View Full Version : Learning to serve

09-24-2014, 06:35 PM
I started table tennis at older age(28) so never had youth training.I'm playing now for a couple of years and reached a decent level. I want to improve my serving game and have a few questions:

- What are the standard trained serves and how do u perform them?
- Why does every righthanded player serves from bh side(instruction videos youtube)?
- Tips to improve my own serving game quickly?


09-24-2014, 06:45 PM
i dont really know a lot about serves but what i know that if u want to make a gd serve u need to hit the ball from the backhand side at the lowest point possible and a short surf recommended but if u want to do a long surf u could but it has to be fast i would recommend side spin surf and another surf of ur choice because side spin surfs r the best for aggresive attackers

09-24-2014, 06:46 PM
Not only righthanders serve from the backhand corner, leftys also do this. And we do this because we have our forehand over the entire table for the next ball.

Ppl who have a good backhand serve more in the middle of the table like Dimitrij Ovtcharov with his backhand and sort of thomahawk serve.

To be onest our club is very poor in serving so I dont know any exercises. I have watched alot of serves of pros, copied their serves and practiced them alone without any instructions after my training. It was hard but with watching alot of tutorials and alot of practice I am able to do most serves.

I dont know what level you are on but on amateur level a long and deep serve with a ton of sidespin can be very effective.

A serve that I like is heavy backspin and no spin serves with the same motion. It confuses the opponent. Some returns pop up very high and some get pushed into the net.

09-24-2014, 07:07 PM
I to would like to know how the reverse pendulum serve is done consistently! Every now and again I pull it off but either at the expense of it being low over the net or it being spinny enough!

09-24-2014, 09:16 PM
Like Amayzde said we serve from the backhand corner so we can play forehand over the entire table the next ball.

My advice is to watch the pros on youtube and try to se what they are doing. There are many good videos in slow motion so you can see where on the racket they hit the ball.

Also when you play matches try to focus on where you get the ball after the serve so you can learn serves that are good for you.

09-24-2014, 11:47 PM
Serving is to get an immediate offensive advantage in the rally.

Shall I say it once (or a hundred times) more?

Serving is to get an immediate offensive advantage in the rally. (x 100)

All manner of ways to do this.

Confusing or outright fooling opponent on the type or amount, or depth, angle, placement, direction, pace, break of the serve by creating an Arsenal of serves that can change all these things using the SAME arm slot and serve motion is paramount to achieving your subtle changes.

Another component is to understand your opponents and what they will do to the serve. They will not be fooled every ball and you need to be able to control their options and funnel their response to an area of YOUR choosing so you can open the attack DECISIVELY on YOUR terms.

Another obvious component of serve/attack is to have a wide array of attacking options that are very reliable high percentage that either win the point right there on 3rd ball, or give you the upper hand in the resultant rally. You gotta have understanding of opponent, his responses, your abilities, your will to pressure and win, and HOW to do it... all with high percentage, suddenness, and with aggression & control. Who says it doesn't pay to be violent aggressor in Table Tennis? Still, you gotta have a plan, a will, the training and experience.

Once you are better able to put these things together, you have the basic foundation to be flexible in your attack to win points in pursuit of TT GLORY !!!

OK, that is basically a condensed version of THEORY for serve and attack while on serve. How you put it together to win is a personal thing, yet there are many effective strategies and tactics that help you achieve world dominance in this area of your game.

All I can tell you is to practice with a plan and practice SOUND technique. You will need understanding of the mechanics, a huge will to succeed, and soft hands ? relaxed body & mind ready to suddenly turn Berserker in a flash bang.

We have in a ton of threads covered how to make each serve. The basic underspin short serve though is what sets up all your other serves for success. Soft wrist, loose body, fast bat speed, shorter stroke, better acceleration, and grazing the ball 6:00 BOTTOM of ball, and making first bounce halfway to net or just past is the start of it all.

09-25-2014, 02:20 AM
The reverse pendulum serve is imo one of the hardest to play consistently. Personally I only play this serve when it's absolutely needed, because my stability at this serve is still very low despite having used it for a long time.
The problem with this particular serve is that it's very hard to play underspin and topspin out of the same motion. When playing good underspin you need to have the handle under your wrist and for topspin you want to have it over your wrist. That gives your opponent a big hint on what your serve is gonna be. That's why pros generally play the motion so the handle is above the wrist. This makes creating underspin a lot harder, but also makes the spin a lot harder to read for the opponent if you can create enough underspin.

To play this serve a strong wrist is needed, because the spin is created almost only from wrist movement as opposed to combined arm + wrist movement in the pendulum serve. If you really want to learn this serve I would advise you to start putting extra forearm strenghening on your schedule, because that's what you will want to have a strong wrist. In addition to that is spin practice on the serve motion. One method you can use is placing your forearm on the table and trying to create the spin you want while your forearm is on the table. The ball isn't supposed to go over the net like this, but this method helps getting a feeling on how to brush the ball from this particular motion.

09-25-2014, 11:29 AM
Thx for your knowlegde I read all the posts.
When u toss the ball up, what's the best point to hit the ball?

09-25-2014, 12:19 PM
Thx for your knowlegde I read all the posts.
When u toss the ball up, what's the best point to hit the ball?

I would say as low as you can. It can be hard to get the serve low if you are hitting it to high, and a high serve is never good because the opponent can easy get the first attack.

09-25-2014, 02:19 PM
Yes raazzz is absolutely right. Hitting the ball low is essential for a low bounce over the net which will make it more difficult to receive since the drop time is shorter. If you play both short and long serves from the same motion which is possible for the reverse pendulum and the bounce on both lengths is low that is an incredible weapon to use.
With strong serves like that you get an instant setup for attacks and will most likely keep all your services.

09-25-2014, 02:46 PM
You can impact the ball many cm above net height and still land it low over net and short double bounce. The advantage of impacting it at net height or a little lower is you can make your first bounce closer to the net. A disadvantage to that is the opponent will soon enough realize that a first bounce in that spot is always a short serve. If your first bounce is near half depth or a little shorter, your serve can be either short, half long, or deep.

Practice messing around with your impact points. You may discover you "SEE" the ball better at a certain height. Practice yourself and see what different impact points and different first bounce depths do for you.

09-25-2014, 02:50 PM
I already read why its important to start from bh corner. But how far from the table is the best position?

09-25-2014, 03:10 PM
Personally I prefer serving from at the table, becuse my backhand opening is not terrible. If you don't have a strong backhand you would want to serve from next to the table to have full forehand coverage on the whole table. This requires you to have good footwork though since a ball to the far forehand corner might be difficult to attack on otherwise.

09-25-2014, 04:30 PM
I already read why its important to start from bh corner. But how far from the table is the best position?

That's very individual, My advice is to try out and see what feels best for you!

09-25-2014, 04:48 PM

This is a good video where you can get some inspiration.

09-25-2014, 06:15 PM
I think it is important to be right at the endline regardless of how far you toward or away from the BH you are. When you are doing your fast/deep serves, it is infinitely harder to land the ball on the endline to maximize speed potential if you are even a foot away from the table. You have almost no margin for error on that serve away from the table.

At impact, you should be bent over the ball looking at it from above and the side. That allows you to see the ball best to facilitate all the timing movements.

10-13-2014, 10:49 PM
I always started my forehand serve(righthanded) on fh corner(never had coaching). I'm trying now to start from backhandcorner cause i think it has more future .Forehand topspin is one of my best shots. It's not so easy to change position, loosing bit more now.

I watched some youtube videos and people holding their bat different while serving (thumb vertical and more bh fingers). Whats the best way to hold your bat while serving?