Larry Hodges' Blog and Tip of the Week will normally go up on Mondays by 2:00 PM USA Eastern time. Larry is a member of the U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame, a USATT Certified National Coach, a professional coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center (USA), and author of ten books and over 2100 articles on table tennis, plus over 1900 blogs and over 600 tips. Here is his bio. (Larry was awarded the USATT Lifetime Achievement Award in July, 2018.)

Make sure to order your copy of Larry's best-selling book, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers!
Finally, a tactics book on this most tactical of sports!!!

Also out - Table Tennis TipsMore Table Tennis Tips, Still More Table Tennis Tips, and Yet Still More Table Tennis Tips, which cover, in logical progression, his Tips of the Week from 2011-2023, with 150 Tips in each!

Or, for a combination of Tales of our sport and Technique articles, try Table Tennis Tales & Techniques. If you are in the mood for inspirational fiction, The Spirit of Pong is also out - a fantasy story about an American who goes to China to learn the secrets of table tennis, trains with the spirits of past champions, and faces betrayal and great peril as he battles for glory but faces utter defeat. Read the First Two Chapters for free!

Tip of the Week
Top Ten Table Tennis Tournament Travel Tips.

Weekend Coaching, US Open, and Travel, Oh My!
One of the things I always stress in group training is to mix things up, both to create match-like training, and to challenge the players – which both helps them improve and keeps their interest up. In the Intermediate Group on Saturday I had four players in my group for 90 minutes, and that’s what we did. I had them rotate, so I’d feed multiball to one (sometimes live play); one would do ball pickup; and the other two would play improvised practice games on the other table. By “improvised,” I mean I made up simple rules so they’d practice specific types of rallies. For example, they may play a game where the server has to serve fast and deep every time, or perhaps serve short every time and follow with an attack if the opponent pushes. And so on. It not only keeps things interesting, but the players suddenly are very interested in practicing the shots they do in these game situations, and so when they rotate to me, they sometimes ask to work on those shots. (Sometimes I’ll ask them what they think they need to work on, based on the games they just played.)

I also had a final session with Navin Kumar before he leaves for the Pong-Pong Parkinson’s World Championships in Wels, Austria, Sept. 25-30. We also did lots of game-type drills. General rule for training – when there are no tournaments coming up for a time, focus on developing the foundation of your game. When there is a tournament come up, focus on game-type drills. You need both. If you really want to improve, you should schedule your entire year around this, so that you have periods where you focus on training (with intermittent tournaments or league play), and periods where you play big tournaments. This not only helps you improve, it helps you to peak for the big ones.

Meanwhile, here’s the USATT news item on the 2023 US Open Table Tennis Championships, to be held Dec. 16-21 in Ontario, CA for the second year in a row. (About sixty miles from LA.) As noted on the news item, you can and should enter through Omnipong. Here’s the direct link to the entry form (“prospectus”). As I’ve done for every US Open and Nationals starting in 1999 (and a few before that), I proofed it for them. (I’m that weird type that can read something on page 246 of a book and immediately say, “Hey! That contradicts what it said on page 33!”)

My first US Open was in Philadelphia in 1976, my first year of playing when I was 16. I’ve been to every US Open and Nationals starting in 1984, so this would be my 40th in a row . . . except they skipped 2020, so it’s 39 in a row for both the Open and Nationals. (However, I’ve never missed the North American Teams (previously called the US Open Teams), starting that first year in 1976, so this November would have been my 48th in a row . . . but they also skipped 2020, so it’s 47 in a row.

I may have the most complicated upcoming travel schedule I’ve ever had to work out, other than my 2019 Adventures in Europe and Egypt (seven weeks). Here are my tentative plans for December-January:

  • Dec. 15: Fly to Ontario, CA, for US Open.
  • Dec. 16-21: Play and coach in US Open
  • Dec. 21-26: Christmas with family in San Francisco
  • Dec. 27-30: Fly to Cusco, Peru for tour of Machu Picchu and other Peruvian sites. May include a trip and sightseeing at Peru’s capital, Lima (685 miles from Cusco).
  • Dec. 31: Fly to Mexico City for a few days of sightseeing and lounging about, maybe some writing. I did three days of sightseeing there last year, but there’s always more to see.
  • Jan. 4-6: 2024 Classic Table Tennis World Cup in Mexico City (for hardbat, sandpaper, and wood). Here’s the current player listing – you can enter via Omnipong. I’m mostly doing coverage, but am playing in the Over 55 Hardbat event. (It’s mine, Mine, MINE!!!)
  • Jan. 7: Fly back to Maryland.
  • Jan. 8 – Dec. 31: Recover.

It’s not my only upcoming trip. I’ll be flying to St. George, UT for the Huntsman World Senior Games, Oct. 9-12. Entries are now closed; here is the player listing – 240 entries.

Major League Table Tennis
MLTT is up and running!!! See their video page. Here’s the latest news:

2023 ITTF Pan American Championships
Here’s the home page for the event held Sept. 10-17 in Havana, Cuba, including results. Here are some articles on the tournament.

=>USATT Articles by Barbara Wei

=>Butterfly Articles by Steve Hopkins

2023 European Team Championships
Here’s the home page for the event held Sept. 10-17 in Malmö, Sweden, including results. Lots of video at TTLondon2012 and at TT11TV. Here’s the article Sweden Claim Men’s Title in Euro Championship by Steve Hopkins.

Butterfly Training Tips

Connected Motion for the Body and Arm is the One Key Commonality for Top Players
Here’s the video (3:26) from Damien Provost/PongSpace.

New from Ti Long

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich
73 new videos this past week!

Learn by Watching and Imitating
Here’s the video (59 sec) from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis. (Make sure to see the comments underneath.)

Training with Pros - Li Hsin-Yu (TPE)
Here’s the video (3:30) from Tony’s Table Tennis Talk.

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

Sports Medicine Coverage – Ankle and Foot Injuries
Here’s the article by Dr. Alomar-Jimenez)

Nandan Naresh WTT Under 17 Highlights
Here’s the video (59 sec).

A Memorable Summer
Here’s the article by Amy Zhang.

USATT Celebrates the Life of Paralympians Sebastian De Francesco and Anthony Lara
Here’s the USATT article by Barbara Wei.

Sponsor News


Armed Table Tennis
Most players use one arm to play, with a non-playing arm for serving and balance. Others use four arms, either with three paddles or four paddles. Some have eight arm and four paddles (34 sec). And some play with no arms. Yes, we’re talking about Ibrahim Hamadtou!

Must This Family Always Talk Sports at the Dinner Table?
Here’s the table tennis cartoon!

Ball Pickup Challenge
Here’s the video (35 sec) – can you spin the ball inside the glass so that you can lift it up?!

Those Balls That Make People Angry ft. Table Tennis Part 1
Here’s the video (2:03) from Street TT!

World’s Most Expensive Pro Racket [$500]
Here’s the video (7:19) from Pongfinity!

I Challenged France
Here’s the video (18:52) from Adam Bobrow! (After just two days, it already has about 180,000 views and 419 comments.)

Spooky the Ghost Table Tennis
Here’s the comic book from 1980 – which I just bought! But if you search you might find one. It was only $3.99 but $8.55 shipping.

Send us your own coaching news!

Tip of the Week
The "No Net" Rule Against Heavy Backspin.

Weekend Coaching
For the lower junior groups, the multiball focus was on preparing them for practicing with each other. Right now, for example, if they try hitting forehand to forehand, within a shot or two one will mishit slightly, the other will move, lunge, or reach for the ball, and mishit even more, and the rally ends quickly. So they need to learn two things: 1) React and move to the ball properly, and 2) Control the return after moving. To do this, I put Froggy on the table where they should hit the ball, and then fed them random balls to the forehand side. Their goal was to move to each ball and then hit Froggy, though all that really mattered was that it be close. Then we did the same thing on the backhand side. (I wrote about this last week as well, but it’s an important transitional drill.)

I also had a session with Navin Kumar. Here’s video (20 sec) – no, that backhand smash didn’t happen! He’s getting ready to compete in the Parkinson’s World Championships in Austria in two weeks. He’s so used to playing his long pips backhand mostly crosscourt to righties, and so has some trouble playing lefties when he has to go more down the line. So we did a lot of down-the-line drills, his backhand to my forehand. Then a similar drill, except after a few shots I’d suddenly go to his forehand, he attacks or quick-blocks (with forehand inverted), and then it’s free play. We also worked on his backhand smash, where he flips the racket and uses the inverted.

Similarities Between Table Tennis and Science Fiction Writing
As regular readers know, I split my time between table tennis (writing and coaching) and science fiction and fantasy writing. (What’s the difference between science fiction and fantasy? Science fiction comes under the realm of what’s possible, while fantasy doesn’t – so the latter can include magic, talking animals, and so on.) Here is my science fiction & fantasy writing page and bibliography. I’ve sold four novels and 144 short stories, but am focusing on short stories these days. (Short story generally means up to 7500 words, which is about 30 pages double spaced.) I manage to work table tennis into some of my stories. (More on that below.) I get paid pretty well for my short stories - for my last five sales, all in the last six weeks and totalling just over 21,000 words (a little over 80 pages), I was paid $3,250. And while writing is work, they are fun to write!

There are a number of similarities between SF and TT. Here are three.

  1. In TT, if you get the grip and foot positioning correct, everything else tends to fall into place. If you get one of them wrong, then everything in between becomes twisted like a rubber band. (Here’s my tip on that, Grip and Stance.) In SF, if you get the start and end right, everything in between also tends to fall into place – but if you get one wrong, the whole story can become twisted like a rubber band.
  2. Both TT and SF tend to have a lot of intellectuals. Table tennis is an intellectual sport, often called “chess at light speed.” (It’s why I put “Thinkers” in the title of my best-selling TT book, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers.) Science fiction is the fiction of intellectuals, as it explores scientific ideas.
  3. In both TT and SF writing you have to find ways to clearly communicate ideas, whether it’s Playing Choppers or how a time machine might work.
  4. Both TT and SF are creative. TT is most creative when serving, though that’s underdone by most. But creativity is important in many tactical aspects. (Here’s my tip, Fundamental versus Creative Tactics.) And SF writing is the very definition of being creative!

Here’s a novel and novelette where I combined both!

  • The Spirit of Pong - Fantasy Table Tennis Novel (100 pages)
    Andy “Shoes” Blue wants to be a table tennis champion, but he’s just another wannabe American. And so he goes to China to learn the secrets of table tennis. He is trained by the mysterious Coach Wang, and begins an odyssey where he learns the secrets of table tennis from the spirits of Ichiro Ogimura (who helped spawn China’s greatness), Rong Guotuan (China’s first world champion in 1959, whose tragic story Andy must relive), and others, and must face the mysterious “Dragon.” Can he overcome treachery and learn the final secret of table tennis in time to defeat his ultimate nemesis?
  • First Galactic Table Tennis Championships (Novelette – 42 pages)
    Li Yi is a member of the Chinese National Table Tennis Team and the best woman in the world. She has trained long hours since she was a child. But now she faces her biggest challenge – aliens! Table tennis has spread to the galaxy and alien players now dominate the sport. The best are the giraffe-like Ith, with their dominating champion Egrayu. But Earth isn't part of it, not since the cowboy Americans colonized a moon in the Ith home system, which led to a blockade of Earth. The Chinese hope to reopen trade with the galaxy by using "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" – by running the first Galactic Table Tennis Championships in Beijing. Li, her teammates, and the American champion Danny See – a literal cowboy – play aliens of all shapes and sizes, including the seemingly unbeatable Egrayu, as they battle for the biggest cash prize in table tennis history. But Li is drawn into a corrupt conspiracy that will shake the very foundations of honor and sportsmanship. Plus, there's that problem with the Chinese dumplings…

New from Major Ponghead - THE Major League Table Tennis Blog

Asian Championships
Here’s the home page. They were held Sept 3-10 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Other Major International Events

Butterfly Training Tips

The Most Important Thing in Having Solid Footwork for Transitioning Between Forehand and Backhand
Here’s the video (5:12) from Damien Provost/PongSpace.

New from Ti Long

Table Tennis Quickness Training
Here’s the video (6:04) from Dr. Table Tennis.

New from TT Crunch

Tom’s Top 10 Challenge
Here’s the article by Tom Lodziak.

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich
58 new videos this past week!

New from Pingispågarna

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly

Mobile Table Tennis Museum
Here it is! (It’s in German but I have Google Translate can automatically translate it all into English.)

The Goat from the Best Video Angle
Here’s the video (2:28) of Ma Long from Taco Backhand.

New from ITTF

Ping Pong . . . Ping Pong . . . Ping Pong . . . With Many Objects
Here’s the video (10 sec) – I can’t get that voice out of my head, and now neither can you!

Prehistoric Pong
(You can just click the arrow from the first and it’ll take you to all six.)

Iz’s Army of Broken Ping-Pong Balls
Here’s the image from Isabelle Wu! (Here’s the non-Facebook version.) Now you know what to do with all those broken ping-pong balls – Halloween’s coming up!

Send us your own coaching news!

Tip of the Week
Tactical Confidence.

Weekend Coaching
A lot of the focus in the lower groups is teaching them to practice together. At lower level, kids don’t have the ball control to really do sustained rallies, and so don’t get much systematic practice unless they hit with a coach or do multiball. When they hit together, their shots often don’t go where they are supposed to, and their practice partner – also novice or just above – can’t adjust to it like a coach would, and so the rally quickly ends without any serious systematic practice.

One way to make this transition is to do random drills with a coach. This allows the player to adjust to any incoming ball, not just ones that come to where they are waiting. For example, with multiball, the coach feeds the ball randomly all over the forehand side, and the player has to react and move to each ball. With live play, the coach would similarly move the ball around on the forehand side. Then do the same thing on the backhand. Soon the player will learn to react to incoming balls that aren’t right where they are expecting them, and so can rally with each other. Then (if doing multiball), put targets on the far side so they not only practice against slightly random balls, but also have to adjust and hit it back to the same spot. This is where I bring out Froggy! He’s the perfect size for this.

I also worked on smashing with some of the kids. This is surprisingly easy to teach as long as you have them do a three-step process each time: 1) backswing the same as if the ball were low; 2) raise the racket and wait for the incoming ball; 3) and smash when the ball is a little over the head. It’s also important to stress turning sideways for this shot.

We also practiced fast, deep serves, using targets I put on the far corners. Key thing here is that the first bounce must be as close to the server’s end-line as possible, so as to give the ball the full table to drop.

USATT Magazines I Edited
I was editor of USATT Magazine for two tenures, 1992-1995 and again from July, 1999 to June, 2007, where I did a total of 71 issues. The were typically 72-100 pages, and went to all 8,000 or so USATT members during that time. Alas, in this modern age, it was discontinued for USATT Insider, which has a lot less content and doesn’t seem to have a separate link or info page on the new USATT webpage.  (I just spent ten minutes trying to find it, but it’s just not there. It’s only mentioned as a benefit for members.)

A few years ago I tried to raise interest in getting all 556 past USATT Magazines scanned and online. Alas, it’s expensive and time consuming, and there was little interest. So I went ahead and spent $700 of my own money to get all 71 of the ones I’d done scanned and online. Originally, USATT stored them, but at some point in the last year or two the link disappeared, and it’s not in the current USATT webpages either. So, for now, I put them online myself. Here they are!

I also maintain a USATT Leaders page, which lists every USATT Executive Director/CEO, President, and Editor. From the Editor’s listing, maybe someday we’ll put together that comprehensive online listing. There are a few people who have many or most of these old issues, but they are disappearing and crumbling away every year.

Table Tennis History Magazine
Speaking of magazines and history, here’s issue #1 of Table Tennis History Magazine! It’s free, from Steve Grant, author of Ping Pong Fever: The Madness That Swept 1902 America. The first issue is 41 pages, and includes:

  • Two extraordinary new "earliest-ever" discoveries from the 1800s.
  • "B-Team Tour, 1959: The Chinese Greats Emerge," featuring the teenage Chuang Tse-tung and teammates.
  • "A Lover of Table Tennis: Fred Perry," showing the surprising length and breadth of this Wimbledon champion's table tennis career.
  • and Much More!

There are two other shorter documents you might also find interesting, both relating to table tennis history: “Boris Johnson is Tied to French Cover Girls (2 pages) and “1950s Arms Race” (12 pages).

George Brathwaite Table Tennis League
Here’s the info page for the Brathwaite League. Last week I blogged about Major League Table Tennis, which is for elite/professional players. The Brathwaite League is for the rest of us! “The legendary ‘Chief’ George Braithwaite had spent decades of his life visualizing and promoting a team league concept in the United States similar to what’s held in Europe; he started this league when he was vice president of the USATT in the 1990’s. With an experienced team of thirty years of proven track records on team-based league competitions, PongSpace is committed to carry out his vision and turn its dream into reality.”

Developing Forehand Power in Table Tennis
Here’s the article by Wang Cheng.

Butterfly Training Tips

New from Ti Long

Three Different Variations of Backhand Drive Depending on the Situation
Here’s the video (3:05) from Damien Provost at PongSpace.

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

Xu Xin Slaughters Opponents From the Best Angles
Here’s the video (3:08) from Taco Backhand.

Temporary Adjustment to USATT Event Referee Requirements to Support Member Clubs
Here’s the USATT article.

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly

New from ITTF

Are You the Table Tennis King?
Here’s the shirt!

Are You the Ping Pong Queen?
Here’s the shirt!

Tears of My Ping Pong Opponent
Here’s the mug!

“Table” Tennis?
Here’s the repeating video (23 sec) as Federer (far side) takes on Djokovic! One strange thing – Federer is using a tennis racket while Djokovic has a ping-pong paddle.

Send us your own coaching news!

Tip of the Week
Nine Battles.

Major League Table Tennis
It’s almost here! This could potentially be the biggest and best thing to ever happen for table tennis in the US. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it really takes off. It’s the brainchild of Flint Lane, who not only was the founder, CEO, and Chairman of BillTrust, but more importantly . . . is a serious TT player! He’s rated 1893 and was previously as high as 1948.

Much of the success of MLTT will be getting sponsors, so feel free to jump in there. I’m tempted to make either or my table tennis books a sponsor – but can’t come up with a good name that covers both of these, alas.

The good news is that they start off with good financial backing, which means it should be around for a while, giving it time to develop. Flint is rather wealthy – feel free to Google “Flint Lane net worth,” and don’t let your jaw smack the ground too hard. However, you can’t have a successful professional league that relies on one person donating money until he tires of it – it needs to be financially viable on its own, like any major sports league. Let’s hope MLTT can make it like NFL, NBA, MLB, and so on.

Yesterday they held their inaugural sports draft – here’s the video (13:02) and here are the Major League Table Tennis 2023 Inaugural Draft Results. The schedule is up – if one of the locations is near you, why not show up and cheer for a team? Here’s the Major League Table Tennis First Half of Season Schedule. Specifically:

MLTT First Half Season Schedule:

  • September 15-17: East Division | Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL (Tickets On Sale Now)
  • September 22-24: West Division | Kaiser Permanente Arena, Santa Cruz, CA
  • October 13-15: East Division | Myrtle Beach Sports Center, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • October 27-29: West Division | Merrell Center, Houston, TX
  • November 10-12: East Division | Wintrust Sports Complex, Chicago, IL
  • November 17-19: West Division | Alameda County, East of Oakland, CA
  • December 1-3: Cross Division | Rock Hill Sports Center, Rock Hill, SC

Our sport has seen a few seemingly “big” things in the past. Ping-Pong Diplomacy in 1971-72 was huge, and I’m told that USATT (then USTTA) membership surged from 4,000 to something like 17,000 – and then, since there was no real infrastructure or follow-up, within a year or so it dropped back to under 5,000. The sport debuted as an Olympic Sport in 1988, and to some that’s huge – but the reality is that it hasn’t really led to the sport becoming the big sport we all envisioned. The past 15 years has seen the rise of full-time training centers all over the US – going from about six to over 100 during that time – and that has easily been the biggest and best thing for the sport in this country. It might even have laid the groundwork and infrastructure needed to support a professional league like MLTT.

Weekend Coaching
Our Fall junior training season began this past weekend. I coached in three sessions, including the Novice group, where we had the usual influx of new players. There was one girl, about six, who was shaking and in obvious fear of this new ping-pong thing – almost in tears. She wouldn’t respond to questions or look at any of the coaches. We also had a new boy, about 8, also a beginner (though he'd had a few lessons) and he kept saying how he hated table tennis. I had them in my group, so I made it my goal to win them over. Boy, did that work out! It took half an hour, but both finally began smiling and having fun, as well as learning how to play. By the end of the session she not only had a solid backhand (not quite so good yet on the forehand), but was practically bouncing up and down and wanted to come back, while he suddenly liked table tennis. 

Alas, I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, at least physically, which could affect me as a practice partner with stronger players. I had to drop out of the Classic Nationals a few weeks ago due to a left knee injury. It doesn’t seem to be getting better, alas. I did spend an hour of one session (Intermediate group) hitting with three players (they rotated, with the other two practicing together), but I have to be careful.

As usual, I keep coming up with various challenges for the players. If you have kids do the same boring thing over and Over and OVER, you get kids who don’t really want to play. If you want kids who will become self-motivated and strive to improve, and who want to keep coming back, keep challenging them. When practicing serves, for example, I give targets (Froggy or a water bottle) or use the adjustable serving bar to make them serve low. When doing consistency drills, we count how many they get in a row. When doing multiball, I often put targets on the table and challenge them to hit them. (More likely, I’ll put Froggy on the table and tell them, “Don’t you dare hit him!”) Some points become Galactic World Championships of the Universe, or whatever I make up on the spot. Result? The kids are motivated.

New from USATT

Butterfly Training Tips

Are You Making One of These Forehand Mistakes??
Here’s the video (22:22) from Seth Pech. “Fix Your Forehand from these 14 Common Mistakes.”

New from Ti Long

Problems With Your Footwork? Start With Your Eyes
Here’s the article by Tom Lodziak.

New from PongSpace and Damien Provost

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich
57 new videos this past week!!!

Tony’s Table Tennis Talk
33 new videos this past week!

New from TT11TV
8 new videos this past week!

Franziska Plays Table Tennis Out of This World From the Best Angles
Here’s the video (2:59) from Taco Backhand.

Wan Chuqin Will Be the First Left-Handed Chinese World Champion?
Here’s the video (2:03) from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis.

Table Tennis Nets – Are They in Good Condition?
Here’s the video (3:44) from Pingispågarna.

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly

NCTTA Looking For Help
Here’s the info page. “Ever wondered how to get involved in NCTTA? Or how all of these events work? Well, wonder no more.”

How Texas Wesleyan Transformed Table Tennis Into the Winningest Idea Ever
Here’s the article.

New from ITTF

Greatest Table Tennis Hits of All Time - Vol. 2
Here’s the video (9:50) from World Table Tennis. Here’s Volume 1 (9:46).

New from the Malong Fanmade Channel
Lots of videos here.

Table Tennis?
Here’s the cartoon!

Felix vs. Alexis: The Final Battle
Here’s the video (11:53) from Adam Bobrow! “Have you ever wondered how hard it is to receive a table tennis serve from a pro?”

Match to 100 Points
Here’s the video (8:24) - with rather interesting rules - from Pongfinity!

Send us your own coaching news!

Tips of the Week

My Current Table Tennis Activities
I actually split my time these days about 50-50 between table tennis and writing (and selling!) science fiction. On the table tennis side, here are my current activities – including my new endeavor, table tennis cartooning, where I might need a collaborator. (See last bullet point.)

  • The weekly Blog and Tip. And every three years, the Tips become a book! (The advantage of getting the book version is they are organized in logical progression, you can make notes in the margins, and you’ll help me afford dinner!)
  • Working on my new book, Table Tennis Doubles for Champions. Because of travel and some science fiction writing, I haven’t worked on it in a few weeks, but plan to focus on it in September, and have it out in time for the US Open in December. It’ll be my 21st book and 12th on table tennis. (Here are all my books.)
  • Coaching at MDTTC. I mostly just coach on weekends these days, after many years doing it full-time. During the summer you’d think I’d be at my busiest, since the kids are out of school and we have camps every week, but MDTTC has so many full-time coaches that need the work that I’m not needed in the camps that much anymore, and so have only been there for a few sessions. However, the Fall season starts next weekend, and then I’ll be coaching many hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Maintaining my table tennis collections.
  • A new endeavor – table tennis cartooning. Recently I brainstormed and outlined 20 new ideas for table tennis cartoons. Alas, while I can come up with ideas and very rough drafts, I don’t have the drawing skills. Here’s an example of a table tennis cartoon I had published once – good idea, but the artistic skills are pretty weak! Next weekend I may ask around and see if there are any budding cartoonists/artists in our junior program. We have something like 70 kids, and if any of them are interested, I may collaborate with them. I think I can get them published in one of the major table tennis pages, who might trade equipment for them – but I don’t need the equipment, so that would go to any collaborator. (I also came up with a bunch of non-TT cartoon ideas, similar to The Far Side – but again, I don’t have the artistic skills to draw them effectively.) I’ve done a lot of online cartoons, a lot of them political, where I simply use online images. I had a number of cartoons published in college in the University of Maryland newspaper, but for those, I collaborated with an artist – the editor hooked us up together. If I don’t find any locals to work with, and you have the cartooning skills and are interested, email me.

Classic Table Tennis Nationals - Austin
My articles on the Classic Table Tennis Nationals (Hardbat and Sandpaper) in Austin, TX, Aug. 11-12, are all up on the Butterfly News page. They are linked below. The tournament was run by Steve Claflin. (See the start of the Sandpaper article below where I point out and thank those who helped out.) The big CLASH happened twice, with AJ Carney winning Hardbat Singles over Jimmy Butler, then Jimmy winning Sandpaper Singles over AJ. I was going to play the senior event as the second seed but had to default with a knee injury from the night before in a practice match with Bryce Milford.

Afterwards, I spent two and a half days sightseeing in Austin – the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum & Library; the Bullock Texas State History Museum; a tour of the Texas State Capitol; the Buford Tower Memorial; a water cruise to see the famous Austin Bats (100,000 bats taking off at the same time); the Austin Zoo; Austin Aquarium; Museum of the Weird; and the Ice Cream Museum. As usual, I came home with many souvenir magnets – my refrigerator is jammed.

And now . . . the articles!

$36,000 Mexico Open Ping Pong World Series - Mexico City
Here’s the info page for the event in Mexico City, Jan. 4-6, 2024. You can now enter via Omnipong – page down to Mexico. It’s basically the World Championships Hardbat, Sandpaper, and Wood. The Early Bird Special is until Sept. 1, with final deadline Nov. 1. I’ll be there doing coverage as well as playing in Hardbat Seniors.

Major League Table Tennis
Here’s the latest from Major League Table Tennis!

ITTF Pan American Master Championships
Here’s the info page. They will be held Nov. 16-21, 2023, in Davie, FL, with events for players from Over 30 to Over 75. You can enter via Omnipong – page down to Florida.

MDTTC August Open
Here are the results of the MDTTC Open held this past weekend at my club. I’ll add a link here to the ratings when they are processed.

Why Table Tennis is My Favorite Sport
Here’s the blog post by Ryan Lin. He’s 13, rated 2277, and the 2022 US Under 13 Boys’ Singles Champion. (I’ve had the privilege of working with him from when he started out in my beginning junior class at MDTTC, and in the last few years at a number of overseas camps and tournaments.) He wrote, “At this point, I have sacrificed 5 almost 6 years of time for table tennis, and recently, my friend asked me, ‘If you’re so athletic, why did you choose ping pong out of all the sports?’ That made me think, ‘Why do I like table tennis better than other sports?’” (Here are all his posts.) 

Third Time's a Charm
Here’s the article by Angela Guan at NCTTA, about her experiences at the World University Games.

New from USATT

News from All Over
Since I haven't blogged since Aug. 7 due to traveling, rather than try to list every interesting article, here are links to some of the main news and coaching pages that have been active in that time, and you can pick and choose.

Ping-Pong Whisperer
When you search for this in Amazon under Clothing, over ten shirt designs come up! Take your pick.

Solar Opposites – Ping-Pong Episode
On Aug. 14, for the season 4 premier, the animated show Solar Opposites ran an episode called “The Ping Pong Table.” Here’s a picture! Alas, it’s on Hulu, which I don’t have. You can apparently buy the episode “Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV.” However, when I checked Amazon Prime, it only had season one. Here’s the description: “At their new jobs, Korvo and Terry lobby their boss to get the office a ping pong table.”

Table Tennis in LA Times Crossword
SPOILER ALERT!!! This was from the Aug. 11, 2023 crossword, which also runs in the Washington Post (which I still have delivered) and a number of other newspapers. The clue for 20 across was, "Table-tennis implement that lacks a partner?" The answer was, “Bachelor Paddle”! Here are the Answers. (I do the LA Times Crossword from the Post every day at lunch, and yes, I solved the Aug. 11 puzzle.)

A Ping-Pong Poem
Here’s the video (36 sec) from Aerobic Table Tennis!

Saturday Evening Post Table Tennis Cartoons
Here are seven of them from the 1950s!

Send us your own coaching news!

Next Blog on August 21 – See Segment on Classic Nationals Below

Tips of the Week
I’ve been away since July 17, so there are the last three Tips of the Week. (Remember, even when I’m out of town and don’t do a blog, a Tip of the Week still goes up every Monday.)

Classic Nationals
I’ll be at the Classic Nationals in Austin, TX, Aug. 11-12, Fri-Sat, at the Austin TTC, run by Classic TT guru Steve Claflin. Afterwards I’ll be sightseeing in Austin for three days, returning to Maryland on Wednesday, Aug. 16. So no blog next Monday. There are six events in the tournament: Hardbat Open, Hardbat Women, Hardbat Over 55, Hardbat Under 18, Austin City Hardbat Championships, and the Sandpaper Open.

I’m running a FREE Hardbat Clinic there on Friday night, 6-7PM. I plan to cover Hardbat Equipment, Serves, Forehand, Backhand, Chopping, Playing Against Sponge, and a Q&A session. (I normally use sponge, but hardbat is a big sideline for me.)

Besides trying to win Over 55 - only event I’m playing - I’m top seed but face formidable opposition - I’m there primarily to do coverage. I’ll likely write a flurry of articles that’ll hopefully go up over the weekend at Butterfly News. The articles will be both regular coverage and profiles of top players, such as the top seeds in Hardbat and Sandpaper Open, Jimmy Butler and AJ Carney.

After the tournament I plan to do tours of the State Capital, LBJ Presidential Library, Austin Aquarium, Austin Zoo, and the famous Austin Bat Tour.

Major League Table Tennis on TV!
Here’s the one-hour show from ESPN 2, from this past Friday, Aug. 4, showing Major League Table Tennis, the only professional TT league here in the US. (You might have to have to put in your service provider.) The matchup was Team Zhuang (Agnieszka Maluszczak, Ojo Onaolapo, Enzo Angles and Hong Lin) vs. Team Fu (Alexandru Cazacu, Yasiris Ortiz, Mishel Levinski, Romain Lorentz). MLTT was created by Flint Lane - hope to see it get bigger and bigger! 

Pan Am Youth Championships and WTT Youth Contender
From July 23 to Aug. 4, most of the top youth players in the Americas were in Charleston, West Virginia, for the following events:

=>Butterfly Coverage by Steve Hopkins

=>USATT Coverage by Joshua Dyke

World Table Tennis Events
One just finished, one just started!

Butterfly Training Tips

Peak Performance Table Tennis on Sale
Here it is, by Kevin Finn – it’s 40% off for the print version (US and Puerto Rico only) at checkout with the code Peak2023, through Aug. 12.

Jan-Ove Waldner Top Ten Tips
Here they are, from one of the greatest player of all time! (He was generally considered the greatest until Ma Long.) This is reprinted from Jan-Ove Waldner: When the Feeling Decides (updated in 2022). I have a copy of the original version, signed by Waldner. The book was also translated into French, Jan-Ove Waldner : Question d’instinctby David Salomez, who also translated my Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers into the French version, Tactiques de Tennis de Table pour Pongistes Penseurs

Tony's Table Tennis Talk - Episode 1 - What was the call?
Here’s the video (3:49). So, what’s your call?

The Impact of 2 Month Online Training Toward Stroke Drive Ability in Table Tennis Players
Here’s the technical article (in English) from the Turkish Journal of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation.

News from All Over
Since I haven't blogged since July 17 due to traveling, rather than try to list every interesting article, here are links to some of the main news and coaching pages that have been active in that time, and you can pick and choose.

Former Doctor with Multiple Sclerosis Goes From Prescribing Medications to Playing Ping Pong
Here’s the article and video (4:20) on Dr. Antonio Barbera from Denver 7 News.

Top 5 Incredible Table Tennis Counter Attacks
Here’s the video (66 sec) from Top Table Tennis.

Some Very Sad Ping-Pong Balls?
Here they are!

Best Table Tennis Poems
Here’s the page from Poetry Soup. Here’s another, “Ping Pong” by Ron Cohen. (I remember seeing a new one this past week on Facebook and thought I copied the link – but can’t find it now. Email me if you have the link.)

Human vs. Robot?
Here’s the video (13 sec)! However, it’s obviously done with AI, with much of it apparently copied from real rallies. I recognize the chopping rally at the start from an exhibition I’ve seen but don’t remember who it was. However, the sudden forehand block at the end is just recreated from the famous Jan-Ove Waldner block against Timo Boll!

New from Adam Bobrow!

New from Pongfinity!

Businessman Pong
Here’s the video (90 sec)! This is a takeoff on the famous Matrix Table Tennis video (1:46).

Non-Table Tennis – War Around the Clock and TNEO
My fantasy anti-war story War Around the Clock is up at Bullet Points. It’s about the stupidity of war – and literally takes place on a . . . well, you’ll have to read the story to find out. Or read the title, literally!!!

From July 21-29 I was in Manchester, NH for my 14th (and 11th consecutive) “The Never-Ending Odyssey” science fiction writing workshop. It’s basically nine days of critiquing each other’s stories; master classes on SF writing; brainstorming, readings; and related issues. I had three stories critiqued, and another got the “Plot Breakout” treatment where four of us basically reworked the plot (such as putting it into a three-act structure, etc.). I’ve since finalized three of the stories and will likely finish the last one in the next day or so, though I’ll likely put all four aside for one more reading in a week or so before submitting them to the various magazine and anthology markets. What were my stories about?

  • Two Dreams: Dr. King and the Alien. An excited and idealistic alien makes first contact at the 1963 Martin Luther King March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
  • Bullet Time. A robber shoots a teller during a bank robbery, but time nearly freezes for the teller, and so it takes five days for the bullet to arrive – meanwhile, he’s stuck, frozen like everything else, just watching it approach, thinking about his life . . . and periodically getting visited by a strange Tinkerbell-like creature!
  • Connoisseur of Cambrian Cooking. The world’s first time traveler goes 500 million years into the past, to the Cambrian Explosion, but gets stuck there – and is forced to extreme measures to survive. (I managed to work in a ping-pong reference.)
  • Time Sweater. 11-dimensional beings are bothered by the plight of freezing, homeless children (also 11-dimensional), and decide to knit one of them a warm sweater – made from timelines. Which means splitting our timeline over and over to create new timelines for the sweater, causing havoc!

Meanwhile, I sold a story to A God and his pet squirrel return to Earth and are disappointed with what they find. They try to fix things, but it only gets worse. Finally, they decide to start over, wiping out humanity and replacing them with intelligent squirrels – but it turns out there are even higher powers!

Send us your own coaching news!

BREAKING NEWS - Major League Table Tennis to Debut on ESPN2
Here's the MLTT news item. The ESPN2 showing (on "The Ocho") is on Friday, Aug. 4, at 5PM.
(This was added on Wed, Aug. 2.) 

NEXT BLOG – Monday, Aug. 7
I’ll be out of town July 21-29 at TNEO – see segment below, at end. Perhaps also see the note about joining the Zoom story reading! Also see the segment on Table Tennis Doubles for Champions – have a good doubles picture? Send it, and if used, you’ll get paid and a signed copy of the book!

Tip of the Week
Five-Minute Rule.

Richard Hicks: RIP - November 28, 1937 - July 12, 2023
Alas, the great champion died last Wednesday. I’d known him for many decades, though not as well as many others. I watched him win Men’s 80-84 Singles at the 2018 World Veterans Championships in Las Vegas, where I was doing coverage, and interviewed him afterwards – see my article about it below.

Surprisingly, through the 47 years I’ve played, starting in 1976 (and far longer for him!), we only played twice. But those two matches tell a story. Richard is a chopper with long pips on the backhand, and it so happens that during my peak years, I ate choppers for breakfast. During a 25-year span, I beat five choppers rated over 2450 (and hordes below that) and didn’t lose to any under 2500. So when I played Richard the first time, it was breakfast, and I won easily. (We were both around 2250 at the time.) A few years later, we played again – and as I verified afterwards, he remembered that match, and had researched me. This time he chopped maybe one-third of the time, enough to keep me looking for his defense, but the rest of the time he attacked over and over. He kept hitting in my serves with his backhand, in particular, putting me on the defensive, and when he did chop, I was caught off guard. So he won the second match, not by chopping, but by adjusting to his opponent. That’s smart table tennis.

Here are some links.

Here’s is the complete text to that last article, where I wrote about him winning Men’s 80-84 Singles at the 2018 World Veterans Championships.

Men's 80-84 Singles
The two USA players won against German players in the semifinals, setting up the only all-USA final in the tournament. The showdown: Tay Chong Keng, rated 2188, who'd already won Over 80 Men's Doubles, a long-pips penhold blocker who rarely attacked, just blocks and Blocks and BLOCKS!; versus USATT Hall of Famer Richard Hicks, rated 2003, who's won dozens of national age titles in the U.S., a chopper with long pips on the backhand. Tay was a former banker who started playing table tennis at age 40, and so has now been playing for 40 years, half his life.

The rallies involved lots of maneuvering, yet the essence was the same - Hicks chopped, Tay push-blocked, meaning he took the chops right off the bounce with his long pips. The pips "reversed" the spin, so his shots came out with topspin - which Hicks would chop, and so on. Hicks had more variation, throwing chops, no-spins, topspin rolls, and sudden pick-hits. Tay was a wall, moving the ball all over the table. The rallies went on and On and ON! But Tay won the first two, 11-8 and then 11-2, and with his 185-point rating advantage, he seemed on the verge of his second gold here.

But Hicks wins the third, 11-7. In the fourth, Hicks goes up 8-7 and they have a rally that, well, goes on, and On and ON - and Hicks wins it to lead 9-7. But two missed chops and it's 9-all. Hicks goes up 10-9, but suddenly Tay, for I think the first time, winds up and smashes a forehand - deuce! But Hicks catches him off guard with a backhand from the forehand side, smacked crosscourt to Tay's suddenly open forehand, 11-10 - and Hicks wins the game, 12-10.

At this point all the other matches have finished, and so this is the last match of the tournament - and the crowd is going crazy on every point, incredulous that they could keep it in play so long. They were not patting the ball back and forth; Tay's push-blocks are somewhat aggressive, and he kept Hicks constantly moving.

In the fifth, it's 6-6 - and then, five long rallies later, Hicks has won the last five points in a row and the gold, -8,-2,7,10,6!

Afterwards I asked him, "Richard, he was killing you. What did you do?" He said, "I had to be more forceful with my pushes and chops, and look for more balls to hit." And it's true that while the rallies were incredibly long, probably half of them ended with a sudden Hicks hit, forehand or backhand. He also said, "I just had to tough it out. I never quit."

The match itself took about 70 minutes. You are allowed one minute between games, but let's say they spent 2.5 minutes between games. That's ten minutes between games. That means the five games themselves took 60 minutes, or 12 minutes per game. Any time a game takes more than ten minutes the Expedite Rule is supposed to be called, but apparently nobody was timing it. My guess is that expedite would have favored Hicks, since he had a slightly better attack. I'm fairly sure all but game two took longer than ten minutes.

Gold: Richard Hicks (USA)
Silver: Tay Chong Keng (USA)
Bronze: Klaus Kruger (GER) and Dieter Lippelt (GER)

Table Tennis Doubles for Champions – and a Doubles Picture CONTEST
I can go public now – my next book will be Table Tennis Doubles for Champions. It should be out sometime this fall, definitely before the US Open in December. Much of the “how to” and other technical stuff is written, including chapters on doubles serves, receives, rallies (both technique and tactical), footwork, what makes a great team, and other topics. I plan to add a historical chapter on some of the great doubles teams of the past. Here is the chapter heading:

  1. Introduction to Doubles
  2. Weird Doubles Facts
  3. Great Partnerships
  4. The Start of a Doubles Match
  5. Doubles Tactics
  6. Serving
  7. Receiving
  8. Rallying
  9. Footwork
  10. Doubles History and All-Time Great Teams
  11. Doubles Rules

The most difficult part is finding good pictures to go with it. I need both a great cover picture, and at least one picture to go with each chapter. Some can be generic; others need to be more specific, such as someone serving in doubles for the chapter on Serving. So I’m going to have a contest.

For the cover, I’m looking for something that’s really eye-catching and sharp at 300 dpi. Ideally, it might be a vertical picture that covers the front cover (9 inches tall, six inches wide, or perhaps just over 12 inches wide, so it wraps around the spine and back cover), or it can be horizontal (six inches wide). It would be in full color. Ideally, it would be of top, well-known stars, but not necessarily – the most important aspect is that it’s eye-catching. The internal pictures would be black and white for the print version (I can convert from color), but full color for the kindle version. Most would be action shots, but they could be non-action ones, such as coaches coaching them between games. Pictures can “genuine” or staged. (Special thanks to Grant Bergmann, who’s already sent me a bunch.)

So, email me your best table tennis doubles pictures! Deadline: Aug. 15.

  • For the cover picture chosen, I’ll pay $100, a signed copy of the book, and full attribution and copyright.
  • For pictures used on the inside, I’ll pay $20, a signed copy of the book, and full attribution and copyright. (If I use multiple pictures from one person, then only one signed copy, unless you really badly want two.)

Yet Still More Table Tennis Tips
It has come to my attention that you – yes, I’m talking to YOU, the one reading these words right now – have not yet bought a copy of Yet Still More Table Tennis Tips. It’s fourth in the Tips series, but each is independent, so you don’t need to read them in sequence. (And they go great with my best-selling book, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers!) Alas, Amazon doesn’t allow for a discount for buying entire set - I tried - and there are no boxed sets.

Hardbat, Sandpaper, and Wood, Oh My! Three Huge All-Classic Tournaments Coming Soon
Here’s the USATT version of the article I wrote about them. I will be at all three, both competing and doing coverage at the Nationals and World’s. (There are also lots of hardbat and sandpaper events at the regular US Nationals in July.)

Pong You Later, Alligator
Two days ago I had the weirdest dream. I literally was in a river playing table tennis with an alligator! It started on the surface, with the table floating, then we and the table went underwater, and we kept smacking the ball back and forth. Apparently we had a ping-pong ball that didn’t float and I could breath underwater. The alligator held the paddle in his front right leg, or arm, or whatever. Not sure who won.

National Senior Games (USA)
They were held in Pittsburgh, July 7-18, with table tennis events July 12-18. Here are complete results.

Peak Performance Table Tennis Routine
Here’s the article and videos from Kevin Finn/Peak Performance Table Tennis. “This is a table tennis specific workout routine that I am putting out for the table tennis community free of charge.” You might also want to get a copy of Kevin’s book, Peak Performance Table Tennis.

New from Samson Dubina

Common Mistakes and Four Keys to Returning Serves
Here’s the video (2:39) from Damien Provost/PongSpace.

Problems With Your Footwork? Start With Your Eyes.
Here’s the article from Tom Lodziak.

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich
46 new videos in the past week!!!

Bojan Besinger's class about MENTALITY
Here’s the video (28:02).

New from Performance Biomechanics Academy

New from Ti Long

In & Out Movement for Choppers
Here’s the video (2:49) from Derek May.

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

My Unforgettable Experience at the 2023 US Nationals Table Tennis Championship
Here’s the article by Kef Noorani. Here’s the related article by Stephanie Sun, Kef Noorani Wins Three U13 National Champions at US Nationals Championships.

Tashiya and Tiana’s Remarkable Journey in 2023 US National Table Tennis Championship
Here’s the article by Thilina Piyadasa

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly



2023 China Super League
Here are three great matches.

Greatest Table Tennis Hits of All Time - Vol. 1
Here’s the video (9:46) from World Table Tennis.

New from the Malong Fanmade Channel
Lots of videos here.

Syed Radio Series Focuses on Ping Pong Diplomacy and Rise of China
Here’s the article, and here are links to Sideways BBC podcasts on this and other table tennis topics. Here are direct links to the ones on China and Ping Pong Diplomacy.

Electromyographic Evaluation of Upper Extremity Muscles During Forehand and Backhand Table Tennis Drives
Here’s the technical journal article from JPES, the Journal of Physical Education and Sport. Don’t let me scare you, but here’s an excerpt:

“The selected upper extremity muscles based on reviews were flexor carpi radialis (FCR), extensor carpi radials (ECR), biceps brachii (BB), pectoralis major (PM), anterior deltoid (AD) and stomach oblique (SO). The EMG signals data was collected through Wireless surface electromyography having eight channels. A fixed window of 100 ms was used to calculate the RMS (root mean square) value of the signals. One-way ANOVA was used as a statistical technique for comparison and a separate post-hoc test was conducted for pairwise comparison. The study concludes that Pectoralis Major and Anterior Deltoid muscles are important factors for forehand and backhand topspin drive.”

Funny Table Tennis Stuff from Etsy
Here’s the page!

Table Tennis Nut
Here’s where you can buy the picture!

New from Pongfinity

Mostly Non-TT: TNEO – The Never-Ending Odyssey
I’ll be out of town July 21-29 at The Never-Ending Odyssey in Manchester, NH, as I’ve done this time of year nearly every year since 2006, including the last fourteen years in a row. That’s me in the group picture, back row, third from left. If you page down, you’ll see quotes from attendees – mine is the first one: “There’s a reason some of us come back, year after year, always striving to improve our writing. We could spend the time at the beach or camping or at Disneyworld, but we’ve discovered a much more fulfilling learning experience at TNEO, a week with other writers where we are fully immersed in just the craft of writing.”

It’s a science fiction writing workshop run by graduates of the six-week Odyssey science fiction writing workshop. (I went in 2006.) The last three years have been on Zoom, but we’re back to meeting in person at Saint Anselm’s College. We’ll spend nine days critiquing each other’s work, running “master” classes on writing, doing readings, and other SF writing-related activities. This year there will be 19 participants. (My world is divided about 50-50 between table tennis and science fiction. Is there anything more? Both are fun and both pay. I just sold a short SF story for $750.)

I did manage to work in a table tennis reference in one of my stories, “Connoisseur of Cambrian Cooking,” about a scientist who time travels back 538 million years to the Cambrian Explosion, where it says, “The closest she ever came to sports was occasional ping-pong, where she'd mindlessly rally with her grad students while pondering the secrets of time and the universe.” The time machine’s battery blows up and she’s stuck there, and the early Cambrian life turns out to be poisonous – so how will she survive and return to the present? You’ll just have to read the story someday when it comes out! (Or privately ask me if you are really curious.)

Technically, I’ll be back on Monday, July 31, but I’ll have so much work piled up from being away, plus major rewrites on my stories critiqued a TNEO, that I need that week off to catch up, so no blog that week.

===>SPECIAL NOTE – on Wednesday, July 26, from 7-9 PM, we’ll be having the annual TNEO SLAM, where participants do five-minute readings. I’ll be reading, “The AI Went Down to the Submissions Page,” a humorous take on AI writing. The readings will be on ZOOM. We are allowed to invite up to four people to join the session where you’ll see and hear lots of short science fiction/fantasy stories. If you are interested in joining us, email me.

Send us your own coaching news!

Tip of the Week
Forehand Back Foot Placement.

US Nationals
They were held July 3-7 in Fort Worth, Texas, with 810 players, 108 tables, and 105 events. (There were 112 but the seven Parkinson’s events were canceled due to lack of entries.) Here are complete results, care of Omnipong. I was there primarily as one of the five MDTTC coaches, with 13 junior players. On Sunday, after arriving sometime before lunch, we had a three-hour practice session where I hit with our players, rotating around. Then, for the next five days, I was up early with 8:30 AM matches each morning. It was a busy six days! I’ve complained a lot about how many of the recent Nationals and Opens were poorly run, but this one was run better and on time except for conflicts. (But I think I am going to have a talk with somebody about common sense table numbering – those who were there know what I mean!)

Here are a number of articles and livestreaming:

The flights were also eventful. Due to a lot of last-minute issues, I was up pretty much all night before leaving for the airport at 5:15AM on Sunday, so I planned to sleep on the flight. I was in the center seat. (I strongly prefer window, but not this time.) The woman in the window seat boarded with a coffee and a water bottle and kept drinking. Result? Three times on the three-hour flight she had to use the restroom, twice waking me up to do so. The flight back six days later wasn’t so bad, but the interesting thing was the person sitting to my left spent much of the trip playing a modern version of Pong on his phone.

Here are some things I said to my players during the tournament.

  • “Remember the best match you ever played. Play with the same mentality.”
  • “Put a big X on his elbow and aim at it every time until a corner opens up.”
  • “Never smash or loop to his forehand when he’s off the table. He’s rip it back and it’s an unforced error if he misses. Smash or loop to his middle and wide backhand.”
  • “This is the last tournament where you get to serve and push. After this, you have to serve and loop!” (I also assigned practice matches where the player had to serve backspin, opponent pushes long anywhere, and the player loops.)
  • “Stop serving long to the forehand!”
  • “After the tournament is over, I’ll show you how to do a really big breaking sidespin serve.” (On Friday, I spent 30 minutes working with this player on his serves.)
  • “Don’t let him get away with serving long – loop them. Make him serve short so you can rush him with short and long pushes, flips, and wide angles.”
  • “He’s changing the spin on his chops. When he takes a big swing, he’s faking it, it’s no-spin. When he has a small swing, it’s heavy backspin from his wrist.”
  • “Now you have good variation on your receive. Before everyone knew you were going to return long with either a flip or long push.”
  • “Under pressure, your serves will probably go longer, so if you want to go short, serve shorter than usual.”

Due to my coaching duties, I didn’t get to see many of the big men’s and women’s singles matches. I did see the men’s final between Nikhil Kumar and Jishan Liang. It was the first all-lefty men’s final since the first Nationals in 1976. The only other lefties to win men’s singles have been Ilija Lupulesku (four times) and Dan Seemiller (five times), with lefty Sol Schiff winning the special US Closed event at the 1936 US Open. There were two famous all-lefty US Open men’s finals, between Mikael Appelgren (SWE) and Zoran Kosanovic (YUG/CAN), with Appelgren winning 21-17 in the fifth in 1980, and Kosanovic winning 21-19 in the fifth in 1982. There may have been other before that, but I’ll let someone else research that.

However, this final wasn’t close: 6,7,3,3 as Nikhil won for the second year in a row. Jishan had been playing spectacularly until the final, but there he hit a triumvirate of problems. First, Nikhil simply played a level better than anyone else in the tournament. Here are the scores of all his matches, in order: 3,5,4,3,2,5,3,8,8,7,-8,6,4,0,4,7,5,5,5,4,5,10,8,9,4,5,6,7,3,3. That’s a 29-1 game record. The opponents’ ratings, also in order: 1097, 2125, 2152, 2351, 2465, 2576, 2626, 2646. The only one to get a game was Keenan Zhou (2351). Second, Nikhil completely tactically dominated the start of each rally with his serve and receive. With these two, Nikhil was a lock to win. But it also seemed as if Jishan didn’t seem comfortable playing another lefty, while Nikhil had no such problem, making the match even more one-sided.

Nikhil also won Mixed Doubles with Amy Wang. Most would agree that Nikhil is the best male doubles player in the US. He and Amy are #25 in the world in Mixed Doubles. In Mixed Doubles Individuals, Nikhil is #56 in the world. And yet, in my last blog, I wrote that Daniel Tran “ arguably the dominant male doubles player in the US.” Why did I write that? Two reasons – First, Daniel won four of five doubles events he played at the 2022 Nationals (Men’s Doubles, Under 19 Men’s Doubles, Under 19 Mixed Doubles, and Under 15 Boys’ Doubles), and second, I was looking at the Nationals, and Nikhil only played Men’s Singles last year – you have to play doubles to dominate in it. However, he and Amy won Mixed Doubles at the US Open in December, while making it to the semifinals of Men’s Doubles with Jinbao Ma. Meanwhile, at this year’s Nationals, Nikhil and Amy won Mixed Doubles again. Daniel also did pretty well in doubles – he won Under 19 Boy’s Doubles again (with Nandan Naresh); he and Lucy Chen got second in Under 19 Mixed Doubles; and he and his brother, Michael Tran, made the semifinals of Men’s Doubles (after winning it last year). Daniel also finished second in Under 19 Boys’ Singles, losing 11-9 in the fifth to Nandan.

This year the righty/righty team of Jinxin Wang/Krishnateja Avvari won Men’s Doubles over righty/lefty Nandan Naresh/Jishan Liang. Nikhil curiously played Men’s Doubles with Bosman Botha, rated 2067, and lost in the second round to the eventual winners, Wang/Avvari – and, despite an average team rating of 2369 to the opponent’s 2568, somehow almost beat them, losing at 11,5,-10,-4,8!

Overall, perhaps I was premature in calling Daniel “arguably” the dominant male doubles player in the US. As Cory Eider pointed out to me at the Nationals, while Daniel is the best junior doubles player, and among the very best overall, Nikhil is still the best overall men’s doubles player. (On a side note, Jishan Liang, another lefty, is another top doubles player who’s won a lot of doubles titles.)

Lily Yip almost certainly set a record, winning NINE (9) Golds! They were: Over 40, Over 50, and Over 60 Singles; Over 50 and Over 60 Women’s Doubles (both with Patty Martinez-Wasserman); Over 40 and Over 50 Mixed Doubles (with Guo Hui Lu and Martin Gohr); Women’s Hardbat; and Women’s Over 40 Hardbat. She also got a bronze in Over 40 Women’s Doubles with Patty. Wow! If not for the limit of ten events, she might also have won Over 60 Mixed Doubles.

On Wednesday night I attended the US Table Tennis Hall of Fame Dinner, where Ashu Jain, Willy Leparulo, Dennis Davis, and Ken Brooks were inducted. Congrats to the new inductees – it’s always fun teaching the Ways of the Pong (i.e. the secret handshake) to the newbies! Here’s the program booklet I did for the event, with profiles of the inductees. Had a lot of discussions with my fellow Hall of Famers, both new and old! Hope to see some of you there next year.

I had an interesting discussion with a top player in both sponge and hardbat. He wasn’t getting as much spin on his hardbat serves as one of his rivals. I pointed out the reason. With grippy inverted, the ball sticks, and so you can go into the ball with full acceleration and velocity. With pips-out sponge, the ball sinks into the sponge, so it also grabs the ball. But with hardbat, there’s no give, and so if you go into it too fast, the ball just slides across the surface. You have to go into it slower, and smoothly accelerate through the serve, essentially rolling the ball across the surface and keeping it on the paddle as long as possible.

I also played in one event, Over 60 hardbat. (I normally use sponge.)

  • Good News: Back on May 8, I weighed 210 pounds, and decided enough was enough – and so I’d been dieting since, getting down to 196 for this tournament.
  • Bad News: Unfortunately, I’d hurt my shoulder badly four months before, and even a week before leaving, I didn’t think I’d be able to play.
  • Good News: I tested it out at the tournament, and it seemed to have improved a lot the last week. It didn’t greatly affect my play, though it still limited my reach going to the wide forehand.
  • Bad News: My left knee started hurting during the preliminaries.
  • Good News: A knee brace solved that problem.
  • More Good News: I made it to the semifinals and played George Guo.
  • Still More Good News: I played great almost to the end and had a zillion match points in the third (best of three to 21).
  • Bad News: At the end, my legs were so dead from racing around to attack with my forehand that I could barely move, while George was still moving me side to side without missing.
  • Really Bad News: I lost, deuce in the third. (George would go on to win the event, sweeping the Over 60 events – Over 60 Hardbat, and Over 50 Men’s Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.) As to me, I really, Really, REALLY don’t want to talk or write about that match. I’ve won enough sponge and hardbat titles that I can afford to have one get away...

WTT Star Contender Ljubljana 2023
Here’s the home page for the event held July 3-9 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Major League Table Tennis - First 4 Team Names and Cities Revealed
Here’s their page! Here is their upcoming schedule:

  • July 10: First 4 Team Names and Cities Revealed
  • July 17: Second 4 Team Names and Cities Revealed
  • August 9: MLTT Lottery to Determine Draft Order
  • August 12-13: MLTT Combine East
  • August 19-20: MLTT Combine West
  • September: MLTT Season Begins

Hardbat, Sandpaper, and Wood, Oh My! Three Huge All-Classic Tournaments Coming Soon
Here’s the article I wrote about them. I will be at all three, both competing and doing coverage at the Nationals and World’s. (There are also lots of hardbat and sandpaper events at the regular US Nationals in July.)

The Battle of Backhands: Exploring Chinese vs. European Techniques
Here’s the video (7:14) from Rational Table Tennis Analysis.

New from Pingispågarna

The Many Advantages Gained From a Strong Table Tennis Serve
Here’s the article by Subham Kundu.

New from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

New Chopping Drills from Angela Guan at PongSpace

News from All Over
Since I haven't blogged since June 26 due to the Nationals, rather than try to list every interesting article, here are links to some of the main news and coaching pages, and you can pick and choose.

Félix and Alexis Lebrun: The teenage French brothers ready to conquer the table tennis world, 500 days out from Paris 2024
Here’s the article from “At only 16 and 19 years old, Félix and Alexis Lebrun are already world top 50 players.”

36 Counterloops in Around-the-Table
Here’s the video (33 sec)!

Unreturnable Shot
Here’s the video (15 sec, including slo-mo replay) of Stanley Hsu’s serve and unreturnable loop against Ahmed Adeleye at the MDTTC June Open! The ball hit the net, rolled over, hit the clamp on the far side, then rolled onto the table! (I was there and saw it in person.)

If You Wanted a Soft Serve You Should Have Gone For Ice Cream
Here’s where you can buy the shirt!

World's Best Battle
Here’s the video (18:50) from Adam Bobrow! “The HIGHLY-anticipated World Championships COULD BE the LAST for the G.O.A.T!”

90° Table Challenge
Here’s the video (8:05) from Pongfinity!

Send us your own coaching news!

Next Blog on Monday, July 10
I’ll be out of town July 2-8 at the US Nationals in Fort Worth, TX, so no blog next week. (But there will be a Tip of the Week.) On a side note, I just checked, and this is my 1928th table tennis blog, along with 609 Tips of the Week!

Tip of the Week
See Things from Opponent's Point of View.

US Nationals in Fort Worth, Texas
I leave for the Nationals this Sunday morning, where I’ll mostly be coaching, Mon-Fri, July 3-7. I’ll be one of the four MDTTC coaches working with our 13 junior players competing. (Other coaches are Wang Qingliang, Cheng Yinghua, and Jack Huang.) There are 811 players listed in the entries at Omnipong. (You can also list it by event.) This will be my 39th US Nationals in a row, and this December will likely be my 39th US Open in a row. I've been to every one of them starting in 1984, plus a few from 1976-1983, starting with the 1976 US Open in Philadelphia, the year I started and my first major tournament other than an Easterns. I've also been to 46 consectutive US/North American Teams (in Detroit, Baltimore, and DC), starting in 1976 - 46 in a row. (All three were skipped in 2020 due to Covid.) 

Here’s an excellent USATT article on the top players at the Nationals, Nandan Naresh and Amy Wang Lead 2023 Nationals Line Up, by Jim Short and Barbara Wei. One small issue – it has a paragraph on Men’s Doubles, where top-seeded Nandan and Sid Naresh “are the team to beat in Men’s Doubles.” It mentions their formidable challenges “from Zhou Xin / Aditya Godhwani, Wenzhang Tao / Jensen Feng, and Nikhil Kumar / Bosman Botha.” They left out the defending champions, brothers Michael & Daniel Tran, who pulled off a series of “upsets” to win, and will be defending their title.

Daniel, who turns 16 the day before the US Nationals (July 2), and rated 2559, is arguably the dominant male doubles player in the US. (It greatly helps that he’s a lefty playing with righty partners, including his older brother, Michael, another excellent double player rated 2442.) All you have to do is look at the record. At last year’s Nationals (here are results), after just turning 15, he was entered in five doubles events with five different partners and completely dominated. He won four – Men’s Doubles, Under 19 Men’s Doubles, Under 19 Mixed Doubles, and Under 15 Boys’ Doubles. In Men’s Doubles, where they were seeded seventh, they beat the top seeds, Jishan Liang/Kai Zhang, whose average rating was 2675, to the Tran’s 2515, as well as the fourth seeds, Yahao Zhang/Timothy Wang, whose average rating was 2595. 

The only one he didn’t win was Under 15 Mixed Doubles, where his team was seeded second (average rating 2370) – he lost in the semifinals to the lower-rated team of Stanley Hsu/Yishiuan Lin (average rating 2299), who I coached – and the two had brilliant execution. After losing the first at 4, we did a major change in tactics and they won three straight at 5,6,8. (A few coaches asked me about how to beat Daniel in doubles. There really is a way, and I’ve explained it to a few of them – but at this point, unless you are from my club, I’m keeping it a secret! But it takes a high level of play to execute.)

Besides coaching, I’m also entered in two hardbat events, Over 40 Hardbat and Over 60 Hardbat. (As readers here know, I normally use sponge but play hardbat as a side thing.) I’ve won Over 40 Hardbat at the US Nationals or US Open eight times, including the 2022 US Open in December. I won both Over 40 and Over 60 Hardbat at the 2021 Nationals. (Alas, I came down with Covid last year and didn’t get to compete at the 2022 Nationals.) I’ve also won Hardbat Singles twice and Hardbat Doubles 14 times – but age has a way of making those events more difficult to win. The competition is tough – I’m seeded fourth in Over 40 Hardbat - with the BIG hurdle being Jimmy Butler . . . who has somehow avoided facing my forehand in singles for many years - and second in Over 60 Hardbat. Regarding Jimmy, I'm actually 1-0 against him in hardbat, or at least 0.5-0. at the 1998 Nationals, Ty Hoff and I beat Jimmy Butler/Pete May in the final of Hardbat Doubles. So, if we play at this year's Nationals, 25 years later, I'm just giving him a rematch . . . right? (For those not in the know, 4-time US Men's Singles Champion Jimmy hasn't lost a hardbat match to a US player since I think 1999.) 

There’s just one problem. In early February, I made the decision to see if I could get back to a high level one more time. So I went to the Samson Dubina camp for two weeks to train with much younger players. Alas, I lasted five days, and had to stop, with shoulder, knee, and back injuries. Yep, at 63 I finally have to accept the fact that I’m 63. Training the way I used to train simply won’t work.

How is this relevant four months later? The knees and back are fine now (knock on wood), but after four months where I’ve done all I could to avoid aggravating it, the shoulder is still hurting. There are certain moves I struggle to do, but I’m not about to list them here for possible competitors. The reality is that I figure it’s less than 50% I’ll be able to complete. The problem is I can’t really test the shoulder without risking hurting it. When I warm up for the event, if it’s really bad, I’ll default. Otherwise, I’ll see what I can do. Jimmy, you may be off the hook yet. 

I’ll also be at the US Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at 6PM on July 5 (Wednesday) at 6PM. You can still buy tickets – see segment below. I’ve heard there will be some other USATT meetings at the Nationals but haven’t heard anything official or seen anything scheduled.

It’s going to be a busy week!!!

Yet Still More Table Tennis Tips
As announced last week, Yet Still More Table Tennis Tips is out!!! It’s on sale at Amazon for only $14.95. The kindle version is now up as well, for $9. It’s another 150 tips, all in logical progression. It’s the fourth book in the Tips series – which now has a Series Page at Amazon! This makes it easier to order any or all four of the books in the Tips series. (Alas, it doesn’t allow for a discount (I tried), and there are no boxed sets.) Here are links to all my books.

NOTE – I previously ran the two segments below on the Hall of Fame and Classic Events, but thought I’d run them again. Hope to see you at both. (There are still a few open seats for the Hall of Fame dinner.)

US Table Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Dinner
Here’s the info page and here’s the Class of 2023. The dinner and induction banquet will take place during the US Nationals at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Wednesday, July 5, starting at 6PM. I’ll be there and hope to see you too! (I just finished the program booklet for the event.) This year’s inductees – Kenneth Brooks (athlete), Ashu Jain (athlete/contributor), Dennis Davis (contributor), and Willy Leparulo (contributor).

Hardbat, Sandpaper, and Wood, Oh My! Three Huge All-Classic Tournaments Coming Soon
Here’s the article I wrote about them. I will be at all three, both competing and doing coverage at the Nationals and World’s. (There are also lots of hardbat and sandpaper events at the regular US Nationals in July.)

News from Major League Table Tennis
Here are some news items from Major League Table Tennis, the upcoming professional league in the US. These are some segments from an email sent out by the founder, Flint Lane, not on their webpage.

  • Last call for players who want to participate in MLTT Season 1. Draft registration ends at 1 PM ET on June 30th. Over 180 athletes have signed up for the draft from 40 countries.  Wow! 
  • Players who have signed up for the draft will be notified between July 1st and July 7th whether they've been selected to attend one of the MLTT Combines. We've put together this comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer any questions that you may have -
  • MLTT welcomes Mimi Bosika as our new Director of Competition. In this role, Mimi will work with players and coaches to make sure we deliver an outstanding experience for all. Mimi was born in Serbia and began playing table tennis at 6 years old under the coaching of her father Jon Bosika, who was the 1996 US Olympic coach. After moving to the US,  she won multiple US Open Junior and Youth Championship titles. Mimi earned her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has been a wellness entrepreneur for over 10 years. 
  • Starting in July we will be announcing the locations of our 8 teams including team names and logos.

"Mission Possible" NCTTA Fundraising for Video Production!
Here’s the article from the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association. “NCTTA’s goal for this summer’s fundraising campaign is NCTTA Video Production which now has a Go Fund Me page:

Butterfly Training Tips
They have a lot this week!

How To Master Deceptive Sidespin Serves
Here’s the video (6:42) from Rational Table Tennis Analysis.

Here’s the video (34 sec) from the Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis. (One small thing – it says, “Look at the opponent’s racket before hitting the ball.” I think there’s a translation problem and they mean to watch to say opponent’s racket to see where to move to.)

New from Samson Dubina

New from Ti Long

New from PongSpace

Table Tennis Teaching Children
Here’s the video (6:52) from Dr. Table Tennis.

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

Great Point between Fan Zhendong and Harimoto Tomokazu
Here’s the video (36 sec).

New from Steve Hopkins

Ping Pong Is Not “The Game of Table Tennis”
Here’s the article by Isabella Xu

Tashiya Piyadasa Wins 3rd Place in U13 Girls at WTT Youth Contender in Helsingborg Sweden
Here’s the article by Tashiya Piyadasa

The GOLDEN GENERATION Of Hungarian Table Tennis
Here’s the video (10 min) from Table Tennis Media. Their Jonyer-Klampar-Gergely domination started just before I started in table tennis in 1976. At one point I copied the Hungarian-style loop for a time. I can still demonstrate it, but few do it now.

New from the ITTF

Want a “Think Fast” Table Tennis Sticker?
Here they are!

“You’re the Ping to My Pong” Throw Pillow
Isn’t this what you’ve always wanted? (Or as a gift.) Three versions!

Exhibition Point
Here’s the video (35 sec) – some good lobbing and the run around the table!

Another Exhibition Point
Here’s the video (38 sec)! Waldner (1989 and 1997 World Men’s Champion on far side) vs. Persson (1991 World Men’s Champion), both from Sweden.

Evolving to Ping Pong
Here’s the cartoon!

Send us your own coaching news!

Tip of the Week
Stepping Versus Lunging.

Yet Still More Table Tennis Tips
My new book is out!!! It’s on sale at Amazon for only $14.95. It’s my 20th book and fourth in the Tips series:

Here’s the book description from Amazon:

Here are 150 Tips to help your table tennis game, by Larry Hodges - a member of the U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame and a National Coach. They compile in logical progression three years' worth of Tips of the Week (2020-2023) from They cover all aspects of the game: Serve, Receive, the Strokes, Grip and Stance, Footwork, Tactics, How to Improve, Sports Psychology, Equipment, and Tournaments. (This is a sequel to "Table Tennis Tips," which covered the 150 Tips from 2011-2013, "More Table Tennis Tips," which covered the 150 Tips from 2014-2016, and "Still More Table Tennis Tips," which covered the 150 Tips from 2017-2020.)

It's 162 pages with ten chapters:

  1. Serve
  2. Receive
  3. Strokes
  4. Footwork and Positioning
  5. Tactics
  6. Training and Strategic Development
  7. Sports Psychology
  8. Coaching
  9. Tournaments
  10. Miscellaneous

Sure, you could practice many long hours, but with this book . . . why hit when you can buy it? (Think you can come up with a better rhyme for “buy it”? No? Then quiet!)

MDTTC Open and Weekend Coaching
Here are the results of the MDTTC Open held this weekend at my club in Gaithersburg, MD, USA. Many of our junior players, after months of hard training, had breakout performances. Ratings are only an indicator of recent performance . . . but when the ratings come out (possibly today), there will be a large influx for them.

We only had one group junior session, the novice group, the last regular training session of the season. But our summer camps start today, June 19 to Aug. 25. I used to run these camps, but in recent years we have so many full-time coaches who need the hours that I’m only there part-time. (EDIT - shortly after writing this they asked if I could come in Tue morning and perhaps other days.) I’m semi-retired and so get to stay home more and write books! With the novice group, I did a lot of down-the-line practice. To help with this, I put one of the ball nets on the table so they only had about 18 inches of table to hit into. It’s not only good practice, but it’s another way to challenge the kids, which keeps things interesting for them.

Alas, I hurt my shoulder again. How did I do it? Technically, I can say I did it while coaching Todd Klinger, one of our players in group one, the top group. But it happened in the lounge. How did it happen?

I was watching Santiago Acosta play in our tournament against one of our top juniors and recognized a tactic he was using, one I used to use a lot and talk about in my book, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers. I don’t know if he was doing it consciously or not, but it’s an effective tactic against a fast player. He was playing steady with his backhand, covering both the wide backhand and middle with it, but just waiting for the opponent to change directions and go to his forehand. Since he was waiting for it, it didn’t matter if the shot coming at him was a strong one – he jumped on it over and over. The key is that as soon as you see the opponent changing directions, you don’t wait – you practically jump to the wide forehand and counter-smack the ball. If the ball were to go into the middle forehand, you’re helpless since you are already covering the wide angle. But good players don’t go to the middle forehand when changing directions, and so you can anticipate it’s going wide. Result? He kept making spectacular forehand counter-attacks. The way to play against this strategy, of course, is to first, realize the opponent’s “middle” is now just to the right of the middle line of his forehand side; and second, mostly go after the middle and wide backhand, and don’t give into the temptation of going to the wide forehand if the opponent is waiting for it.

What does all this have to do with injuring my shoulder? I made the mistake of demonstrating this for Todd, shadow hitting a few steady backhands, and then the sudden move to the wide forehand and a quick forehand – and two seconds later yelled, “OW!!!” Yep, hurt it again. I injured it 2.5 months ago and still haven’t gotten over it, probably because I keep hurting it again while coaching even though I’m only hitting with beginning/intermediate players. Anyway, at this point I’m guessing it’s at most 50-50 if I’ll be able to play at the Nationals. I’m there mostly to coach, but I’m also entered in two hardbat events, Over 40 and over 60. (I’m the defending Over 40 champion, which I’ve won eight times.)

US Classic Nationals
The US Classic Nationals, for Hardbat and Sandpaper, are in Austin, TX, on Aug. 12, run by Steve Claflin. You can enter via Omnipong. I’ll be there, both playing and doing coverage – will you? Here’s the article I wrote about them and two other upcoming Classic tournaments.

WTT Contender Lagos 2023
Here’s the home page for the event that took place in Lagos, Nigeria, June 12-18. Here are the Men’s and Women’s finals.

How Pros Train Off The Table With Fitness Trainer Kevin Finn
Here’s the video (49:48) from Seth Pech. “Produce more explosive power in shots, Attain better stamina, increase overall strength without increase in size and weight.”

Butterfly Training Tips

How to Improve Your Reaction Time By Doing a Simple Random Topspin Attack to Backhand Drill
Here’s the video (2:23) from PongSpace featuring Damien Provost.

New from Samson Dubina

New from Ti Long

New from PingSunday/EmRathThich

Harmeet Desai Forehand Flick against Jang Woojin
Here’s the video (79 sec) from Drupe Pong.

Fan Zhendong Ma Long and Others Train at WTTC Durban 2023
Here’s the video (9:59) from the Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

Interview with Bojan Besinger
Here’s the video (15:12) from Pingispågarna with the German coach who runs the coaching company High Performance Table Tennis.

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

New from Steve Hopkins

Tournament Highlights

A Thrilling Journey at the Silicon Valley Teams Championship: Battles, Challenges, and Unforgettable Moments
Here’s the article by Charles Shen.

2023 Maryland Senior Olympics
Here’s the video (7:10) and here are results for the event held June 3 at the Potomac Community Center in Potomac, MD. John Olsen/Kevin Walton, two players I used to coach regularly, won 55-59 Men’s Doubles. (They didn’t play singles. They will be competing at the National Senior Games in Pittsburgh, July 12-18, in both singles and doubles.)

New from ITTF

Washington and New Delhi Share Interests, Not Values
No table tennis in this article from Foreign Affairs, but a nice table tennis image! Yes, that’s USA and India vs. China ping-pong paddles.

Blondie – Table Tennis Moves
Here’s the Blondie cartoon from yesterday (6-18-23)!

Ping-Pong in the Stone Age
Here’s the table tennis cartoon from 1901, on sale at Ebay! (Here’s a larger version.)

Pongfinity 4,000,000 Table Tennis Match
Here’s the video (15:22) from Pongfinity!

YouTuber vs. 10 Pros
Here’s the video (12:24) from Adam Bobrow! “After beating the top player at a club in Bali, I got invited to play the PRO team!” (So, how many did he beat?)

Forehand, Backhand Bird
Here’s the video (58 sec) – this is hilarious! (It looks like a crow or raven, except its throat and top of the head are turquoise. Email me if you can identify what type of bird this is. I Googled but couldn’t find it.)
BREAKING NEWS - it's a Superb Bird of Paradise from Papua New Guinea (see the second picture, which looks like the one above), according to Lance Bode, who emailed me this morning. 

Send us your own coaching news!