How do you smash high topspin lobs that land deep on the table?

Ask the coachCategory: Tactics & match-playHow do you smash high topspin lobs that land deep on the table?
Andrew asked 12 months ago

Regarding your video from a few months ago, regarding Can’t Smash, Won’t Smash, I have trouble successfully smashing high topspin lobs from a few defenders who like to play a high topspin lob fairly deep on the table to just about every stroke I play.

How would you smash a deep topspin lob on your side of the table? Would you use the same smashing technique as outlined in your video?

I have asked these questions because in the video, it appeared you were given high lobs with no spin on them.

1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 12 months ago

To return a deep lob with topspin, you can use exactly the same technique that I show in the video. So get your bat up high (around shoulder height), get a little side-on to the ball, and then drive through the ball with a slightly closed bat angle when the ball is shoulder height.
But there is one important difference with deep topspin lobs. You will need to back away from the table a little bit. The topspin will make the ball kick away from the table, much more than just a high floaty lob with little spin. If you stay too close to the table you will find it very hard to smash.
So when you see the topspin lob coming over the net, take a step or two away from the table. Then when the ball bounces, it will kick towards you and you should have the space to smash consistently. 
A good tip I share with the players I coach is this … when your opponent lobs and the ball is in the air, use this time to position your body. If it is a floaty lob, you can stay closer. If you see the lob has some topspin, take a step back. If you see the lob has some sidespin, take a step to the side. As long as you can position yourself whilst the ball is in the air, the you should find it fairly straight forward to smash any high lob.