1 of 7
© 2010 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
We have now looked at three of the four main basement ping-pong strokes - the forehand and backhand counterhit, and the backhand push, so it's now time to look at the fourth of the series - the forehand push. This stroke is the foundation of all forehand backspin
strokes, so by learning how to hit it correctly, you will find it easier to learn the more advanced strokes such as the forehand chop
, which is essential for advanced defensive play.
In the forehand push against light to medium backspin, the idea is to hit the ball over the net with slow to medium speed and a little backspin to help you control the ball, and make it difficult to attack. 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.
View the Forehand Push Video - 856x480 pixels version. (9 MB)
View the Forehand Push Video - 428x240 pixels version. (5 MB)
Points to look for:
- The feet are placed with the right foot slightly further back than the left foot.
- 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. The bat should be above the table to allow easy stroking of short balls.
- 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. This is why he has a little more body weight on his left leg than recommended in the above text. He will push his body a little to his right in order to move back towards his basic ready position, although since he is close to the table, he will actually transition straight into the back swing for his next stroke instead of arriving in a textbook ready position. This is common in table tennis, where the fast paced nature of the game often means that you don't quite get back to your basic ready position before you have to start preparing for the next shot.