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 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, July 6, 2020 - 16:58
July 6, 2020

Tip of the Week
Side-to-Side Training for Improvement and Health.

Subconscious Table Tennis
I noticed an interesting during a session with Navin Kumar on Saturday. (If you Google "Bionic Table Tennis," about a zillion articles on him comes up.) We were about to do a drill where he has to smash (forehands and then backhands) and hit a bottle on the table. The key, as I always point out, is to not consciously aim for it. That's the common mistake most make. Whether it's in a game or practice, the minute the conscious mind takes control, much of your training disappears, since the whole point of training is to make it reflexive, so you are really training your subconscious.

When I demonstrated this, I put the bottle on the far side, bounced a ball on my side, and smacked the bottle...




Monday, June 29, 2020 - 14:52
June 29, 2020

Tip of the Week
Training Down the Line.

USATT Coaching Excellence Program
As a member of the USATT Coaching Committee, I'm helping USATT put together their upcoming Coaching Excellence Program. (Others on the committee are Pieke Franssen, Gao Jun, and Dave Fullen. USATT CEO Virginia Sung and High Performance Director Sean O'Neill are also involved.) Right now they are working on the Club Coaching Certification Program. (There are four levels - club, state, regional, national.) The biggest question is what should be taught at the Club level, which is for coaches for beginners to about 1500. It's easy to say, "They should know this, and this, and this,..." and pretty soon everything is taught at the club coach level, and there's nothing left for the State, Regional, or National level!

Here was my recommendation on what should be taught at this level. In a regular training camp, I figured you could teach all this in a barebones minimum of 12 hours, but really could be 15-20 hours. At the higher levels, you would expand on most...




Monday, June 22, 2020 - 17:06
June 22, 2020

Tip of the Week
Do You Really Have Control of Your Shots? (See also "Through the Scoreboard Practice" below.)

Winning Table Tennis by Dan Seemiller and Mark Holowchak
Winning Table Tennis is back! This is a reprinting of the...




Monday, June 15, 2020 - 16:39
June 15, 2020

Tip of the Week
Practice Partner Collaboration - the PPC of TT.

The Play That Changed . . . Everything
Some of you may have heard of the "Butterfly Effect," whereby something seemingly small and insignificant can have major ramifications. It happens in table tennis as well, and I'm not talking about Butterfly table tennis. In fact, if not for at least two seemingly minor things, I wouldn't be in table tennis, and much of the table tennis world would be different. Here's how I switched from baseball to track & field to table tennis.

When I was 13, my sport was baseball. I was obsessed with it - I memorized the results of EVERY World Series (1903-1973), including the winning team, scores, and winning pitcher of every single game, and the MVPs and their stats. I also memorized every stat about the Baltimore Orioles. As a player, I was only so-so - didn't hit or field that well, and due to arm problems, I had a weak throwing arm. (From the start I...




Monday, June 8, 2020 - 15:54
June 8, 2020

Tip of the Week
How to Never Miss an Easy Smash.

LATE ADDITION (Tues) - USATT Did a News Item on My Book, "Still More Table Tennis Tips"!
Here's the news item! C'mon, you know you want to buy my books!!! :) (It includes links to some of my other ones.) 

They Let Us Play Table Tennis Again!
Remember my When Will They Let Us Play Table Tennis Again cartoon? The answer, for me, was this past Saturday! It had been 83 days - one day short of twelve weeks - since the last time I'd played. Navin Kumar contacted me about taking private coaching again - MDTTC reopened last week for limited private coaching, with various limits on how many can be there at a time, taking everyone's temperature as they enter club, rules on masks (not required at the table, but required off the table...




Monday, June 1, 2020 - 17:41
June 1, 2020

Tip of the Week
Do You Have a Quadruple Threat Receive?

Franchise-Based Professional US Table Tennis League
If you want to be a world-class player in the US, then the first thing you have to do after high school (after years of training!) is to get out of the US. It's almost impossible to reach a world-class level unless, at that stage, you spend a few years training and competing against the best in the world, and that means going overseas to play on a team. Most top US players who do this do so in the German leagues, where they both compete regularly against other top players (and gain experience against different styles), and train daily, usually two sessions per day, with the members of their team, along with extensive physical training and serve practice. Most top US players, from past champions Dan Seemiller, Eric Boggan, Sean O'Neill, and Jim Butler, to current US #1 Kanak Jha and other current US players (including Lily Zhang, Nicholas Tio, Wue Yue, and Kai Zarehbin, who were all overseas in leagues when the pandemic began),...




Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 17:08
May 26, 2020

Tip of the Week
Three Types of Anticipation.

Cartoon of the Week:
Help Wanted: Table Tennis Coronavirus Smacker. I had some free time.

Still More Table Tennis Tips
As noted in my blog last week, my book "Still More Table Tennis Tips" came out last Monday! It's in both print and kindle. It's 150 Tips from 2017 to the present, organized in logical order and progression, with much of the wording updated and cleaned up. It's the third in the series, after Table Tennis Tips and More Table Tennis Tips. I've dropped the price on all three - they cost $12 each, or $7 for kindle. It's 187 pages with seven chapters:

  1. Serve and...



Monday, May 25, 2020 - 14:05
May 25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day! Like many others, I'm taking today off, and so this week's blog will go up tomorrow (Tuesday). However, the Tip of the Week is up: Three Types of Anticipation. To help tide you over, here's Weird Ping Pong (3:35) from Pongfinity! Plus, since I had some free time, here's a cartoon I created: Help Wanted: Table Tennis Coronavirus Smacker. (Here's the non-Facebook version.) Enjoy, and see you tomorrow!

How am I spending my day, you ask? I've spent part of this past weekend as a panelist at the online Balticon Science Fiction Convention, but my panels are done, so I may attend a few panels as a spectator. But I plan to spend most of...




Monday, May 18, 2020 - 16:23
May 18, 2020

Tip of the Week
Mind Games: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Still More Table Tennis Tips
My book "Still More Table Tennis Tips" is now on sale at Amazon! It's in both print and kindle. It's 150 Tips from 2017 to the present, organized in logical order and progression, with much of the wording updated and cleaned up. It's the third in the series, after Table Tennis Tips and More Table Tennis Tips. I've dropped the price on all three - they cost $12 each, or $7 for kindle. It's 187 pages with seven chapters:

  1. Serve and Receive (15 tips)
  2. Strokes (23 tips)
  3. Footwork (10 tips)
  4. Tactics (45 tips)
  5. Improving (37 tips)
  6. Sports Psychology (17 tips)
  7. Doubles (3 tips)

Why not buy the complete set of three...




Monday, May 11, 2020 - 15:29
May 11, 2020

Tip of the Week
Five Ways to Take Away an Opponent's Big Shot.

This is the 450th Tip of the Week I've posted since I started putting them up every Monday starting Jan. 11, 2011, except for a few times when I was out of town. (This is in addition to 177 I did for USA Table Tennis before that, which were published as part of Table Tennis Tales & Techniques.) The first 150 went into my book Table Tennis Tips; the next 150 went into More Table Tennis Tips; these last 150 (ending with today's) make up Still More Table Tennis Tips, which comes out on June 1. The advantage of getting them in book form? I put them in logical progression, by topic, rather than in a random fashion as a weekly tip, plus you get them all right in front of you, making it easy to browse...