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Tip of the week: Feet Parallel to Table is Usually a Backhand Stance

Tip of the week: Feet Parallel to Table is Usually a Backhand Stance

Tip of the week: Feet Parallel to Table is Usually a Backhand Stance

(By Larry Hodges)
Tip of the week: Feet Parallel to Table is Usually a Backhand Stance
Suppose you are a righty playing a righty, or a lefty playing a lefty. (That’s something like 85-90% of the time.) Suppose your opponent serves from his backhand corner, as the large majority of players do, and the rally starts out backhand to backhand in some fashion, as often is the case (since players don’t want to give the other guy an easy forehand, which is usually more powerful). What is a good ready stance here? Many think a neutral stance means standing with their feet parallel to the end-line. But if you do that, you are basically facing the opponent’s forehand side. An actual neutral stance would involve you facing the opponent, with your feet parallel to him – meaning your right foot would be slightly back.

This keeps coming up as I see beginning/intermediate students and other players who think they are in a neutral stance, and aren’t ready to forehand attack when they get the chance because of this stance. They are actually in a backhand stance, and so can only effectively attack with their backhand. Even against pushes toward their forehand side they end up pushing with their backhands.

So what would be a truly neutral stance? That would be with your feet roughly parallel to wherever your opponent’s expected contact point would be on his next shot. Make it a habit to face your opponent so that your feet naturally fall into this position.