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?
- Start with bat around waist height
- Close the bat angle slightly
- Rotate backwards from the waist
- As the ball approaches, rotate forwards and 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 in front of your body
- Don’t hit down on the ball – more often than not the ball will end up in the net
- 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
- Video: How To Do A Forehand Drive In Table Tennis (with Jason Sugrue)
- Video: Forehand counterhit (PingSkills)
- Article: How to Play a Forehand Drive in Table Tennis (Ben Larcombe)
- Article: Developing Forehand Strokes (Table Tennis England)
- Online course: Table tennis for Beginners (Tom Lodziak)