PM

Thanks Simon, I'll keep that in mind in the future.

Just wondering, is it the same principle for a down the line block off a crosscourt drive?

Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills said...

on the 28-Nov-2011 10:14:57 PM

Hi Ji-Soo,

The same principle can certainly be used for a forehand block down the line.

William Butler Denby

William Butler Denby commented...

on the 11-Jul-2012 04:32:41 AM
I also find that a good trick to hit down the line is to open your wrist just before you hit the ball. You don't get as much power, but if well executed, then I find that it really foxes my opponents. You also get a bit of sidespin, because you are brushing the bat across the ball sideways slightly.
Lukas Oberbanscheidt

Lukas Oberbanscheidt commented...

on the 24-Jul-2012 09:52:59 PM

Or you add some sidespin.

Arun Prasad

Arun Prasad commented...

on the 20-Dec-2012 02:52:48 PM

Great one...Thanks.

Sovan Ly

Sovan Ly commented...

on the 23-Nov-2013 01:15:52 PM

i have been searching for the website to train me. Now I see it. thanks alot.

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin, a premium member said...

on the 06-Aug-2015 01:19:53 AM

Is the same principle applies to the aggressive topspin against backspin?

My problem is the following. I'm trying to develop a really aggressive 3rd ball attack. I can hit the ball very strongly cross court, even if it is low and barely comes off the table. But when I try to play the same thing down the line using this technique, I feel powerless and awkward, since there is less room for turning my body and I can't engage my trunk that well. The result is usually much slower shot. So what should I do with this? 

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills said...

on the 06-Aug-2015 08:14:05 AM

Hi Ilia,

Try turning your waist and your wrist more backwards so that you can generate the spin and speed.

Dieter Verhofstadt

Dieter Verhofstadt commented...

on the 04-Dec-2015 12:30:31 AM

I watched this video yesterday and I was confused. In our club we are taught to change our footwork in order to change the direction of the shot. So, not only are we not allowed to change direction by tilting the bat backward, we're definitely encouraged to keep the same shot overall and only change direction naturally by changing the position of the feet.

This comes at the cost of the time needed to execute the footwork. Changing the timing of the shot is faster, but also less controlled, as is tilting the bat.

What's your viewpoint on all three means to execute the shot down the line.

(somewhat contradictorily, for the backhand down the line we shouldn't change our feet position but change the inclination of our trunk)

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills said...

on the 04-Dec-2015 05:49:06 AM

Hi Dieter,

The reality is that you never really have time to change your feet when you are close to the table.  If you get a little further away then you can make that adjustment.

It also gives your opponent too much information before you hit the ball.

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