How Important is a short touch in modern table tennis?
In today’s modern, (high-level table tennis matches) the short touch is far less seen compared to high-level matches back in the ’90s. This is mainly because of the modern backhand flick which enables a player to impart an offensive stroke on near enough any short ball. Does this mean the short touch has become obsolete in top-flight matches or in table tennis as a whole?
No, it has not!!!
We must still look to implement a short touch when possible and it can aid us, towards winning matches. If you flick every ball the opponent will be ready for an oncoming flick. This gives them the ability to prepare and contract your positive stroke against you. Implementing a good short touch mixes the play and put your opponent into an uncertain situation, giving you the upper hand.
eBaTT – Table Tennis Tutorial – P2 March 2019 (How to execute a quality short touch), Video
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Short touch, is one of the hardest shots to execute under pressure and execute correctly when receiving a short backspin ball. The aim is to get the stroke technically correct and impart a little backspin which elevates the pressure on your opponent. The short touch can be executed on any short ball especially backspin. This Stroke stops your opponent from attacking you in an aggressive manner.
1. Produce backspin,
2. develop the correct technique
3. point of contact on the bat
4. Timing point, when to connect with the ball in flight (after the bounce)
How it’s done:
1. Grip, the grip tightens at the point of contact this increases control.
2. Contact point, aim to hit the ball near the top end of the rubber near your hand and the handle.
3. The technique, stabbing motion via an extension movement through the elbow.
4. Acceleration, making sure the bat acceleration at the point of contact with a thin contact on the ball.
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Thank you to Bernie for creating and filming the video
Short touch is like an art form, it takes a delicate touch but at the same time, you must possess a positive action to make this shot high quality.