October 18, 2016

Random Drills
Yesterday I did a number "random drills" with students, though we first did drills leading up to them. With Daniel (age 12) who is often hesitant to loop against backspin in game situations, we started with regular multiball backspin where he looped forehands and then backhands. Then we did the 2-1 drill with backspin only – he'd backhand loop from backhand corner, then forehand loop from backhand corner, then forehand loop from forehand corner, and then repeat. Then I fed random backspin all over, and he had to loop forehand or backhand. Then we played points where he served backspin and I'd push to his forehand, he'd loop, then we'd POP (play out point). Then the same where I pushed to his backhand. Finally, we went full random – he'd serve backspin, I'd push anywhere randomly, he'd loop, and then POP. (Daniel does 90 minutes, so he gets a lot of drills.)

Next up was Navin Kumar – yes, the bionic man himself (google it, but suffice to know he's got Parkinson's and a mostly mechanical heart). He's having trouble making the transition from backhand to forehand. Normally he uses long pips on the backhand, no sponge, with regular inverted on the forehand. However, he's getting ready for the U.S. Open, including the Under 1800 Sandpaper, so he requested that we do the session with sandpaper! I brought out my sandpaper racket, and we did the normal forehand-to-forehand and backhand-to-backhand warmup. Then we did my forehand down-the-line to his backhand, so he could practice hitting it down the line. Then, to work on his transition, I hit forehands alternately to his forehand and backhand, and he returned them all to my forehand. Finally, we went full random – I did forehand and backhand drives to all parts of the table, and he had to transition from forehand to backhand and back to counter-hit or block them all. (We also did a number of other drills, including working a lot on his forehand receive, plus he worked on his attack against my chopping.)

Interesting note – Daniel's dad is in Japan this week, and he didn't have a ride, so for his two sessions this week (Mon and Tue) I'm picking him up. The ride is about 20 minutes. But a strange thing happened when I picked him up at 5PM – my GPS insisted the ride to the club would be 2 hours and 28 minutes! I thought there must have been a really major accident on the highway, and considered whether it was worth trying to get to the club. Then I discovered that I'd accidently changed settings, and it was showing the route and time for walking to the club! So I learned three things at Daniel's house. 1) The GPS on my smart phone has a walk setting; 2) It's a 2'26" walk from Daniel's house to the club; and 3) his doormat has "Welcome" in 18 languages.

USA Team Pictures
Here's the USA Teams Page, with links on left to every team, with each player pictured. (I linked to this last week, before all the pictures were up.) Now you can see them all! Included are the USA Men's and Women's National, Olympic, and World Teams, and the USA Youth Teams: Junior, Cadet, Mini-Cadet, and Hopes Teams for boys and girls. There's also a USA Team Coach listing, but no pictures yet. Here's the Paralympic Team Page, with pictures of the those teams. 

Humidity: The Ultimate Pitfall of the Plastic Ball
Here's the article from MH Table Tennis.

Table Tennis University Back Online
Here they are, including a free "Basics Mastery" course. It's now hosted by Expert Table Tennis – here's their coaching page, with info on this.  

Crossover Step Footwork
Here's the video (15 sec) by Samson Dubina, from his Footwork Clinic.

2016 Rough Diamonds Training Camp with Li Xiadong and Zhang Yining - Quality Training Part 1
Here's the video (17:31).

Leaping, Falling Backhand Attack
Here's the video (24 sec).

Great Rolling Shot
Here's the video (13 sec).

Kids Playing Mini-Restaurant Pong
Here's the picture! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

Table Tennis on The Simpsons
The Simpsons have become quite the table tennis show! They had table tennis on their new shows on Oct. 2 and Oct. 9. On Oct. 2, Bart and Lisa played table tennis in virtual reality created by Mr. Burns. On Oct. 9, there was a chain mail ping-pong player in a group of nerds. Here's more table tennis with The Simpsons:

  • Here's video (13 sec) that shows Bart playing table tennis in the background.
  • Here's video (33 sec), which ends with the character voiced by Patrick Stewart saying, "Now let's all get drunk and play ping-pong!"
  • Here's video (11 sec) of Grampa Simpson calling a Chinese man "Ping-Pong Craig."
  • Here are two pictures of Bart and Lisa Simpson playing ping-pong: Picture 1 and Picture 2
  • Here's a drawing of Bart with a ping-pong paddle.
  • Here's the online wiki for Madam Wu, a minor character on The Simpsons, where it says that "Her father was a professional ping pong player who died when he got a ping pong ball lodged in his throat." According to The Simpsons 2012 Daily Desk Calendar (which I just got for Christmas), in the Oct. 10, 2012 entry, it says, "Her father choked to death on a Ping-Pong ball the day before the Heimlich Maneuver was invented."

Send us your own coaching news!