What Are The Basic Skills Of Table Tennis? Complete Guide

What are the basic skills of table tennis?

  1. Stance
  2. Footwork
  3. Back & Shoulders
  4. Holding The Paddle

This game also has four basic strokes.

Table tennis is a complex and layered game that requires a blend of physical and mental skills to master.

A game’s complexity depends on four basic skills that even beginners can learn and practice to improve their performance.

You can improve your performance and enjoyment of table tennis by practicing the basic skills and developing more advanced skills later on. Here are some basic table tennis skills.

What Are The Basic Skills Of Table Tennis

Table Tennis’s Four Basic Strokes

Forehand Drive
Source: pingsunday.com

1. Forehand Drive

Ping pong‘s most fundamental stroke is the forehand drive. When the ball lands close to the opponent’s baseline or side-line, they return aggressive/attacking strokes.

Forehand drives require players to rotate their bodies to add power to the ball. Therefore, rotate the upper body away from the ball and transfer your weight onto your back foot. Move your arm straight back as you do this.

You should rotate your body toward the ball as soon as it hits your side of the table, shifting your weight forward. When the ball is hit, it should be hit with great speed at impact to impart spin. Keep your paddle pointed upward after striking the ball.

2. Backhand Drive

Backhand Drive
Source: pingsunday.com

Backhand drives are designed to return foul shots and land near the opponent’s baseline as a mirror image of the forehand drives.

You should stand with your torso facing the ball (rather than reaching with your arm) and keep your free arm pointed toward the ball when you deliver a backhand drive.

To hit the ball at the top of its bounce, you should bend your waist forward and lift your paddle arm forward and upward.

3. Backhand Push

Backhand push
Source: gregsttpages.com

Short balls are returned with the backhand push, and your opponent is prevented from attacking.

The backhand drive should be hit with your body positioned directly in front of the ball rather than angled out to the side.

Allow your arm to swiftly brush under the ball at its peak as you extend it forward from your chest. This stroke is controlled by aiming downward toward the table or forward toward the net, which imparts varying degrees of spin.

4. Forehand Push

Forehand Push
Source: ShutterStock.com

Besides returning short balls, the forehand push is also used to prevent attacking shots.

To enhance the paddle’s motion, stand with your dominant foot slightly back and rotate your upper body.

The key difference between pushing with a backhand drive and a forehand drive is that it requires a smaller backswing, a wrist rotation, and keeping the paddle open to brush underneath the ball.

Skills You Need To Know

1. Stance And Footwork

Stance And footwork
Source: Tabletennisspot.com

It’s important to get your body in the right position before taking your first shot.

Correct stance and grip depend partly on your grip and whether you’re serving, defending, or attacking the ball.

You should always maintain the correct stance and body posture even as your arm position changes relative to the table.

It would be best if you had a stable stance, balance, and range of movement to play the game well.

2. Feet

The distance between your feet should be at least 1.5 shoulder widths so that you can easily move side-to-side. If you are right-handed, this means keeping your left foot closer to the table; if you are left-handed, it means keeping your right foot closer to the table.

3. Ankles And Knees

Your knees and ankles should be slightly bent, and you should keep your weight forward on your toes. This way, you keep your body ready for forwarding and backward motion.

4. Back And Shoulders

Bend your upper body slightly at the waist. Your whole body is in a slightly crouching position due to bent ankles, knees, and waist, and shoulders forward.

5. Arms

With your arm and paddle in front of you, your arms should be in front of your body.

6. Holding The Paddle

Depending on how you hold the bat or grip it, you’ll need to adjust how your hands and arms are positioned in your stance. Table tennis has two basic grips: the shake hand grip and the pen hold grip.

Different grips require specific hand positions on the paddle according to your preference and playing style.

Different grips have their advantages and disadvantages, but it is also important to choose the grip that feels comfortable and natural to you.

In order to improve your game further, you may want to learn more advanced grips after mastering a basic grip.

Source: PingPongRuler.com


Table tennis serves the last basic skill to master, and they are a crucial skill since they are the only time you have total control over both the ball and the game.

Different types of services have advantages and disadvantages, but the basic principles remain the same.

Serving In Table Tennis:

  • With your free hand, balance the ball on the palm.
  • The ball should rise 6 inches or more above your hand when thrown vertically.
  • You should ensure the ball bounces on your side of the table, goes over the net, and bounces on your opponent’s side of the table as soon as it drops.
  • Table tennis serves are much more complex than the above description suggests.

What Are The Basic Skills Of Table Tennis? Clearly Answer Is Defines In Our Blog


Even the most experienced player should practice and drill these basic skills because all advanced skills are based on these basic skills. You should practice each type of shot alone. Besides improving your game, mastering the correct technique can minimize strain and make the experience more enjoyable. The first step toward true success is mastering the basics.

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