Turn, Turn, Turn…
If you are a combination bat player, then learning to twiddle your bat so that you can swap the rubbers on your forehand and backhand is something that I highly recommend. I’ve discussed the reasons for twiddling elsewhere, and in this article I’m going to focus on the mechanics of twiddling, so that you can learn to twiddle your ping-pong paddle quickly and successfully without even having to think about it.
How To Twiddle Your Table Tennis Bat – Step By Step
Nothing beats a demonstration for learning how to twiddle, so I’ve included a video on the subject that I would suggest you view first. I’ll recap the major points below.
- Hold the bat lightly, and not too far up the handle towards the head of the blade. If you hold the bat too tight you’ll be too tense to twiddle it easily, and if you hold the bat too far up the handle it’s hard to get your thumb and index finger out of the way when trying to turn the bat around.
- In order to get your index finger out of the way, point it out to the side a little, which will give your bat enough room to turn without hitting your finger. Don’t try to drop your index finger below the head of the racket.
- The thumb is easy to get out of the way, provided you aren’t holding the racket too far up the handle. The thumb just dips a little to allow the racket head to move above it, and then returns to its starting position.
- The bottom three fingers and wrist do the work of turning the racket. Once they have started the racket moving, the bottom three fingers loosen up to allow the racket to revolve.
- For a right hander, the bat moves anti-clockwise. For a lefty, the bat moves in a clockwise direction.
- The index finger moves back into position once the blade head has moved past it, and the index finger is used to stop the blade rotating.
- Once the index finger has stopped the blade rotating, the bottom three fingers firm up the grip, and any minor adjustments to position the bat comfortably are made.
- In order to twiddle successfully during matches, you need to practice enough to get to the stage where you don’t have to think about how to twiddle at all, you just do it when you want. This requires a lot of practice.
- I’d recommend practicing twiddling when sitting at home watching TV, or when you are at your club or tournament waiting for a game. This way your attention will be elsewhere while turning the racket, which is exactly how you will perform the twiddle when playing a match. I used this method to successfully groove my twiddling technique into my subconscious, so it really does work.
- Occasionally you’ll end up with an awkward grip on the bat when twiddling. Don’t worry too much about this, it happens to all of us from time to time. Just make the best stroke you can with the grip you got stuck with, then adjust your grip for the next stroke.