[Video] Easy method for returning serves (beginner / intermediate level)

[Video] Easy method for returning serves (beginner / intermediate level)

In this video I share my super easy method for returning serves. This is a method I use when coaching beginner and intermediate players.


In the video, I show you how to return backspin serves, topspin serves and sidespin serves. At its simplest, you can return backspin or side-backspin serves with a push and topspin or side-topspin serves with a drive.

I also explain how to read the spin. At the end of the video, I show you some more advanced return of serves too.

Most of the time my method for returning serves works well and the players I coach find they can return many more serves.

I hope my suggestions work for you too!

What’s in the video

0:00 – Tom introduces the video

01:40 – How to return backspin serves

03:54 – How to return topspin serves

05:40 – How to return sidespin serves

08:15 – Reading spin

09:28 – Watching the server

10:38 – Progression – advanced return of serves

Useful links

> Tom Lodziak’s YouTube Channel

> More online table tennis lessons

About Tom Lodziak

I’m a table tennis coach based in Cambridge in the UK. I have 70+ free table tennis lessons on my popular YouTube channel. I also have 150+ coaching articles to help you improve your table tennis skills. You can read more about my background on my About Tom page.

3 thoughts on “[Video] Easy method for returning serves (beginner / intermediate level)

  1. Thank you for sharing this guide, Tom! Side spin serve for me is the most difficult one to return since my way of playing table tennis has very limited bat-angle exploration and the struggle on playing with opponents who like side spin service is real.

    • For short no spin serves, you could either push (brush down back of ball) or flick (more hit than spin). For long no spin, you could push, brushing down back of ball again or drive, but with a little more topspin.

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