October 26, 2016

Larry's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Yesterday was a uniquely bad day. How bad was it? Let me count the ways.

  1. TableTennisCoaching.com went down. It was a server problem involving unneeded data being collected from the site that led to three gigabytes of data slewing up the system in some technical way. I spent all day just trying to get in touch with my server, Godaddy. Each time I'd call I'd be on hold for a time, then I'd get a message they were busy and if I'd leave a message with my phone number, they'd get back to me. This started around 8AM, and after three calls where I'd wait on hold and finally end up leaving a message, plus two emergency emails, they got back to me around 4PM, and the problem is fixed, at least for now.
  2. USATT League went down. I woke up also to emails that the league software wasn't working, and as the chair of the USATT League Committee I of course got much of the blame, despite not actually having anything to do with this aspect. I sent off emails to the software people to fix the problem(s). (More on the League Committee soon – my two-year term as chair ends on Dec. 31, and it's time for someone else to chair the committee.)
  3. The Washington Post stood us up. They came in to do interviews at MDTTC recently, and yesterday was to be their follow-up, where they'd do more interviews, take pictures, and create a video. It was all supposed to start at 5:30PM. I arranged for most of our top players and juniors to be there in their best table tennis outfits, had our top coaches working with them, and prepped some of the nervous kids on what to do. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. At 6PM I called, texted, and emailed to check on them. At 6:40PM I gave up on them and left. I felt and probably looked a bit silly arranging all of this and nobody showing up. At 7:17PM I received an apologetic text message from the Post reporter that they'd been called away at the last minute to cover some championships basketball game, and he'd forgotten to tell us. (He said they'd reschedule with us. Great . . . get to arrange all that all over again.)
  4. Exhaustion and Injury. On Saturday I spent 14 hours setting up, running, and doing the paperwork for the MDTTC October Open, roughly 8AM to 10PM. On Sunday I coached seven straight hours. On Monday I coached "only" 2.5 hours, but by the end I was so exhausted I could barely stand – and I began compensating in my strokes, leading to a sore shoulder. I finally had to cancel my one session scheduled on Tuesday. Am I getting older or something?
  5. Frankenstein Movie. Disgusted with the Washington Post non-appearance, I went off to see a movie. The local theater was doing a special showing of an apparent 2011 Frankenstein remake starring Benedict Cumberbatch at 7PM, so I decided to watch it. All I can say is, "What the heck was that?" It turns out the "movie" was actually a video of a live performance at the Royal National Theatre in London. It started with the Frankenstein monster staggering about the stage for ten minutes, and it continued like that – it was more a ballet than a movie, and sorry, I'm not into ballet. I'm a movie buff who sees way too many movies, but yesterday I did something I had never done before – I walked out of a movie. I just couldn't take any more of it, and left after 30 minutes. The "movie" actually has high ratings, but I think that's more a matter that it's really liked by those who see it, and those who see (other than me) it really like it. (Try parsing that circular reasoning.)

On the other hand, in my non-table tennis world, yesterday I finished my work on the science fiction novel I'm co-writing with two others!

MDTTC October Open Ratings

  • On Saturday I ran the MDTTC Open. (Here are results.)
  • On Saturday night I sent in the results.
  • On Monday morning the rating results were processed! Congrats to Jon Taylor at USATT headquarters. 

Win a Free Book and DVD – Just Describe the Tactics
Here's the Facebook page for this contest. Wrote Samson Dubina of the video of his match with Yong Ren in the final of the Millcreek Open. Said Samson, "I will send a FREE book and FREE dvd to the person who can best describe for me what effective tactics that I used against this inverted penhold blocker."

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Serve Short
Here's the coaching article from Table Tennis University.

How to Improve Your Reaction Speed in Table Tennis
Here's the coaching article from Matt Hetherington. (Includes 32-sec video of Fan Zhendong training.)

Table Tennis Excuses, Rationalizations, & Explanations
Here's the article by Jon Gustavson.

Reverse Pendulum Serves
Here's the video (25 sec) as Matt Hetherington practices these serves.

Asia Beats Host Chinese Team for Gold at ITTF World Cadet Challenge
Here's the ITTF press release. Here's the ITTF home page for the event.

Despite Strong Efforts 4th Place for North America at World Cadets
Here's the article.

"I'd Work on Player's Potential Rather Than Weaknesses"
Here's the article from India featuring former USATT National Coach Massimo Costantini, who said, "India should become the epicentre of training for its players, who go abroad randomly. The game shouldn’t be seen merely as hand skills but as a very athletic sport that requires high fitness levels."

Xu Xin vs Chuang Chih-Yuan (China Super League 2016)
Here's the new video (6:23).

Historic 2016 ITTF World Cups
Here's the ITTF press release.

Focus on Youth, Singapore Not to Renew Contract of Feng Tianwei
Here's the ITTF press release.

The 13th South Shore Sports/Butterfly Open
Here are the main results of this 4-star tournament. Here are complete results from Omnipong.

2016 Alabama Middle/High School Table Tennis Club Team Championships
Here are results and pictures. Nine high schools and five middle schools took part.

Table Tennis Squash (1959)
Here's the video (1:59) as top players of the time – including two-time world men's singles champion Johnny Leach – rally on this "new" version of table tennis!

Scrabble Pong?
Here's the picture from Jon Gustavson. (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

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