how to deal with short heavy sidespin serves when your flicking skills are weak? It happens quite often on tournaments when players use such serves that fall near the net and win points after bad return (ball goes up, or falls to side of the table etc)
Ok so the best option here when you feel your flicking skills are weak as you said is a short touch and of course a good long push is also not too bad. I know quite a few players struggle with returning these types of serves and there are a couple of key things to focus on to stop the ball going too high or off the side.
Firstly you need to contact the ball a lot more around the side to counter the sidespin on the ball, we mention this in our creative return of serve video and finishing the shot going towards the net post rather than forward too much. The other thing is trying to contact the ball early and without being to firm on the touch.
If you want to push the ball long you need to get the feeling of pushing right through the ball as if the ball is staying on the bat longer and really aim for the centre line. You also want a smooth stroke and not too sudden with the contact as the will make the sidespin kick off your bat.
We’ll definitely make a video specifically looking at this to demonstrate it and show you these points clearly but for now I hope that helps!