How to play a forehand drive in table tennis

What is a forehand drive?

A forehand 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 forehand drive?

You’d normally play the forehand drive close to the table when your opponent’s return is a little high. You can play a forehand drive if the ball has topspin, no spin or even light backspin on it, as long as the ball is high enough. Against a low ball with heavy backspin, a drive shot won’t be very effective, as you won’t have a good angle to get the ball over the net. Instead you should play a forehand topspin vs backspin stroke.

How do you play a forehand drive?

  1. Start with bat around waist height
  2. Close the bat angle slightly
  3. Rotate backwards from the waist
  4. As the ball approaches, rotate forwards and move your bat forwards and up
  5. Contact the ball just in front of your body
  6. The contact should be quite flat, roughly in the middle of your bat
  7. Your bat should follow through and finish in front 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 let your arm cross your body on the follow through (like a tennis player) – this will slow your recovery for the next shot

Further reading and viewing