Returning Nets and Edges
Many championship matches are won and lost on “lucky balls” – nets and edges. At the elite level, returning nets and edges is a skill that takes years to master. Today, I’m going to give several tips on how to safely land these balls.
In table tennis, it is ideal to move into position and then swing. This seems very difficult to do. Sometimes you might be swinging as you move; however, the longer you keep your hand in front, the better balance you will have. Most club players have this reversed. Most club players try to reach the ball; then once they can’t reach it, they lunge for it. If you are disciplined in moving and then swinging, you will have a much easier time making the last minute adjustment with your hand.
Read the Spin
When the ball hits the net or edge, it maintains the same spin. For example, if your opponent loops at you, the ball has topspin. When it hits the net, it still has topspin; so make sure that you cover over the ball.
Over the Table
If you are returning a net ball, I would suggest contacting the ball over the table. Once the ball drops below the table, it is much more difficult to control.
Keep It Low
The most important part about returning nets and edges is keeping the ball low. If the ball is returned high, your opponent will probably smash. If you return low, your surprised opponent will be forced to make a difficult return.
Go For It
The best way to practice returning nets and edges is to … Go For It!
Every practice, every club night, every tournament gives you an opportunity to practice this skill.
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