December 28, 2016

Tip of the Week
Racket Rotation Serve. You'll note that it's dated December 23, 2016, which was last Friday? Here's the reason. When I compiled my book "Table Tennis Tips," it included all 150 Tips of the Week (in logical fashion) from 2011-2013. Well, it's three years later, and soon I will be compiling all the Tips from 2014-2016 into "More Tips of the Week." However, because I traveled more these past years, I made the discovery that, as of this morning (before I put up today's Tip), I had only 141 Tips. So I'm going to cheat – and will date the last nine Tips of the Week as Dec. 23 to Dec. 31, thereby ending the three years with another 150 Tips. I'm still undecided whether to post a daily "Tip of the Week" until all I've reached 150 (with the last one going up on Jan. 9), or to continue posting them every Monday, with the 150th Tip going up on Feb. 20, but dated as Dec. 31. Of the eight remaining, I've already written four, and have topics for the other four. If other activities don't intervene, I hope to write all four today. (But there are already a number of things on my todo list, alas. But I'm off today from the MDTTC Christmas Camp, so I have more time, though I have private coaching tonight.)

Eventful Three Weeks
It's been a whirlwind three weeks! As noted previously, it started with the "Sail to Success" science fiction writing workshop Bahamas cruise, Dec. 4-9. I won't bore you with the details here since this is a table tennis blog, but here is my write-up of the cruise from my science fiction & fantasy blog – and note that I won the cruise ping-pong tournament!

Then it was on to the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, Dec. 10-18. For those of you who have been living in a cave (with Internet access so you can read my blog), here are the complete results. I was there to attend meetings (including the full-day USATT board meeting), coach, and played in two events. I finished second in Hardbat Doubles (with A.J. Carney), and made the semifinals of Over 40 Hardbat. (I normally use sponge, but like to play hardbat at major tournaments when I'm not coaching.) Alas, I played horribly in the Hardbat Doubles final.

Then it was on to Eugene, Oregon, for family Christmas, Dec. 20-25. While there I did much writing, both table tennis (writing five Tips of the Week and going over plans for upcoming "Parents Guide to Table Tennis" book) and science fiction. I also received much chocolate!

And now it's back to the "daily grind" of coaching and writing!

USATT Board Meeting
The board met all day on Sunday, Dec. 11, just before the U.S. Open. Here's a quick rundown.

  1. Approval of minutes from the Nov. 21, 2016 teleconference.
  2. Long discussion of Licensing of Commercial Rights for both USATT and ITTF events.
  3. SafeSport discussion. This is now required of all USATT certified coaches. I don't like the red tape, but it's required by the USOC.
  4. Committee Reports – Umpires & Referees, Ethics and Grievance, and Rules Committee.
  5. High Performance Committee. Lots and lots of discussion here, including a report on activities, long discussion on Youth National Team Selection, the new ITTF Coaching Rule (coaching allowed at any time except during a point), and USOC update.
  6. USATT voted to adopt the ITTF coaching rule. Here are the ITTF rules. The new rule is the following: "Players may receive advice at any time except during rallies provided play is not thereby delayed (; if any authorised person gives advice illegally the umpire shall hold up a yellow card to warn him or her that any further such offence will result in his or her dismissal from the playing area."
  7. USTT Events Update – 2016 U.S. Open, 2017 U.S. Nationals (July 3-8 in Las Vegas), 2017 world Championships Trials (probably last week in May), and 2018 World Veterans Championships (in Las Vegas).
  8. Long Budget and Financial Update. There's been a drop in membership, but much of that is because of the increase in players buying player passes, and in the timing, since USATT changed its membership standards a year ago.
  9. Closed session to discuss top-secret personnel and legal matters.
  10. 2017 Board Election. It looks like Rajul Sheth and Attila Malek will be running for the upcoming vacant spot on the board for At-Large member, with Mike Babuin's term ending (he's also termed out so can't run for re-election).  
  11. Committee Appointments. Since five of the current nine board members will be replaced in January of 2017, it was decided to postpone making committee appointments until the new board members are in. Besides the at-large spot, we'll have two new player reps, two new independent directors, and a new national organization director. More on this later.
  12. General Assembly. We discussed this briefly. The basic plan was to make it mostly a discussion on the Junior Team Selection process. More on this later, perhaps tomorrow.
  13. Adjourn!

Washington Post Feature
Here's their recent article, The calming presence pushing table tennis out of the basement and into the spotlight. The story features MDTTC and Cheng Yinghua. (I'm quoted a few times.)

Mental Toughness in Table Tennis
Here's the must-read article. It includes "Eleven Tips for Mental Toughness in Competition Table Tennis."

Samson Dubina Coaching Articles
While I've been away, Samson's been busy!

Articles from Coach Jon

Tom's Table Tennis Newsletter
Here's the new issue, which includes links to a number of coaching articles and other news.

USA Table Tennis, ITTF, and Butterfly News Items
Here's their News Page – they've had a LOT of news items while I was away, including some duplicates with the below. They've also had several issues of USATT Insider. There's also a lot of new items on the ITTF News and Butterfly News pages. (Disclaimer – I'm sponsored by Butterfly.)

Khalil Al-Mohannadi Announces Candidacy for ITTF President
Here's the ITTF press release. He's president of the Qatar TTA. Incumbent Thomas Weikert of Germany also plans to run for re-election. I believe Jean-Michel Saive is also planning to run, but apparently hasn't made it official yet.

Japan Looks to Serve Up Pro Table Tennis League
Here's the article. I've looked into USATT or some other group doing something like this, but Japan has huge advantages - they have more money, better players, and less area to cover.

Tom’s Table Tennis Quiz 2016
Here it is from Tom Lodziak.

Table Tennis Represents Healthy in Ad for Centrum Silver
Here's the ad in the Washington Post – see page 7.

2016 Table Tennis Season in Review
Here's the ITTF video (6:36).

World Table Tennis Champions, Istvan Jonyer, Li Zhenshi & Zhang Li Reunite
Here's the video (3:54). Jonyer was the 1975 World Men's Singles Champion, while Li Zhenshi and Zhang Li were among the dominant Chinese players in the 1970s, winning multiple doubles and team championships.

Ping Pong Training for Young Children in North Korea
Here's the video (2 min).

Amazing Rally by Daniela Dodean
Here's the video (58 sec).

"Star Boy" Backspin Serve
Here's the music video (22 sec) of Roy Ke's serve at MDTTC.

Talking Ping-Pong Ball at Hanoi Open
Here's the video (2:44) with Adam Bobrow.

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