Coaching – Forehand & Backhand Flick

Author:
Russell Moore

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Forehand Flick

The flick is an attacking stroke against a short ball, using mostly the wrist and forearm. The starting position is the same as for the short push, so that the player can alter the direction, speed and spin, as well as to flick or push the ball short or long, with a quick change of the wrist. The flick will use more of an upward, brushing action against backspin, while the stroke is more horizontal against no spin, sidespin or topspin. A strong contact will also minimise the effect of the opponent’s spin. Quick recovery is essential as the follow through over the table leaves the player in a vulnerable position.

Preparation

  • The right leg moves under the table for right-handers with the body angled forward and the arm slightly bent.

Back swing

  • The bat moves forward horizontally with the bat neutral or slightly closed depending on the spin. With the elbow as the pivot point, the stroke is performed with the forearm and wrist.

Forward movement

  • Contact is made at the top of the bounce in front of the body.

Follow through

  • The bat continues to move forward and upward.
  • The player then recovers by moving the right leg back.

Backhand Flick

The flick is an attacking stroke against a short ball, using mostly the wrist and forearm. The starting position is the same as for the short push, so that the player can alter the direction, speed and spin as well as to flick or push the ball short or long, with a quick change of the wrist. The flick will use more of an upward, brushing action against backspin, while the stroke is more horizontal against no spin, sidespin or topspin. A strong contact will also minimise the effect of the opponent’s spin. For a ball wide on the backhand it is preferable to step forward with the left foot, which also has the player in a good position for a follow up forehand. In the middle to backhand area, the right foot will move under the table. Quick recovery is essential as the follow through over the table leaves the player in a vulnerable position.

Preparation

  • The right leg moves under the table for right-handers with the body angled forward and the arm slightly bent.

Back swing

  • The wrist is drawn back, the bat is neutral below the ball for backspin and more open, and behind the ball for no spin, sidespin and topspin.

Forward movement

  • The ball is contacted at the top of the bounce.

Follow through

  • The bat continues to move forward and upward, finishing with the arm fully extended and the bat in a closed position.

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