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Table Tennis Basic Strokes - Backhand Block Against Loop

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Ready Position
Photo of Backhand Block vs Loop - Ready Position

Ready Position

(c) 2006 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The backhand block against a loop or drive is a stroke used by beginners and advanced players alike to control a powerful attack made by the opponent.

The idea behind this stroke is to use a minimal backswing and follow through, and rely on the correct bat angle to control the opponent's topspin and speed. This will cause the ball to be rebounded from the bat in a low forward trajectory, with a little or no topspin. Once the basic block is mastered, the amount of backswing and follow through can be increased to make the block closer to a backhand counterhit.

View the Forehand/Backhand Block - Front View Video. (2.4MB)

View the Forehand/Backhand Block - Side View Video. (2.7MB)

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.
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