How to Do a Backhand Block in Table Tennis aka Ping Pong

Learn how to do a backhand block from table tennis pro Tahl Leibovitz in this ping pong video from Howcast.

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 I’m gonna demonstrate the backhand block. The backhand block is very, very important in table tennis. From 1985 to 1993 the Swedish were very, very successful against the Chinese mainly because of the backhand block. The backhand block is a ball where we have to have the racket very, very compact; the racket cannot move long. The more we move the racket when our hand is close to the table, the more chance we can miss the ball. So what we do with the backhand block is we have two ways to block, which are probably the only two ways that you really need to focus on. We have one where we try to slow the pace of the ball down, and we do that because the player is far from the table. When they’re far, we try to block with very little hand movement; we just sort of move our hand very, very little. The other way is where we try to push the ball, the balls are little medium or slow, so we try to block with a little bit of speed. The block is very short, very compact. This is the block, right here. Very, very short. What we wanna be careful about at the advanced level, is that sometimes the player imparts a lot of top spin and sometimes they impart no-spin. So we need to really look at the ball. This is the block that we need. We slow our hand; very slow if we wanna slow down the pace of the ball it’s very, very slowly like this. If we wanna speed the ball we move faster. So those are the blocks.