The idea behind this stroke is to control the opponent's topspin attack at a distance from the table. Varying amounts of backspin are used in an attempt to cause the opponent to misread the amount of spin and make a mistake. Typically the ball is returned deep on the opponent's court, to cut down the angles available to the attacker and increase the amount of time the defender has to reach the ball.
Bear in mind that the amount of backspin you can generate will depend on the amount of grip provided by your ping-pong paddle. The bat being used in the photographs and video has very little grip, and as such it is difficult for the player to put any significant spin on the ball. But as demonstrated, the basic technique will work even with a cheap bat that produces little spin, which is why this paddle was chosen - if your paddle does have some grip, you will find it easier to put some backspin on the ball and perform this stroke successfully.
Points to look for:
- The feet are placed with the right foot slightly further back than the left foot, to make it easier to put weight on the right leg during the stroke.
- Most of the weight is on the balls of the feet to allow quicker movement. Too much weight on the heels will slow down movement, and too much weight on the toes will affect balance.
- The weight is evenly distributed between the left and right legs.
- The knees are bent and the feet are around one and a half times shoulder width apart. The torso is also leaning slightly forward. This gives a lower center of gravity for better balance, and allows for easy movement in all directions.
- Shoulders are in line with the legs, with the right shoulder slightly behind the left.
- The arms are held roughly shoulder width apart, with around a 90 degree angle at the elbow.
- In the accompanying photograph, the player has just finished playing another stroke and is in the process of getting back into his ready position for the next stroke.