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

 Photo by Donna Sakai

This is an evolving website and Table Tennis Community. Your suggestions are welcome.

Want a daily injection of Table Tennis? Come read the Larry Hodges Blog! (Entries go up by noon, Mon-Fri; see link on left.) Feel free to comment!

Want to talk Table Tennis? Come join us on the forum. While the focus here is on coaching, the forum is open to any table tennis talk.

Want to Learn? Read the Tip of the Week, study videos, read articles, or find just about any other table tennis coaching site from the menu links. If you know of one, please let us know so we can add it.

Want to Learn more directly? There are two options. See the Video Coaching link for info on having your game analyzed via video. See the Clinics link for info on arranging a clinic in your area, or finding ones that are already scheduled.

If you have any questions, feel free to email, post a note on the forum, or comment on my blog entries.

-Larry Hodges, Director, TableTennisCoaching.com

Member, USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame & USATT Certified National Coach
Professional Coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center

Recent TableTennisCoaching.com blog posts

Monday, August 17, 2020 - 02:10
August 17, 2020

I decided to spend a second week training at the Samson Dubina Mega Camp here in Akron, Ohio. And so no blog this week. But I'm getting back into playing shape!!! But the Tip if the Week is up, Should You Develop Your Forehand Push?  Plus, here's a good video to watch (5 min), highlights of four-time US Men's Singles Champion Jim Butler (1990, 1992, 1993, 2014) vs. US #1 Mini-Cadet Daniel Tran, including short interviews at the end.

Or, if you want something funny but interesting, and you missed or didn't have time to listen to my interview last week, here it is again (40:53) at Kevin Table Tennis! I explain how I signed twelve autographs as Jan-Ove Waldner at the US Open; ate nine quarter-pounders with cheese in five hours in my big breakthrough tournament (winning all four of my events, including the Open, with an...




Monday, August 10, 2020 - 01:22
August 10, 2020

Tip of the Week
Two Tips to Increase Forehand Looping Power.

Larry Hodges Interview
Here's my interview (40:53) at Kevin Table Tennis! You may know Kevin Nguyen (from Portland, OR) for his table tennis trick shots that I often link to, and he's also among the best of his age in the country, rated 2062 at age 12. Hope you enjoy some of the funny stories I tell! (Take it in two sittings, perhaps, but once you get started, I bet you won't stop!)

Off to the Ohio Mega Camp!
I've basically been sitting at home for five months now, coaching only one hour a week. I've been getting more and more out of shape, and I'm bored to death. So a few days ago I made the decision to do something about it. The camps at my club are canceled due to the pandemic - and if they weren't, I'd probably be coaching at them rather than playing.

So I'm off to spend a week at...




Monday, August 3, 2020 - 16:31
August 3, 2020

Tip of the Week
How to Vary Your Receive Against Short Backspin Serves.

Coaches Who Do Online Coaching
Especially during these pandemic days, an alternative to private or group coaching is online coaching. There are several ways of doing this. Often a coach simply studies a video of a player and writes up an analysis with coaching suggestions. (I used to do this.) Sometimes it's an ongoing thing as the player perhaps sends in weekly videos for the coach. It can also be done live, with a coach watching via video as the player trains. I've compiled a list of top US coaches who do such online coaching. Take your pick! (Coaches - email me if I should put you on the list.)

  • LearnPong, with Kai Zhang, Brad Robbins, Chase Bockoven, Vlad Farcas, Andrew Williams, Christian Stelting, Bjorn Stelting, and Alfred Dela Pena.
  • ...



Monday, July 27, 2020 - 16:02
July 27, 2020

Tip of the Week
When Playing an Unfamiliar Player, Focus on Serve & Receive.

I'm Back!!!
My two-week writing workshop vacation is over. I basically spent nine days in online Zoom meetings in "The Never-Ending Odyssey" writing workshop, an annual workshop for graduates of the six-week Odyssey science fiction writing workshop. The meetings started around 10AM and went to dinner time, with optional meetings at night. They included critique sessions, classes, readings, and salons where we discussed various topics. I had a great time - and even managed to sneak table tennis into one of my stories!!! (It's way, Way, WAY in the future, and someone finds a pack of ping-pong balls - "Plastic lasts forever" - and it ends up being central to the story.) Here's a group picture on Zoom of the 21 of us in the workshop! (Here's...




Monday, July 20, 2020 - 04:35
July 20, 2020

As noted in my blog below, I'm away this week, but here is this week's Tip of the Week, The Importance of Lobbing. See you next Monday!




Monday, July 13, 2020 - 15:54
July 13, 2020

Tip of the Week
Fast, Quick Motions Disguise a No-Spin Serve.

Vacation - No Blog Next Week
Every year in July I drive up to Manchester, New Hampshire for my annual nine-day science fiction writing workshop "vacation." Alas, due to the pandemic, this year's it's all online, so I not only won't be leaving Maryland, I won't even be leaving my house. But I'll be in various workshop meetings every day from morning until night. It doesn't actually start until this Friday (July 17-25), but I'm spending the rest of this week preparing for it, plus getting some writing done.

There will be a Tip of the Week next Monday, July 20, so stop by for that!!! Next blog will be July 27.

The minute I put this blog online, the "vacation" begins!!! If you need a favor, or something quick, or table tennis advice - NO!!!!! I get a dozen or more such emails every day, and I dutifully get back to everyone the day they email me (and...




Monday, July 6, 2020 - 16:58
July 6, 2020

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

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

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




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

Tip of the Week
Training Down the Line.

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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

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