**Dignics 64 & Dignics 80 - Pre-Order Today**
CAD 1.32
Your Account
Top Ten Reasons You Might Not Be as Good at Table Tennis as You Could Be

Coaching Tip of the Week: Topspin Defense

Coaching Tip of the Week: Topspin Defense

Look through almost any table tennis instructional book or video, go to almost any table tennis camp, and you’ll hardly ever see or learn anything about topspin defense. (Also known as “fishing.”) It seems to fall through the cracks for most coaches – it’s not quite lobbing, but it’s not your basic forehand or backhand drive or loop either. As a result, it is often shunted aside and ignored. But watch any tape of the best players in the world and you’ll see topspin defense over and over.
What exactly is topspin defense? It’s a halfway shot, half lob, half loop or drive. It is done from off the table, against either a smash or a loop kill. The ball crosses the net perhaps one to three feet high, sometimes higher or lower. It should have at least some topspin, and sometimes sidespin as well. The ball should land deep on the table, and bounce outward due to the topspin. It should be done against an aggressive drive, loop, or smash.
Topspin defense is easier and more effective with inverted rubber, but it can be done with other surfaces as well, but with less spin.
Although lobbing is a type of topspin defense, topspin defense is generally more effective if the ball is kept lower. This way the opponent has less clearance for smashing, with the ball bouncing mostly outwards instead of up. How does one execute topspin defense?
Start off from as far from the table as necessary to react to the opponent’s attack. As the ball approaches, start with racket just below the ball, and use a mostly forward, slightly upward stroke. Contact the ball on the back and just “fish” it back. If you have a good loop, just think of it as a soft loop. If you are a good counterdriver, think of it as a counterdrive with a little extra topspin. Try to keep the ball deep, relatively low, and with some topspin.
Depth is key. If your shot lands short on the table, the opponent will be able to cream the ball at wide angles, often right off the bounce. But if you keep the ball deep, it’s low percentage for him to do that, and since you have more time to react against a weaker ball that’s not wide angled, you can get a lot of balls back. Make sure to move the opponent around to increase the chances of a mistake – either missing or a weaker attack.
However, the goal of topspin defense isn’t just to wait for the opponent to miss – it’s also to find a ball that you can counter-attack, usually from your stronger side, which for most is the forehand. (The body is less in the way on that side, so it’s easier to counter-attack.) It’s sometimes good to fish into the wide forehand, so the opponent might attack into your forehand.
To fully appreciate topspin defense, you have to see it in action. Watch a video of some of the best players. The rallies are spectacular!

Latest News

2019 Butterfly Fall Cape Fear Open

October 16, 2019
The 2019 Butterfly Fall Cape Fear Open held on Saturday, October 5 was a “smashing” success!  The tournament… Read More

Ask The Experts: Yangyang Jia, No. 281

October 16, 2019
Ask The Experts: Yangyang Jia, No. 281 Butterfly Table Tennis Question and Answer Question: Hi Yang yang, I… Read More

Two Opportunities To Support The Sport You Love!

October 15, 2019
Butterfly South Shore Highland Table Tennis Tournament and Coach Seemiller’s Journey Back to the Olympics 2019 South Shore… Read More

LATTA OPEN: SATURDAY, OCT 19, 2019 (USATT SANCTIONED TOURNAMENT)

October 15, 2019
Hello Table Tennis Enthusiasts, LATTA OPEN:  SATURDAY, OCT 19, 2019 (USATT SANCTIONED TOURNAMENT!!! Come join us at my next… Read More

Tip of the Week: React to Opponent’s Forward Swing

October 14, 2019
React to Opponent’s Forward Swing (By Larry Hodges) When you watch a top player, they seem to have… Read More

German Open Review: Fan Tops Field

October 14, 2019
German Open Review: Fan Tops Field (by Steve Hopkins/Photo by ITTFWorld) Three Germans emerged to the main draw… Read More

Gabriel Perez Joins Butterfly

October 13, 2019
Gabriel Perez Joins Butterfly (by Steve Hopkins) This week Bowmar Sports announced that Gabriel Perez has joined the… Read More

WAB Featured Club: Denver Table Tennis Alliance

October 13, 2019
WAB Featured Club: Denver Table Tennis Alliance (by Steve Hopkins) Located on Curtis Street, just North of the… Read More
View All News

Get the latest from Butterfly

Stay “In The Loop” with Butterfly professional table tennis equipment, table tennis news, table tennis technology, tournament results, and We Are Butterfly players, coaches, clubs and more.