In ping pong, serving is very much important. It gives you an opportunity to take a good advantage over your opponent. The opponent always has very little time to think about the coming hit. Controlling your serve helps you create very good chances of earning points. You can even control how you want the return ball to come. For you to be able to serve the ping pong ball like a pro, read and follow the following steps.
1. The ball has to first be held in a flat hand and then tossed
This is an official ping pong rule that must be followed. You must begin by holding the ball in a flat hand. The opponent has to be able to see that you are actually holding the ball. A straight toss then follows this. The ball has to be tossed 6 or more inches high.
2. Cover your serve
The opponent has to be blocked from seeing the coming serve. To successfully cover your serve, hide your paddle with your body. It should remain behind the body and come out only when about to send the tossed ball. The paddle does not however necessarily need to be completely behind you.
3. Do some planning
The opponent needs to be hit where he can least perform. Try to make the ball go to that point that will make him struggle to recover. A short serve is good when the opponent is standing too far, is slow in moving or is short in stature. Backhand side aims are also useful as most players perform the least at this point.
4. Time the ball accurately
After tossing, the ball has to be sent while still in the air. You have to aim and hit it as it comes down. Follow the ball with your eyes to ensure that it comes into contact with your paddle the way you want it to.
5. The paddle has to freely move
The paddle needs to flow freely and in a controlled manner. When coming into contact with the ball, you should let it loose. This doesn’t mean releasing it. It should just flow as if it is about to go out of your hand.
6. Make sure the ball bounces correctly
If you are a beginner, don’t complicate your serve too much. Start by doing it freely and naturally. The ball should bounce once on your side and over the net for the second time. Avoid losing any points when serving.
7. Wait for the return ball
After serving successfully, wait for the return ball. If you were in control of the serve, it should be easier for you to know the kind of return to expect. Try to retain the same strategy you used when serving. This tires the opponent fast and creates your chances of winning.
8. Let the emotional player defeat himself
Always use your mind when playing. Don’t make the game a routine of just returning the ball with some strong force. Remain calm and play strategically whenever the opponent gets emotional and starts making forceful returns.
9. Try backspin serves later
After being comfortable with a natural serve, try a backspin serve. Backspin needs you to make a slide under the ball with your paddle. The ball has to be tossed high and be hit with the paddle in a slanting manner. A little slide by the paddle is enough. The Hand and the wrist have to move.
10. Advance with a side spin
This is useful as you progress. A side spin needs you to hit the ball with a side slide. The paddle should hit the ball almost at its extreme side and under. The hit should also have some slide that causes a move to the side and a little backspin.
11. Change your serving strategy
After mastering various serving strategies, you can use them in a random manner so as to confuse the opponent. This will make you unpredictable and help you gain total control over the opponent. The strategies should help you determine where the ball goes after a serve.
12. Keep practicing
Only practice can help you master your strategies completely. The game should stick in your brain. If you are not good on a certain strategy of serving, try it as much as you can. Staying focused and trying as much as you can help you master that strategy quickly and permanently.
The steps above are meant to help you learn how to serve a ping pong ball like a pro. Following them keenly will help you become the player you want to be. Practice is important and will help you be a pro in a very short period of time.