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?
- Start with bat around waist height, in front of your body
- Close the bat angle slightly
- As the ball approaches, move your bat forwards and up
- Contact the ball just in front of your body
- The contact should be quite flat, roughly in the middle of your bat
- Your bat should follow through and finish just to the side of your body
- Don’t hit down on the ball – more often than not the ball will end up in the net.
- 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
- Article: How to Play a Backhand Drive in Table Tennis (Ben Larcombe)
- Video: Backhand Counterhit (PingSkills)
- Online course: Table tennis for beginners (Tom Lodziak)