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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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 14:01
September 13, 2016

Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion by Dan Seemiller
It’s out! Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion is the autobiography of five-time U.S. Men’s Singles Champion Dan Seemiller (who along the way also won Men’s Doubles 12 times, Mixed Doubles seven times, and was the U.S. Men’s Coach at the Worlds and Olympics for many years). The book is 218 pages with 96 pictures. I did the editing, photo work, and page layouts. Dan turned out to be an excellent proof reader, finding many typos that I missed. Maybe it’s that perfectionism that made him such a strong player?

At the very end of the book is a “Who is Dan Seemiller?” section which I wrote. Here it is – and after reading this, go out and buy yourself a copy! (Right now there’s only a print version. Later this week I’ll put together an ebook version.)

I first met Dan Seemiller at one of his Pittsburgh...

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 14:08
September 12, 2016

Tip of the Week
The More Two Players Drill Together the Better They Drill Together.

Tactical Coaching Can Be a Wonderful – or Terrible – Thing
This past Saturday I ran the Butterfly MDTTC September Open. I’ll have a write-up and photos ready hopefully tomorrow, but here are the complete results. It was an exhausting weekend. On Saturday I was at the club at 7:45AM, and didn’t leave until about 9PM, over 13 hours later. I did manage to compile all the results and send to USATT that night, so they will likely be processed in the next couple of days.

During a short lull I watched a match between an experienced player who earlier this year had switched from a mostly looping game (with inverted on both sides) to chopper/looper (with long pips on the backhand). I watch him play against a young junior player, and the chopper won the first, 11-9, and so things looked good for the chopper. But between games the junior received some very good coaching. I...

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 13:59
September 9, 2016

As You Think, So Shall You Become - Revisited
Yesterday I posted this Bruce Lee Table Tennis graphic – and the Bruce Lee quote in the heading, “So you think, so shall you become,” very much applies to table tennis. Most players have self-images of their game, which puts them in a comfort zone. And nearly everything they do re-enforces this, and so they stay in this comfort zone, rarely developing anything new. Sure, they play around with other shots, and practice them, but not in a long-term, serious way. I’ve seen loopers who can’t block react by spending even more time working on their loop rather than mastering the block. I’ve seen players who are great blockers but constantly lament their lack of attacking skills – and spend decades playing as a blocker rather than taking a few months of that time where they develop and incorporate attacking skills. These players are unable to think of themselves as something better, and so are unable to become better. And that’s what Bruce Lee was referring to.

In fact, for players...

Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 08:19
September 8, 2016

Final Proofing - "Revelations of a Champion"
Yesterday I did the absolutely final proofing of Dan Seemiller’s autobiography, “Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion.” The book is really coming around! I did 4.5 hours of proofing at Ledo’s (noon to 4:30PM, lots of pizza and large Mountain Dew, two refills), did a 90-minute coaching session, and then did another 2.5 hours of proofing at Wendy’s (7:30-10PM, large chili with cheese and onion, and a large Dr. Pepper). And then it was done! Except – I needed another three hours to input all the changes, making sure to keep all the layouts lined up. (Plus some USATT stuff took up over an hour.) I also had 19 questions for Dan, which I emailed to him a little after 2:30AM. As soon as he gets back to me on those, I’ll be able to finalize the interior. (It’s 3:23AM as I write this – I’d rather get the blog done now then have to do it when I get up.)

Meanwhile, today I need to pretty much finalize the front and back cover (plus the spine in between). That was turning into a headache as the cover picture is a great shot of Danny, but it...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 13:43
September 7, 2016

Michael Jordon and Ma Long – the Same?
Here’s the classic picture of both. There’s actually a coaching lesson in this. Players have their best performances when they just let go and let their subconscious take over, i.e. learned reactions. So when top players are performing at their best, they are basically just observers, other than basic tactics. So when they pull off great plays, whether in basketball, table tennis, or any other skill sport, they often have that reaction of essentially shrugging their shoulders and throwing up their hands, as they are just as amazed as we are at what they are doing – because, deep down, they don’t even feel like they are doing it, they are just spectators.

I’ve had this exact same feeling when I’ve played my best. I remember playing Rey Domingo – a 2500 player – in perhaps the best tournament match of my life, and I just watched as his best shots came at me in slow motion, and so easily returned, and anything I touched with my forehand was a winner. I spent the whole match focusing on not paying...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 14:03
September 6, 2016

Tip of the Week
Looping Slightly-Long Balls.

ITTF Cadet Camp at MDTTC
The ITTF, in conjunction with USA Table Tennis and the Canadian TTA, ran a four-day ITTF Cadet Camp at the Maryland Table Tennis Center over Labor Day Weekend, Fri-Mon. Fifteen players took part in the camp, including five USA national team members: Crystal Wang (Junior and Cadet Girls); Derek Nie and Klaus Wood (Cadet Boys); and Lisa Lin and Faith Hu (Mini-Cadet Girls). Also taking part were Ivy Liao and Isabelle Xiong, members of the Canadian Women’s, Junior, and Cadet Girls’ Teams. The camp had nine sessions, 22 hours total. Here’s a group picture.

Wang Qing Liang (“Leon”), recently named a USA National Cadet Coach, was the head coach, and planned out and ran much of the camp. Other coaches were Cory Eider (USATT High Performance Director), Liu Yongjiang (Canadian National Cadet Coach), and myself (a USATT certified National Coach and former USA Junior...

Friday, September 2, 2016 - 09:43
September 2, 2016

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Race
Here is the 2016 Presidential Race – pong style! (Here's the Facebook posting and discussion.) That’s my main blog for today – I was up all night working on it. I’ve done this twice before, though perhaps not quite as exotically:

1500 Published Table Tennis Articles
I realized yesterday that I’d just hit exactly 1500 published table tennis articles, out of 1691 total published articles. (This does not include nearly 2000 blog entries.) Wow.

ITTF Cadet Camp at MDTTC...

Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 13:53
September 1, 2016

Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion
Our My long two-week national personal nightmare work binge is over!!! The book, “Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion” (the autobiography of Dan Seemiller) is edited, proofed, the photos fixed up, the pages laid out, and it’s all done! It came in at 214 pages with 94 pictures, divided into eleven chapters.  Book should be available around Sept. 15.

Unfortunately, it’s not actually done. This morning at about 1AM I sent the interior proofs to Dan Seemiller for him to proof. He’ll likely have changes. (Since I wrote this there have already been two changes.) Plus I haven’t finished with the front and back covers. Plus I have to decide whether it’s worth spending roughly seven hours to create an index. Anyway, today I will try to finalize the covers. Fortunately…

Flu Status
Our My long three-day national personal nightmare illness is over!!! It’s been fun exploring the many symptoms of...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 10:43
August 30, 2016

Still Sick
I’m writing this at 4:45AM. Why? Because I’m in all sorts of joint pain from the flu, especially hip pain, and I can’t sleep. Most of the flu symptoms aren’t as bad as the last time I had the flu (though my stomach can best be described as “hyper-queasy”), but the joint pain is incredible. This happened yesterday as well – it seems to act up more at night. It’s very painful to lie down; sitting or standing is the only way to alleviate it. Anyway, the good news is that most of yesterday it wasn’t so bad, so I got a lot of work done on Dan Seemiller’s autobiography – in fact, other than the index and finalizing the covers, it’s basically ready to print out and proof. I’m hoping to do that today, flu gods permitting.

Big Breaking Sidespin Serve
Here’s the video (4:30), but the link should take you to 26 sec in, where the kid on the far side does the breaking serve. I do this serve all the time, and I’ll never understand why...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 12:34
August 30, 2016

I'm sick in bed with a cold, so no blog today. I desperately need to get over this quickly so I'll be ready for the ITTF Cadet Camp at MDTTC this Frida-Mon. I also need to drag myself out of bed later today to continue the page layouts on Dan Seemiller's great new autobiography, "Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion." If I put in a full day, I'd finish the layouts today, other than the index and final proofing. (Dan - I know you're reading this! - I hope to finish tomorrow.) Meanwhile, here's a picture of a solid gold ping pong table in Dubai! 

UPDATE: It looks like I have the flu. And I was planning to get a flu shot last week, then put it off until this week....