As the table tennis ball is light and a good table tennis table provides enough of friction to respond well to a spin, table tennis players know that a well executed spin can win many points against even skilled opponents. A side spin is a unique type of spin that makes the opponent misjudge the path of the ball after it bounces on the table tennis table. The following guide will provide tips on returning a side spin shot in table tennis:
Reading the spin:
A side spin is imparted when you brush the table tennis paddle against the ball in a quick, sideways motion. The angle of the shot influences how much backspin or topspin is imparted in addition to the side spin while the speed of the shot shows how heavy it is. The first step is to correctly identify the direction and strength of the side spin so that you can counter it effectively.
Countering the spin:
A left side spin from your opponent is properly countered by a left side spin from your side, as it is the only way you will be able to negate the effect of the spin. You can change the angle of your paddle to compensate for the ball’s behavior, but it needs to be used with a countering side spin shot if you are trying to perform a good return. Using a defensive push shot or a simple top spin or back spin is not advisable as you may lose points.
Mirror and increase strength:
The best way to counter an opponent’s spin shot is to mirror his movement when you are returning it. Also, if you are not sure about how heavy the side spin is, assume that it is a very strong spin so that your return serve has a higher chance of being effective.
With enough of practice, you will be able to better identify the direction and strength of a side spin. Ensure that you work on imparting the side spin yourself so that you are able to build a defense against players who bank on their side spin skills.