Tip of the week: Stepping Around the Backhand Corner
Site Products
Larry Hodges

Tip of the week: Stepping Around the Backhand Corner

Tip of the week: Stepping Around the Backhand Corner

(By Larry Hodges)

Since the forehand is generally more powerful than the backhand, as well as better for smashing high balls, it is often important to be able to use the forehand out of the backhand corner. An inability to do weakens your game. Of course, some players are not fast enough to do this regularly, but even they should consider doing this against certain shots.

Stepping around the backhand involves five parts: (1) Setting up the shot, (2) assessing whether to step around or not, (3) the footwork itself, (4) the shot itself, and (5) return to ready position.

Getting a shot to step around on involves good shot selection on your part, ball placement, and quick judgment. Generally, there are four shots that you might step around the backhand to use the forehand against: pop-ups, pushes, blocks or weak drives, and deep serves. Pop-ups are the easiest as they allow the most time to move into position. Blocks and pushes are more difficult because you will have less time to react.

Generally don’t move until your opponent is committed – the better the player, the longer you have to wait since a good player can fake or change his direction at the last moment.

You can anticipate most pushes going to the backhand as your opponent often doesn’t want to give you a forehand shot by pushing that way. Of course, besides direction, you will have to judge the depth of the return or you might find yourself trying to loop a ball that lands short.

Unless your opponent is very predictable, you will have difficulty anticipating where his block or drive is going. You’ll just have to wait for him to commit, and then, if he goes to your backhand, you’ll have to quickly decide if you should step around for it. The important thing is to force a weak return that you can step around on (or perhaps not, if the return doesn’t go to the backhand). There are many ways to do this, such as spin (especially heavy topspin), speed, quickness, ball placement, shot selection, varying the speed and spin of your shot, and, of course, tricky serves. Experiment and see how and where your shots are returned. For example, if you are in a backhand-to-backhand exchange and you suddenly hit a quick one to your opponent’s middle (his playing elbow), you might force a weak return to the backhand that probably won’t be too angled. Be ready to step around, but be careful – he may go down your forehand line at the last second and all you’ll be able to do is applaud his fine play.

If you have a strong forehand (relative to your backhand) but rarely step around your backhand, you will not be taking full advantage of the natural strength and power of the forehand, therefore handicapping your game. Turn your forehand into an all-table weapon!

Latest News

WTT Feeder Otocec: Young Chinese Join Top Seeds in Semis

June 25, 2022
Otocec Slovenia is the host of the WTT Feeder event this week and the top four seeds are… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips With Jishan Liang – Forehand Loop From The Middle & Forehand

June 23, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Butterfly Training Tips, Jishan Liang has Kyler focuses on a forehand loop… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips With Nandan Naresh – Forehand WTT Westchester Feeder Highlights

June 23, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Bowmar Sports Tournament Highlights Clip Nandan Naresh is playing in the WTT… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Simeon Martin – Forehand, Middle, Backhand

June 23, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports) In this video Simeon Martin is focusing on increasing handspeed and awareness, as well as… Read More

Pong Detroit Has Been Selected As A Top 10 Finalist In The Comerica Bank Hatch

June 22, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Teams) Pong Detroit is in the top 10 finalist in the Comerica Bank Hatch Detroit;… Read More

2022 Butterfly June Tournament – Triangle Badminton & Table Tennis

June 22, 2022
(By: Triangle TT Club Team) Our June Tournament was a small one but a good one. TBTT Students:… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips with Anav Gupta – Forehand Looping & Footwork

June 22, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports) In this Butterfly Training Tips with Anav Gupta he is focusing on looping with the… Read More

Butterfly Training Tips With Aditya Godhwani – Half Long Loop & Gameplay

June 22, 2022
(By: Bowmar Sports Team) In this Butterfly Training Tips, Aditya Godhwani is focusing on Looping Half-Long Serve, then… 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.