Table Tennis Skill – Looping Flips

Jena Newgarden
Looping flips is one of the most under-developed table tennis skills in America.  Nearly everyone trains looping pushes, looping long serves, looping blocks, and even looping loops.  However, the loop against the flip requires a slightly different technique.

Shorter Strokes

When looping a long push, you have about 0.5 seconds to react to the push.  When looping a fast flip, you have about ½ that time.  In order to loop a fast flip from near the table tennis table, you need to shorten your backswing on your loop using mostly wrist on the backhand and using mostly forearm on the forehand with a slight waist rotation.  Most table tennis players error on swinging too big or merely just blocking.  Looping the flip is critical, but it must be done with a short swing.  The swing is so short that it is sometimes referred to as a “twitch”.

Fast Adjustments

There are many different types of flips, especially with the backhand.  In order to loop it properly, you need to keep your racket in front of your body as long as possible and be ready to make quick adjustments with your feet, body, and hand so that you can loop any type of flip by adjusting the size of your swing, the timing of your swing, and the height of your swing.

Quicker Timing

When your opponent steps forward to flip, he is leaning over the table.  If you can loop the flip early (when the ball is rising), your loop will come quickly at him before he has time to get back into position.  Most table tennis players are afraid of the flip and shy back away from the table.  By playing quick timing, you can take back control of the table.

Critical Placement

Most table tennis players have trouble at the middle transition point.  When they step forward to flip, this particular weakness becomes much weaker because now the middle is exposed and they are off-balance.  Placement on your loop against a flip is critical – placement to the middle.  If your opponent did a backhand flip, then target just slightly to the forehand side of the transition point.  If you opponent did a forehand flip, then target just slightly to the backhand side of the transition point.

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