Through your Table Tennis progression it is going to become painfully obvious that for you to be competitive, you are going to need develop your backhand loop. Because of the range the forehand loop can cover, the backhand loop is usually developed as a way to fully complete the entire range of attack. Most players that have developed the backhand loop have a much bigger program. And that is to be able to actually implement it into the game. The problem here lies in how much the forehand loop normally covers the table. For you to be fully actualized as a player, then you need to find a way to “Elevate” your backhand loop. I have met many players that had a pretty good backhand loop in training, only for that same shot to be non-existent in match play. This video article will actually take you through how to elevate your backhand play with the goal of being a more competitive player.
Tip 1: Shot Selection
This is the ground level of your elevation, because you have to figure out where your backhand loop actually fits. If you are going to make room for your backhand loop in match play, it is going to happen because you are moving over your forehand attack. You have overused your forehand for years, and it has happened so much that you don’t even notice it. It is hard to notice it on video because you are spending your time focusing on how the forehand loop impacted the point.
Tip 2: Type of Backhand Loops
There are 2 basic type of backhand loops, and it’s dictated by your foot position, and this is the source of the problem if you find that you are not executing nearly enough backhand loops in match play. The first type of backhand loop is executed with the right foot backwards like you see in this video.
The advantage to having the right foot back, is it makes it is easy to pivot into the forehand attack, like the video below.
The other way to execute the backhand loop is with the right foot in front of the left. If you have been played out wide to the forehand, then it will be common for the right foot to be in front of the left because it will require you to step in to make the backhand loop like in this video below.
Anchor Foot & Landing Foot: I have explained the right foot and left position, but it is better if I refer to it as the anchor foot and landing foot, which will appeal to players that are left-handed. When you attempt your backhand loop, the anchor foot is where all your energy will start from. If you are right-handed it will be your right foot as the anchor foot, and if you are left-handed it will be your left foot.
Drill 1: Here is a drill that can improve your ability to balance your foot position, and it’s called “Middle/Corners”. From the forehand position your partner will play one ball to your middle, and you make a forehand loop. Then your partner has the choice to make a block to your wide forehand, or wide back. You can observe the drill here.
Your theme for this drill is to be able to balance your foot position so you can put your right foot down to make a forehand loop, or open your body position to be able to make the backhand loop from a forehand loop position. The video below will give you an idea of how it should look from a total body position standpoint.
If you are attempting this drill the most common error you will encounter is getting to the backhand loop to late. It comes in the form of preparing for the forehand when the player has blocked down the line to the backhand, like the video below.
The other way you will get to the ball late is by your partner blocking outside the range of where your backhand loop is, and you can observe that from the video below.
In a future video I will go over some other ways you can improve your backhand loop to improve your tournament play.
The backhand loop is one of those unique skills that needs to go through a smaller filter to master implementing it in tournament play. I’m not sure what stage of development you may be in with your backhand loop, but I have created 2 training videos that cover total backhand loop development. The Backhand loop training for table tennis, part 1, focuses primarily on how to develop the stroke mechanics and stroke production of the backhand loop. The Backhand Loop Training for Table Tennis, part 2, focuses on developing the strategic and tactical awareness of using the backhand loop in tournament play.
You can get both of these videos by clicking on the products page, and start improving your backhand loop, today.
Live to Play. Loop to Win
Excellent video instructions. What would be the advantage for the opponent to block straight down if one is already looping from the middle of the table?
One of the advantages would be for a L handed player, in the hope to receive a return ball loopable from the forehand position.
Switched to Google Chrome and now everything is working fine. Thanks for the videos, Brian!
Sorry if this is a questions that has been asked repeatedly before. What do you recommend to help practice this if you have no partner or a partner that is unable to block at that level?
(side note) How do you feel about return boards? What they be helpful in practicing looping technique?