Blogs

Larry Hodges' Blog and Tip of the Week will go up on Mondays by noon 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 eight books and over 1500 articles on table tennis. Here is his bio. (Larry was awarded the USATT Lifetime Achievement Award in July, 2018.)
NOTE - Larry is on the USATT Board of Directors and chairs the USATT Coaching Committee, but the views he shares in his blog are his own, and do not necessarily represent the views of USA Table Tennis.

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 Tips and More Table Tennis Tips, which cover, in logical progression, his Tips of the Week from 2011-2013 and 2014-2016, 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!

July 11, 2018

I Need One More Day - Really!!!
After being away 3.5 weeks, I returned on Monday to an overwhelming todo list that took half a day just to put together. I need one more day to tackle that list before returning to daily blogging. However, the Tip of the Week is up: Pinpoint Your Weakness and Then Pinpoint a Drill. And here's a video (24 sec) of someone playing with an oven tray. Don't tell me you haven't dreamed of doing that!

June 13, 2018

World Veterans Articles
I am writing numerous daily articles for the World Veterans Championships in Las Vegas, June 18-24 (along with Matt Hetherington and Richard Finn). Come on over and read these articles that feature such champions as Istvan Jonyer, USATT Hall of Famers, many more!

Last Blog Until Wednesday, July 11 12
As noted below, I'll be out of town 3.5 weeks. See you in July!

Upcoming Schedule and Events
A detailed, day-by-day schedule of the next 3.5 weeks.

  • June 14-17 (Thu-Sun). I fly out to Eugene, Oregon with dozens of others for a remembrance of my father, who died in December. Will also spend some time going over his estate and belongings, including literally thousands of books.
  • June 17 (Sun). I fly to Las Vegas for three weeks. I'll be staying in the Westgate Hotel. I'll attend the World Veterans Opening Ceremonies at 8PM.  There are about 4000 entries.
  • June 18-19 (Mon-Tue). Group Qualifications for Singles and Doubles. (Doubles starts on June 19.) I'll be doing daily online coverage the entire event, June 18-24 - there should be links at the World Veterans page and on the USATT News page. (Due to shoulder problems I'm not playing, though the shoulder is mostly healed now.) I'm looking forward to meeting one of my three big heroes from when I started playing in 1976 - Istvan Jonyer, the 1975 World Men's Singles Champion. (Click on "Medal Record - Show" on the right.) The other two were Stellan Bengtsson and Kjell Johansson. Stellan will also be at the World Veterans but since he moved to the U.S. many years ago I've gotten to know him pretty well, and look forward to seeing him again. I plan to discuss some USATT policy issues with him.
  • June 20 (Wed). A traditional day off at the World Veterans so everyone can rest. There will be sightseeing tours and the 2019 World Veterans Tour Kickoff Party. However, I probably won't be attending any of this as there'll be an all-day USATT Board Meeting with a packed agenda.
  • June 21 (Thu). Single Elimination Stage in Singles, played to SF.
  • June 22 (Fri). Single Elimination Stage in Doubles, played to SF.
  • June 23 (Sat). Semifinals and Finals of all Doubles and Consolation Events.
  • June 24 (Sun). All Championship Semifinals and Finals played. Award Ceremony presented by Bluestone Designs (Singles events and Closing ceremony. "Viva Las Vegas" Farewell Party presented by Patty Martinez Wasserman and Si Wasserman.
  • June 25-July 1 (Mon-Sun). I have a one-week writing & reading "vacation" in Las Vegas. I'll likely be working on both table tennis and science fiction writing projects. Most of the Maryland juniors (16 of them) are coming in early before the Nationals so I'll also be helping them train the last three days of this. I may see a few Las Vegas sites - see last item below.
  • July 2-7 (Mon-Sat). The USA Nationals. I'll be one of the five MDTTC coaches on hand to coach the juniors from MDTTC, who are mostly from the HW Global Talent Program which trains at MDTTC. Due to the shoulder problems I won't be playing, which means I can focus 100% on coaching. But I should be fine now warming players up for matches.
  • July 3 (Tue). I'll be running a FREE Serve & Receive Tactics Seminar for all levels, though focus is on intermediate/advanced. So far 14 have signed up. If interested, email me so I can put you on the roster. (Please include your state, age, and rating.)  
  • July 5 (Thu). The Hall of Fame Banquet is that night. I'll be there accepting the USATT Lifetime Achievement Award. Those being inducted into the Hall of Fame are Li Ai, Dhiren Narotam, Norman Bass, Doru Gheorghe, and Henan Li Ai. Here's the USATT Announcement. I have to give an acceptance speech - have it all planned out! It ends with a Top Ten list.
  • July 6 (Fri). The Men's and Women's Singles Final will be played that night.
  • July 8 (Sun). I have a free day here where I planned originally to rent a car drive out to the Grand Canyon for some sightseeing. However, for some reason I thought it was two hours away, but it's actually over four. So I'll likely stay in Las Vegas. I looked over the list of Las Vegas Attractions, and will likely visit the following: Titanic Exhibit, The Aquarium at the Silverton Hotel, Mandalay Bay Shark Aquarium, and the Mob Museum. Then, at 10:40PM that night I take a red-eye flight back to Maryland.

Pyongyang Open
Here's the home page for the event starting today in North Korea, June 13-17. (It's the last event on the ITTF Tour until the Korean Open, July 17-18.)

USATT Tournament Promotion Guide
Here it is, for those of you who missed it before. It was created by Matt Hetherington. 

Root of the Problem: Are you looking for it?
Here's the article from Samson Dubina.

Ohio Mega Camp
Here's the article and six videos from this camp run last week by Samson Dubina. The videos include a highlights video and five lectures/demonstrations.

Training 101
Here's the new series of videos from PingSkills, which are free. "Our latest set of tutorials titled training 101 is now complete and available on the PingSkills website. There are 10 lessons designed for someone just starting out in table tennis or for someone looking to coach someone new to the game. Each session builds upon the last and presents some fun activities to help learn all about the important strokes in table tennis, and of course how to spin and how to counter spin."

Show #312 - Tomokazu Harimoto
Here's the new podcast (33:29) from PingSkills. This week they cover:

  • Joke of the Week
  • On This Week - Patrick Franzisca, the man who serves into a shoe, turns 26 years old
  • Tournament Wrap - Japan Open and Australian Open
  • Tip and Drill of the Week - Watch Tomokazu Harimoto and Ma Long playing in a match and isolate their leg movement. Then think about how you can move in a match.
  • Beating Blockers
  • Awkward Long Ball
  • Beginner Serves
  • Choosing Sides

How to Backhand Flick Like Fan Zhendong!
Here's the video (2:40) from Table Tennis Daily.

The Deadly Strawberry Flick
Here's the video (3:41), where they demonstrate the opposite of the banana flick (or flip). Here's another, the Xu Xin Strawberry Flick (4:41).

Zhang Jike Forehand Loop
Here's the video (1:27).

Table Tennis Fans Flood Sina Weibo Calling for Return of Ex-Boss Liu Guoliang
Here's the article from the South China Morning Post (in English).

Legendary German Powerhouse, Rosskopf, Looks Ahead to Vegas
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington.

Meet Yogesh Desai - Table Tennis Ironman
Here's the USATT article by Richard Finn.

Meet the Olympian Bringing Table Tennis to Freehold
Here's the article featuring Lily Yip, from App Magazine.

Table Tennis Tidbits #41: Teens and Twenties Triumph
Here's the article by Robert Ho.

The Tragedy of Decidophobia in Table Tennis
Here's the article by Coach Jon. "It turns out that there is a lot to be afraid of in table tennis!"

Where Are They Now? Anderson College Series
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

History of USATT – Volume 21 – Chapter 3
Here’s chapter 3 of Tim Boggan's latest volume, which covers 1993-1994. Or you can buy it and previous (and future) volumes at www.timboggantabletennis.com. Volume 21 is 438 pages with 1667 graphics, and covers all the wild things that happened in 1994-95 - and I'm mentioned a lot! Why not buy a copy - or the entire set at a discount? Tim sells them directly, so when you order them, you get it autographed - order your copy now!

Real-Time Tracking of a Table Tennis Ball
Here's the article. The full title is, "Research on real – time tracking of table tennis ball based on machine learning with low-speed camera."

Ito Mima vs Wang Manyu: 2018 Japan Open Highlights (Final)
Here's the video (12:33). Note - I linked to videos of the Tomokazu Harimoto-Zhang Jike Men's Final on Monday, along with Harimoto's SF with Lee Sangsu and QF with Ma Long.

Martin Jezo and Ronald Chen Exhibition
Here's the video (60 sec) as the two put on an impromptu exhibition at MDTTC.

Talented Ping-Pong Players Put on Mesmerizing Display Using SIX Balls
Here's the article and video (2:31).

Table Tennis Event Smashes the Salt Lake Scene
Here's the video (6:05) from Park City Television.

Ping-Pong T-Shirts
Here's an interesting selection from Fitness Magazine.

Table Tennis Emojis
Here they are.

These Ping-Pong Shots Are Dope
Here's the video (70 sec) of trick shots. I most appreciate the very first one, through the house of cards. Think about it - when trying this out, every time he missed he had to rebuild the thing!

Two Dogs Playing Table Tennis
Here's the repeating gif. (I may have run this once, long ago.)

Star Wars Power Paddle
Here's the page with it. Scroll down further and you'll get the "Come Along Ping Pong Paddle" at the Barbican."

Table Tennis Cartoon Animals
Here are a few. Just Google "Table Tennis Cartoon ANIMAL," and replace ANIMAL with your choice of, well anything. "Cartoon" is optional.

***
Send us your own coaching news!

June 11, 2018

Tuesday - No Blog
I have a bunch of work being done on my house early on Tuesday morning, and a horde of things on my todo list to get done before I go out of town Thursday morning for 3.5 weeks. So no blog on Tuesday. See you on Wednesday! That, alas, will be my last blog for 3.5 weeks, where I'll be at a family gathering for three days in Eugene, OR; and then three weeks in Las Vegas - the World Veterans (one week); a one-week writing/reading "vacation" (though I'll also be helping to run a 3-day mini-camp before the Nationals); and then the USA Nationals.

Tip of the Week
How to Make Your Strengths Stronger with Serve and Receive.

What Makes Tomokazu Harimoto So Good
The Japanese whiz kid won't turn 15 until June 27, and yet he just won the Japan Open as a 14-year-old. This wasn't his first Pro Tour win - he won the Czech Open last year two months after turning 14. But that time he beat Hugo Calderano of Brazil in the semifinals and Timo Boll of Germany in the final. While beating Boll was an incredible victory for Harimoto, this one just seemed different as he beat world #2 (and really, the best player in the world) Ma Long in the quarterfinals, world #8 Lee Sangsu in the semifinals, and in the final won 13-11 in the seventh against Zhang Jike, who seems nearly back to his old form. (See segment below on Japan Open for more info.)

Before this tournament, Harimoto was ranked #10 in the world, and that seemed accurate. Now? I'd say he's firmly proven that he can compete with the very best. Does this mean he's better than Ma Long? No - I'd still bet on Ma Long next time out. But I think Harimoto should legitimately be #3 or #4 in the world. At this point, he's on a par with Ovcharov, and breathing down the necks of Ma Long and Fan Zhendong.

I suspect that part of this is because of the removal of Liu Guoliang as head coach last year of the Chinese team. He was great at preparing players for each event and each match. There's a really good chance that he would have better prepared Ma and Zhang for Harimoto. This type of thing makes a big difference. But we'll never really know, will we? We just know that while Liu was coach, the Chinese dominated and beat all challengers. As soon as he left, the elderly Timo Boll and Ovtcharov began to challenge beat them, and now a 14-year-old is beating them.

Being the youngest to win a Pro Tour Event isn't a guarantee of great success. Before Harimoto broke his record, the youngest male Pro Tour winner was China's Yu Ziyang, who won the 2014 Japan Open at age 16. Yet his highest world ranking ever was #20, and he's currently listed as #372 (mostly due to inactivity). But Harimoto seems a lot higher in level than Yu was, so barring injuries or unforeseen happenings, I can't see Harimoto not becoming the dominating best in the world in the next few years.

Harimoto wasn't the only Japanese player to upset the Chinese - Mima Ito won Women's Singles. See Japan Open below and article on Japanese Teenagers.

So, how is Harimoto at age 14 able to compete and win against the world's best? I watched videos of his matches at the Japan Open, and especially against Ma Long. Here are the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final of the Japan Open for Harimoto.

Here are six things he does about as well or better than anyone else.

  1. Fighting spirit and screams between points
    While I don't really like the spectacle of a 14-year-old on the world stage screaming like a banshee every time he wins a point, I understand why it happens and why it helps him play. There's a lot of tension and pressure in these matches, and the screams help vent that tension. As players get older, they learn to control this, which is why most of the best players in the world in most sports don't scream as much, only perhaps at key points. But for a kid, it really helps to release tension in this way. It also helps in focusing, which is also easier as one gets older. And lastly, it does distract and irritate opponents, which can affect their play. So whether we like the screaming or not, we have to understand that they are part of what makes Harimoto so good. It's likely that as he gets older he'll quiet down, but not necessarily. 
  2. Backhand banana flip. Especially in returning serves he does this as well as anyone on the planet. The result is he can take the initiative when receiving as well or better than just about anyone. A key point - develop this shot early. Most coaches don't teach this shot until the player is relatively advanced, and then he's years behind a player like Harimoto who was probably trained on this shot early on. 
  3. Off-bounce backhand loop. I'm starting to suspect he does this better than anyone, and he makes it look easy. What makes the shot so strong is the combination of quickness, speed, topspin, and placement. Every time he's in a topspin rally he's a threat to end the point with one of these off-bounce shots. Others may have more power on it, but I'm not sure if anyone combines the best of every aspect of this shot. Here's the last point of his match with Ma Long - see how he rips a backhand off-the-bounce to Ma Long's middle, who can barely even react to it. (The shot itself was set up by a banana backhand flip.) Coaches should study the stroke and how he generates so much power with such a short, quick stroke - in some ways reminiscent of Bruce Lee's famous short punches. It's actually easy to copy the stroke without the ball (after watching Hashimoto do it) - the key is training this type of backhand until you can do it in live rallies like he can. 
  4. Attacking middle and then corners. He's extremely good at going after opponent's middles, i.e. their playing elbows, with his extremely quick topspins, and then following up with winners to the corners. Over and over he did this with Ma Long and others. Often the first shot to the middle won the point outright. (See last point of match with Ma Long above.) A key point is that when he went to the middle, he did so with very quick, off-bounce shots. 
  5. Forehand without backing up. He doesn't nearly have the power of Ma Long or Fan Zhendong (yet), but his forehand is quicker, allowing him to take nearly every ball without backing up. Off a hard-hit shot I'd guess he takes the ball on average a full foot quicker than Ma or Fan. This puts tremendous time pressure on opponents, and makes his placement even more effective as players struggle to cover for these quick, aggressive topspins right at their elbow or at wide angles. On most shots, he can still loop at full power, but when rushed, he sacrifices speed for quickness and angles. 
  6. Better hidden serve technique. At the higher levels, most players hide their serve, either over and over, or sparingly to catch opponents off guard. I've blogged about this many times, and consider it a travesty on our sport that we allow such cheating, but it's a reality, and Harimoto would have great difficulty competing at this level if he didn't do it as well. But he's one of the best at it as he shows the ball right up until nearly contact, fooling spectators, umpires, and even opponents into thinking the ball isn't hidden. But just as he's contacting the ball his head thrusts out just enough to barely hide (or sometimes not, to keep receivers guessing) contact, and with a quick, hidden motion, he can change the spin or give no-spin, and opponents have difficulty figuring out what the racket was doing right at contact, often getting fooled by what it was doing a split second before or after. 

Since I wrote about Harimoto's hidden serve, let's take a look at it, as well as Ma Long's, since both illegally hide the serve. Here are two sequences from their quarterfinal match. (It was tricky finding good sequences at the right angle. Now I wish I'd just used the first serve Harimoto did on the far side, this one, where he does the same subtle hiding as in the one below.) Note how Harimoto keeps the ball visible until just before contact, and only barely hides it? Then compare that with Ma Long. Both hide the ball by a last-second forward thrust of their head, but the ball goes way behind Ma Long's head so the ball obviously disappears. Before, I would have said Ma Long's hidden serve was subtle, as he waits until the last second before thrusting the head forward, making it impossible for umpires to see if the ball was visible or not. But Harimoto seems to take it to a new level, making it difficult even for the opponent to tell if the ball was hidden at contact as there's only that split second where the ball is hidden (or sometimes not, to keep receivers guessing), as opposed to Ma Long, where the ball so clearly goes behind his head. (I only did two photos for Ma Long as no more is needed to show how much more his serve goes behind his head.)

Harimoto:

Ma Long:

Japan Open
Here's the home page for the event, which ended yesterday in Kitakyushu, JPN, June 8-10. Here are some key articles - there are many more in their News section. Results are linked from the Information section.

Butterfly Training Tips With Brian Pace – featuring Shigang Yang: Forehand Flip With Multi-ball Training
Here's the article and video (1:20).

How to Improve Rotation in Topspin
Here's the video (34 sec) from the European Table Tennis Union.

New from EmRatThich

Interview with Iva Laginja, 2018 Maryland State Women’s Singles Champion
Here's the interview by Ayan Bagchi. "Ms. Iva Laginja is a 25-year-old Croatian born Austrian who moved to Baltimore, MD eight months ago to work at the Space Telescope Science Institute. She has recently completed her Master’s degree in Astronomy and Instrumentation from Leiden University (Netherlands) and two undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Vienna (Austria)."

ITTF World Junior Circuit - Where is USA?
Here's the article by Bruce Liu. While I believe it was the rise of full-time training centers that led to the rise of USA's juniors - you can't compete with the full-time training overseas if all you mostly have part-time players training in part-time clubs, which was the USA reality until full-time clubs began popping up, mostly in the last 10-15 years - he makes a good point that bringing the World Junior Championships or a similar event great spurs table tennis activity, as he explains.

Australia and United States Combine, Turn Tables on China
Here's the ITTF article on the 2018 Cook Islands Junior and Cadet Open in Rarotonga.

Table Tennis Superstars | 10 & 12-Year-Old Brothers
Here's the video (7:14) featuring Sid and Nandan Naresh. "12-year-old Sid Naresh and his 10 year-old brother, Nandan, already have their eyes set on playing professional table tennis."

2018 China Open: Ball Kids
Here's the video (58 sec).

Don’t Suffer from the Same Nightmare as Timo Boll!
Here's the video (1:50).

Romantic Dinner Trick Shots
Here's the video (2:01) from Pongfinity.

***
Send us your own coaching news!

June 8, 2018

Ma Long Forehand Loop
Here's a new ITTF video (56 sec) showing the world's best (though technically ranked #2) in real time and slow motion! Let's take a look at it, piece by piece. I'm including four still images from the video. (Note that when I say power, that means both speed and spin.)

BACKSWING. Let's jump to eight seconds in, where they show his backswing in slow motion. Key points:

  1. Nearly all his weight is on his back (right foot).
  2. Right foot is pointed partly outwards. This allows easy power from pushing off the foot.
  3. His feet are nearly parallel to the table. This allows him to both put more rotational power into the shot and play a quicker shot, but less power from weight shifting. It also keeps him in position for a powerful backhand. Most players put their right foot at least slightly back for this shot - I do - because you can't really play forehands effectively in a fast rally with the feet parallel unless you train regularly or start early and so ingrain it. It also requires substantial physical training to be able to rotate at the hips, waist, and shoulder as quickly and smoothly as he does, which is needed if you keep the feet parallel.
  4. He's dropped his right shoulder. This will allow extra power for topspin. As he loops with more power or plays closer to the table he'll drop it less; if he backs off the table or is up against heavy backspin he drops it more.
  5. Arm is close to body. This allows more quickness in the backswing. If you hold it out, it slows you down.
  6. Arm is almost but not completely straight. If it goes too straight, you lose quickness; if not straight enough, you lose power.
  7. His body is almost completely rotated sideways at the hips, waist, and shoulder.

START OF FORWARD SWING. Key points:

  1. After completing his backswing, he's pulled it his arm away from his body.
  2. The wrist is lifted up and back as he prepares to snap the wrist and forearm into the ball. The two go together. It's hard to see the wrist motion except in slow motion or with still images. 
  3. He's begun to rotate into the ball with his hips, waist, and shoulders.
  4. Shoulders are rotating upward and around.
  5. Eyes are glued on the ball.

CONCTACT. Key points:

  1. He's completely rotated into the shot with his hips, waist, and shoulders.
  2. Contact is almost directly to the side, not out in front. If you contact more in front, then that means the body rotation came to a stop so you could get your arm out in front, and so you lose much of your power.
  3. Head and body have rotated, but moved only slightly forward. If you move your head and body forward too much during this shot, it makes it hard to recover quickly enough for the next shot, so world-class players often barely move their heads except when going for all-out power. If you watch players who can seemingly loop over and over in rapid succession without backing up from the table, watch their heads and you'll see how they are able to recover so quickly between each shot.
  4. Shoulder has lifted up.
  5. Arm and wrist have whipped into the shot. At contact the elbow is maybe around 110 degrees and still closing.
  6. He's not watching contact. There's a certain point where you can't really react anymore, so there's no point in watching the ball all the way into contact on such a shot. If the incoming ball is very slow, such as a push or lob, then you might watch it all the way into the racket. Once it becomes pointless to watch the ball, it's better to look up to see what your opponent is doing.

FOLLOW-THROUGH. The most important thing? It should be a natural follow to the stroke itself. Key points:

  1. His head and body have moved only a little bit forward during the shot as they move mostly in a circle. This allows Ma to start and finish in almost the same position so he can recover for the next shot very quickly.
  2. Arm has rotated through the shot and is now at about 90 degrees.
  3. Most of his weight is now on his left leg. He's almost instantly using it to push back into position for the next shot.
  4. He's completely balanced, as he has been throughout the shot - this is key.
  5. He's watching opponent so he can react quickly to the next shot.

Here's slow motion video of Ma Long looping against backspin starting about 12 seconds in). The main differences here are that there's more upward motion, his head moves more forward (since there's no rush to return to ready position), and if you look closely, now he's using even more wrist.

Thursday Beginning Junior Class
I teach two beginning junior classes each week, on Thursdays and Sundays. We had our final Thursday session of the season last night, with the final Sunday session this weekend. As usual, on our final session we did "player's choice," where the players choose what they want to work on; then we did smash against lob, always a favorite, where they took turns smashing against my lobs and Coach John Hsu's. As usual we finished with games - this time I introduced them to Table Tennis Tic Tac Toe (TTTTT), as demonstrated in this video (64 sec) from Maria Ingles that I posted yesterday.

So no more beginning classes until late August - but now it's Summer Camp time!!! Yep, camps all summer long, Mon-Fri.

Japan Open
Here's the home page for the event, which starts today in Kitakyushu, JPN, June 8-10. But because they are on the other side of the world, that means their "today" is already done! Here's the Japan Open Day 1 Review (2:02).  Here's video (52:22) of world #4 Timo Boll's opening match against Tanaka Yuta (world #331) of Japan. Ma Long is top seed, no Fan Zhendong or Dimitrij Ovtcharov, so there's a good chance of a Boll-Ma Long final in Men's Singles - but Zhang Jike is also in Boll's half. As of this writing, Boll is already in the QF against Kenta Matsudaira of Japan, with Ma Long a round behind and up against Maharu Yoshimura of Japan - followed by a likely quarterfinal clash between Ma Long and Japan whiz kid Tomokazu Harimoto, #10 in the world at 15. On the Women's side, no serious upsets as of yet.

Table Tennis Diplomacy
Here's the article by Eli Baraty. "I am a great believer in table tennis diplomacy and Diplomacy as a whole. Many years ago a great event occurred called Ping Pong Diplomacy, In short, it's about how China opened their gates to America (click on the link to read about it). A month ago the table tennis world witnessed history once again but this time, I call it Table Tennis Diplomacy."

Even Younger Sora Matsushima, Next Child Prodigy
Here's the ITTF article. Japan keeps pumping out these child prodigies! China probably does as well, but they tend not to play internationally or get much public exposure until they are older. Many of the best Chinese first show up internationally when they are already among the top ten in the world or close to that. "Undoubtedly he oozes talent, the popular view being that at the same age he is ahead of Tomokazu Harimoto, a player who has left crowds open mouthed in recent years with wins against celebrated names."

Kelly van Zon, Most Celebrated Name on Duty
Here's the ITTF article. "Winner earlier this year in Lignano and Slovenia, Kelly van Zon of the Netherlands is the most decorated player on duty at the forthcoming 2018 Spanish Para Open which commences in Sant Cugat de Valles on Friday 8th June."

2018 Cook Islands Junior & Cadet Open – Breaking News
Here's the article by Bruce Liu.

Ping Pong (Table Tennis) Scenes - Movies
Here's the listing of 18 movies with lots of pictures!

Talking Tom and Friends - Ping Pong Wizard
Here's the animated table tennis cartoon (10:54)! The table is there from the start, but the real table tennis action starts at 1:35.

***
Send us your own coaching news!

June 7, 2018

Timo Boll Hand Switch at 2018 China Open - Revisited
Here's the video (45 sec), which I posted on Tuesday, of the point between Timo Boll of Germany (world #4) and Liang Jingkun of China, world #82. Let's look at it shot by shot. (Use the space bar to start/stop the action, and the left arrow to bring the video back 5 seconds - at least that's what it does on mine.) Note that Liang will end up pulling off the upset, -5,9,10,-7,-4,9,5. At the time of this point, Boll is up 3-2 in games but Liang leads 9-5, and 9-6 after this point. 

  1. Liang's serve. It's hidden, of course, since umpires these days almost never call hidden serves - or more specifically, don't call serves where they are not "satisfied" that the serve is legal. When a player contorts his body like this and then thrusts his head out just as he's about to contact the ball, there's no way an umpire can be "satisfied" that the serve was not hidden - he simply can't tell from his angle, meaning he cannot be "satisfied" the serve was not hidden, meaning there's no gray area anymore - the serve is illegal, period. See Rule 2.6.6: "It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws."
    Watch the video - see how he thrusts his head out just before contact? Here's a screen image. Pretty clearly illegal, isn't it? But it isn't called, and there's no push by the ITTF, USATT, or any of the Rules or Referee/Umpire Committees to do anything about this pervasive cheating in our sport because cheating has become part of our table tennis culture. (There is some nuance here - cheating means to "act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage." Therefore, the first person to hide his serve is cheating. If you respond by hiding your own serve, you are not doing so to "gain an advantage" - you are doing so to take away the opponent's unfair advantage.) At the world-class level, players are used to it, and so have learned to read the spin by how the ball travels through the air and bounces on the table, but it leads to more passive returns, like Boll's here, and more mistakes. Below the world-class level it can cause havoc.
  2. Boll's return. It's a relatively weak return, probably because of the hidden serve. But he deadens the ball some so that the table is partly in Liang's way so he can't wind up with full power.
  3. Liang's follow. He makes a strong forehand loop into Boll's wide backhand.
  4. Boll's block. It's extremely well placed, to Liang's middle, forcing Liang into an awkward position.
  5. Liang's second loop. Despite the awkwardness of his position, Liang uses his upper body to loop rather strongly to the middle of the table. This is a technique that was originally developed by pips-out penholders, then adopted for looping by 1993 World Men's Singles Champion Jean-Philippe Gatien, and now common by top players caught in the middle - it allows you to make a strong shot while staying right at the table. It's not really to Boll's middle, since Boll was already off to the side and in position for this, but it puts Boll out of position.
  6. Boll's loop from the middle. He makes a decent loop, but not particularly powerful, and it's not that well placed, going right into Liang's middle backhand. This is where Liang gains the advantage. Note how while Liang took the ball almost off the bounce from the middle, Boll takes the shot from the middle a little further back, which gives Liang more time and a bigger angle into the forehand.
  7. Liang's angled block. With Boll caught out of position and with a big angle to Boll's forehand, Liang does exactly that. Note that he didn't just blocked - he backhand topspinned off the bounce.
  8. Boll's awkward return from wide forehand. He's caught out of position, and so is almost falling back as he practically lunges for the ball, setting up Liang for a likely winning shot to the now open backhand side.
  9. Liang's shot to the open backhand. He should have ripped it, but instead seems to hold back a little for safety and doesn't really angle it well. I haven't seen Liang play before, but his Chinese teammates (Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Zhang Jike, Xu Xin) would have ripped this shot.
  10. Boll's hand-switching shot. Liang's failure to rip the ball or go for a wider angle is all Boll needs for this spectacular hand-switching shot.
  11. Liang's counterloop. When someone suddenly switches hands on you like this, the ball comes at you different than you expect, and so Liang makes a surprisingly good recovery with this counterloop.
  12. Boll's backhand loop. Just a nice shot. It completely catches Liang off guard. Except . . . .
  13. Liang's weak but well-place forehand. When you have to make a weak return, place it well, and that's what he did here. He also sidespin looped it so it broke even more into Boll's backhand side. Liang has the advantage here, and it seems there's nothing Boll can do that won't set up Liang for a strong forehand.
  14. Boll's inside-out forehand sidespin. I don't think you'll find this shot covered in instructional books. Boll is looking to do a forehand, but the angle and the sidespin caught him off guard. And so he improvises with a once-in-a career shot. (Has he ever done this in a big match before? I've never seen it. That's why it's called improvisation.)
  15. Liang's reaction. When you've trained all your life against standard shots, and then get something you've never seen before . . . well, his reaction is like an intermediate player faced with world-class hidden serves, and his return is about as good. (Note - world-class players don't just hide contact; they fake one spin, then change it right when contact is hidden.)

Japan Open
Here's the home page for the event, which takes place in Kitakyushu, JPN, June 8-10, starting tomorrow.

New World Rankings
Here they are. On the men's side, they are a bit saner than before with the best player in the world, Ma Long, moving from #6 to #2, after Fan Zhendong, the second best player in the world. (I think Ma has beaten Fan the last three times - that's what someone told me though I haven't checked it.) Overall, for the first time since they began the new system, the rankings look rather accurate on the men's side other than this. On the women's side, it's still hard to fathom that Ding Ning is #12, when she should be at the top with the other top Chinese - Chen Meng, Zhu Yuling, Wang Manyu, and Liu Shiwen, with Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan (#4) the only non-Chinese to break up that murderer's row.

3 Ways to Win a Table Tennis Point
Here's the article by Eli Baraty. "Each point is evidently different and no player plays the same way! But there are three different ways we approach a point or match."

How to Return a Topspin Serve
Here's the video (7:55) by Tom Lodziak.

Response to "Shut Up and Just Play"
Here's the article by Sean O’Connell.

WAB Club Feature: Atlanta International Table Tennis Academy
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

DHS ITTF Top 10 - 2018 Hong Kong Open
Here's the ITTF video (5:42).

Table Tennis Tic-Tac-Toe
Here's the video (64 sec) from Maria Ingles. I may try this out in my beginning junior class!

Insane Ping-Pong Gun
Here's the video (41 sec)!

***
Send us your own coaching news!

June 6, 2018

Waldner 2018
Many, perhaps most, consider Jan-Ove Waldner the greatest player of all time. I've never played him, but I've met and talked to him many times, even had lunch with him and other top Swedes when I interviewed them for an article. What would happen if he were in his prime today?

There's no way of making a perfect comparison. For one thing, Waldner played nearly his entire career with a 38mm ball, while we now use 40mm. Equipment has also gotten better. (Hidden serves are now "illegal," but it isn't really enforced, so that part won't affect him. Games to 11 instead of 21 won't make much of a difference.) So how would he do? Keep in mind that nearly always the next generation is "better" than the previous generation, with better techniques, better training, and better equipment. Only a true phenom like Waldner could hope to compete with players a couple generations later. (Of course, if Waldner were to have developed in modern times, he'd have access to these better techniques, training, and equipment, but we're going to look at him as he actually was, not as he might have been.) 

First, note that "greatest" is not the same as "best." Victor Barna is one of the greatest players of all time - he won Men's Singles at the Worlds five times. But I'm pretty sure that if I could go back in time when I was at my peak and play him when he was at his peak, using the rules at the time, I'd beat him easily, since I'll using Tenergy and throwing loops and serves at him that he's never seen before, and he'll be stuck with a hardbat. Similarly, the best modern swimmers are all faster than Mark Spitz, but he won seven gold medals at one Olympics, setting a world record in each of them. The best modern swimmers are better than Spitz, but Spitz was greater than all of the ones not named Phelps or Ledecky.

Getting back to Waldner, I think Ma Long has a better game than Waldner. He simply has too much firepower. But there's a catch - that's only after he's played Waldner at least once, perhaps more. Players who have played Waldner pretty much all report the same thing about, how uncomfortable it is to play him with all his misdirection, change of pace, and variety. These days nearly all coaches turn players into mini-Ma Longs or something close, and so the things that Waldner did to make players uncomfortable is mostly a lost art. It's not a matter of a player suddenly deciding he's going to try to change the pace or use misdirection; he'd have to have done it since he was a kid, while developing, so it's natural and instinctive, as it was with Waldner. Then you use these techniques as just another part of your game, to be used at the appropriate time, while focusing on the modern all-out two-winged looping game. 

Keep in mind that as good as Ma Long is, none of his shots are that much better than Waldner. He has a slightly better forehand, slightly better backhand, slightly faster footwork, and with his banana flip, is better at attacking short serves with his backhand. (In fact, that's probably the shot where he's most ahead of Waldner.) But Waldner had a masterful forehand - not quite as powerful as Ma Long, but dominant because of placement and consistency. Ma Long also has a better backhand attack from close to the table, but Waldner mostly (not completely) offsets that with his more all-around skills - he can loop, hit, or block, and his blocking is far better and among the best ever. Shot for shot, Ma Long seems to have an edge in almost any type of rally, though Waldner had more dominant serves, among the best of all time. 

So what is my conclusion? If Waldner were to suddenly show up in his prime, and ignoring the nitty details about the different ball size, etc., I think he'd cause havoc at first. Keep in mind that Timo Boll is 37 and still one of the five best players in the world - and he was never as good as Waldner at his best. In his first outings with Ma Long and Fan Zhendong, Waldner would give them great difficulty as they adjust to a game they haven't really seen, while Waldner will be a bit more comfortable against their styles. I'm not sure who would win at first, but I think it would be close at the start. But after they've played a few times, Ma Long's overall game would prevail, and Waldner would drop down a few spots in the rankings - my guess is he'd be #3, after Ma Long and Fan Zhendong, and he'd battle with them as well or slightly better than Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov. 

But the repercussions of Waldner showing up now in his prime? Suddenly the things he does that few others do would once again be on display. Players would see how effective it is to have misdirection, change of pace, and variety, and want to add those aspects to their games. And coaches would have a pretext to teach this part of the game early on, where before they felt compelled to teach only the "modern" game of relentless attack. Perhaps rather than attacking ten balls it would be better to throw something different 10-20% of the time, and catch the opponent off guard as Waldner did so well?

Of course, one problem is that most of the stuff Waldner does that I'm talking about was self-taught, so it's more important for a coach to encourage and guide it while the player experiments and finds out what works and when. You don't just throw a change-of-pace or misdirection shot at an opponent who is in position and ready for it - you do it when it will catch him off guard and set up a follow-up shot.

The key point is that the modern game is more advanced than what players did in the past, but that we've gotten so much into turning players into clones of the current best that we ignore aspects of the game that, if developed, would enhance their games.

Starting Out in Table Tennis
Here's the video (50 min) from PingSkills. "In this episode of the PingSkills we talk about how we got started with table tennis, we talk about a young Timo Boll, and we answer some of your table tennis questions."

USATT Nominates Players for 2018 Pan American Junior Championships
Here's the USATT announcement by USATT High Performance Director Jörg Bitzigeio.

2018 China Open: Day 4 Review
Here's the video (2:30).

Table Tennis Presents Another Golden Opportunity for Sir Peter Snell
Here's the USATT article by Richard Finn. "In his prime Sir Peter Snell of New Zealand was one of the most accomplished and decorated middle distance runners of all time." … "Long retired from running, today as he approaches his 80th birthday Snell has adopted he same attitude to competing in his most recent athletic endeavor table tennis as he did when he was an Olympian.

Ma Long, Landmark in Reach but Still More Goals?
Here's the ITTF article. "Success at the recent Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Kaisa China Open in Shenzhen means that Ma Long is just one win short of equalling the all-time ITTF World Tour Men’s Singles record of Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, the owner of 27 such titles."

Zhang Yining Within Sight of Wang Manyu
Here's the ITTF article. "Like Wang Manyu from China, Guo Yue won four times in 2007 but the player to catch is their Chinese national team colleague Zhang Yining."

Champions Crowned at AGTTA Summer Open
Here's the article and video (35:06) by Brian Crisp of this tournament held this past Saturday in Atlanta.

Actor, Lead Villain, Fayed, in Hit Series 24 Joins Celebrity Lineup
Here's the article featuring table tennis hardbat & sandpaper star and actor Adoni Maropis. "We’re excited to announce THE FIRST of several Special Guests attending the Tenth Annual PingPongforCHARITY™ Events with Christian Laettner and Friends." … "Adoni has won the National Championship and US OPEN Championship in Hardbat and Sandpaper Ping Pong and represented the USA at the World Championships of Ping Pong twice at Alexandria Palace in England."

Pongfinity Trick Shots
Here's their latest!

***
Send us your own coaching news!

June 5, 2018

Tip of the Week
Footwork at Different Physical Levels.

Maryland State Championships . . . and Waldner
They were held this past weekend. My write-up (along with links to photos) is up at the USATT News site and the Butterfly News site - take your pick! The Butterfly one features a picture of the Under 4000 Doubles Finalists - and those two little 9-year-olds in the middle, Mu Du and Stanley Hsu, made it to the final, losing 15-13 in the fifth. They are rated 1789 and 1976! (Read about their exploits in the tournament article.) USATT featured the Open Doubles finalists, with Lidney Castro/Martin Jezo the winners over Jeffrey Zeng/Wang Qingliang.

Here are the ratings from the tournament, which went up yesterday.  And in case you missed it from my mini-blog yesterday, here was the Point of the Tournament (55 sec), from the Men's Singles final between Lidney Castro and Wang Qingliang, care of PongMobile - the foremost way to view ratings!

Running a tournament can be exhausting. I think I received more emails and phone calls in advance of this tournament than just about any other I've ever run - and this was the 201st USATT sanctioned tournament I've run, all but two of them two days long. That makes exactly 400 days of running tournaments. This weekend I opened the club at 7:45AM each morning (play started at 9AM), and was there until 10:30PM both nights. I was also there from 6-11PM on Friday setting up (with great help from Mossa Barandao and Wen Hsu, as well as during the tournament). But I spent a huge amount of time the week before the tournament with those emails and phone calls. (And don't get me started on the time spent before that on scheduling, selecting and ordering trophies/plaques, and the zillion little things that you have to remember to do or the whole tournament comes collapsing down like the pyramids of plastic cups the younger kids like to construct and then knock down by smacking forehands and backhands.

Sunday from 4-5:30PM I ran off to the back tables to run the Beginning Junior Class, while Mossa and Wen kept things going at the control desk. The day's feature, after a bunch of standard drills, was backhand-to-backhand - how many can you do? Grace joined the 100 backhands in a row club - and she did 100 forehands last week.

I'm not sure how people keep getting my phone number as I try to do all tournament business by email. That way there's little chance of misunderstanding, there's a record of what was said, and I don't have to jump every time someone calls - with email I can get back to them after I finish with whatever I'm working on, though I always get back quickly. I also have a problem that I have great difficulty understanding accented voices over the phone, and over half of the calls are from people with accents - and so I'm constantly having to ask them to repeat what they say, which isn't fun. (I think my hearing is getting worse these days, alas.)

This morning I was going to write about how Waldner would have done if he played at his peak now, but when I got up this morning the power was out in my house - I have no idea why. It didn't come back on until about 9AM, and since I'm running short of time, I'll hold back on the Waldner blog until tomorrow. Writing about the tournament is quicker!

Timo Boll Hand Switch at 2018 China Open!
He's done it again - here's the video (45 sec, including slo-mo replay). But that's not the most interesting thing about the rally - look at what he does two shots later to win the point! Replay it a few times.

China Open
Here's the ITTF home page for the event (results, articles, pictures, video), which was held this past weekend in Shenzhen, China. Check out the results!

Three Ways to Win a Point
Here's the article by Eli Baraty.

Tom's Table Tennis Tips
Here's the newsletter from Tom Lodziak, with links to coaching tips.

Taking the Ball Early
Here's the podcast (32:49) from Pingskills. This week they cover:

  • Joke of the Week
  • On This Week
  • Jun Mizutani turns 29
  • Tournament Wrap (China Open, Japan Open, Australian Open)
  • Tip and Drill of the Week
  • Learn a new serve and use it in a game
  • Spin Reversal
  • Advanced Backhand
  • Position for Optimal Power

Butterfly Amicus Prime Table Tennis Robot
Here's the article by Larry Thoman about the new line of robots that just came out. I normally shy away from equipment articles due to conflict of interest - I'm sponsored by Butterfly - but this is rather new. "Butterfly launched a refresh of its highly regarded Amicus line of table tennis robots at the recent World Team Table Tennis Championships in Sweden. The newly introduced models are the Start, Expert, and Prime models. All are upgraded models from the models they’re replacing—the Basic, Advance, and Professional."

World Awaits Tan and Naresh as they Succeed North American Hopes Qualification
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington.

2018 TATA Trickshot Challenge
Here's the video (5:15).

History of USATT – Volume 21 – Chapter 2
Here’s chapter 2 of Tim Boggan's latest volume, which covers 1993-1994. Or you can buy it and previous (and future) volumes at www.timboggantabletennis.com. Chapter 2 covers "June-July 1994 Tournaments." Volume 21 is 438 pages with 1667 graphics, and covers all the wild things that happened in 1994-95 - and I'm mentioned a lot! Why not buy a copy - or the entire set at a discount? Tim sells them directly, so when you order them, you get it autographed - order your copy now!

Werner Schlager - Kalininkos Kreanga, Legends Tour 2018
Here's the video (9:05) from Arnaud Scheen.

Through Rolling Tube and Into Cup
Here's the video (50 sec, including slo-mo replay). I'd love to try this one, and would probably use my forehand where I can smack a ping-pong ball from nine feet better than half the time.

The 1901 Ping Pong Song
Here's the video (1:42) of this song from 1901 (!) played on the original equipment!!! It was sent to me by Steve Grant, who wrote under the video, "Ping Pong Song, by Edward Lauri, 1901, London, playing on a polyphon-like music box. My collection also includes the Edison Bell brown wax cylinder of this same song, sung by Harry Bluff, which I am attempting to play and record. I do not own the sheet music and do not yet know the lyrics. I welcome any help."

***
Send us your own coaching news!

June 5, 2018

When I got up this morning the power was out - I have no idea why. It didn't come on until about 9AM. I'll have the blog up by 10:30AM,and if I don't, I'll just pardon myself. Meanwhile, the Tip of the Week is up - Footwork at Different Physical Levels. So why not stand up and do some table tennis footwork practice, away from the table without a ball? That'll wake you up faster than coffee!!!

June 04, 2018

Maryland State Championships
I'm still recovering from two consecutive 15-hour days running the tournament (98 players), and the huge hours before setting it up (with a record number of emails and phone call queries), and as I normally do after tournaments, will take today off from blogging. Alas, it won't be a day off - I have to finish the tournament write-up, photo work, press release, and accounting, plus finalize the June MDTTC Newsletter with all the tournament info. Here are the results of the tournament. And here is the Point of the Tournament (55 sec), from the Men's Singles final between Lidney Castro and Wang Qingliang, care of PongMobile (the foremost way to view ratings!). For your further TT reading and viewing, USATT put up a number of news items over the weekend. And perhaps this is a good time to rewatch The Ping-Pong Song (3:40, from 2009)!

June 1, 2018

Serve & Receive Tactics Seminar
The Serve & Receive Tactics Seminar was a big success. We had 23 players ranging from beginners to 2000. Here's a group picture. (Several players left before we did the picture at the end.) We raised exactly $400 to help send our coaches to the Nationals to coach the 16 MDTTC junior players going. Here's the funding page, which currently shows $14,175 of the $15,500 goal, but the $400 hasn't been added as of this writing. (It'll probably go up later today.) So we're now just $925 short of the goal. Why not pitch in? From the funding page, "We're raising $15,500 to bring the coaches that work with the kids all year to the tournament to ensure that our young athletes have the support they need to succeed in the sport they love. They will create a training camp for the kids before the tournament and coach them during the tournament."

The seminar went a little longer than expected. We started at 8 PM. Originally I planned 30 minutes on serve tactics, 30 minutes on receive tactics, and 30 minutes table practice where I'd walk around and coach, and we'd be done at 9:30 PM. But the serve tactics part took 45 minutes, partly because of lots of questions, but also because there's a lot of material. The receive part took 25 minutes, finishing at 9:10, but then we had lots and lots of questions, so we didn't get to the tables until 9:25 PM. For the majority who could stay late we went until 10PM, even though it was scheduled to finish at 9:30PM. Special thanks to Wen Hsu, who collected the money and also stayed late to help out.  Here was the list of topics covered:

SERVE TACTICS

  • The purpose of the serve
  • Set-up serves vs. trick serves
  • Types of deception
  • Long serves
  • Short serves
  • Serving combos
  • Holding back on serves
  • Ten-point plan to serving success

RECEIVE TACTICS

  • Reading the serve
  • The purpose of the receive
  • Types of receive - your arsenal
  • Passive, disarming, & aggressive receives
  • Receiving deep serves
  • Receiving short serves
  • Deception on receive
  • What to do with tricky serves

I covered all except the "Ten-Point Plan to Serving Success," where I had initially planned to cover the ten steps one by one. But to save time, I instead gave printouts to everyone of the article and invited them to email questions later. (It's one of the more popular articles, with 4546 reads.) Throughout the seminar I called up volunteers to demonstrate various tactics. I think the parts that had the greatest interest were the backhand banana flip; serving a side-topspin or no-spin serve that looks like backspin; the tactical placement of long and short serves; receiving long serves; and reading spin.

I'll be running the same seminar again on Tuesday, July 3, 7:00-8:30 PM at USA Nationals in Las Vegas - and that one is FREE!!! We have eleven signed up, but there will for certain be many more entered over the next month. If you would like to register, email me, and please include your state, rating (or estimation if you don't have one), and age. See you there!

China Open
Here's the ITTF home page for the event (results, articles, pictures, video), which is taking place right now in Shenzhen, China, through Sunday. Huge news from yesterday - the Japanese whiz kid, Tomokazu Harimoto, defeated Zhang Jike in the round of 32, 4-0 (8,3,6,6)! Here's video of the match (8:28, time between points removed). Xu Xin also lost that round, 1-4 (7,9,-6,-7,-6) to Lim Jonghoon of South Korea. On the women's side, #1 seed (and world #2) Zhu Yuling lost in seven (5,-9,7,8,-9,-8,-5) in the round of 16 to Saki Shibata of Japan. Here's their news page where you can read about all this and more. Here's the Day One Video Review (2:44).

North American Hopes Challenge
Here's the home page for the event which started yesterday in Markham, Canada, in Ontario. This is for the best 11- and 12-year-olds in the North American. Players qualified through a series of regional trials. 

USA Juniors and Cadets in Canada
Here are three ITTF articles on USA players at the 2018 Canadian Junior and Cadet Open in Markham, Canada, which finished yesterday.

Best Table Tennis Serves Tutorial
Here are three videos from Tomorrow Table Tennis.

  • Part 1 (20:54): backspin, hook.
  • Part 2 (24:53): reverse pendulum, tomahawk.
  • Part 3 (30:26): fastest, backhand, pendulum.

Alternatives
Here's the article from Pro Table Tennis by Rowden Fullen. "Power is not only what you have, it’s also a matter of what the opponent thinks you have!"

WAB CLUB FEATURE: Washington DC Table Tennis Center
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

USATT Insider - Edition 174
Here's the issue that came out Wednesday.

The New ITTF - Interview with ITTF CEO
Here's the ITTF article.

We’re Hiring: ITTF Content Manager
Here's the info page for this ITTF job. "Do you have a background in media and communications and have dreamt of working for the ITTF? If so then now is your chance of joining the crowning ITTF media and marketing team in the position of ITTF Content Manager."

2018 Elections for NCTTA Board of Directors
Here's the article for "NCTTA school club presidents, members, alumni, coaches, and supporters."

Ted Dabney, Atari Co-Founder and Video Game Industry Pioneer, Dies at 81
Here's the article. He co-invented "Pong," the ping-pong video game that revolutionized the video game industry. Here's one version you can play online - note that it gives you the option of moving your paddle using your mouse or the original way, with the keyboard.

Funny Table Tennis Match France vs Philippines
Here's the video (3:44)! Quality of the video isn't good, but the two kids really have fun as they do exhibition tricks and goof off.

Table Tennis Bees
For this, I'm not distinguishing between bees, wasps, and hornets! This segment is in honor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which ended yesterday, and took place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington DC, the same location for the annual North American Teams Championships. 

***
Send us your own coaching news!

Syndicate content