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.
Points to look for:
- From this perspective, it will be easier to see in this sequence of photos how the free arm tends to only be moved by the turning of the waist and shoulders, and is used to help balance the player. Most top level players will move the free arm in this manner, which is sometimes called the "handcuff effect", since for much of the stroke both arms and hands move as if they were handcuffed together. The presence of the handcuff effect means that the player is turning his torso from the waist, ensuring that both shoulders are moving in unison.
- As you move through the photographs, notice that this particular player does not lower his free hand when he lowers his playing arm during the back swing. This is not uncommon - some players will lower their free hand to the same height as the playing hand, while others do not. Provided the free arm is being moved in relative sync to the playing arm, the height of the free arm is not that critical.
- The dipping of the right shoulder of the player is not unusual, but it is exaggerated a little in this photograph since the player is in the middle of a forehand drill, and knows that the ball is coming to his forehand, and so he is cutting corners a little in his recovery from the previous stroke.