Illawarra District Table Tennis Association

Development plan

There are many aspects to the game and many skills, proficiencies or competencies to acquire. Hand eye coordination and good footwork are also essential ingredients. This document can be used for those learning to identify when a skill is achieved.

Use the internet for lessons and demonstrations e.g.:

  • Search “table tennis forehand attack” Here are some examples
  • Search “tomorrow table tennis” for many utube lessons

Table tennis can be very competitive or just a fun game. It is up to the individual to determine what they want from the game. The following is a guide to the many skills:

  • The grip (shakehands grip)
  • The shot (it’s a bent arm game)
  • Hit a ball vertically 50 times using the forehand grip (20 cm high)
  • Hit a ball vertically 50 times using the backhand grip (20 cm high)
  • Forehand drive (topspin will be imparted automatically) – stand at an angle to the table – the back foot further from the table than the front foot; bat is close to vertical; elbow at 90 degrees; in one movement, bat starting over the back hip,  and follows a 45 degree upward slope finishing at head height
  • Forehand attack (topspin) – similar stance to the forehand drive; bat is held at 45 degrees to the horizontal; bat starts at the hip and follows a 45 degree vertical slope finishing at head height in front of the head, this time brushing the ball to impart the spin
  • Backhand attack (topspin) – stand at 75 degrees to the table – bat starts in front of the waist and follows an angular slope also finishing in front of the head
  • Forehand defence (backspin or chop) – the bat follows a trajectory that imparts backspin to the ball. The bat can be anywhere between 80 degrees to the vertical to almost horizontal
  • Backhand defence (backspin or chop) – the bat follows a trajectory that imparts backspin to the ball. The bat can be anywhere between 80 degrees to the vertical to almost horizontal
  • Serving (ball projected vertically from a flat hand at least 15 cm. The ball must bounce on either side of the net without touching the net (let serve). There are many permutations and combinations of the following:
  • Forehand topspin
  • Forehand chop
  • Forehand sidespin (both ways)
  • Backhand topspin
  • Backhand chop
  • Backhand sidespin (both ways)
  • The block shot (very little bat movement; this shot is to counter an attack shot close to the table)
  • The LOOP shot (similar to the forehand attack shot but imparts more spin; hand and bat rise at 80 degrees to the vertical)
  • The Counter Attack shot – topspin return to a topspin attack shot standing away from the table (either backhand or forehand)

Footwork drills: 

  • Skipping up and down each side of the table; games such as “killer” keep players on the move

Doubles is a whole new ballgame utilizing the above skills, but played with a partner. The game is played with each player having alternate shots. The serve is always from the righthanders forehand court to the equivalent court on the other side of the net.

The benefits of playing table tennis are many and varied and depend on your state of health: For those who consider themselves fit and what they want out of the game, the benefits are of improved:

  • Hand eye coordination
  • Reaction times and ability to assume
  • Cardio vascular (improvement in fitness and duration)
  • Mentally challenging (ball speed, spin)
  • Sportsman ship and achievement
  • Social and travel
  • Balance and footwork
  • Self esteem from learning a challenging sport

For those who are challenged mentally or physically, the benefits are:

  • Improvement of footwork
  • Improved stance and weight distribution
  • Improved body movement with hand, arms, legs etc
  • Improved reaction times
  • Social interaction; meeting people who are challenged and how they are coping
  • Can be life changing