Smash is an offensive stroke in table tennis that often comes as a winner. It is a shot that attackers use to destroy their opponents. Smash is not only a shot of aggression in table tennis, but it also relies on timing and accuracy.
In table tennis, when you hit a smash, your opponent will return it by lobbing the ball and the lob bounces high on your table. That means you have to smash again and the rally may continue with smashing and lobbing until one of you comes as a winner. So make a habit of smashing one after another with the help of proper timing and precision.
Now, let’s come to the topic of smash in table tennis.
What is a Smash in Table Tennis?
The Smash is an offensive stroke in table tennis to force your opponent to go to the backfoot. When the ball is high enough, players use the smash stroke by hitting the ball at shoulder height with a flat contact. The object of smash is to generate maximum speed, not spin.
When you tend to smash the ball, also care for the timing of the stroke and the height of impact that will generate the maximum speed.
Smash is of two types, one is a forehand smash and the other one is a backhand smash.
How to Hit a Forehand Smash in Table Tennis
Of the two types of smash, the forehand smash is more convenient to use in the games. When you are tempted to hit a smash stroke, due to the high rise of the ball, you will get enough time to cover the area to make every smash as a forehand smash.
The forehand smash covers three stages.
- Make sure that the ball is high enough to smash.
- Take a side-on stance to allow the free movement of your forearm.
- Your left foot should be slightly above the right foot (for right-handers).
- Your forearm is the key anchor in the forehand smash.
- Take a backswing of your arm to make the arc longer.
- The bat should face your opponent’s court.
- Initially, your weight is on your right foot.
- Hit the ball at the height of your shoulder.
- The contact should be flat to gain maximum power.
- The movement of your bat should be downward as well as forward.
- Transfer your weight to the left foot at the time of contact with the ball.
- Forward your bat to complete the stroke.
- Come back to your ready position and prepare for the next shot.
For left-handers, the execution of the forehand smash is just the opposite of the above descriptions.
How to Hit a Backhand Smash?
At first, keep it in mind to use the backhand smash only when you have no other options. This is because the backhand smash is not an easy shot to execute. During the execution of this stroke, you may obstruct your eyes with your arm. You will also feel awkward swinging your bat back to initiate the stroke.
But there may be situations, you have no other option rather than to use the backhand smash.
- You should only hit the backhand smash if the ball is at least at shoulder height.
- Rotate your body slightly anticlockwise to create the space for the swing of your bat (for right-handers).
- Your left leg should be a little behind than your right leg with a side-on stance.
- Transfer your body weight to the left leg.
- Your wrist should be flexible enough to increase your racket speed.
- The angle of your bat should be open for flat contact.
- Swing your bat forward as well as downward to hit the ball with early timing at your shoulder height.
- Transfer your weight from the left leg to the right leg at the time of contact.
- Make your wrist flexible to give a last-minute slap to the ball.
- Follow your bat all the way to end up at your right-hand side.
- Quickly recover your ready position and prepare for the next shot.
For left-handers, the executions of the backhand smash are just the opposite. Check PingSkills for the visual learning of the game.
Common Mistakes While Performing the Smash Stroke
- Our common intention is to hit the ball as hard as possible. But that does not bring good results each time. When you are not in a good position to execute the smash, you should focus more on timing and accuracy rather than power to continue the rally and give your effort to hit the ball hard at better positions.
- Instead of taking the early position, many of us tend to watch the ball till it comes to head height. And then we try to move the feet for the smash which is a very bad practice as the shot ends up with a square stance rather than a side-on stance.
- When we try to hit the ball at a height higher than the shoulder height, we often mess up with the timing and drag the ball down towards the net.
- Sometimes we may be tired and neglect to transfer the body weight from the back leg to the front leg during the smash stroke.
Smash in table tennis is an offensive stroke that can be the ultimate weapon in your arsenal. Make effective use of smash with control, precision, and timing for maximum power. And as once again as I have earlier said, practice, practice, and practice is the only way that can make you the master of this advanced skill.