Perhaps you are not going to take serious training of table tennis, just having fun with the family and friends. However, you will enjoy more fun of it, if you can use the proper grips. When you take formal training in the future, it will be much easier.
Table tennis is the sole ball game with two types of grip on the planet. Tennis, badminton, squash… all have one only. The two grips are shakehand and penhold, each has its own merits. Their confrontation and clash brings out different skills and playing styles. Please see the correct grips in the photos below.
The shakehand grip is a bit easier to learn. That is one of the reasons why it is more popular. The common mistakes are shown below.
- The wrist does not relax enough, making an angle with the forearm, even nearly a right angle, like holding a rod. It leads that both of your forehand and backhand cannot use power, hindering from learning all proper skills. The wrist should be fully relaxed. You can use your wrist power only when the racket edge has nearly no angle with the forearm (please refer to the white line of the shakehand forehand photo).
- The racket edge is not placed accurately at the “middle” of the web (the part between the thumb and the index finger), skewing to either side. Usually it tends to skew to the backside side. It is the habit of most westerners. This way is very comfortable for backhand, but the problem is very hard for forehand.
- The index finger is placed at the centre of the racket, forming a straight line along with the handle. The ball will hit the finger very often. It should be put at the bottom of the racket instead.
The following are the common mistakes of penhold grip.
- Three fingers: the middle, the ring and the little, straight separately support the racket back, like the gesture of “OK.” It makes the forehand very comfortable and powerful, but the problem is you cannot play backhand, ruining one whole side. The children like this very much because their fingers do not have enough power. If they cannot correct this later, it will be a fatal problem.
- The racket handle does not lie on the “middle” of the web (the part between the thumb and the index finger), making nearly a right angle with it, like a cross instead. It largely affects the control and the hand feeling.
It takes several times of effort to correct a bad habit, comparing with building up a good one. I saw some potential students coming to my class with these deep-rooted bad habits. They were very hard to change, directly impeding the proper skill motions.
Better check whether your table tennis grip is as good as those in the photos?