The term “block” refers in table tennis to a defensive shot that is played close to the net. The goal of a block is to disrupt your opponent’s timing and force them to make an error. So, what is a block in table tennis? Let’s find out together.
What is a Block in table tennis?
In table tennis, the term “block” refers to a defensive shot that is played close to the net. The goal of a block is to disrupt your opponent’s timing and force them to make an error.
The benefits of Blocking in table tennis
A well-executed block can be one of the most effective weapons in your arsenal, as it can completely change the momentum of a rally. When done correctly, your opponent will be left scrambling to defend their next shot, giving you a chance to take control of the point.
Table tennis is unique in that it is one of the only sports where the defensive player has the advantage. This is because the ball can bounce twice on your side of the table before it is considered out. This gives you a split-second extra to react to your opponent’s shot and get your bat in position to block.
However, just because you have the advantage does not mean that blocking is easy. It takes practice and precision to time your blocks correctly and keep the ball in play.
How to Block in Table Tennis
There are two main types of blocks in table tennis: the backhand block and the forehand block.
1. Backhand Block in table tennis
The backhand block is played with your backhand side facing your opponent. To execute a backhand block, start by positioning yourself close to the table. When your opponent hits the ball, bring your racket up and across your body so that it is parallel to the table. As the ball makes contact with your racket, make sure to brush up against the ball rather than hitting it head-on. This will ensure that the ball stays low and does not fly off of your racket.
2. Forehand Block in table tennis
The forehand block is played with your forehand side facing your opponent. To execute a forehand block, start by positioning yourself slightly behind the table. As your opponent hits the ball, extend your arm forward and across your body so that your racket makes contact with the ball. Again, make sure to brush up against the ball rather than hitting it head-on.
This will ensure that the ball stays low and does not fly off of your racket.
When to block and when not to block
Although blocking can be an effective way to win a point, there are also times when it is not the best option. For example, if your opponent hits a very slow and low ball, you may be better off just letting the ball drop and hitting it back rather than trying to block it.
Additionally, if your opponent hits a very fast and high ball, you may not have enough time to react and get your racket in position to block. In this case, it is better to let the ball go by and wait for a better opportunity.
Finally, remember that blocking is only one part of your game. You should also mix in other shots such as lobs, drops, and smashes to keep your opponent guessing. If you only block, your opponent will eventually figure out a way to get past your defense.
Common mistakes when blocking in table tennis
One of the most common mistakes that players make when blocking is not keeping their eye on the ball. It is important to track the ball from the moment your opponent hits it until it makes contact with your racket. If you take your eye off the ball for even a split second, you will likely miss the shot entirely.
Another common mistake is not positioning yourself close enough to the table. Remember, the closer you are to the table, the more time you will have to react to your opponent’s shot. If you are too far away from the table, you will not be able to get your racket in position in time.
Finally, many players make the mistake of hitting the ball too hard when they are blocking. It is important to remember that the goal of a block is to disrupt your opponent’s timing, not to win the point outright. Hitting the ball too hard will likely send it flying off of your racket and give your opponent an easy shot.
Practice makes perfect
Blocking is a difficult skill to master, but it is essential if you want to be successful in table tennis. The best way to improve your blocking is to practice as often as you can. Set up a table tennis net in your backyard or basement and spend some time hitting balls back and forth with a friend or family member. You can also try to mimic game-like situations by serving different types of shots and practicing your blocks.
The more you practice, the better you will become at reading your opponent’s shots and timing your blocks correctly. With enough practice, you will be able to block even the fastest and most powerful shots.
Block in Table Tennis is an important skill to master in table tennis, but it is only one part of the game. Be sure to mix up your shots and keep your opponent guessing if you want to be successful. Once you master the art of the block, you will be well on your way to becoming a table tennis champion.