January 2, 2017

Tip of the Week
Last-Second Changes of Direction on Receive. (As explained in my Dec. 28 blog in the Tip of the Week, I'm putting up extra Tips of the Week and post-dating them for earlier in December so I'll end up with 150 Tips for the period 2014-2016. So today's Tip of the Week is dated Dec. 26.)

Barry Dattel: 1958-2016
Last night I got the horrible news – here's the USATT news item. Apparently Barry, an icon in our sport, had a heart attack while at his club late on Friday, Dec. 30, and passed away around 1:30 AM on Saturday morning, Dec. 31, at age 58. So it was a very bad end to the year. (Here's the Legacy obit.) 

I've known Barry since around 1980; we've competed against each other ever since, first as players (where he soon left me behind as he reached a 2500+ level), and later as opposing coaches in many a match. He was a top USA player for many years; as recently as 2013 he was the U.S. Open Over 50 Men's Singles Champion. He was the father figure in the First Family of Table Tennis – husband to Hall of Famer, Olympian, and head coach Lily Yip at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center; stepfather to star players Adam and Judy Hugh (both former USA Team Members and many other titles), and father-in-law to Cory Eider (married to Judy), former U.S. Men's Singles Finalist, Men's Doubles Champion, and past USATT High Performance Director.

Barry was one of the hardest-working people in table tennis, truly one of our shining lights. Along with Lily, he was the driving force behind the Lily Yip TTC in New Jersey (one of USATT's ten National Centers of Excellence), where he often ran the desk, ran tournaments, promoted and organized, and did whatever else was necessary. I worked with him quite a bit at the USATT Supercamp that was held at LYTTC in July, where often he was the authoritarian figure who made sure things got done, whether it be giving rides as needed, or coming in late one night to fix the broken door at the house we were staying at.

He was mind-numbingly intelligent, with very strong opinions that he was never shy about expressing. Often at major tournaments you'd see him in consultation with the powers-that-be of table tennis (of which he was one), discussing how best to develop our sport and players. He was also a computer programmer, who wrote his own tournament software. Before the LYTTC, he was president of the New Jersey TTC. He was a top player, coach, director, organizer, and entrepreneur. Here is the USATT interview, 11 Questions with Barry Dattel.

My deepest condolences to Lily, Adam, Judy, Cory, family and friends, and the LYTTC.

Wishing Everyone a Prosperous 2017
Here's the video (38 sec) from Allen Wang. Personally, I think he should be putting out the lights for 2016, a year whose lights definitely should be knocked off.

Ask a Table Tennis Coach
Here's the new feature from Expert Table Tennis.

Tom's Table Tennis Newsletter
Here's the new issue, which include links to a number of coaching articles (including one of mine).

Multiball Angle Training
Here's the video (30 sec). I've done this with my students as well.

Samson Dubina: Enhance Your Game with TT-Flex
Here's the new podcast (35:03) from Expert Table Tennis.

Flip Like a Boss
Here's the video (20 sec) as Michael Maze flip-kills a serve like no serve has ever been flip-killed before. Michael is a professional – do not try this at home!!! Lots of replay. (In Europe they call it a flick.)

Table Tennis - Best Points In 2016
Here's the video (6:23).

Vote for the Best Dressed Team at the 2016 ITTF Star Awards
Here's the ITTF page for voting.

Robot Pong
Here's the new video (63 sec). These robots keep getting better and better. Say hello to our new Lords and Masters!

Table Tennis in Virtual Reality
Here's the video (8:44).

Coca-Cola Table Tennis
Here's the video (2:54) of what appears to be a Coke commercial in Arabic that features table tennis!

Man vs. Dog
Here's the cartoon video (15 sec, repeating) of these two extremely fast, gifted players go at it! Just think of the years of hard training they underwent to develop these skills.

Non-Table Tennis – Zombies Anonymous
Here it is – it's the lead story at Galaxy's Edge, one of the top pro science fiction & fantasy magazines! It's the humorous story of a zombie math professor and the three steps to not being a zombie.

Send us your own coaching news!