Hi Tom, I’m really struggling with reading different service spins and knowing how to return them. I’ve read up on different strategies (including in your book) but, when it comes to the actual game, my returns are all over the place. Even the “aim for the middle of the table” doesn’t seem to work for me. Any further insights you can give please? Many thanks, Jenny
Returning serves is definitely the hardest part of table tennis for most players. Even for me, I still lose too many points with weak return of serves. No matter how much you improve, it will always be a challenge!
But we do want you to be able to return more balls. I have a couple of videos which talk about the theory of reading spin and options for returning serves. If you haven’t watched these yet, I recommend you do so.
- Easy method for returning serves (beginner / intermediate level)
- How to return a PENDULUM serve (real coaching session with Simon)
- How to read service spin
When you have understood the theory, then you need to practice returning serves a lot. In your training sessions, asking your partner to serve at you for 10 minutes. Do this with every player you play with. And keep doing it for months and months. If there is a serve you really struggle with, get your partner to keep doing the same serve. Try different ways of returning the serve.
Over time you will become more familiar with a wider range of serves. It will still be challenging, but you will be able to get many more serves back on the table.