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

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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 1PM, 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

Next Blog and Tip of the Week on November 1 3
I'll be coaching the US Junior Team in Ecuador Oct. 10-28. See segment below.

Tip of the Week
Ten Table Tennis Quotes for Improvement.

I'm off to Ecuador on Sunday morning - and when I say "morning," I do mean it! I'll be leaving at 3:30 AM for the airport for a 6AM flight to Miami, then transferring to a flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador, arriving at 12:46PM (1:46 PM eastern time). From there we have a 122-mile bus ride to the playing site in Cuenca, Ecuador. Traveling with me will be Ryan Lin and his dad, and Mandy & Abigail Yu and their mom. Guayaquil is 12 feet above sea level; Cuenca is 8400 feet. It'll be a long, uphill ride!!! The 18-day trip can be divided into four segments.

Tip of the Week
Forehand Push for Playing Choppers.

Weekend Coaching
As always, active feet was a priority in the sessions over the weekend. Another emphasis was forehand attacking from all parts of the table. This was fun for me since, during my active playing career, I started off most rallies as an all-out forehand attacker. The key is balance and recovery. So often a player can't get to a ball, and yells, out, "I'm too slow!" No, they weren't too slow - they were off balanced from the previous shot, or didn't recover as part of their follow-through, and so had little chance on the next shot. Another emphasis, repeated from last week, was serving low - I'm really trying to create a club of net-grazing servers.

Tip of the Week
A Good Warm-up.

Weekend Coaching
It was a busy three-day weekend for me - it looks like I'll be doing group sessions every week on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. The 51 kids in the Maryland TTC junior program are divided into four groups. I work with Group 1 ("Select," 15 kids from about 1800 to 2350, ages mostly from 11-15) in all three of their weekly sessions; once a week with Group 2 ("Progress"); and with Group 4 ("Novice") in their one weekly session. Other coaches/practice partners include head junior coach Wang Qingliang; Cheng Yinghua; Jack Huang; Lidney Castro; John Hsu; Nathan Hsu; Matt Hetherington; and Greg Mascialiano. For their age, there are some really strong players in Group 1, including the #1, #3, and #5 in 12 and Under, and the top two in 11 and Under. They include (with apologies to those not listed - too many of you!):

Tip of the Week
A Different Measure for a Match Coach.

Pan American Under 11 and U13 Championships in Ecuador
I'll be going down to Ecuador for two weeks in October as the coach of the US Under 13 Boys' Team. There will be four teams - Under 13 and Under 11 for boys and girls. The other coaches are Qiumars Hedayatian (U11 Boys), Wei Qi (U13 Girls), and Thilina Piyadasa (U11 Girls), with Daniel Rutenberg going as Team Leader, and he fortunately speaks Spanish. Here is the USATT news item, USATT Announces 2021 ITTF Pan Am Youth Championship U13 and U11 Teams. (Hope you enjoy my humorous quip!) There are actually two tournaments, both in Cuenca ("kwen·kuh"), Ecuador.

Tip of the Week
Use Your Strengths, But Test Your Opponent.

MDTTC Open and Westchester Teams and 911 Museum, Oh My!
I had an action packed Labor Day Weekend, which can be neatly divided into three parts. Alas, Part 2 I had to write with my mouth clenched in disgust.

=>PART 1: MDTTC Open. On Saturday, I coached for half a day at the MDTTC Open. Here are the complete results. Perhaps the most interesting match was against a player with the Seemiller grip. The junior player I coached had barely beaten this opponent in a previous match one month before, but armed with better tactics, won easily three straight this time. I'm one of the few coaches left around who coached actively way back when that grip was relatively common. These days, many coaches give very bad advice on how to play this grip, leading to many unnecessary losses. Every player is different, but in general, against this type of player you:

Tip of the Week
How To Play Fast-Attacking Junior Players.

I believe the table tennis singles events are done - and USA won two medals, with Ian Seidenfeld winning a gold and Jenson Emburgh a bronze. Tahl Leibovitz lost 11-9 in the fifth in the quarterfinals. (Semifinalists get medals.) Here's the schedule, with table tennis scheduled for Aug. 25 - Sept. 3. Here's more info on table tennis at the 2020 Paralympics. (It's still considered 2020, just postponed one year.) Below are some links.

Tip of the Week
Forehand Position for Backhands.

New York City Sightseeing and Tim's Basement
It's been a LONG week for me - I'm exhausted! Why? Because I spent Mon-Fri last week on my feet almost continuously, touring New York City. And then, on Saturday, Will Shortz and I explored USATT Historian Tim Boggan's basement, a literal table tennis treasure trove! I did daily Facebook postings of my adventures in New York. Here's the entire report. Or, if you want to see the many comments and discussions, here are links to the Facebook postings:

Alas, no blog this week. I'm visiting New York City this week for sightseeing and some table tennis business, which I'll write about next week. I was planning to go up after doing my blog, but due to a scheduling issue I have to leave early Monday morning. But the Tip of the Week is up, The Seven Links of Table Tennis. And to tide you over, here's a new video of Roger Federer playing table tennis against a backboard - could you match this? (Here's my blog from August 12, 2019 - skip to the end and you'll see lots of links of Federer playing table tennis. Some are pretty funny.) See you next Monday!

Tip of the Week
Relax Your Arm During Backswing

US Open, Worlds Tickets, and Elevation
It's nearly mid-August and we still don't know where or when (presumably sometime in December) the US Open will be. We also don't know when or how to buy tickets for the Worlds to be held in Houston in November. We've been told they'll be on sale in August, but that's pretty vague - when in August? Or is their hesitancy about whether spectators will be allowed? If USATT has a reason why they still don't have the answers to these, then there's a simple solution - TELL US!!! USATT has a news page. Communications is a huge part of leadership, and as I've blogged before, USATT gets an F in communications. Just give periodic updates, and if good reasons for the delays are given, people accept them.

Tip of the Week
July 26: Don't "Guide" Your Loop.
Aug. 2: Practice Service Spin … on a Rug!

Writing and Table Tennis Advice
I just finished up a nine-day TNEO online science fiction & fantasy writing workshop, an annual event I go to nearly every year. (This was my twelfth one and ninth in a row.) It's nine days of total writer immersion, with story critiques, master classes, readings, brainstorming & problem-solving sessions, plot breakout sessions, and writing salons on various topics. (Think of it as a training camp for writers.)