Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced player service is a massive and vital part of your game. There is no shortcut to improving service other than hours of training and following our 6 tips below
PRE TOSS – Create your own short routine, stay relaxed and have a clear mind. Be prepared for what is likely to happen next. Ensure that you focus on quality and placement, you are in control of the situation.
TOSS – The toss should be done with care and control. Experiment with some higher tosses as you can create extra spin and speed due to more ball velocity. A higher toss also makes your opponent wait which may create a negative thought in a pressure moment. Again, take advantage of being in control.
DISGUISE – The better players can create many different spins with one action, the key is to where the ball contacts the bat. Practice this as many opponents will not have the ability to read the spin. You have the ability to win the point with one shot so the serve should be practiced during every session.
CONTACT – The finesse of a serve comes from the contact. The best in the world can create so much spin with a ‘micro’ contact but with ‘massive acceleration’ when contacting the ball. Again, practice this skill in the hall. All sorts of spins should be experimented with, eg: backspin, sidespin, top spin, no spin etc.
PLACEMENT – This is absolutely crucial as a weak serve can be easily punished by a skilled opponent. Simply, a short serve needs to be short and low, a ½ long serve needs to be ½ long and low and a fast serve needs to be fast and deep. Here are the 9 main placement areas of the serve that should be practiced.
READY POSITION – It is absolutely essential that after you execute the serve you position your body into an athletic ‘ready position’. Many players don’t practice this and hence are not in a good position to play their shots. Table Tennis is a reaction sport, the speed of the ball and the short distance between players allows a minimal time to react so an athletic ready position needs to be perfected by any ambitious player.
If you have access to a table – get focused and try each of the tips above. Working on these tips regularly will improve your service and you will start to see improvements in your matchplay.