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Table Tennis/ Ping-Pong Basic Strokes - Backhand Lob Against Smash

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Ready Position
Photo of Backhand Lob Against a Smash - Front View

Ready Position

© 2007 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The backhand lob against a smash from your opponent can be both a defensive and an offensive weapon. Played defensively, the lob is hit with a very high trajectory and a medium amount of topspin, giving the lobber more time to regain his balance and court position. The player who is lobbing is hoping to stay in the point until he can get the chance to regain the offensive with a more powerful stroke made from a distance.

Played offensively, the ball is hit with a lower trajectory (but still much higher than most other shots), but with very heavy topspin, causing the ball to kick forward when it hits the table, and making it harder for the opponent to control. The offensive lobber is trying to draw either a direct mistake or a softer, controlling stroke from his opponent, so that he can then move back towards the table and counterattack with a loop or smash of his own.

Forehand/Backhand Lob Video - 640x480 pixels (5.8MB)
320x240 pixels version (2.8MB)

Points to look for:

  • This stroke is played well away from the table, since you preferably want the ball to be falling from its peak height, at which time the pace and spin on the ball will be slowed considerably, and the ball is easier to control.
  • The feet are fairly square to the line of play, allowing the player to move in either direction quickly.
  • Most of the weight is equally distributed on the balls of both 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 knees are bent and the feet are around one and a half times shoulder width apart.
  • The arms are held roughly shoulder width apart, with around a 90 degree angle at the elbow.
  • Shuffle stepping is preferable, but due to the wide amount of ground to cover, you may need to use crossover footwork to reach the ball.

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