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How Low Can You Serve in Table Tennis?

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Most beginner/intermediate table tennis players think about isolated shots.  Most professional table tennis players think about shot sequences.  These two mindsets are poles apart.  When serving, professionals know that setting up the sequence in their favor begins with a serve, maybe not an ace, but controlling the rally from the very first touch.

With a strong short serve that is deceptive and low, what options will your opponent have?  Can he smash?  Not likely!  Can he push?  Sure!  Can he flip?  Absolutely, but the speed and quality on his ball won’t be as much!  It is hard to generate as much forward speed because of the net being a blockade. Also, it is harder to generate spin because the table somewhat limits that backswing capabilities.  So a low serve can still be flipped, BUT usually the speed, spin, placement, and variations won’t be nearly good enough to hit past you.  A 60 mph flip at 5000 rpms is difficult to loop.  But a 30 mph flip at 500 rpms is much more manageable.  The next table tennis skill in the sequence that you need to develop is a quick loop that applies pressure to your opponent.  The next skill is another follow-up loop to continue putting pressure on your opponent.  Do you understand the mindset here?  It isn’t that your low serve is going to get you 5-6 more aces per game!  It is the fact that it will make your opponent more limited on his returns making it easier for you to keep him under pressure.

I often hear beginner table tennis players talking about…

“I pulled out my secret serve at 9-9!”

“I knew his backhand was weak, so I just pushed there 2x at the end and he choked!”

“I was fearless, I just swung big with my forehand and nailed it at 10-9 to take the title!”

Do you hear this language?  It is all referring to one isolated shot.  If you are going to make progress, you need to begin thinking in sequences.  How can I serve in such a way to get a weak flip and begin my attack against his middle?  How can I block his loop low enough to his wide backhand to stop his forehand loop and implement my counterattack?  How can I work the point long enough to expose his wide forehand and push him away from the table so that I can control the point?

My latest invention, the TT-Serve®, isn’t going to improve your game 200 points overnight.  It is called TT-Serve® not TT-Miracle.  But it is guaranteed to lower your serve, which gives you a stronger 3rd ball attack which gives you a better 5th ball attack which gives you a better 7th ball attack and strengthens your GAME SEQUENCES.

Samson Dubina

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