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The forehand drive is the strongest shot in the game because, unlike the backhand, the body is not in the way during the shot. Also, the muscles used in the shot are generally better developed than those used in the backhand. It will likely become the best shot for most of your players. It is done pretty much the same way with all three grips. (Description is for a right-hander, although sequence is of left-hander.)


Rotate the body to the right at the waist and rotate the arm back at the elbow. The elbow should stay near the waist. Weight should be rotated to the right foot.

During the backswing, the racquet should open slightly. The racquet tip and arm should point slightly down, with the elbow at about 120 degrees or so.

Forward Swing

Start by rotating the weight forward onto the left foot. This initiates the forward swing. Now rotate the arm on the elbow forward, keeping the elbow almost stationary. The elbow angle should decrease to about 90 degrees. The waist should be rotated forward. Backswing and forward swing should be one continuous motion.


Contact should be made at the top of the bounce, in front and slightly to the right of the body. This will close your racquet as it contacts the ball. The racquet should rotate around the ball, creating topspin.

Sink the ball into the sponge using the upward and forward motion of the racquet. Stroke through the ball - do not stop the swing at contact.


The racquet goes roughly to the forehead or around the right eye, similar to a salute. Taller players follow through lower. Shorter players (and most kids) follow through a little higher. Weight should be transferred to the left leg, with the shoulders and waist rotated to the left.


The forehand smash is the same as the forehand drive except harder. Use as much forehand snap as possible and put all of your weight behind the shot. Sink the ball deep into the sponge and wood.

When guiding the player through the forehand drive, make sure that he/she keeps his/her elbow about 4 inches from the body. For a righthanded player, you should keep your left arm on the player’s playing elbow to keep it in place. Guide his/her arm with your right hand, using your own forehand stroke. Make sure the player stands at least slightly sideways and strokes from the elbow.

For lefthanders, guide the stroke with your right hand doing what for you would be a backhand. Your right hand should be to the left of the child’s head. Hold his/her elbow in with your left hand.

Forehand Drive

Copyright Larry Hodges

Copyright Mark Nordby, Dan Seemiller, John Oros

Copyright USA Table Tennis

Teaching the Strokes  <


> Teaching the BH


Last Update : 06 Kasım, 2002

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