TableTennisCoaching.com Home

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

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 13:45
March 17, 2017

More Table Tennis Tips
As noted in my blog yesterday, my new book, More Table Tennis Tips, is out! It’s 200 pages, $11.99, and covers the 150 Tips of the Week from 2014-2016, organized by topic, in logical progression. It’s the follow-up from "Table Tennis Tips," which covered the 150 Tips from 2011-2013. (Kindle version will come later.) By now so I’ll have money for dinner!!! (UPDATE on Saturday morning - kindle version is up!)

USATT Coaching Committee
On Monday I was appointed chair of the USATT Coaching Committee. (This will be my second tenure. I chaired the committee back in 1991-1995, and was on the committee 2010-2013.) This is a big honor, and will allow me to work directly on some of the things I promised to do when I ran for the USATT Board. (I’m also a bit more enthused about this position then I was with chairing the League Committee the last two years – that was important, but...




Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 14:03
March 16, 2017

More Table Tennis Tips
Here it is! And it’s yours now, exactly 200 pages, for only $11.99! I’ve been hard at work (yes, many of those late nights) compiling it in logical fashion, editing, doing page layouts, the covers, inputting edits from the “Terrific Trio” of proofers (Mark Dekeyser, John Olsen, Dennis Taylor), even putting in a few graphics. I don’t yet have a copy myself. I proofed and okayed an online version, and am now feverishly awaiting a hard copy. (A kindle version will come later.) This is my eighth book on table tennis (and twelfth overall). Here’s the 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 (2014-2016) from TableTennisCoaching.com. They cover all aspects of the game: Serve, Receive, the Strokes, Grip and Stance...




Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 14:06
March 15, 2017

USATT Teleconference, New Coaching Chair, and the Service Judges Proposal
The USATT Board had a teleconference on Monday night, starting 7PM. (I blogged about the agenda on Monday.) Among other things, we appointed a number of USATT committee chairs and members. At exactly 8:36PM on Monday night I was appointed to my second tenure as chair of the USATT Coaching Committee. (USATT will publish online the full listings of soon of the various committee chairs and members we just appointed.) I’ll blog later about my plans for the coaching committee. My previous tenure was 1991-1995; I was also on the coaching committee 2010-2013.

The meeting was scheduled to last only 70 minutes, but took about two hours. This was mostly because the seven minutes allocated to the Rules Committee Proposal for Service Judges ended up taking something like 40 minutes of debate. The proposal was to give referees the option of appointing service judges on each end of the court at the upcoming USA Nationals, where they can better see the legality of a serve, in particular whether the...




Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 13:39
March 14, 2017

USATT Teleconference and Snow
We had it last night. I’ll blog about it tomorrow. Meanwhile, it's snowing here in Maryland, and my coaching (and the Tuesday night League) is cancelled for the day. So I'll get a lot of work done!!!

When was USA Table Tennis Team Strongest?
I’m referring here to the strength of our National Team, and their results at the World Championships in Men’s and Women’s Singles, Doubles, and Teams. (Our results in other events such as Paralympics is a separate issue.) I was asked recently when we were at our best. The answer is probably in the late 1930s.

  • In 1936 we won Women’s Singles and Men’s Doubles, and made the final of Women’s Teams.
  • In 1937 we swept Men’s and Women’s Teams, Women’s Singles, and Men’s Doubles. Easily the best year ever for us.
  • In 1938 we won Men’s Doubles and made the semifinals of Women’s Singles.

By comparison, we won only two titles in the 1940s – Mixed Doubles in 1948 and Women’s Teams in 1949, and one in the 1950s – Mixed Doubles...




Monday, March 13, 2017 - 13:54
March 13, 2017

Tip of the Week
Warm Up the Shots You’ll Be Using.

13.5 Hours of Weekend Coaching
My weekend hours keep going up. This weekend I did five hours on Saturday and 8.5 on Sunday! (Of course, to many full-time coaches, it's just another weekend.) On Mondays I have 3.5 hours, then just two on Tue and Wed. I’m normally off on Thur and Fri. Due to the USATT Teleconference, which is normally scheduled the second Monday every month, I had to cancel one hour for tonight, so being on the Board is costly.

On Sunday we had the tenth and final week of the Beginning/Intermediate Junior Class (90 min, 14 players). The first half was “player’s choice,” where the players go to choose what they needed to work on. Then we did what I always like doing at the end of each ten-week session – lobbing!!! We did a demo and I went over how to smash lobs. Then John Hsu, William Huang, and I each took a court and spent 15 minutes lobbing to the kids, who stayed up until they missed three. Wen Hsu took the youngest beginners and fed them...




Friday, March 10, 2017 - 15:10
March 10, 2017

More Table Tennis Tips
The book is almost done! This is a compilation of all 150 of my Tips of the Week from 2014-2016, put in logical progression. It’s the sequel to Table Tennis Tips, which did the same for 2011-2013. Yesterday I finished inputting the edits and suggestions from the Terrific Trio of Mark Dekseyser, John Olsen, and Dennis Taylor, who read the first draft. So the text is now done. Today I’ll be formatting the pages. I also have to do the back cover. (Front cover is done.) If all goes well, it’ll be ready for final proofing in a few days. When it comes out (by the end of this month), I may put together some sort of special where you can get both volumes at a discount. Or why not buy Table Tennis Tips and read it now, so you can go straight to More Table Tennis Tips when it comes out?

Shadow Practice
I’ve been encouraging some of my students to shadow practice. This is a big part of the Talent...




Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 14:36
March 9, 2017

Backhands to Get the Timing for Forehands
I have a new student who has been struggling with her forehand. It’s sort of strange – she has a very good backhand, and we can really go at it on that side. But on the forehand, her shots go all over the place. Sometimes she’ll hit a few good ones, and then she’ll swat it straight down into the net, then loft it way off the end, as if there’s no control over the timing or the stroke. The contrast between the two sides is huge. Her background was that she had trained as a kid in Poland, then stopped for decades, and was now picking it up again.

From a coaching point of view, it was rather frustrating as each session would start with us going forehand-to-forehand, sometimes multiball, sometimes live, and no matter what we did, the balls flew everywhere. Eventually we’d wear down and switch to backhands, where she’d have no problem – though by then she’d be a bit tired, physically and mentally, and so even there it wasn’t as good as it could be.

Yesterday (our fifth session) I had a brainstorm. We so often start off sessions going forehand to...




Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 14:41
March 8, 2017

Celebrities Playing Table Tennis - Want to Host It?
Many years ago, “In a moment of sudden clarity, I realized what this world needed was a web page devoted to pictures of celebrities playing table tennis.” And so I created the Celebrities Playing Table Tennis Page. I maintained and continued to add to it for years, and it now has 1440 photos of 870 different celebrities playing table tennis. Why not browse over it?

How’d you like to take over the site?

A lot of blogs and web pages have links to the site. Here's a list of 68. It was even a "Yahoo Pick," and is one of their "Celebrity Picks.") At its peak, for several months the page averaged over 15,000 downloads per day! (Alas, I’m having trouble accessing the current stats, but I know it still gets a lot of daily hits.)

...




Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 14:51
March 7, 2017

Tip of the Week
Footwork and Strokes: Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em.

Maryland Regional Hopes Camp and Tournament
Maryland Table Tennis Center, March 4-5, 2017
By Larry Hodges

They were held this past weekend at the Maryland Table Tennis Center, with 25 players taking part. The camp was on Saturday, with two 2.5 hour sessions, with the tournament on Sunday. A great thanks goes to ITTF and USATT (especially Andy Horn and Gordon Kaye) for arranging these events, and to HW Global Foundation, which helped sponsor it. Here is the USATT Hopes Info page.

Head coach for the camp was Wang Qing Liang (“Leon”), one of the USATT National Cadet Coaches and one of nine full-time coaches at MDTTC. Also coaching were the MDTTC coaching staff, and Jessica Lin helped out as a practice partner....




Monday, March 6, 2017 - 14:03
March 6, 2017

And On the Third Day He Rested….
After coaching nine hours on Saturday (including the Hopes Camp), and twelve hours at the club on Sunday (running the Hopes tournament, then 4.5 hours of coaching), I need a day to rest and catch up on my todo list, which is growing like bamboo. (I also have 2.5 hours of coaching tonight, and need to work on my new book, the creatively titled “More Table Tennis Tips,” which should be out by the end of the month.) But here’s a funny dog video (1:40) – skip to the last six seconds to see the dog playing “ping-pong”!