In this post, I would be explaining to you about Table tennis stance. (Step by step)
If you are a beginner, no need to worry I have got you covered.
Let’s get started.
The difference between a beginner TT player and professional is in his/her technique. If you get the technique right, you are more than halfway done.
And getting a correct stance becomes essential.
What is Stance?
A stance is a way in which you stand. When we use the word stance, we are referring to how is a person’s standing at any point in the game. The correct stance is dependent on the individual’s stroke. According to the stroke which you decide to play, the stances can be different.For example: For Forehand and Backhand drives or even the serves, the stances are different.
A ready position is a stance you have while you are waiting for the ball. For example, A ready position while receiving a serve could include feets being wide apart, bending of the knees, slightly bent forward body, both arms stretched out parallel to the table.
The basic stance that you should know as a beginner are:
- FEET: You need to have feet wide apart. Most beginners would have feets closer than wider apart. This can cause body imbalance while receiving certain shots. A good rule of thumb would be to have your feet slightly wider than your shoulder width. Having your feet wider apart would help you with the stability. It also builds a solid base.
- KNEES: Knees should be slightly bent. Don’t bend your knees too much. Bending the knees helps in maintaining balance.
- BODY: The body should be slightly bent forward and it should be facing the table square on. The most of your stance depends on the lower half of your body.
- ARMS: Your arms should be parallel to the ground.
- If you are a right-handed player, consider standing slightly towards the left-hand side of the table and vice versa for left-handers ( i.e stand slightly on the right side. )
- Keep some distance between you and the table. You don’t want to cram yourself for room. ( This is also few of the common mistakes beginners make.) Hold your racket in front of you just so you reach the end of the table.
- For right-handers, it is advised you keep your left foot a little forward than your right foot. This helps you with your forehand shots. Same is applicable to left-handers, keep your right foot forward.
- Your racket needs to be in a neutral position allowing you to be ready for backhand as well as forehand.
- For a defensive player, you should be standing in the centre of the table. And for attacking play, the above said.
Different Grips For Holding the Bat
A grip is a way a player holds the racket/paddle. Holding a grip is one of the basic things which a beginner needs to learn. There are different styles of holding a grip. The most common ones are-
This is a western style grip as its frequently used by players of America and Europe. The shakehand grip is a very versatile style and looks easy. It also gives a wider range of play. For absolute beginners, I would suggest you go for the shakehand grip.
- Place your index finger on the side of the paddle /racket directly facing the body. (See Image)
- The thumb should rest on top of other fingers.
- Grip the handle with middle, ring and the pinky finger encircling it.
There are two variations of the shakehand grip.
- Shallow Shakehand
- Deep Shakehand
The penhold grip gets its name because it resembles the way you hold a pen. This is the second most popular type of grip. There are different variations of the grip which is the traditional Chinese, Korean or Japanese and the reverse penhold backhand grip.
- Grip the paddle the same way you would grip a pen
- Place the thumb and index finger in front of the handle.
- The middle, ring and the pinky fingers curled around back of the racket for support.
The advantage of the penhold grip is that it allows free movement of the wrists more than shakehand grips. It proves great for forehand shots and more power to different types of serves.
The disadvantage of this grips is it is not useful for consistent backhand shots.
Danny Seemiller used this grip and hence its named after him. This is another one of the minor grips used. This unorthodox grip uses one side to hit both the backhand and forehand shots. This grip is similar to the shakehand grip except for the index and thumb fingers.
- Do the shakehand grip.
- Instead of placing the index finger on the side of the racket, place the tip of forefinger near the edge of the bat.
- Ensure that both the thumb and index finger are grasping either side of the paddle.
The Seemiller grip provides a great blocking position. Also, this grip provides free wrists movement.
The disadvantage of this grip is its limited backhand wrist movement.
Which Grip Should you use?
The above 3 grips are the most common and popular grip styles around the world. So, now you will be in a dilemma which grip would be the best suited for you?
Let’s try to answer that.
You see, different people have different styles of play. Some may be attacking players, others defensive and some may be choppers. And for different styles of play, the grips used may vary. It all depends on what kind of play you prefer and accordingly you will know the grip best suited for you.
So, it becomes important that first, you need to identify your style of play before committing to a certain gripping style.
From the point of view of a total beginner, you just don’t know what is your style of play.( And that’s perfectly alright)
What you’ll need to do is:
- For a week each, Practice and play with your friends or family with different grips.
- Try to experiment different styles of play in your game.
- Allot each week for a particular style, say attacking with shakehand grip.
- After every week, compare and contrast your performance. Having played with all the gripping styles. you will now be having a fair amount of Idea of each grip. By now, you would have your own comfort zone and would suit to a certain style.
After having selected your style, stick with it. Don’t change your grips frequently because it will have a bad impact on your game. So, thats was about how would you select a style suited for you.( Also its my personal method i used to test my game.)
And that’s basically what a beginner needed to know about stance and gripping the racket in Table tennis. The stance and grip play a very important role in your technique. That is the basics for a beginner.
So, work on your game and I am sure after applying the things mentioned in this post, You would have already become a better player.