Backhand is a very crucial technique in table tennis. It helps you successfully control heavy shots and return a ball calmly or aggressively with a better aim. Backhand is always useful no matter your position towards the table. Your right-handedness or left-handedness does not also matter. The following information is about the backhand technique can help you understand it better.
There are two common variations of the backhand. The two variations are the backhand push and the backhand drive. Each variation remains useful under certain scenarios. It involves a specific effort and aim. Let us check them independently.
1. The backhand push
The backhand push is a very easy stroke. It is mostly used in defensive and helps in controlling fast attacks and topspin strokes. The stroke is broad and requires no much thinking. Backhand push can strategically be used in combination with some brushing to make a backspin. The backspin is achieved through a light brush from the back to the lower part of the ball.
Backhand push helps you relax while playing. This is because you will not need any body movement. Only the arm moves when making this stroke. The stroke is normally made using the back side of your hand and requires little effort.
Making a backhand push
For you to successfully make a backhand push, you will have to keep your feet apart and slightly exceeding the width of your shoulders. The body needs to lean a little bit to the front while the knees bend slightly. The arms should be brought to the front while bending at an around 90 degrees angle starting from the elbow. The body should majorly be supported by the toes while remaining close to the table.
When the ball starts coming, close the elbow’s angle by bringing the bat back and close to your chest. Ensure that the wrist remains straight and the bat angle is opened slightly. The shot needs to come from your body and head directly to the front. The move originates from your elbow and follows the arm that is moved forward to make the paddle come into contact with the ball. The ball should be returned right after it bounces and can be spiced up with some brushing that can start from its back and end at its under. Remember to follow through and not let your arms swing too much to the side. The paddle should stop at a position closer to the table and the point where the ball was hit.
2. Backhand drive
This is a key shot that shows the basics of a topspin made using a backhand. The backhand drive is not very much powerful but can be effective if used with speed and precision. This drive helps you block any kind of a shot and is very useful in making heavy topspin strokes. It is an easy stroke that requires no weight transfer and body rotation.
The backhand drive is made using the back side of a hand. You can use it to attack and also control float balls or long top spins. Consistent practicing is necessary for you to be able to use the backhand drive effectively.
Making a backhand drive
For you to successfully make a backhand drive, you will need to keep your feet apart and slightly exceeding the width of your shoulders. Your body should lean forward and get supported by your slightly bent knees. The elbows should bend at a 90 degrees angle and support your front-stretched arms. You should remain a bit closer to the table and ensure that your body weight is distributed to your toes and not the heels.
Your bat needs to come from a slightly lower back position and that is why you should pull it back and towards your navel. The wrist should remain straight and make the bat form a lightly closed angle. The arms need to quickly move forward and make the bat meet the ball. The bat should slightly brush the ball from its back and towards its top part to make a little topspin. This move originates from the forearm and the elbow. The bat angle should remain constant throughout. Make sure to get the ball when it is on its bounce peak and follow through, ensuring that the paddle moves forward and to the top of the ball. Your hands should not swing too much to the side and a small gap between the body and the elbow should be maintained.
Backhand is a very important technique that should be learned by every determined table tennis player. It is a defensive stroke that allows effective spins. You should practice as much as you can and perfect in this stroke that helps you so much in your game.