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How to Counter a Slow Spinny Topspin | Table Tennis | PingSkills

Our lesson today is about how to deal with
that slow spinny topspin. I’m Alois Rosario from PingSkills and with Jeff Plumb we are
going to show you how. We are going to cover three techniques The
first one is to use soft hands and block the ball. Our second technique is to punch the ball. And our third technique is to counter topspin
the ball. The slow spinny topspin often comes after you give your opponent a push or a chop and force them to really lift that ball with a lot of
topspin. So to get the ball back down on the table
we need to counteract that topspin. The topspin is going to make that ball fly high up in
the air. We need to just turn the bat over and keep your hand and wrist nice and soft. So my bat is just angled over the ball so that it’s directing the ball down on to the table rather than up into the air. The softness in your hand acts like a cushion. If your hand is really hard all the spin is going to be absorbed into the rubber and fly
out. So the softness just cushions the spin a little bit and makes the return a little
bit softer. When the ball is shorter on the table you
need to make sure that you get a little bit closer to the net. So that you are getting to
the bounce of the ball, otherwise the ball is coming up here and becomes very awkward. The principle on the forehand is very similar to the backhand so keeping your hand nice and soft and counteracting the amount of spin by turning you bat over the ball slightly.
Remember if you’re moving in for the short ball on both the backhand and the forehand
for left handers we move our left foot in. For a right hander you move your right foot
in for both backhand and forehand. If the ball is coming at a reasonable depth
you just need to be nice and stable with your legs. Our second option is to punch the ball. With the punch you’re generating a little bit more speed. To make the punch you need to start
with your bat up quite high, because from here you are going to come through in a straight
line. With the punch your contact is very flat, you don’t want to bush the ball at all,because
that just slows down the contact. So we start up high, we come through nice and flat and
we want to keep the ball on the bat a very short amount of time so that it’s just a real
fast contact on the ball. We want to also try and contact the ball at
a high point. From a high point we have a direct line onto the table.
If you contact the ball low it’s very difficult to get that direct line without going into
the net. So from up here we have a direct line to punch the ball straight down onto the table. The principles of the forehand punch are very similar. Start with your bat up high and punch
straight through the ball. Our third option in dealing with that slow
spinny loop is to counter topspin the ball. To counter topspin the ball our starting position
is up at a similar height to our block and our punch. Now though we are going to contact
the ball with topspin by brushing over the top of the ball.
So our angle needs to be turned forward, so we are spinning over the ball. And the same with the forehand spinning over the ball. Because our opponent has given us a lot of
topspin we don’t need to lift our stroke at all. Off a block or a back spin ball we might
need to lift our stroke to lift the ball over the net.
When our opponent has already put that topspin on for us we just need to come straight forward. So now we have three options, soft block, punch and counter top spin. The counter topspin is the most difficult for you to make because you’re coming through with a fine
angle on your bat. So the contact becomes quite difficult. The other two, the soft block
and the punch are fairly similar in difficulty level. So out of your three options the soft block, the punch and the counterspin you need to
decide firstly what is comfortable for you and secondly what is going to be difficult
for me as your opponent. If I’m top spinning the ball and my opponent blocks it softly
it might be difficult for me because I’ve got to move forward to get to that ball. Similarly if I’m top spinning from quite close to the table and they punch the ball it might be
too fast for me and I might not be able to get to it. And the third option, if I topspin
and they counter spin it, well that is going to be difficult for anyone because the balls
going to come fast and the topspin is going to kick up and that is going to make it really

David Frank



  1. Sai Srinivas Tippa Posted on July 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    thanks for the video

  2. PingSkills Posted on July 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    @sai0024 You're welcome.

  3. Best Urf NA Posted on August 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    did anyone notice that the ball started changing from white to orange

  4. PingSkills Posted on September 29, 2011 at 12:11 am

    @jinlisahonyc Thanks! I'm glad you are finding our videos useful.

  5. DeepsilverORIGINAL Posted on October 1, 2011 at 9:57 am

    you guys are great! thanks to pingskills i am now member of a tabletennis club!

  6. PingSkills Posted on October 5, 2011 at 11:11 am

    @prithwin It's by Kevin MacLeod and it's royalty free!

  7. Tamerlane bernabe Posted on November 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    thank you so i could beat my boastful classmates

  8. PingSkills Posted on November 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    @5000Romano You're welcome! I'm glad we could help you. Checkout our website for more awesome Table Tennis secrets!

  9. Andras Varga Posted on November 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    thanks that really helped(-=

  10. PingSkills Posted on November 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

    @hiicoolman You're welcome. Make sure you check out our website. We've got heaps of great videos available there.

  11. Arnie Rojo Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    because of these videos.. i won in a best of 3 game. the score is 3-0.
    im just 11 yrs. old & my opponent was 21 yrs.old. haha

    these videos really help me to improve.

  12. PingSkills Posted on November 15, 2011 at 6:58 am

    @arniejerome12 Well done. Make sure you take a look at our website. We've got heaps more lessons available to help you improve even more.

  13. PingSkills Posted on December 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    @thedoctorthemaster You can do similar things against a fast topspin too. Generally a faster shot will not have as much topspin so you need to vary your stroke to allow for this. Also as the ball is traveling faster you probably don't need to punch the ball as much as you don't need to generate more speed. The counter topspin is also difficult to make because the ball is coming at you faster. So a good option is to use a standard block against a fast topspin.

  14. lastxp xro Posted on December 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Some players block – chop the ball to produce a drop shot effect with a heavy back spin on it. I think ma lin uses it alot.

  15. PingSkills Posted on December 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    @lastxp Some players do this. It is very difficult to execute. I've seen Ma Lin do it brilliantly a number of times.

  16. Naturally Healthy Posted on January 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    veeery useful ty!

  17. PingSkills Posted on January 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

    @olfikpl Glad you liked it.

  18. iandemagi Posted on January 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm


    You need specialized rubber to really pull that off-certain type long pips.

  19. PingSkills Posted on February 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    @iandemagi Yes! A decent rubber is required for all of the basic strokes we teach.

  20. Domin0 Plays Posted on March 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I hope none of my regular opponents see this video, they might start having the advantage on me!

  21. PingSkills Posted on March 8, 2012 at 3:13 am

    @RaiderTrombone17 🙂

  22. reinterpret_cast Posted on March 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Can't you just chop against such slow topspin?

  23. PingSkills Posted on April 3, 2012 at 1:25 am

    If the ball has a lot of topspin, it can be difficult to chop. And if you are close to the table you can't do this effectively off such a spinny topspin.

    If you are a defensive player you can certainly chop the ball. We have some lessons on this as well on our website.

  24. DEV ZARKAR Posted on October 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    hi alois and jeff how to return the loop from back not on table , I usually stay behind after returning chop so that I can return their topspin

  25. PingSkills Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    When you're back from the table you have a few options. If wish to be attacking you can play a topspin against topspin. If wish to be defensive you can play a chop stroke. We have videos on both of these on our website.

  26. DEV ZARKAR Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Thanks pingskills for your quick reply , These are all slow and loopy topspin when I tried to hit it goes over table , Could you please share video .. It will be really help me lot …

  27. PingSkills Posted on October 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

    OK. To counter the top spin you need to angle your bat forwards. You could try this and attempt to just guide the ball back. Did you take a look on our website at the topspin against topspin video?

    We film answers to question that have been asked on our website and then voted upon by our premium members. If you'd like you can ask this question on the website and hope that people vote for it.

  28. PingSkills Posted on October 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    If someone with normal rubber blocks the ball, it will come back with a little bit of topspin on it. If the counter topspin it, it will come back with lots of topspin on it. This means the ball is rotating forwards off your opponents stroke.

  29. PingSkills Posted on January 3, 2013 at 4:12 am

    It really depends on the situation, how well you play each technique and your opponent. Experiment with all 3 and see which works the best for you against various opponents.

  30. Knight Davion Posted on February 14, 2013 at 4:38 am

    When I counter topspin it hits the blade of my racket.

  31. Jani Aquino Posted on February 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    thanks for sharing!

  32. Pie_Master073 Posted on March 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks! I never knew how to properly counter topspin and now I do! Subscribed!

  33. Amol Prabhu Posted on March 10, 2013 at 10:02 am

    how do you counter a loop

  34. TableTennis4Fun Posted on March 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Thank you for this info, yet I still have trouble knowing how I should angle my paddle according to the opponents sidespin topspin

  35. The-Board Posted on April 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Alois, what if my opponent hits this forehand slow and low over the net? I find it difficult for me to do the return because the moment the ball bounces it accelerates quite fast…

  36. The-Board Posted on April 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Hi coach, how do I return such forehand when my opponent hits it slow and low over the net (and some sidespin added as well)? I find it difficult mainly because the moment the ball bounces, it accelerates really quickly.

  37. PingSkills Posted on May 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

    It can be difficult. I would suggest trying to use a very relaxed grip and block the ball back as a start. We talk about this in the video.

  38. ahmed Totti Posted on May 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Hi I'm Ahmed
    What is the name of singer Elly you carry it in your hand and whether different tennis Tither to play with

  39. vintage-strat Posted on May 29, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Hello from France, i am a very good blocker and i would suggest this for a soft block. Yes the secret is the softness. you can do this with the first part of your arm but i have develloped something easy to do. on a soft block i hold the neck of my paddle only with my thumb and the closest finger and maybe the following. the 2 last fingers are a little opened so they don't really hold the neck. with that technique the grip is very soft, and the block is soft and controlled, thanks regards

  40. vintage-strat Posted on May 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    hello again from France, what is the tactical interest of a soft block for a blocker player? when your oponent is topspinning the ball from 3 or 4 meters from the table, it is easy for him to move from left to the right still on the same line. suddenly with a soft block he will have to move forward and with a good chance for you to make a mistake. see matsuhira agaisnt xu xin on bercy world chanpionship 2013.
    the danger is to receive a winnig fast topsin. thanks for your job regards from Fr

  41. DP2010 Posted on June 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    hi i wanted to ask what happens if i slice the ball – i.e i try and counter his top spin with a sliced shot which generates backspin? im assuming itll just make the ball bounce flatly for him enough to generate an even more powerful topspin smash?

  42. DP2010 Posted on June 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    anyways you guys are great, im gonna check out ur website. thanks a lot

  43. PingSkills Posted on July 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    You're welcome.

  44. Daanish Mehra Posted on September 24, 2013 at 7:05 am

    if you dudes will need to get ripped a lot faster without spending a single another minute in the gym, then you really want to look at this video tutorial SIXPP.COM

    What was my truth worth, if I was prepared to defend the entire world, but not those who were close to me? If I subdued hate, but wouldn't give love a chance?

  45. HIMANGSHU SCOOT Posted on September 28, 2013 at 6:34 am

    well i hvng problems with topspin can show it any of the videos

  46. Shaun Hall Posted on October 6, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Really good video! Good technique.

  47. Gustav Mårdby Posted on October 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    how do I know how much spin it is?

  48. Ken Ha Posted on October 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Great and easy understanding, Thank you so much for making the video

  49. skinny faTony Posted on November 24, 2013 at 7:14 am

    show as a vid with you blocking someone with a really spinny slow topspin. You know the one's that can actually make the ball hum because it's spinning tremendously! Wish I had a camera when I saw it!

  50. Ketan Sharma Posted on April 14, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Good video but my friend has a really heavier topspin

  51. 31rrlm Posted on May 1, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Excelente saber esa devolución para ese tiro.

  52. Nan S. Posted on May 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I myself like soft block. 

  53. Gavin Courtney Posted on May 27, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Excellent Video…I played the game at a reasonable level and would recommend anyone taking up the game to watch these videos….Everything is simplified and you will learn a lot about the game….practice with these tips and you will see your game improve at an incredible rate…Keep the good work up guys

  54. samson sethi Posted on June 25, 2014 at 7:26 am

    thank for the advice now i can beat my freind

  55. 24 Frames/Sec Posted on August 29, 2014 at 3:58 am

    What if you don't have the time to get to the ball when it's right off the bounce and you have to take it later? That's always a confusing one for myself.

  56. Zeus The king Posted on November 14, 2014 at 3:21 am

    slow spinny topspin really eastto counter just wait for the ball to spin n then return with ur kill move

  57. Heike Geschwill Posted on December 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Please remove the German translation (sub titles) as this a really bad translation!

  58. Tom Wong Posted on January 16, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Thank you for this tutorial it was very useful. I can beat my cocky coworkers now.

  59. Gunjan Naik Posted on May 23, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    You are left-handed. How to replicate same for Right handed person?

  60. WuFei0707 Posted on June 9, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Can you show how to do this if you are using the penhold techniques?

  61. Joey Wai Posted on June 18, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Which rubber are you using?It seems soft and great for blocking

  62. Bin Jie Mai Posted on July 22, 2015 at 5:01 am

    Hello, Good video.
    I have a question. How do I counter heavy top spin that is just above the net? Since the video only shows the topspin that is pretty high up the net

  63. FedorMachida Last Posted on September 26, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Great stuff! I will try this next time I am at the table.

  64. Leomkfly Posted on October 17, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    le traducteur de cette vidéo est complètement con !

  65. Fardad Posted on November 18, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Absolutely Perfect Guide.
    I really learn from you guys.
    Much much thanks 🙂

  66. Overseer Kevin Posted on December 17, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I looked up this tutorial because I got killed tonight by a guy who threw me spiny topspin loops. Every time I made contact the ball flew over the table. Some of my shots got close to landing on the table but none actually landed. It was so frustrating. I played him off the table, but now I'm going to try you guys techniques and step in closer to handle the topspin. Thanks guys!!

  67. RevengerZ Gaming Posted on December 25, 2015 at 10:12 am

    cant i go back a bitand smash the ball?

  68. Nattt Mclarty Posted on January 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    very helpful

  69. JAMES SHERRIFF Posted on February 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Great advice, you guys have a great tube,

  70. Saksham Paudel Posted on March 24, 2016 at 4:11 am

    can u teach how to backhand block

  71. Roan Posted on July 21, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Wouldn't some kind of chop also be a nice respond to a slow spinny topspin? Or is that more of a full defence kind of play which gives you no more options in the following balls apart from going full defence

  72. Tom Wei Posted on September 16, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    I play against an opponent that gives me a slow heavy topspin shot that just drops over the net and doesn't bounce up. Since it's so low I have to block it up slightly to go over the net. Then it goes off the table. I've never been able to counter that shot and miss every time. I can't think of anything that I can do to return the shot. if I block it lower it goes into the net.

  73. Tawanda Boone-Shuford Posted on September 19, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Do you have any tips on how to use slow low spinning topspin?

  74. Juan Dela Cruz Posted on September 24, 2016 at 5:50 am

    it looks so easy. easier said than done.

  75. Juan Dela Cruz Posted on September 24, 2016 at 5:50 am

    how to timing to hit the ball on the rise?

  76. nishkarsh chaudhary Posted on October 10, 2016 at 8:49 am

    hw to mster in this in a month…. i mostly loose point in this only

  77. hassan khan Posted on December 28, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    but how to countertopspin short height balls

  78. Vivek Doshi Posted on January 1, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    can you please show how to do the slow top spin

  79. Mazhar Tufail Posted on January 17, 2017 at 2:08 am

    when ball comes fast and lower how to play this

  80. tushar sawant Posted on January 31, 2017 at 5:10 am

    R.I.P left ear

  81. Meurth Posted on May 4, 2017 at 11:26 am

    You could also chop it :p

  82. Grant Miller Posted on May 25, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Great video Guys! shows three really good options and progressive responses. One thing advanced players my take for granted that could be helpful here would be mentioning how important it is to saying down, not move you head a bunch, or not tensing up or be surprised by the change of pace when receiving this shot. especially for middle lel and beginners. One big reason why slow spiny topspin shots are effective in game play (besides it's heavy spin) is because its a change of pace from a more direct topspin shot. It can break the rhythm of play. Mid lel and beginner myself included really need to stay down and relaxed if the want to have any type of consistency at any of the three options. Pretty basic I know but Still worth mentioning.

  83. Smengsquare Boabpants Posted on June 15, 2017 at 6:35 pm


  84. Rheor Posted on July 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    My left ear really liked this

  85. Carl Rennie Posted on October 30, 2017 at 5:40 am

    love it – so much truth

  86. process computer Posted on November 21, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks pingskills

  87. Jeongwoo CHOI Posted on December 6, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I have a friend that is a forehand dominant player. He alwasy uses his forehand and rarely uses his backhand. He puts lots of topspin on his shots but doesnt make the "looping" affect of the ball. His shots r also very fast and come to the deep end of the table. How do i beat him??

  88. MMA Zorba Posted on March 11, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Thank you! My dad always destroys me because of how much the ball spins

  89. Farhan Hashim Posted on June 11, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Very useful video. I do feel that in a match if the topspin is at the end of table then block should be done passively ie soft hands but if it lands inside the table then should be punched while if heavy topspin trajectory is low then should be counter topspin

  90. 𝔾𝕖𝕟𝕚𝕦𝕤 𝔾𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕣 Posted on July 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm


  91. Carl Johnson Posted on August 5, 2018 at 4:40 am

    What if the ball spin leftward or rightward

  92. Praveen Sapiens Posted on October 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Hi, Do you have a video demonstrating how to return serves with spins for penhold grip players? I am a penhold grip player.

  93. Yadu Yugaantar Posted on January 11, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Such a great video. Thank you so much dear Alios and Jeff😊.

  94. Farhan Hashim Posted on January 31, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Sometimes even players play a very slow high arc top spin loop which has absolutely no spin at all on to the backhand and staying close to the table does become difficult for me as I instinctively blocks which goes in the net. What I should do

  95. Tianzhao Han Posted on February 26, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    My opponent's backhand topspin is too strong, not to mention it was a Timo Boll ALC blade with Tenergy Rubber. What do I do?

  96. Yadu Yugaantar Posted on March 9, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Thank you so much for this worthy lesson both the coaches😊.

  97. Marleise Rashford Posted on August 10, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Thank you. I am learning so much from you both.

  98. big wide Posted on August 24, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    my left ear can beat anyone at table tennis now