Table Tennis Tips and Tricks
The backhand drive is the second table tennis shot that I teach to my beginners. It is a very important shot that allows you to control rallies, return opponents attacks and step on the offensive yourself. If you fail to learn the backhand drive you will find it much harder later on when you try to block with your backhand or play a more aggressive topspin stroke.
The backhand drive is probably a slightly easier shot than the forehand drive. This is largely because the backhand drive does not require the body rotation and weight transfer of the forehand drive. However, it is often under-practiced, with players preferring to work on their forehand drive, and as such many beginners lack a consistent backhand drive.
This post will highlight the correct technique for playing a backhand drive in table tennis. I will use my own knowledge as a table tennis coach and a video featuring Head Table Tennis Coach at Greenhouse Charity, Jason Sugrue.
What Is The Backhand Drive?
- The backhand drive is one of the four basic table tennis strokes. The other three are the forehand drive, backhand push and forehand push.
- The backhand drive is an attacking stroke played with a small amount of topspin. It is a drive shot and not a topspin loop!
- The backhand drive is played against long or medium length topspin or float balls. You can’t play a backhand drive off a short ball (that would be a flick) and you can’t play a backhand drive off a backspin ball (that would go into the net).
- The backhand drive is primarily played from the backhand side. Players are generally not encouraged to play backhand shots from their forehand side as this can lead to poor technique and their forehand is usually stronger.
Jason Sugrue’s Video
Here is a really good video going through some of the key points for the backhand drive. Watch it a couple of times and then have a read of my coaching points and common errors for more information.
My Coaching Points
Here are my key coaching points. I’ve tried to go into a bit more detail than the video. I break the backhand drive down into four sections; the stance, the backswing, the strike and the finish.