Anyone who has played Table Tennis in their life must have used smashes to win the points in this game. KILL or SMASH in Table Tennis is another technique after CUT and PUSH which comes very naturally to players. This is one technique which is must to have in your armory to win points and eventually win matches. This is one such technique which allows you to score the ultimate winner point and if placed accurately it is very difficult for your opponent to return it back. Unlike DRIVE and LOOP which are other ways to attack as the name suggest KILL just finishes it off, once you get it right there is very little chance of you losing the point.

By definition “KILL or SMASH in Table Tennis is a putaway shot which is played with enough speed so that players get very little time to respond and you eventually win the point”.

Winning points is most important aspect of any game and to win points you have to first create or find an opportunity and once you find it you have to capitalize on it. Let it be a diffensive player or offensive player as already every player seeks an opportunity to finish off the rally. As already told the best way to finish the rally is via KILL or SMASH in Table Tennis. But a couple of questions over here are what are the opportunities to go for it and how to play it. Let’s first understand right opportunities:

Right Opportunities to Play KILL or SMASH

During the course of Table Tennis rally whenever you get a little height on the ball it is probably the right time to go for it. Let’s see few cases:

  • Ball comfortably placed with a lot of height above the Net height. This is your best chance and irrespective of placement of ball or spins it is carrying you can go for it.
  • Ball placed somewhere around net height and with little side spin or back spin in it. This is again a ball which is there to be smashed, just that you have to be little careful and should apply right technique.
  • A ball which is placed bellow the Net height and with little side spin or back spin in it, like a PUSH ball. Attempting KILL or SMASH is little difficult on this type of ball but still, you can go for it. Just that you have to be little careful and your positioning should be right. You will have to practice a lot to get it right most of the times.
  • A ball which is placed bellow the Net height and with a lot of backspin in it, like a CUT ball. This is one such ball which requires lot and lot of skill to go for a KILL shot and chances of you getting it incorrect is quite high. The recommendation is to go for either DRIVE or LOOP on such kind of balls, but still with a lot of practice and proper technique you can still play DRIVE cum KILL shot on such balls. This is really a great skill to have and once you have it you can actually keep your opponent guessing what will be your shot. To be honest expecting KILL or SMASH on a CUT ball is just insane and any professional coach or player rarely advocates it but still, you can find some players who use it to perfection.
  • A ball which is placed below the table height. Technically you can not attempt a KILL or SMASH shot on such balls. You can find some unusual versions of shots which generally does not qualifies as KILL, DRIVE or LOOP.

How To Play KILL or SMASH

As told earlier it is one such technique which comes naturally to all players and there is as such no real rocket science behind it. In simple words whenever you see ball having some height you have to hit the ball forcefully keeping it flat enough to fall on opponents table. Please watch a couple of videos below which has beautifully explained how to hit forehand and backhand KILL and SMASH in Table Tennis. Few of the tips which will help you on top of this videos are as below:

  • Either on Forehand or Backhand always try to play this shot when the ball is at its maximum height.
  • Remember Bat swing is most important, it should start somewhere near your waist and end up somewhere near your nose.
  • Either on Forehand or Backhand try to restrict too much swing of your bat, that will waste your costly time which you know is very precious especially in this game.
  • For balls which are well above Net height, while connecting the ball your bat face should be on top of the ball angled little bit downwards towards the side of a table.
  • For balls which are at Net height, while connecting the ball your bat face should be angled almost parallel to the ball may be tilted very little towards the opponent side of a table.
  • Balls which have a lot of backspin in it and are below Net height should be dealt with very carefully. Your bat should start from a little bit down the ball and you should try to drag the ball when it is almost at its maximum height. Bat face should be up in this case and you should try to contact the bottom side portion of the ball. Lastly, your bat speed should be very high and more than your arms motion you should try to flick the ball with your wrist. Quick and relaxed wrist motion is very important to successfully execute KILL or SMASH against such balls.


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