January 6, 2017

How My Coaching Differs from Some
"You can't do it!" I told the 7-year-old girl.

"Yes I can!" she insisted. I'd challenged her to hit 20 forehands in a row.  

"Prove it!" I demanded. In the next rally, after she missed after about ten shots, I shook my head in disgust. "See? I told you weren't good enough. I think you should give up!"

"No way!!!" Of course, a short time later she was gloating at me while I hid my face in embarrassment. "You were lucky!" I declared. "You'll never get that many in a row again!" Of course, within minutes she hit 30. (This all happened in a session last night.)

Most coaches like to encourage their students. I like to take the opposite approach – and it works. Plus, I have the fun of insulting all my students – and they like it! Of course, you have to have the right manner when you do this. I've seen some stern-faced coaches who, if they said, "You aren't good enough to do it," the student would burst into tears and run for the door. You have to keep it both fun and challenging.

Programs at a Professional Table Tennis Center
It's an honor to work at a really professional training center. What do I mean by professional (in italics)? It means that it's not just a place where people come in and call winners; it means the place actually has programs for the various needs of the players. No two centers are the same, but successful ones have a variety of programs. Here's what we have at the Maryland Table Tennis Center, where I coach.

  • Eight Professional Coaches (for group and private lessons). I'm one of them!
  • Six Junior Training Programs. I coach in three of these.
  • Two Adult Training Programs. I run one of them.
  • Training Camps (ten 5-day Summer sessions, Spring Break Camp, Christmas Camp, 11 one-day camps during school holidays, an annual Disabled Veterans Camp I run). I coach at many of these.
  • Four Leagues (including an Elite League and a Junior League).
  • Five Tournaments Per Year (the annual $5000 Maryland State Championships, and four $2670 Butterfly Opens). I run all of these.
  • Space Rental and Parties. I run all the parties, especially special table tennis birthday parties.
  • Table Tennis Robot. It's almost continuously in use.
  • Monthly Newsletter (to promote these programs). I'm the editor.
  • Pro Shop. Last year we had the second most sales among Butterfly clubs in the U.S.
  • Open Seven Days/Week, with 16 tables (sometime 18 for training).

If you have a full-time club in your area, see what programs they have. If they are missing any key ones, see if they can add them. If there isn't a full-time club in your area, why not take the initiative to develop one? Here's the USATT Club Developmental Handbook. The Professional Table Tennis Coaches Handbook (which I wrote) might also help.

How to Improve Your Forehand Drive
Here's the new coaching article from Expert Table Tennis. Includes links to video.

Table Tennis Spot
Here are a number of coaching articles, and here are other more general articles (with links to still more articles on the right).

The Perfect Table Tennis Serve
Here's the article from Coach Tom Lodziak.

A Fun Way to Learn Table Tennis
Here's the article from Table Tennis North, which includes lots of pictures – including a great headline picture. Article is on teaching table tennis to kids.

Fan Zhendong Super Backhand Technique Slow Motion 2016
Here's the new video (4:02).

Outstanding Rally by Antoine Hachard
Here's the video (40 sec).

A Pair of Sidespin Serves!
Here's the video (14 sec) as the server sends out these super-sidepinning serves. 

Batman Ping-Pong Set
I want one!!!

My New Year's Resolution: Beat You at Table Tennis
Here's the "Uncle Sam" poster! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

Mostly Non-Table Tennis – Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions Reviewed in Mensa Bulletin
Here's my science fiction & fantasy blog on this. (Remember, the novel features a table tennis player!)

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