3 Tips to Improve Your Serve in Table Tennis aka Ping Pong

Learn three tips to improve your ping pong serve from table tennis pro Tahl Leibovitz in this Howcast video.

My name is Tahl Leibovitz and I’m here at SPiN, New York. I am a professional table tennis player who has been competing internationally since 1995. I am here today to speak to you about the intermediate and beginner aspects of the Olympic sport of table tennis.

Right now I’m going to demonstrate tips on how to improve your serve. There’s a few things that are really, really important. One thing is that when you serve – probably the most important thing – is when you contact the ball it should be as low as possible. So you’re throwing the ball and once it’s falling, a lot of players they contact the ball here. Now when you contact the ball here it’s higher than the net, so because it’s higher than the net, the bounce on your opponent’s side will be higher than the net. So what you need to do is you need to let the ball fall as low as you can because when you do serve the ball and it gets to your opponent’s side you want it to bounce lower than the net. A good quality serve is when you serve the ball and it’s on your opponent’s side and it’s lower than the net. A player named Kang Liang Hu he was able to do this with the backhand very effectively. He’s able to serve the ball and it went lower on the opponent’s side. And the reason this is very effective is because when the ball is lower than the net on your opponent’s side they can’t make an aggressive stroke, they can’t move their racket forward, it’s very difficult, they need to move their racket upwards. And when they move their racket upwards the ball is slower and it gives you more time.

The other thing is when we serve we try to use our legs, our hips and our arms, so we try to transfer everything, our legs, hips, arms. Everything together. The other thing that’s important is hitting different parts of the ball when you serve. Experiment with serves, you know, sometimes try to hit the bottom of the ball, try to hit the top of the ball, try to hit the side. What else is also very, very important is to be able to get the racket to go quickly through the ball. And this happens where we do two things: we start slow but once we get closer to the ball we try to tighten our forearm a little bit tighter and pass through the ball quicker. So what we’re doing is we’re sort of transferring everything, we’re sort of really trying to get quick.

Now some basic serves you might want to work on because you might want to try these serves where you’re getting through the ball really quickly, through the ball. Even these. Once you can get your racket to pass through the ball you can impart very good spin on the ball and this is going to really help you to get a good service. So that’s some tips on service.