The heavy backspin serve that spins back to the net is one that players often want to learn and you may have heard called the ghost serve. Ex China national team player Ma Lin made this serve famous with a video of him doing it as part of his training, you can generate huge amounts of spin with this serve and it can help you to understand the process of creating spin on all your other serves so is fantastic to learn and understand! We’ve created this guide to the serve so you can master it too, we have 3 steps that you can follow to add this lethal serve to your game. We also recently teamed up with professional player Par Gerell, who is know as one of the best servers in the world, to create a serving masterclass course to take your serves to the next level, for more information on that click here!
The 3 steps-
Develop the feeling
Without understanding the contact and feeling needed learning this serve becomes very difficult, so spend time on this practising and developing a good understanding of how to brush under the ball using a good serving grip and wrist acceleration. First start away from the table without trying to do a serve, simply trying to keep the bat angle straight and contact the bottom of the ball, getting the ball to spin back to you on the floor.
The second stage once you have a good grasp of creating some backspin on the ball and have a good feeling with it, is bringing it to the table and looking at the more technical points. It’s key to keep the bat flat as well as making sure the head of the bat doesn’t drop down as you contact the ball which will only allow you to create side spin but not backspin. Now we’re looking to bring the wrist back as you throw the ball up and accelerate into the ball keeping the elbow close and tucked in to the body. Next use the first finger and thumb to squeeze the rubbers just before contact which allows you extra feel and bite into the ball.
Advancements to the serve
There are now a few ways to advance this serve and fine tune it into a really deadly high quality one. The first is snapping more with the wrist through the ball to create a whipping effect and generate more spin. Secondly experiment with your ball toss, often it’s easier to create more spin with a slightly higher toss as the ball carries more momentum into the contact point. Lastly focus on your placement and try to get the ball to land close to the white line on the second bounce, this will make it much more difficult for opponent’s trying to return strongly.
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