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Table Tennis Basic Strokes - The Backhand No Spin Serve

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Ready Position
Photo of Backhand No Spin Serve - Ready Position

Ready Position

(c) 2006 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
In this tutorial, we will be looking at how to perform a basic backhand float serve. The idea behind this serve is to get the point started successfully, and prevent the receiver from making a strong attack against the serve. It is also intended to be difficult to tell apart from the backhand backspin serve, in the hopes that the opponent will misread the spin and make a mistake in returning the ball.

View the Backhand No Spin Serve Video - 720x576 pixels version. (3.8MB); 640x480 pixels version. (2MB); 320x240 pixels version. (1.1MB)
You will notice that I perform this serve with a little sidespin, since this is harder for the opponent to tell that there is no topspin or backspin put on the ball. You can swing straight forward instead if you wish to remove the sidespin.

Points to look for:

  • The feet are placed almost square to the endline of the table, with the right foot a little further back than the left foot.
  • The knees are slightly bent, and the legs a little more than shoulder width apart to give better balance and faster recovery after the serve is completed.
  • The ball is placed on the palm of the free hand, which is flat and stationary. Also notice that the free hand is behind the endline and above the level of the playing surface.
  • The torso is slightly bent forward, to allow better balance.
  • The bat is held ready beside the free hand, with the playing elbow bent at around 90 degrees.

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