Learn Table Tennis Forehand – Like a Boss!

Welcome to part 5 of the Learning Table Tennis
series. If you haven’t already, you should watch
the first 4 videos in this series, especially part 4 where I introduced the mechanics of
the basic forehand counter hit and member Ben. Today, we are going to break down Ben’s
forehand and try and put him on the right track. As you will see, I’m going to find a lot
of common mistakes Ben is making and I’ll put together a basic forehand action plan
which will be the first step in this process of improving all of his strokes. I don’t expect this video to solve 100%
of Ben’s problems on his forehand hit as it is just a starting
point. I believe all members will benefit from Ben’s
experience. Many of you will be able to relate with at
least one of his common mistakes and put together your own action plans to improve your strokes
one by one. I’m going to be very honest about Ben’s
strokes as sugar-coating errors is misleading and it won’t help Ben or you to improve. Let’s look at Ben’s forehand counter-hit
and identify as many common mistakes as possible, so we know exactly where he is at. Alright, Ben’s feet are actually an okay
distance apart which is unusual for a developing player. 90% of club player’s have their feet too
close together. Ben could definitely be wider though as it
is actually very difficult to be too wide, providing you learn to move correctly later
on. Ben also bends his knees pretty well and keeps
them bent at a similar angle throughout the stoke. I would however like to see the legs bent
more and he could be learning forward slightly more too. His left foot is quite a long way in front
of his right so let’s try evening them up a little. Having the left foot slightly in
front is fine, but I think this is too much. Ben drops his shoulder during his backswing
and he needs to keep his shoulders more even. He turns his shoulder back and forward on
the stroke which is great, however it’s probably a little too much. A small well timed turn is sufficient. Ben’s elbow position is his first major
problem. The previous problems mentioned are very mild compared to this one. Ben’s elbow
is way too close to his body and it effects his entire game in a negative way. His topspin stroke, which will be covered
later, is too small, shallow and tense. Ben will need to get his elbow out about 8
inches from his body on all of his strokes. One of the consequences of having a poor elbow
position is Ben doesn’t offer the ball the full face of the bat. If Ben was to contact the ball here in the
swing, it would land somewhere here. I’m alluding to a bigger topic here and
I will cover it in an upcoming video. For now, it is important to know that the
ball should have a reasonable chance of going on the table, regardless of where you strike
it in your swing. So once Ben has the elbow out to the side,
he should be finishing around this point here and certainly not here. Also, Ben’s wrist is bent a lot during the
stroke, robbing him of optimal mechanics. He will need to straighten up the wrist significantly
to introduce a small whip type action to this stroke later. There is also too much topspin on this basic
shot. The bat is starting too closed and then Ben is coming up on the ball and finishing
here to compensate. The stroke needs to be much flatter and through
the ball. The bat should be much more open at the start. Although it is difficult to see in a video,
Ben is holding the bat way too tight and he especially tightens his grip at the end of
his strokes. It is even more pronounced on his topspin
stroke. Holding the bat too tight is one of the common
mistakes players make when they started playing table tennis after the age of 12. There are 2 ways of releasing tension. The
first method is to slow down and the second is to objectively focus on existing tension. Let’s start with slowing down and I’ll
cover method 2 later on. Now for the Action Plan. I have identified Ben’s issues, however
this is completely useless without an action plan. Step one for Ben. Shadow swing for 10 minutes every day until
you get this right. Get in front of a mirror to get immediate
and accurate feedback about your swing. Your legs need to be wide, bent and fairly
even whilst you lean forward. You need to get your elbow away from your
body for the entire swing. You should also keep the swing very small. Don’t bend the wrist. Make sure your shoulders
and even, turn you shoulders only slightly Using a mirror for shadow swinging is fantastic,
proving you have a clear idea of how things should look. Step 2 Use your robot or multiball feeder to train
the stroke for 30 minutes 3-4 times over the next week. If you do more, that’s fine. Slow your robot down and simplify everything.
Make sure the robot is feeding the ball slowly with only a little topspin and no deeper than
the center of your side. Reduce the frequency to one ball every 1.5-2
seconds. Aim for the center of your opponent’s side
and no deeper. Using a target can help Hit the ball at 20% of your maximum and no
faster. If you feel tension, slow your stroke down even more. Make sure you are hitting the ball flatter,
without topspin. Video your play and then every 2 minutes,
go to the video camera or computer and watch your stroke. If you are still seeing common mistakes, work
on them. You need constant feedback to learn. Don’t
keep doing things wrong for extended periods of time. Once you are satisfied that you have improved
your basic mechanics, send me through your footage and I will make a follow up video
with further recommendations. If you’ve enjoyed this video, you can the
entire series at. You will also find over 150 instructional
videos by world class player William Henzell as well as my step-by-step tutorials that
will teach you how to serve like a boss!

14 thoughts on “Learn Table Tennis Forehand – Like a Boss!

  1. thanks for your help brett, yust one question : at minutes 3.44 you show the movement in front of mirror, is it correct to open wrist before you hit the ball ? i mean your wrist dont remain in one line with forearm , but go back then return on the arm line , like if you are doing a Flick on a no cut ball

  2. Great video with a good advice. I have similar issues right now (I move hand to the side and not forward) and I have already started to fix them. I found some very usefull suggestion, which I will start to use!

  3. Hey Brett,

    Awesome videos again.

    May I suggest that you try to rename all of the videos with "Part – #" in the titles? It makes the progression of videos much easier instead of manually looking through to find them since they're not sorted by default.

  4. hey brett… I played you back in '86… Qld vs Victoria……  I'm living in the uk now…. your videos are great and I always recommend them to players in my club wanting to improve…  love your quirky ways of teaching the game we all love…. keep up the great work mate!

  5. This says it is part 5, and recommends parts 1-4, but there's no link and I can't find them. Where are the first 4 parts?

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