January 9, 2017

Tip of the Week
Focus on How to Beat Someone, Not On Why You Can’t. (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. 27.)

My Weekend….
Tennis and calf injury and new classes, oh my!

  • Friday: Here's what I wrote on Facebook on Friday night: "Well, I've gone and done it. As part of my 'secret' plan to get in great physical shape, I was in my first tennis (yes, tennis) training session tonight in over five years. I jogged and stretched in advance, but of course you know what happened - 45 minutes into the session I pulled my right calf muscle. I probably won't be doing any private coaching for a while - I can't even walk right now without a crutch. (I can do group sessions on crutches.) I used to do group tennis sessions twice a week for over a decade." NOTE - in the tennis training session, someone drop shot the ball short to my forehand. I raced in at full speed and smacked in a running, lunging winner - but that was where I pulled the muscle. Few people would have gotten to that ball!
  • Saturday: I was on crutches all day (when I had to get up), and had to cancel all my one-on-one coaching sessions through Tuesday. I'll wait and see how it is for Wed and Thur. But I couldn't put any weight on the right leg yet. I spent most of the day reading and writing.
  • Sunday: This is my busiest coaching day, but I had to cancel or get substitutes for all my private coaching due to the leg injury. However, I had two 90-minute group sessions. I thought I was going to be on crutches for them, but discovered that if I taped the leg up very tightly, and kept it slightly bent, I could hobble about without hurting it further. I ran the first session of the new ten-week beginning junior class, with 11 kids, and with John and Wen Hsu assisting. I also ran the first adult training session of the new year, with 12 players.
  • Monday: I already cancelled both private sessions for today. I'll get a lot of other work done, but will limit any walking to help it heal. I'm debating whether I can coach on Wed and Thur. I also have to prepare for Tim Boggan's arrival on Tuesday to begin photo work and page layouts for History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 19 - more on that tomorrow. 

Slow Motion Table Tennis from the ITTF
Here's the video (40 sec), which starts off with the slow motion serve of world #1 Ma Long. Notice how the ball went completely behind his head, illegally hidden from the receiver? The funny and sad thing is that this just showcases that our top players no longer even attempt to hide that their serves are illegally hidden (this was pretty blatant), and the ITTF doesn't even bother to hide it, showcasing it here. Umpires just won't call it, referees won't insist on them calling it, and the various rules & officials committees and governing associations won't act to make sure the rules are being followed. Yep, cheating is rampant in our sport, and the ones in charge know it and won't do anything about it. I've tried every way imaginable, via USATT and ITTF, and it's like throwing ping-pong balls at a cloud of smoke. (Remember, it's not a matter of the umpire being able to tell if the serve is hidden. The question is whether or not he is "sure" of the serve's legality - and if he is not sure, then by our rules it is an illegal serve that should be called.)

Ask a TT Coach
Here are new articles from Expert Table Tennis. They've been busy!

Devastate the Cheater
Here's the coaching article from Samson Dubina.

Can European Players Compete with the Chinese?
Here's the article from eBATT Sport.

Pleasantville Table Tennis Prodigy Sets Sights on College, Olympics
Here's the article featuring Kai Zhang.

USATT Articles
They have a number of new News items - why not browse over them? (Some duplication with items here.)

Board of Directors Meeting Actions and Notices - Dec. 11, 2016
Here are the motions made at that meeting in Las Vegas. Complete minutes will go up later. There was also an email vote on Dec. 16 (to add Dell Sweeris and Donna Sakai to the USTTA Foundation Board. Yes, USTTA, not USATT - it was founded before USATT changed its name.)

Grand Slam Champion Zhang Jike Sets Fire on Cover of Men's Uno Magazine
Here's the ITTF article.

ITTF Monthly Pongcast - December 2016
Here's the video (13:16).

Here is Some Flippin' Practice
Here's the video (16 sec).

Tischtennis in Deutschland
Here's the video (48 sec) of this great attack vs. chop point.

NYCTTA Table Tennis Drill Session 360
Here's the video (76 sec) showing the new New York City TTA club. Forehand-Backhand drill!

Washington Redskins Players Tress Way and Nick Sundberg in Smash Table Tennis League
Here's the Facebook page with pictures.

Funny Guy Table Tennis
Here's the video (3:39).

Send us your own coaching news!