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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

Friday, February 5, 2016 - 15:30
February 5, 2016

Lawyers, and Coaches Seeking Clubs, and Clubs Seeking Coaches, Oh My!!!
A long time ago, before the explosion of full-time clubs in the U.S., when I was a webmaster for USA Table Tennis, I put together a page for Coaches Seeking Clubs and Clubs Seeking Coaches. At the time there were only a few full-time clubs – less than ten – and there just wasn't much demand for this in either direction. And so it wasn't very active.

But things have changed. Over and over we're finding new full-time clubs looking for full-time coaches to help their club, since most successful full-time clubs are oriented around the coaches, who are the ones who bring in new players to fill up the club. (That's the model that led to the "explosion" noted above.) Most of these coaches are from China, which has about ten zillion top players looking to become professional coaches. (Being a top player doesn't make one a top coach, but the ranks of top coaches tend to come from them. And most top players become at least decent coaches, and with...

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 14:51
February 4, 2016

U.S. Olympic Trials
They start this morning at 9AM in Greensboro, NC, and continue through Saturday. Here's the home page, which includes the draws (see below), schedule, format, ticket information, playing listing, Live Results, and lots and lots of articles and other stuff. The matches will also be streamed live, with...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 15:29
February 3, 2016

Table Tennis Variations
Getting tired of playing the same table tennis all the time, where you do the same topspin and backspin shots all night long? Here are some variations!

  • Gnip Gnop. In this version, instead of hitting the ball directly over the net, you hit the ball downward, so it bounces on your side first, and then over the net. Here's video.
  • Jungle Pong. You can have many players play this at once – I've seen the kids at our club play with 15 players at once. Basically the rules are you have to let the ball come off the table, and make your return after the ball has hit the floor. You can hit the ball to either side of the table - so the opponent has to be ready to change sides quickly. Since the ball has to bounce off the table and hit the floor, players have time to run it down. If you have more than 15 players, they take turn in order until all 15 have hit one shot, and then start over – but whoever misses is out for that game. It's a rather strange game, but a lot of fun...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 15:24
February 2, 2016

John Miller Match Analysis
I recently did a match analysis of John Miller, a regular in the Adult Training Sessions I run at MDTTC on Sunday nights, 6:30-8:00 PM. He has graciously agreed to let me run it in my blog. (Many of you know him as the Director of the three biggest tournaments in the country – the U.S. Open, the USA Nationals, and the North American Teams.) Here is what I wrote to him.

The match I analyzed was against Dmitriy Buluchevskiy at the Texas Wesleyan tournament, March 22, 2014, Under 1800 round robin match. (Buluchevskiy wins.) I watched it point by point, often replaying points and taking notes. Remember that such an analysis is by its nature critical – the key is to fix the problems.

The strength of your game is that when you are in position, you have very strong loops from both sides, as well as a very strong backhand smash against soft topspin returns of your serve. So setting up these shots with serve and receive is key. Just as important is not...

Monday, February 1, 2016 - 15:05
February 1, 2016

Tip of the Week
Holding Back Against a Weaker Player.

Fifteen Fun Facts about Table Tennis
A few days ago I received an email from Herson Go, who said he would be doing exhibitions and clinics this week in five 45-minute classes at a middles school– about 300 students in all. He said, "I wanted to perk their interest and one of the things I was thinking of is to give them a short one-page list of 'Did you know that Table Tennis...' Any suggestions?" And so the list was born! Here's the list I came up with. Feel free to use this on your club websites or in other ways to promote the sport!

Fifteen Fun Facts about Table Tennis

  1. It is an Olympic Sport.
  2. It is a sport of great speed, spin, and some of the most acrobatic moves in all of sports.
  3. Professional players train 6-8 hours/day, plus another hour of physical training.
  4. Olympic athletes have been measured to have the lowest fat percentage of any sport after distance running.
  5. It is played by players...

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 15:31
January 29, 2016

Next Week is USATT Week (followed by a little "rant" on Illegal Hidden Serves)
I've been otherwise occupied on various things the last two months, but next week I'm planning to focus on USATT stuff. What does this mean? As readers of this blog know, I'm focused on three main issues right now for USATT:

Next week I plan to contact people about these issues, both those who have shown interest (and may or may not now be working to set these up), and others who might. I'm finding the first two especially promising (state championships and team leagues), while the third, regional associations, is proving more problematic. (I wrote...

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 15:28
January 28, 2016

Pete May and a Proposed Police Table Tennis Program for Inner City Kids
At the USA Nationals, Pete May told me about an idea for a new type of table tennis program. Some of you may remember Pete as the guy who ran much of the table tennis activities in Augusta, Georgia, circa the 1980s and 1990s – 4-star tournaments, the Augusta College Table Tennis Program (with scholarships), and other activities. He was also a 2000+ chopper, and he and Dell Sweeris made the final of Over 70 Men's Doubles last year at both the U.S. Open (losing to a team from China in five) and at the USA Nationals. His son, Derek, was a 2550 chopper who played on the U.S. Pan Am Team. Pete's mostly retired from running table tennis activities, and now is a Disc Golf Champion – see Interview with 3x Legends Champ Pete May, and this video (1:51), The greatest thing about disc golf.

Here's his idea. He tells me that local police...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 14:57
January 27, 2016

Tip of the Week
Should You Develop Your Forehand Push?

Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions, Table Tennis, and Donald Trump
Since the novel has so much table tennis in it, I'm going to blog a bit about that, about recent happenings on it, and about some table tennis scenes – including Donald Trump being in it! There's also some futuristic table tennis in it – more on that and Trump below. But first:

Good news: It was scheduled to come out from World Weaver Press on Jan. 26 – yesterday. Yay!

Bad news: On Thursday, Jan. 21, five days before publication, I received an email from the publisher saying something no author wants to hear: the publisher was closing down, and so my novel wasn't going to be published. NOOOO!!!!!

Good news: The very next day I received an email from one of the assistant editors that she was negotiating to buy the company, and still wanted to publish the novel. The deal is apparently going through, and so the novel is back on track – but...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 13:17
January 26, 2016

One More Day
The snow is being picked up, but the snow on my brain, after four days alternating between long stretches of lazing about reading and doing crossword puzzles, and sudden bursts of inspiration and frenzied work, needs one more day of recovery. (Translation: I’ve been staying up late, and after going to bed last night at roughly late this morning, I woke up with a headache and eyes that feel like they've run a marathon. Also, local schools are still closed, and I generally take the day off when they do so.) I'll get to bed earlier tonight, and start blogging again tomorrow morning. Promise!

Monday, January 25, 2016 - 14:45
January 25, 2016

Local schools were scheduled to be closed today for teacher conferences even before a few snowflakes blew our way, so as is my continued policy, when the schools take a holiday, so do I! (I have lots of other work planned, alas.) So no blog today. I'll be back tomorrow Wednesday. In the meantime, here's my (non-table tennis) Facebook rant about the snow and Obama's complete refusal to do anything to stop its arrival - and what other candidates would have done! Enjoy!