Attacking soft shots

Ask the coachCategory: Strokes & techniqueAttacking soft shots
Philip Samuel asked 9 months ago

I have trouble in attacking soft short shots ( with or without spin ). I am not able to generate sufficient speed, and all that I am doing at the moment is doing  a soft return over the net without much back spin or topspin flick. Best I am able to do is to angle my return. I prefer to receive  fast shots as it is then much easier to generate return speed.  How can I improve playing short balls please?

1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 9 months ago

For soft short balls, footwork is key. If you don’t move enough, you are likely to reach for the ball and then it is hard to play any shot of any quality. 
So you need to keep low and be on the front of you feet, ready to step into the table. When the short soft ball comes in, you need to react quickly and take a step under the table. When you are closer to the ball you will be in a better position to play an active push or flick.
If the ball is a little soft (or floaty), then you will need to inject the speed. If pushing, you need to accelerate your pushing action, whilst brushing the ball. It’s the same with flicking. You need to accelerate your flick action whilst brushing the ball.
It is fairly easy to practise this. Just get a training partner to serve short floaty serves and then practice stepping in (and keeping low) and then play an active push or flick.