November 21, 2016

Tip of the Week
Getting "In the Zone" by Adapting to Your Opponent.

Car Pong!
Yesterday, while driving home from coaching at the club, I suddenly heard a rattling. It seemed to be coming from below, as if something were lose under the car. (And yes, this is all table tennis related – you'll see!) I finally pulled over and looked, but couldn't find anything. So I got back in, and there was more rattling. Something was wrong with my car!!! I debated whether to take it to a gas station, but it was around 8:30PM and I doubted there'd be anyone there to help. So I decided I'd have to take it somewhere in the morning. It meant skipping this morning's blog, since those who come in later in the morning have to wait for them to finish on the ones that came in earlier, and I'd need the car later this afternoon when I go to coach.

After I got home, I checked under the car one more time, but couldn't find the problem. Sighing, I went to the trunk to get my playing bag and a big metal cartoon of food I'd gotten from the club. The MDTTC's Talent Group – the best players mostly under age 10 – had just had a party, and had given me this big metal carton on Chicken Lo Mein. And that's when I found the culprit. I keep a Butterfly Ball Amigo (a ball net for picking up balls) in the trunk of my car, which I bring into the club as my personal ball net. The head had gotten stuck under my playing bag, with the handle on top of the metal food carton. The sound I'd heard was the handle banging up and down on the carton!!!

I've had other table tennis adventures in cars. One year we had four in a car driving back from the U.S. Open Team Championships in Detroit to Maryland. I was in the back seat reading. We drove into Pennsylvania, but I stopped paying attention. Then I looked up, and noticed a sign saying, "Lake Erie." Huh? That was in the opposite direction. It turned out the driver had mistakenly gone north on some highway, and had driven several hours in the wrong direction.

Another time I had a ride with someone to a club in Virginia on the Beltway around Washington DC, I-495. It should have been a quick 15 minutes on the Beltway, but about half an hour into it I looked out and realized he'd gone the wrong way on the Beltway. We ended up driving completely around in the wrong direction, which took (with traffic) about an hour and a half.

Another year, coming back from the U.S. Teams in Detroit, we got snowed in. We ended up staying two days in a hotel in the suburbs before we were able to drive home.

Here are Car Pong pictures and videos – enjoy! (There are zillions of paddles and balls with car pictures – most are automatically generated for orders from novelty companies – so I not including them.)




Table Tennis Backspin Serve Like a Boss!
Here's the coaching video (5:15) by Brett Clarke (from 2014). 

Three Articles/Questionnaires from Competitive Edge
These were distributed to members of the USA Youth Teams by Sean O'Neill.

Para Legacy Dinner/Banquet
Here's info from USATT. The banquet will take place at 8:30 PM on Thursday, Dec. 15, at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas.

Spurs’ Pau Gasol Relished Luke Walton as Teammate, Ping Pong Opponent
Here's the article from the Los Angeles Daily News.

Support Smoke-free LA with ... Ping-Pong?
Here's the article.

Insane Behind-the-Back Shot
Here's the video (32 sec).

Some Leisurely Senior Chaired Pong
Here's the picture – click on picture to see other interesting TT pictures. (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

Citizen Dog Pong
Here's the cartoon from Nov. 12, 2016, as pointed out by Marv Anderson – now you know what to do during a power outage!

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