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Table Tennis Basic Strokes - The Forehand Counterhit

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Ready Position
Photo of Forehand Counterhit - Ready Position

Ready Position

(c) 2006 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
In this tutorial, we will be looking at what should probably be the very first table tennis stroke that you learn - the forehand counterhit. This stroke is the foundation of all forehand topspin strokes, so by learning how to hit it correctly, you will find it easier to learn the more advanced strokes such as the forehand drive and loop, which are essential for high level play.

In the forehand counterhit against light to medium topspin, the idea is to hit the ball over the net with medium speed and a little topspin to help bring the ball down on the other side of the table.

View the Forehand Counterhit Video. (1MB)

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. The bat should be above the table to allow easy stroking of short balls.

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