How to Spin Like a Pro: Table Tennis Techniques

Welcome to the channel of coach EmRatThich.
Today, I talk about “How to increase Spin
in your table tennis shots: serve, loop, push,
forehand topspin, backhand flip.
Geison asked me “how to generate a lot spin
in the services like the chinese
The Chinese philosophy says that there are
3 aspects of a table tennis shot:
spin, speed and power.
Spin is the most important of these 3 terms.
The spiny ball but slow is not powerful.
The fast ball without spin is not powerful.
powerful ball is the ball loaded of spin and
LQL always mentioned these
aspects as the “quality” of the shot.
Due to the difference in philosophy between
Western countries and China, the
approach in table tennis is different (for
low level coaching only).
In China, they focus first in spin.
The beginner players are asked to spin the
in their first lessons.
These lessons are crucial as the beginner
players learn to
develop their stroke and their feeling of
the ball.
For the young kids, the ball can land not
very far, not very dangerous, but at this
stage you must learn to spin the ball.
As without spin, you can’t control the ball.
When you improve your technique and develop
a good mechanism of stroke,
you can now focus on the speed and power in
next step without sacrifice of the
Look at the quality of Xu Ruifeng’s ball,
always very spiny.
He is the top
Regional level.
His ball is also very powerful and fast.
The ball lands almost near
the end of the table.
And at the word top level, look at the ball
of Zhang Jike.
His ball is very very
spiny and always land at the borderline of
the table.
It’s very difficult to return
his ball.
The quality is very good.
Spin, fast and powerful.
In Western countries, the approach is different.
Some amateurs players just look
at “pro’s table tennis equipment” but don’t
focus enough in “how to spin the
At the beginning stage, they already use a
fast to very fast blade.
They never
have enough time to develop a full mechanism
of the stroke.
They can’t hit the
ball very hard because if they hit hard the
ball without spin will mostly go out of
the table.
Their stroke is short and is not fully developed.
By using a very fast
equipment, the training is less efficient.
Remember: in the training stage, feeling
of the ball is the most important.
I will show you the best way to improve your
spiny strokes by drawing these 2
The first approach is: you must learn how
to spin the ball first and then learn how
to increase the speed in the next step.
Focus on spin and how to control the ball.
To increase the speed, you must increase your
physical strength (more important).
And then upgrade the equipment (only when
you reach the limit in physical
Your level goes up, now you can hit harder.
The ball is faster, spinner, and
land farther on the table.
To upgrade the equipment, upgrade the rubber
first: choose faster, harder
Don’t change the blade first, it can disrupt
your playing style.
If the speed is not enough, upgrade progressively
the speed of the blade.
That’s why the equipment of top Chinese players
always end up with a very hard
and tacky rubber, but only OFF- to OFF blade.
The second approach which is preferred in
Western countries.
Focus first on the
speed by using a very fast blade OFF to OFF++
blade, carbon blade.
But the ball
has not enough spin.
Without spin is the same as without control
which can lead
to lacks of confidence and many unforced errors.
The player can’t hit hard and
therefore can’t develop a full mechanism of
I play table tennis in Europe, so I know clearly
this problem.
In some clubs, the coach just say “hey, let’s
do some drills on the table” but
never ever explain these principles to the
new players.
The only and the one key point to
spin the ball is ……..
There is a good question on PingSkill: “Speed
or Acceleration for more spin”.
The coach answered “how much time you have
and how long your swing can
It seems to me that this question is not fully
Coach Larry Hodges also discussed “You get
more spin if you accelerate into
ball.The players sink the ball into the sponge,
but not graze the ball enough.
Why “acceleration” is so much important.
There are 2 main reasons:
Table tennis is not a tennis sport.
The ball weight is only 2.7g.
A young player with a medium physical strength
can become a world
Tomokazu Harimoto is the World Junior Table
Tennis Champion at the
age of 13.
His ball is very fast and spiny.
It is not because he hits the ball
very strong, but it is because he can accelerate
the ball very fast.
It’s not
how hard you hit the ball, but it’s how fast
you hit the ball in a short
amount of time will decide the amount of spin.
The contact occurs only in a fraction of second.
To spin the ball, you
must apply force during this moment.
The ball touches the
rubber, you continue to apply the force by
acceleration, the rubber is
compressed, and release this power to spin
to the ball.
All of these
process occurs very fast.
That’s why the more you accelerate, the more
power is transfered to spin the ball.
Mr. Liu has translated the article “The physics
behind a powerful forehand loop” in
Chinese Table Tennis Magazine into English.
I have explained these principles previously:
Relax before hitting the ball, body force
rotation from the hip, power from the ground,
grip the ball loosely.
You can see that these principles are also
confirmed by the Scientific researches.
Kojima also publish an article in the Journal
of Sport Science “Kinematics of table
tennis topspin forehands: effects of performance
level and ball spin”.
Very interesting results ! “The racket speed
at impact of the advanced
players and intermediate players are not significantly
The ability to
accelerate the racket in less time is an important
factor that affects the
performance level.”
Kojima et al., University of Tokyo
This result is also cited in another research.The
ability to accelerate the racket
rapidly during forward swing is an important
factor for increasing ball speed
and spin.
VUONG Linh-Son, Master in STAPS, coach sportif, also analysed this aspect.
In this sport, which prefers the speed and the anticipation, the speed of execution of the gesture and the
ability to reproduce high speed and high frequency strokes will be paramount.
The players should know how to accelerate their strokes.
The capability of acceleration of the racket at the moment of contact is very
important in this sport.
Because it induces an increase in the speed and the rotation of the ball.
It’s worth noting that the speed and spin
does not come only from the rubber, they come
also from the blade and the technique.
The blade helps you to transfer the force
your stroke to the rubber.
The technique requires you to make a follow
through and
rotate your hip.
The follow through occurs from the moment
the ball touches the racket
to the moment before the ball leaves the racket.
The follow through is the main force
that makes the ball go forward which contribute
mainly to the speed of the ball.
That means at the moment of contact, you should
accelerate to spin the ball, and you
should also rotate your hip to make a follow
though to increase the speed.
Rotating your
hip is faster than snapping your forearm and
will definitely help you to accelerate at
the moment of contact.
Furthermore, the mechanism of this action
will “lift” the ball and make the ball go
The “lift” force also spins the ball.
Fix the position before hitting the ball.
Hit the ball very fast at a short amount of
Use the hip to transfer this force.
Continue the follow through to make the ball
Now, you understand the best way to improve
in table tennis.
You also understand why
the Chinese technique is superior: the use
of the hip, power from the ground, relax
before hitting, explode at the moment of hitting.
I’ve explained these tips in the previous
And today, I show you some scientific research
about these aspects.
So please remember, “spin” is the key in table
To make the ball spin, think about
In your training sessions, try to accelerate
at the moment of contact in
your shots: top spin, backspin push, flip,
backhand topspin, counter loop, aggressive
block, chop.
You will realize that the quality of your
shots increase dramatically.
You can also do much
more easier now some shots (for example backhand
flip on the table) that struggle you
That’s it for today.
And the final word, I always say to my players:
“In Spin We Trust !”
See you next Sunday.
Coach EmRatThich.

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