Basic Table Tennis Skills: What should you practice?

Table tennis players must have a smooth combination of wrists, shoulders, and feet. To hit ping pong well, you also need to use the right basic table tennis skills technique.

You also need to have accurate strokes and good basic skills. Each skill will have its own requirements as well as advantages and disadvantages.

What basic table tennis skills should you practice? We will give you the most essential basic skills in this article!

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What basic table tennis skills should you practice?

You need to master these simple skills to play table tennis well. Let’s go with the analysis in the passages below.

  • Posture and steps
  • Back and shoulders
  • Arm
  • Ankles and Knees
  • Feet

Posture and steps

A correct posture will get you ready to make the first contact with the ball. Stand in the right position with the correct posture. Determine what posture you need right now. You want to attack, serve or defend the opponent.

Basic Table Tennis Skills - What should you practice

There should be plenty of space between the feet and choose a comfortable position

You should also choose a comfortable position for you. It will bring you stability, calmness, and the ability to observe and handle situations.

A good posture helps you to gain flexibility when moving.

Back and shoulders

You slightly arch your waist and point your shoulders forward. Your body will be slightly bent over. This whole pose will make it easier for you to reflect and release energy.


Place your arms in front of you, keeping them slightly bent and ready to go. Both elbows and paddles should be in front of your body.

Ankles and Knees

Slightly bend your knees and ankles, shifting the weight forward. This position will make it easier to move when needed.

Your weight should be on the tips of your toes. That increases flexibility.


You should keep your feet wide apart, maybe wider than your shoulders. It will help you move quickly between the two sides of the table.

Put your dominant foot back a little. It will make your move more convenient.

The skill of holding the paddle

This is the most basic skill that you must master. Any technique and posture when playing will not be good if you hold the paddle wrong.

When holding the paddle correctly will help control the speed of the ping pong ball. You will also react faster and more accurately to the opponent’s ball.

The skill of holding the paddle

When holding the paddle correctly will help control the speed

Every table tennis player has their own way of holding their racquet. But here are two common paddle grips:

  • Hold the paddle horizontally in your hand by Letting the thumb curve naturally, close to the front of the paddle. At the same time, the index finger is pressed against the back of the paddle. The remaining fingers naturally grasp the paddle handle.
  • Hold the paddle vertically in your hand by Place your thumb and index finger on the paddle at the midpoint between the handle and the paddle face. The remaining fingers press close to the surface of the paddle so that it is most natural and comfortable.

Whichever way you choose to hold the paddle, comfort should come first. Comfort will help you confidently handle situations more flexibly.

Every way of holding the paddle has its own advantages and disadvantages. So be confident with your paddle grip if it works.

The basic table tennis strokes

There are many different ping pong techniques. In this article, I will introduce you to the 4 most basic table tennis techniques. It is also the first step to help you get good at this sport.

Forehand Drive

This forehand technique is the most basic ping pong technique. It will help you to respond to the fierce attacks of the opponent.

Even make it difficult for the opponent by bringing the ball close to the opponent’s boundary.

Forehand Drive in table tennis drills

This forehand technique is the most basic ping pong technique, source:

To perform this technique, rotate your body slightly toward the paddle handle for additional power.

Move the upper body away and shift the weight onto the supporting leg at the back.

Slightly rotate the arm so that the paddle face is slightly forward.

Extend your arms slightly out to prepare to touch the ball.

When the ping pong ball hits the table, immediately turn back. Shift all the weight forward. Hit the ball at the highest bounce of the ping pong ball.

After hitting the table tennis ball, continue to move the arm upward to the other side. After finishing, bring your hands back to the starting position to get ready.

Backhand Drive

The opposite of the forehand drive is the backhand drive. The purpose of this stroke is also to counter the opponent’s attack.

To perform this skill, you have to follow the path of the ball. The waist and body are facing forward.

At the top of this ball bounce, swing the paddle forward to hit the ping pong ball. After touching the ball, continue to move your hand forward and up. Return to the original position to receive the next ball.

Forehand Push

This is a basic skill that helps you push the ball towards the opponent with short balls.

Forehand Push in table tennis

Let the paddle side push the ball out from the bottom

To perform this backhand swing, have your body facing the ball. With your hands in front of your chest, rotate your arms so that the paddle is slightly up. The back of your hand is facing up.

At the moment the ball bounces to the top, bring your arms forward. Let the paddle side push the ball out from the bottom.

The force should be controlled so that the ball is pushed in the right direction. After finishing the movement, return to the original position.

Backhand Push

The push is usually to hit back short balls. Backhand push too!

To perform this technique, lean slightly behind your dominant arm.

Focus your body weight on your dominant foot, slightly back.

The hand holding the paddle is now slightly tilted. Palm side facing up.

You don’t need to stretch your arms out to add force. Hold the paddle in a slightly tilted back position.

When the ball reaches the top, move your hand so that the paddle pushes underneath. Finish the process and return to the original position to continue.

Serving skills

Serving skills in table tennis

Each person will have different serving skills

Serving is an important skill. It is considered the psychological determining factor in a match. If you have good serve skills, you can score points on the first serve.

Perform the serve through the following steps:

  • Place the ping pong ball in the palm of your hand. Keep it above the table and behind the bottom edge of the table.
  • Toss the ball slightly vertically. Pay attention not to spin the ball, the highest point of the ball is at least 16cm from the table.
  • When the ball has dropped to hand level, use the racket to hit it down onto your table. So that the ball can bounce over the net to the opponent’s table.

Each person will have different serving skills. This is also the characteristic of every table tennis player.

Depending on the player, the serving technique will have different variations. For example, serve the ball to forehand – backhand; serve down forehand – backhand;…

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I still haven’t really mastered the basic skills. Should I learn advanced table tennis techniques?

You should not learn advanced table tennis techniques without mastering the basic technique.

Focus your time on practicing good basic techniques. Learning advanced techniques will be difficult for you at this point.

2. What should be paid attention to when performing basic table tennis techniques?

You should pay attention to the ball line. Determine whether it is short or long, to the right or to the left. That helps you decide exactly which technique to use.

Observing and determining the ball’s path also helps you launch accurate shots. Hitting it at the right time can bring the ball close to the opponent’s line.

3. Can I hit the ball when it’s not at the top?

You can hit. But for the best effect, you should hit the ball when it peaks.

Hitting the ball before reaching the top can lead to a lot of mistakes. It could be that the ball slipped or the ball couldn’t bounce to the other side.

Further Reading:

All thing about table tennis – Wikipedia

How to Play Ping Pong (Table Tennis) (with Pictures) – wikiHow

Final Verdict

To play well, we need to practice a lot of different skills. Good practice of basic techniques will bring better chances of winning. It also helps you practice unconditioned reflexes. Hopefully, our sharing will help you play table tennis better!