I would like to ask about some advice about the forehand topspin down the line. I seem to have issues with keeping the ball in, especially under pressure. Too often it flies off the end of the table. I might unconsciously lean a little back during the stroke, but not entirely sure if this is part of the problem. How can I go about to bring the stroke more forward? But, more often than not it feels like the down the line stroke lacks enough spin to bring the ball down, though.
This is a great question and something I feel that many players don’t find easy. Firstly as you mentioned it’s important to keep your weight forward as you have less margin for error when playing down the line and it’s easy to hit the ball too long. Also what you may find helps is adjusting your feet position to allow you to rotate your body the same way you should when playing across. To play down the line you should be slightly more side on so right foot further back (If your right handed) this means the energy of your shot and body movement is now facing where you want the ball to travel.
Another top I really like for playing well down the line is thinking about how you contact the ball and bat position. Again because you gave less room for error playing down the line you need to try to brush more on top of the ball to generate spin to bring the ball down, as you said you find there isn’t much spin. What’s also helps is having a slightly higher starting position with the bat, this means again your hitting more on top of the ball to keep it down and forward. As long as you are focusing on spin this higher bat position can really help.
The last small detail to keep the shot more forward as you mentioned is to make sure your on your toes and have a good bend in the knees which both mean you are balanced and able to adjust quickly to keep your weight forward.
Hope that is helpful and let us know how it’s progressing!