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Making Use of Service Practice by Michael Landers

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Chances are that you’ve heard someone say, “I would have beaten them if it weren’t for that nasty serve that they had.” If you think about it, your service is really the only part of each point that you have total control over in table tennis. You are the only person who dictates where the ball will go, what spin it will have, and how fast it will be. Though service practice is often overlooked, it is a necessity for any top player.

The smartest way to practice your service is by taking your time on each ball and pretending that you’re in a tight match. If you have noticed, it’s quite difficult to serve short with decent amount of spin whenever the match is close and near the end of the game. It is very important to take your time on each serve while practicing to simulate match play. When I was younger, I would place 3-4 balls in my hand at a time and just keep serving one after another, which I later found out was not useful in the least bit.

Here are a couple of tips you can use to help you make the most out of your serving practice:

· Serve one ball at a time

· Be patient with your serves

· Begin serving short without a lot of spin- as you get more consistent you can gradually add different types of spins

· Study some videos of the top players’ serves- the contact, spins, placements, etc.

· Experiment! – This is VERY important. Try to create your own serves and see what works. Chances are you may develop a weapon of your own!

Good luck and happy practicing!

Michael Landers

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