Reading spin can be one of the most frustrating parts of table tennis for beginners. The sheer variety of combinations of spin types and amounts can be overwhelming at first. Keep at it though, and within a few months your ability to judge what spin has been put on the ball will improve, and you will be able to put the ball back on the table more and more often!
How To Read Spin in Table Tennis
Heavier spins cause the ball to move more, kick more off the table, and jump up, down or sideways from your bat more. Lighter spins will have less effect.
- The faster the bat is moving, the more potential there is to spin the ball. But it is the amount of brush that will determine exactly how much of the fast bat speed is turned into spin. A heavily brushed ball sounds softer than a ball that is hit with solider contact, so listen carefully to the sound of the contact.
- If the bat is going upwards or brushing towards the top of the ball at contact, topspin is being put on the ball.
- If the bat is going downwards, or brushing underneath the ball at contact, backspin is being put on the ball.
- If the opponent’s bat is moving to your left at contact, the ball will curve to your right, and kick off your bat to your left.
- If the opponent’s bat is moving to your right at contact, the ball will curve to your left, and kick off your bat to your right.
- The rules for topspin and sidespin, or backspin and sidespin can be combined to know what the effect of the spin will be.
OK, so now you can tell what spin your opponent is putting on the ball. But what should you do about it? Keep reading to find out how to handle the best spins your opponent can throw at you!