The Basics of Table Tennis

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 34,275
    Counselor Matt Burch demonstrates the basics of table tennis.

    Matt Burch: Hey, it's Matt Burch again in the how to play Table Tennis instructional series and before we get started on the drills, I want to teach some basics as far as rules for the game of table tennis.

    The first rule is that, the games go to 21. Each service player gets five serves then it alternates to the opponent serve. The way you serve is that you throw, you toss the ball at least six inches and then strike the ball on the way down to hit your side and then bounce on your opponent's side and at that time they return it, back to your side and play continues until one of the people misses the ball or hits it into the net or hits it off the table and at that point the other person gets the point. So the games go to 21, you must win by two, again with serves alternating every 5 points. So now that you know some of the rules, let's go ahead and started on how to hold the paddle? There are two basic grips that people use, most, the majority of people use the Shakehands grips which you grasp the paddle, just like you are shaking hands and your index finger is pointed on the front of the paddle and on the back of your paddle. Your thumb and your three fingers are perpendicular and so that's how you hold the Shakehands grip. The other grip is the Penhold grip, which is a tougher grip but can provide some quicker range of motions. Not as many people use this grip.

    So once you have got your grip, I am going to use the Shakehands grip because that is the most popular. To begin and also you want to be thinking about your stance, your stance is important because you are actually going to be standing in the same location for most of the point, unless they hit an angle shot but for the most part your stance is very important because you are going to be using it. You want to have your feet above, shorter with the partner knees slightly bent. You want to always rotate at your waist when you are hitting whether a Forehand or a Backhand that's what you are going to be using, and then you are going to come through with your arm. So that's the basic stance and grip that you are going to use. So in the next segments we are going to talking into more detail about the Forehand, the Backhand, Spins but as far as -- going to leave with for this segment is a drill to use, just to get you started, it's actually a basic drill and all it involves is just hitting the Ping Pong ball up and you want to try to be able to do that at least 10-15 times and hit it on the center of your racket, like so. Again it's a simple drill but that will get you started and then once you feel you have got that pretty comfortable you want to try to alternate it between Forehand and Backhand, back and forth and what that can do, is help you practice, be enable to switch from a Forehand to a Backhand because in the game when some hits you the ball you are going to have to rotate from a Forehand to a Backhand very quickly and so that drill -- again it can help you with your wrist moves to rotate it forward and backward.

    So those are some quick drills to get you started, next we are going to show you how to use some Spins and in which situations you going to want to use them.