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 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

Tip of the Week
What Are Your Strongest and Weakest Links?

Weekend Coaching and Preparing for the Nationals
Things are getting serious as our players gear up for the upcoming US Nationals! (As of now, there are 660 players entered, with final deadline on June 15. There are 22 players from MDTTC entered, including 18 from our junior program.) Especially noticeable are the added serve practices, and the increased intensity both of that practice and practice in general.

Tip of the Week
Practice Matches vs. Tournaments.

Balticon and Table Tennis
I had a Science Fictional Table Tennis Weekend! I spent Friday and Saturday as a panelist at Balticon, the annual science fiction convention in Baltimore. (Here’s my Balticon Profile and Schedule – I was on two panels and had a book signing.) Despite being a science fiction convention, there were a lot of table tennis angles.

Here’s a picture of me at my signing. Here are the table tennis connections:

Tip of the Week
Rushed Backhand Loop.

Weekend Coaching
It was another busy weekend. I coached in six junior group sessions. (We have about 60 kids divided into four groups.) In the Novice group, I introduced three kids to forehand looping against backspin. We also had a forehand-to-forehand competition.

Tip of the Week
Never Decide If You Have to Move.

Table Tennis Timeliness and Weekend Coaching
I was three minutes late for a group session yesterday. Yes, three minutes - and it's only the third time I've been late in the thirty years since we opened MDTTC in 1992. I estimate I've done about 25,000 sessions in that time. So, what happened?

I was sitting in my lounge chair at home reading and about to have lunch, when I suddenly realized the clock on my wall that claimed it was about noon wasn't moving. I glanced at my watch . . . and it was 12:48 PM! And I had a session at 1PM, and I was about a 12-minute drive away! I leaped to my feet, threw things together, and raced for my car. I didn't have time for lunch. At a stop light I texted that I'd be a few minutes late. I walked ran sprinted into the club at 1:03 PM. Since Coach Wang was already leading them in stretching, hardly anybody noticed I was late. But it felt funny rushing into the club and right into a session. I normally arrive 15 minutes early, both so I'm not rushed, so I'm never late, and to set up things as needed (balls, ball nets, changing shoes, etc.).

The two other times I was late? Once I simply had my times off by an hour, and arrived an hour late. The other time there was a car accident, and I was stuck in one spot, with cars ahead, behind, and on both sides, for almost an hour before I was able to get out.

Timeliness is important for coaches. I know of two table tennis coaches who lost their coaching positions because they were late so often.

Tips of the Week
While I was in Austria, two Tips went up, plus this week's Tip. Here they are!

WTT Youth Contender and ITTF Hopes Camp in Linz, Austria
I've divided this into four parts:

Next Blog Will Be Monday, May 9
However, the Tips of the Week will still go up each Monday. I'm going out of town for two weeks, coaching at the ITTF Youth Contender and Hopes Camp in Linz, Austria - see segment below.

Tip of the Week
Keep the Ball to the Extreme Angles in Practice.

Tip of the Week
Do You Receive to Set Up Your Game?

Table Tennis . . . Blackspins?
There have been various attempts to create the equivalent of "belts" in table tennis. A decade or more ago Diego Schaaf created table tennis pins, with different types signifying various levels reached in rating. It was a great idea, but it never took off. Perhaps it was too complicated - at a glance, it was tricky to really know what each one signified. (I just spent fifteen minutes trying to find mine - I thought it was in my playing bag, but I can't find it there.)

Here's a thought. The belts in martial arts are very simple - just a belt, with the color signifying level. What if we created simple ball-shaped pins, where the colors signify highest level reached, using the same colors from martial arts? For example:

Tip of the Week
If You Get Caught Out of Position, Either You Made a Mistake or Your Opponent Did Something Great.

World Table Tennis Day
It's this Wednesday, April 6! Here's the ITTF Info Page and the ITTF video (64 sec)

MDTTC Open and Weekend Coaching
I spent Saturday coaching at the MDTTC Open. Here are complete results care of Omnipong. As usual, it was a wild ride - sometimes the kids play great, sometimes they don't. Lots of tactical decisions.

Tip of the Week
Pavlovian Response and Table Tennis.

Weekend Coaching
Another busy weekend, with lots of multiball and blocking. I coached in four junior group sessions. In one of them I was a practice partner where I mostly blocked, but did one (exhausting) footwork drill where I served backspin, partner pushes to my backhand, I step around and forehand loop, partner blocks to my wide forehand, I move over and forehand loop, and then we continue, with partner blocking side to side as I alternate forehand and backhand. The problem is, once I get into a rhythm, I'm pretty consistent, and so we had a lot of LONG rallies. I also did a lot of serve coaching, especially on how to serve low and short, with serve still driving out so there's a low, quick bounce on the far side, with second bounce near the endline. I also had a one-hour session with Navin Kumar, who I'm preparing for the Parkinson's events at the US Nationals in July and the World Parkinson's in Pula, Croatia, Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Focus was on loop & smash, serving, and the usual stroking drills.

Tip of the Week
A Table Tennis Player's Guide to Toweling.

Cary Cup
I spent the weekend coaching at the Cary Cup Open in North Carolina. We had eleven kids from MDTTC there and three coaches (myself, Wang Qingliang, and Jeffrey Zeng Xun). I ended up coaching eight of them in over 30 matches. Our players were Stanley Hsu (13, 2402), Mu Du (13, 2283), Ryan Lin (12, 2216), William Wu (16, 2140), Christian Funderberg (16, 2112), Winston Wu (12, 2079), Lance Wei, Todd Klinger, Kurtus Hsu, Aaron Zhang, and Liam Draper. AJ Carney did a great job running the tournament (as always). Here are complete results, care of Omnipong.