Do your serves complement your playing style?

Do your serves complement your playing style?

I have a player I coach who has very strong drives. He can hit the ball hard and with good ball placement with both his forehand and his backhand. However, this player has a service problem. Yes, his serves are decent and spinny, and sometimes win him points outright. But in general his serves do not complement his playing style. He often gets stuck in pushing rallies and loses the point. In this blog post, I explain how you can use your serves to set up the type of rally you want and win more points. Keep reading

How to do a legal table tennis serve

How to do a legal table tennis serve

One aspect of table tennis gets people more animated than any other. Serves. Or more precisely, illegal serves. I play local league table tennis and illegal serves are very common. I’ve seen full-grown men (it’s always men!) argue, swear, throw chairs and threaten physical violence because of the questionable legality of a player’s serve. So in this blog post, I will state very clearly what the service rules are and encourage you to play by these rules. Keep reading

How to destroy opponents with long serves

If you play table tennis at an amateur level, especially at lower levels, you can dominate your opponents with long serves. These are serves which land very deep on your opponent’s side of the table, ideally with a lot of speed and spin. In this blog post, I explain why long serves are effective (especially at lower amateur levels) and how to do devilish long serves which can give your opponents nightmares. Keep reading

Improve your serves with some solo service practice

One of the best ways to improve your table tennis serves is solo practice. You get a box of balls and serve, serve, serve. I admit, this can be pretty boring. You need plenty of motivation to do this regularly. But if you can find the time and mental energy for some solo service practice, you can improve your serves a lot. In this blog post, I give advice on what you should (and shouldn’t do) during solo service practice and share some training drills to help you keep motivated. Keep reading

Service tactics to win cheap points

Service tactics to win cheap points

One of the benefits of having a table tennis table in my garage, is that I get to practise my serves a lot. I spend time practising my favourite serves – the ones I always use in matches. I also spend some time experimenting with different service actions and spin. As a result of all this practice, my service game is quite strong. I usually win lots of points on my serve and my service tactics get me out of trouble when other parts of my game aren’t working quite so well. In this blog post I share some of the service tactics which help me win cheap points. Keep reading

“Is it ok to use illegal serves?”

During a recent coaching session, a player asked me whether it’s ok to use illegal serves. He said very few players have a legal serve in his local league. And umpires, who are usually other players, rarely enforce the service rules. He said his opponents have an advantage because they can serve however they want. What should he do? Continue to serve legally or use illegal serves too? Read on to find out my answer… Keep reading

How to make an existing serve even better

When coaching a player for a first time, they will often ask me to teach them new serves. They want serves which will bamboozle their opponents and win them lots of cheap points. But before I reveal my serving secrets, I ask them to show me their existing serves. And you know what? In most cases, the player already has a couple of decent serves, but they use them in a very predictable way. So before teaching any news serves, I always try to improve the serves they already use. In this blog post I reveal some of the things we work on (and you should do too)… Keep reading