TableTennisCoaching.com Home

Welcome to TableTennisCoaching.com, your Worldwide Center for Table Tennis Coaching!

 Photo by Donna Sakai

This is an evolving website and Table Tennis Community. Your suggestions are welcome.

Want a daily injection of Table Tennis? Come read the Larry Hodges Blog! (Entries go up by noon, Mon-Fri; see link on left.) Feel free to comment!

Want to talk Table Tennis? Come join us on the forum. While the focus here is on coaching, the forum is open to any table tennis talk.

Want to Learn? Read the Tip of the Week, study videos, read articles, or find just about any other table tennis coaching site from the menu links. If you know of one, please let us know so we can add it.

Want to Learn more directly? There are two options. See the Video Coaching link for info on having your game analyzed via video. See the Clinics link for info on arranging a clinic in your area, or finding ones that are already scheduled.

If you have any questions, feel free to email, post a note on the forum, or comment on my blog entries.

-Larry Hodges, Director, TableTennisCoaching.com

Member, USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame & USATT Certified National Coach
Professional Coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center

Recent TableTennisCoaching.com blog posts

Monday, September 14, 2020 - 17:01
September 14, 2020

Tip of the Week
A Trick to Beat a Tricky Pusher.

Breaking News - US Nationals Postponed to July, 2021 in Las Vegas
Here's the news item - added on Tuesday.

Weekend Coaching
On Sunday, I worked with Group 3 of our Junior program. Most of the group did a practice tournament. However, two of the players weren't really ready for matches, and so I worked with those two the entire session. Focus was on fundamentals.

I came up with what will now go down in history as the greatest table tennis joke, to be retold through the ages. (But you have to pay me $1 every time you use it.) I asked one of the kids how many hands he has. He said two and held them up. I said I have four hands. He didn't believe me, so I shadow-practiced my forehand and said, "See, these are my four hands." (...




Monday, September 7, 2020 - 16:59
September 7, 2020

Tip of the Week
Tactics Early In a Match: Explorers and Dominators.

My Interview at Butterfly
Here's my PongNow video (30:46) by Steve Hopkins at Butterfly! We covered a lot of material - enjoy!

Weekend Coaching
This was my first full day of coaching at MDTTC in six months. I started at noon and didn't leave until 7:15PM!!!

Because of the pandemic, our elite junior program - the "Talent Development Program" - is now divided into three levels, no more than twelve players at a time. At noon I helped coach the Level 3 group (along with John Hsu), which also is mostly the youngest group. One girl (age 7) has mostly been doing regular forehands and backhands, and lots of footwork, but has barely worked on pushing - so I spent much of the session working with her on both backhand and forehand pushing. She got pretty excited when she would pull off ones that were heavy enough that they'd stop bouncing and even bounce back...




Monday, August 31, 2020 - 16:35
August 31, 2020

Tip of the Week
Move Like a Pro.

USA Table Tennis Elections
BREAKING NEWS (added Tuesday because of timeliness) - Here is the USATT Elections news item. It's timely as the deadline to apply is Sept. 10. The elections are for one or two At-Large Representatives (it's not clear) and one Club Representative. USATT really could use some new people on their Board of Directors, so why not run?

The news item is a bit confusing. It refers to the rules for the election in the USATT bylaws, but gives no link to those bylaws. It refers to the election for At-Large Representative, but doesn't mention that, according to the very bylaw referred to, there are two At-Large positions, so presumably two At-...




Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 16:01
August 26, 2020

Tip of the Week
On Short Serves to the Forehand, Challenge the Forehand, Often Go to the Backhand.

Two Weeks Training at the Samson Dubina Mega Camp in Ohio
So what was I, at age 60 and out of shape, doing training with players one-fifth to one-half my age, including numerous footwork drills that left me gasping for air and my body screaming at me to have common sense and go home and watch TV?

Like many others, I was stuck at home for five months because of the pandemic, where I got way out of shape and gained weight. So I decided to do something about it. (My club, MDTTC, where I coach, was partly open, but all group sessions, including training camps, had been cancelled.) So I contacted Samson and arranged that I'd come as a player in the mornings, a practice partner in the afternoons. That would mean five hours of intense play each day, Aug. 10-14 and 17-21.

Then I hopped in my car and drove the five hours from Maryland to Akron, Ohio and the...




Monday, August 24, 2020 - 01:40
August 23, 2020

Tip of the Week
On Short Serves to the Forehand, Challenge the Forehand, Often Go to the Backhand.

This Week's Blog Will Go Up on Wednesday
I was supposed to be return home on Friday night after twelve days in Ohio. However…

I left Akron at about 5:10 PM on Friday. At around 6:25 PM, while near Beaver Falls, PA, while in the far left lane (on I-76E, going about 75 mph, speed limit 70), I had a car accident. I was snacking on a bag of walnuts on my lap, which fell on the floor. I checked to make sure no cars were around and then reached for the walnuts. I inadvertently swerved right. I then swerved left to get back in my lane, but the car spun and hit the left wall. It bounced right, and I thought I'd regained control. But both left tires went flat when they hit the wall, and so I lost control, and my car spun across the highway. (But no cars around.) It hit the right side embankment and flipped in the air at least once and the landed upside down. The car is 100% totaled. 

...




Monday, August 17, 2020 - 02:10
August 17, 2020

I decided to spend a second week training at the Samson Dubina Mega Camp here in Akron, Ohio. And so no blog this week. But I'm getting back into playing shape!!! But the Tip if the Week is up, Should You Develop Your Forehand Push?  Plus, here's a good video to watch (5 min), highlights of four-time US Men's Singles Champion Jim Butler (1990, 1992, 1993, 2014) vs. US #1 Mini-Cadet Daniel Tran, including short interviews at the end.

Or, if you want something funny but interesting, and you missed or didn't have time to listen to my interview last week, here it is again (40:53) at Kevin Table Tennis! I explain how I signed twelve autographs as Jan-Ove Waldner at the US Open; ate nine quarter-pounders with cheese in five hours in my big breakthrough tournament (winning all four of my events, including the Open, with an...




Monday, August 10, 2020 - 01:22
August 10, 2020

Tip of the Week
Two Tips to Increase Forehand Looping Power.

Larry Hodges Interview
Here's my interview (40:53) at Kevin Table Tennis! You may know Kevin Nguyen (from Portland, OR) for his table tennis trick shots that I often link to, and he's also among the best of his age in the country, rated 2062 at age 12. Hope you enjoy some of the funny stories I tell! (Take it in two sittings, perhaps, but once you get started, I bet you won't stop!)

Off to the Ohio Mega Camp!
I've basically been sitting at home for five months now, coaching only one hour a week. I've been getting more and more out of shape, and I'm bored to death. So a few days ago I made the decision to do something about it. The camps at my club are canceled due to the pandemic - and if they weren't, I'd probably be coaching at them rather than playing.

So I'm off to spend a week at...




Monday, August 3, 2020 - 16:31
August 3, 2020

Tip of the Week
How to Vary Your Receive Against Short Backspin Serves.

Coaches Who Do Online Coaching
Especially during these pandemic days, an alternative to private or group coaching is online coaching. There are several ways of doing this. Often a coach simply studies a video of a player and writes up an analysis with coaching suggestions. (I used to do this.) Sometimes it's an ongoing thing as the player perhaps sends in weekly videos for the coach. It can also be done live, with a coach watching via video as the player trains. I've compiled a list of top US coaches who do such online coaching. Take your pick! (Coaches - email me if I should put you on the list.)

  • LearnPong, with Kai Zhang, Brad Robbins, Chase Bockoven, Vlad Farcas, Andrew Williams, Christian Stelting, Bjorn Stelting, and Alfred Dela Pena.
  • ...



Monday, July 27, 2020 - 16:02
July 27, 2020

Tip of the Week
When Playing an Unfamiliar Player, Focus on Serve & Receive.

I'm Back!!!
My two-week writing workshop vacation is over. I basically spent nine days in online Zoom meetings in "The Never-Ending Odyssey" writing workshop, an annual workshop for graduates of the six-week Odyssey science fiction writing workshop. The meetings started around 10AM and went to dinner time, with optional meetings at night. They included critique sessions, classes, readings, and salons where we discussed various topics. I had a great time - and even managed to sneak table tennis into one of my stories!!! (It's way, Way, WAY in the future, and someone finds a pack of ping-pong balls - "Plastic lasts forever" - and it ends up being central to the story.) Here's a group picture on Zoom of the 21 of us in the workshop! (Here's...




Monday, July 20, 2020 - 04:35
July 20, 2020

As noted in my blog below, I'm away this week, but here is this week's Tip of the Week, The Importance of Lobbing. See you next Monday!