Table Tennis Serve Tutorial: Ma Lin “Ghost” Serve

Table Tennis Serve Tutorial: Ma Lin “Ghost” Serve

Welcome back to the channel of coach EmRatThich. Today I will show you
3 key points to do the “ghost serve” like Ma Lin. This serve is the most amazing
“trick serve” in table tennis. I also show you the best way to return this
tricky serve. WHAT IS “GHOST SERVE” ? “Ghost serve” is considered as a “tricky serve”,
with heavy underspin. This serve is
the trademark of Ma Lin. There are 2 types of serve in table tennis:
tricky ace serve and set-up serve. Chinese players focus more on set-up serve
because at the high level, you can’t win the game by just using
ace serve. “Ghost serve” is the trademark serve of Ma
Lin because he has the greatest touch in the China National Team. Penholder has also the advantages over
a shakehand player because of more freedom in the wrist movement. The
way that penholder holds his racket allows him to freely use the wrist. With Liu Guoliang, Ma Lin is the best server
in China Team. He used a lot of
fake motion after the serve, that’s why his serve is so tricky. So when people talk about Ma Lin, they think
of his serve. If we talk about Wang Hao, we think of his
beautiful reverse backhand. For Zhang Jike, it’s his solid physical strength
and the “explosiveness”. For Ma Long, it’s his super consistent and
powerful forehand. So every player has his own specialty. It’s because of their “micro-adjustment”. If you don’t know what “micro-adjustment”
is, look above for my explication. Practicing “Ghost serve” is the best way to
improve your feeling, and learn how to impact the spin into your serve. This serve is not very effective in the real
match. For your match, focus on “set-up” serve. Add sidespin to control the placement. Watch my video “How to serve short with sidespin”
for the reason behind. Since then, Ma Lin just won few points with
his “Ghost serve”. The most famous
one is this point with Zhang Jike. Now, I will give you 3 tips to do this “ghost
serve”. Using these 3 tips, you will know how
and when to accelerate the ball. First, to do this “ghost serve” effectively,
or another serves in general, you should hold your racket loosely. Look how Joao Monteiro holds his racket. Put your thumb higher
on the rubber, hold at the side of the blade and vertical (like the penhold). Holding the racket like this will increase
the freedom of the wrist. This is crucial because you want to accelerate
and spin the ball with your wrist. Second point. This point is very important. Put your elbow close to your body. To serve
effectively, you need a quick acceleration, and short movement (explosiveness). Unlike
another stroke (like forehand loop) which require a long and full movement, a good serve requires a short but quick movement. So you don’t need to use forearm
here. Put the elbow close to body to stabilize the
shot. Amateur players don’t know this
important point, so they can’t accelerate into the ball correctly. Where to contact the ball? The contact point is very close to your body. The closer you
contact the ball, the easier you control it. New players tend to contact the ball too far
from the body, and then there is not enough spin in their serve. The two rotation axis are: first your body. You must rotate your body to add spin, and
power to the ball. Rotation from the body also controls the trajectory
of the serve. If you want your serve short, rotate your
body a little. If you want your serve longer, rotate more. If you want to serve to the right side of
the opponent, rotate your body a semi-circle. If you want to send the ball to the left side,
rotate a full circle. Please
remember: Don’t use the forearm. Fix the elbow and the forearm. It’s your body rotation that controls the
length and the direction of your serve. This is
the keypoint of a good server. Because with a little change (rotate more
or less), you can suddenly change the direction of your
serve. Surprise factor, and quality factor. Body rotation is the first rotation axis. The second is your wrist. Wrist is where you
accelerate and make the ball spin. Wrist movement is very fast. Without wrist, you can’t
make a spinny serve. Again, don’t snap with your forarm around
the elbow but use your wrist. “Explosiveness” all comes from the wrist and
the body rotation. We don’t
need your forarm and elbow in your serve. And my 3rd tip is: To make this serve tricky,
add “fake motion”. That means after you
contact the serve, move your hand up like you are making a topspin serve. Ma Lin always add fake motion after the contact
point. You should also do a “psychology” game. Before doing this “ghost serve”, serve some
topspin serves with a clear “up motion”. And then at the crucial points (9-9) or (9-7),
use this tricky serve with the same “up motion”. This way, you can easily trick your opponent. How to return “GHOST SERVE” ? “Ghost serve” is a pure underspin serve. This serve is also slow. So a simple “drop shot”
can easily return this serve short. That’s why, you should learn how to add “sidespin”
to your serve, which will make your serve more
dangerous. I’ve shown you 3 tips to do this serve: Hold
your racket loosely, Put the elbow close your body, rotate your body, accelerate with your
wrist, and add fake “motion” after the contact point. Now, you can see Ma Lin’s serve in slow motion. Now you can see that everybody can do this
serve. The key point is knowing how to
accelerate with your wrist. And this is the “XXL version” of Ma Lin ghost
serve. 😀 Look he has the same “national coach” as Ma
Lin. I really prefer this “XXL” version than the
“original” version. That’s it for today. Hope enjoy this tutorial. See you, EmRatThich. SPECIAL THANKS TO (SHARING AMAZING FOOTAGES)
ldb579932 & ttTricks

Comments (88)

  1. Sorry, I'm sick right now. That's why I've voiced over with the "nose-sound". Sorry for that. Just want to deliver a good video on the weekend. Special thanks to TTTricks and ldb579932 for their amazing footages.

  2. hey emratich for this type of a serve u need a very gripy rubber tight???

  3. Haha, how you keep this videos both funny and loaded with useful information. Wonderful!

  4. xxl version>ma lin version.

  5. sicology? no saicology is correct pronounciation

  6. Hi coach, for more spin on serve, you suggest tacky and hard rubber, one question for DHS rubber like hurricane or neo, is it need to apply booster on ?

  7. LOL 9:09 (๏д๏) WTF 9:23 ✧*。٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و✧*。

  8. i dont think this serve is useless in a match. i think this serve is core. mostly used to prevent opponent from flicking. even ma long uses it, short along the line to the opponent's fh.

  9. Haha, making your videos funny makes them more interesting and fun to watch. By the way, xxl version was great ?
    keep making such videos, coach

  10. Lin gain some weight at the end lol

  11. Hahahahaha xxl ghost serve

  12. lmao xxl version of ma lin

  13. Coach, what is the end credits theme song that you play every video, please? I love it!

  14. i love the xxl version?

  15. Thank you coach! Please make a video on sidespin service and how to do service practice

  16. Emratthich explination is an incorrect word. The correct one is explanation. Spell as x-pla-nation.
    Video is awesome and amazing. Loved every bit of it.

  17. jun mizutani's ghost serve is more compact, putting it in a short toss.

  18. why is he shirtless ?

  19. In the demonstrations, when they serve their shoulders hide the contact. Their serves are great, but they are (slightly) illegal IMO.

    Nice video; lots of good information.

  20. we want more match analysis video coach emratthic we love you thanks a lot for everything ( like this video : Table Tennis: Amazing 10 years old kid in China   )

  21. Tip 4 (that u missed): take off your shirt before practicing underspin serve

  22. The rotation explanation confuses me, they both look like same amount of rotation, neither semi or full circle. Can you explain again or do another vidfeo?

  23. xxl version 😀 <3

  24. So even when doing other serves like side underspin or side topspin, we should still keep our elbow fixed and stop using forearm?Only wrist and body rotation on all serves?

  25. LEL, the XXL version hits the ball so well it hardly passes 10cm on the other side and then returns to back to his own side. Thats amazing!

  26. The XXL version is better than the original ma Lin version!

  27. The XXL version of Ma Lin! xD

  28. You did not explain the bat angle when you contact the ball and would also like to see the contact point in slow motion please.

  29. I believe pen holder has severe disadvantage for playing backhand shots. I have seen Ma Lin always defending while playing backhand shots.

  30. To return this (short) serve most easily just hold your racket out like a plate, completely horizontal close to the net and let the ball drop on it.
    Without any effort from you, the backspin on the ball will carry it so the other side of the net, very close to the net and difficult to answer.

  31. Where are you from?

  32. Upload a video based on how to keep eyes on ball

  33. Why am I watching this at midnight. I don't even play table tennis.

  34. Hi coach ERT. My coach always uses a variety of trick serve – sometimes side spin, sometimes under spin and sometimes topspin. How did he serve top spin but his hand position is like serve under spin.. He won't tell me, he ask me to figure it out myself.. Can u help me? ^^

  35. Someone please tell me what the noise is Everytime someone serves? Is it a foot stomping, or the paddle hitting the table?

  36. Is it necessary to keep the T-shirt off, while practicing this serve…???!!!☺☺☺

  37. 7:00 ????!!!!!?!?!!?


  39. Read more at:

  40. for those who never had a pro racket before , the rubber these guys use is so sticky that you can lift it up with your palm , that is why they can spin the ball that much


  42. It really helps, thx for sharing!

  43. Thanks for the video…. i really like the XXL version of Ma Lin….

  44. how about what is SPEAK ENGLISH

  45. Wow i was messing around when doing table tennis with friends and i actually started serving like that without knowing it is a real move

  46. i like XXL Ma Lin more

  47. The end of this video had me crying!???

  48. I am high on meth, cocaine, heroine, oxycontin, LSD, and marijuana, and this is still not entertaining.

  49. Question: Why is Ma Lin's serve so fast, while everyone else who do it do it so slow?
    His serve looks like a very fast serve but still the ball shoots back, also fast.
    How to do it like that?

  50. duuummmaa so strooonngg

  51. Thanks for the video…well explained

  52. Do we have to do the same in all serves to add more spin

  53. все понятно

  54. Unlike many of your other videos, this tutorial isn't that good. There are no technical aspects as to how to perform it, which is the main part, as without learning the technical steps, it is simply impossible to learn this serve (or any other difficult serve for that matter). I've finally learned this serve and here are my technical key points one must use when performing this serve:

    1. The start of your serve: Your toss is very important and should land slightly behind the center of your body, enabling you to create more spin (because of the momentum and follow through of your bat and body).
    2. During the serve: Your bat angle must go from horizontal to a backward lean, i.e. imagine a curve sloping upwards – that is your racquet movement.
    3. After the serve: Your follow through with your racquet is crucial for a good spin. Use your wrist AND forearm after impact and try to almost hit your stomach with your bat.

    If done correctly and smoothly (key word is smoothly, you really do not have to force the ball when attempting spinny serves), add a bit of lean angle to really make this serve difficult to return.

    Hope this helped 🙂

  55. Why do you stomp your foot after every contact on serve?

  56. What The F*
    1 min long advertisement before watching actual video – no option to skip after few second!!!

  57. Dear ERT
    Please let me Link to original video with the Jumbo guy training.

    Thanks to you a lot.

  58. That XXL version tho ?

  59. Nice! ive recently made a video showcasing the Dictator Ma Long. Would really appreciate it, if you check it out!

  60. Legend has it Joao is still serving on that table.

  61. the XXL version is definitely better! haha

  62. Hey coach, that guy doing the Demos… is hidding the ball… that's like an illegal serve…

  63. thanks for the lesson

  64. gracias bro lo practicare 😉 saludos desde colombia

  65. 9:23…. damnnnn 🙂

  66. it was a kind of like xxxxl version

  67. there's 5 levels of table tennis: Easy Medium Hard Hell China

  68. Serves plz next vedio very easy returnibg serves

  69. Thank you for your videos. Tips inside are amazing.
    I made my serve more spinny, but I must train wrist for good acceleration. thx again.
    – Can I ask you a question about training legs and FH topspin?
    When I play FH topspin I often make angle in my elbow, I think main reason is the slow legs, or wrong steps, can you provide some tips how to train legs and topspin technique solo(right now it try to play 95% with FH I get this tip from one of your video), because I have not much time for training with advanced players. But I have access to table to train solo.
    Thank you very much again.

  70. The XXL version coach's thoughts: "I'm not getting paid enough for this shit"

  71. Been playing table tennis for 3 years now. Still don't have a racket. Wtf

  72. Excellent, keep seeing it

  73. xin chào, bạn có thể thêm sub bằng tiếng Việt được không ? cho người nước mình xem với chứ.

  74. lol. For some reason only the fat guy shows you how to do it because he's in super slow motion.

  75. You called it ghost serve.
    I called it a devil serve.

  76. XXL version is GREAT!!!

  77. xxl version lol

  78. Ohh XXL version ❤❤❤?

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