Learn Table Tennis Serve – Like a Boss!


Welcome to Part 19 of the learning table tennis
series. Part 19 is an explanation of how the wrist
and forearm should combine to give you the most efficient and effective serve. The forearm should move back and then forward
quickly. This will create a small whip type action with your wrist that will have your
bat moving at maximum velocity over a few inches. If you’re having trouble with this concept,
try grabbing forearm and moving it back and forward in this way. Totally relax your forearm muscles but make
sure you are holding the bat tight enough, so it won’t slip out. You don’t want to pause at the end of the
backswing or you’ll lose momentum so keep the arm moving. Notice that your wrist now acts as a loose
hinge as the bat snaps back and forward with the momentum of the forearm movement. The key to spinny serving is to coordinate
this movement with your ball toss which isn’t as easy as it sounds. You can see here on this frame how the bat
has been snapped back into position. But remember, this is not a place to pause
and the forearm needs to start moving forward right now to keep the whippy momentum going. Remember to keep your elbow up nice and high
during the serve too. Lot of players tend to toss the ball and start
their backswing immediately. Once this happens, they have lost the potential
to use the whip type mechanics to get optimal bat head speed. They are forced to pause at the end of the
backswing and then they have to swing forward from what is essentially a standing start. What you need to do is toss the ball and wait.
As the ball is coming down, you then move your relaxed forearm back and forward quickly
and allow the bat to snap at the ball with maximum speed which will be converted into
spin if you brush the ball fine. The swing doesn’t have t be big if you get
the timing right. It may just be a couple of inches. This same principal applies to all serves
including the straight backspin. Again, you can grab your forearm for the backspin serve
and make the same pattern. It should look like this. Then take the serve to the table. When you
do wait and coordinate the swing well on the backspin, you can make the whip pattern incredibly
short and sharp which will give you great spin and a lot of deception. Your opponents will be wondering where all
the spin is coming from as you are barely swinging at the ball. Again, you don’t want to start the backswing
too early or pause during the stroke as you’ll get no spin and it will look and feel wrong. There is very poor coordination of the backswing
and stoke on this serve. To get it right, you need to relax the forearm
muscles. Loosen your grip slightly and let it all flow.

13 thoughts on “Learn Table Tennis Serve – Like a Boss!

  1. I want a backhand serve video. Heck set of videos. I've just applied this whip idea to my backhand serve. Going to take some time to get there, but one huge advantage is that the ball toss can be higher or lower, doesn't matter because the whip has to be executed independently of the ball toss. Brett you've improved my game far more than anyone else on youtube. Time to pay up (ttedge).

  2. It's amazing, I play table tennis for 20 years and I feel like I was beginning to understand the life watching your videos ! You're terrific !

  3. You're welcome ! I have a further question about the video "topspin like a bear". It has been a revelation to me that I was incredibly stressed and no relaxed when I make my topspin. I'm trying to restart from zero, trying to do my strokes completely relaxed. But I feel I lose accuracy, sometimes the ball goes straight into the net or away from the table. Can you explain me why ?

  4. Thank you for these details ! I hope you will do a tutorial about forehand topspin, backswing, timing and coordination with the legs !

  5. Oh my god, this advice about using the forearm + relaxing to generate the whip movement… no coach of mine ever explained me this, and I know that I'm doing quite the opposite (especially on serves : I'm this guy who takes his bat behind him as soon after throwing the ball). That's is an incredibly valuable advice for me. Many many thanks Brett. I'm looking forward to my next training to put this in practice.

  6. What an excellent, informative, and innovative way to instruct table tennis, Brett! The use of humor and various props is something I have not seen before. I am learning a lot from this, and in particular the overall concept of relaxation in the wrist and forearm on all shots. When can we expect a "Return of Serve- Like a Boss!" video? Keep up the great work!

  7. Hello Brett Clarke . can you please make a video on how the returns for spinny services will be . I'm unable to understand boomerangs on my service properly .

    (Also if possible can you also tell me that when a spinning ball strikes the rubber does it grip and start spinning the opposite way or it grips and still keeps spinning the same way )

  8. Wow! Great tips, great explanation, Brett! I subbed right away. You clarified some things, so nicely! Thanks a million, men!

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