Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shenzhen Ping Pong: reverse penhold backhand loop drill

If you're still with me at this point, we are now in a position to illustrate some of the rewards of learning the modern penhold backhand using both sides of the paddle (as opposed to the one-sided classic style).

If this is your entry point into my blog, you may wish to read the previous entry here first.

The most significant advantage of the modern style is the option to attack using a backhand loop.
(This means the modern penholder has the same options as the shakehands player.)

Here is the backhand loop (animated):

(The numbered animated gif is taken from the second clip at the end of this blog entry.) The major points to watch for in the numbered frames are:
  • Frames 1-3: Setup
    Observe weight is on my left foot (see foot flex).
    In the course of the stroke, the weight will shift from over the left foot to the right.

    Swing begins close to the body (from the stomach/belly).
    The contact point (at frame 3) will be in front of the body.
  • Frames 4-5: Followthrough.
    Notice arm finishes forward and to the right. The torso has also turned to being square to the table.
  • Frames 6-10: Recovery
    Not only does the arm come back, but the weight on the feet also shifts back.
  • Frame 11: Setup for next ball
    Notice how the weight is back on the left foot again.
Although on the tape, frame 1 doesn't actually follow frame 11, the animation is smooth - which shows that the recovery is complete.

I will postpone discussion of the reverse backhand penhold loop against underspin (e.g. a push or serve) to a later entry.

As you can see in the very first part of the clip, it's easy to transition from merely hitting to applying topspin to the the ball.

The coach also points out that my swing is not quite in one natural arc. I incorrectly spin the ball using one trajectory and then change trajectory after contact.

Second clip:

It's still a brand-new stroke that requires tinkering. The coach points out that I straighten my torso too much and do not bend enough at the waist to maintain a proper forward lean.

It is worth emphasizing that in both of these clips, the goal is to add considerable amounts of topspin to the ball.

Compare this with the clip in the previous blog entry (here) where I simply use the reverse penhold backhand hit, i.e. without adding topspin.


  1. Can someone tell me where this place is ? I am looking for a Penholder coach. I just started RPB. I would like some coaching.

  2. Go here