How to play a backhand drive in table tennis

What is a backhand drive?

A backhand drive is an attacking shot. It’s played with a little bit of topspin, but mainly it’s a flat hit and can be very powerful.

When should you play a backhand drive?

You’d normally play a backhand drive close to the table when your opponent’s return is a little high. Players who are good are driving, can attack topspin, no-spin and light backspin balls. Against low balls with heavy backspin, you should play a backhand topspin vs backspin stroke.

How do you play a backhand drive?

  1. Start with bat around waist height, in front of your body
  2. Close the bat angle slightly
  3. As the ball approaches, move your bat forwards and up
  4. Contact the ball just in front of your body
  5. The contact should be quite flat, roughly in the middle of your bat
  6. Your bat should follow through and finish just to the side of your body

Common mistakes

  1. Don’t hit down on the ball – more often than not the ball will end up in the net.
  2. Don’t reach for the ball – you drive will lack consistency. Instead always try to play a backhand drive in front of your body. You will have more control and will be able to place the ball more accurately.

Further reading and viewing

Get more table tennis tips

Sign up for my popular table tennis newsletter and I’ll send you table tennis tips, tactics and training drills to help you improve and win more points.