January 10, 2017

History of U.S. Table Tennis: Volume 19
It's hard to believe, but we're into Volume 19 of Tim Boggan's History of U.S. Table Tennis! As I write this, he's relentlessly driving toward Maryland, with an expected arrival of 3PM. Then we go to work!

As usual, the volume is projected to have about 500 pages and 1000 photos. USATT Hall of Fame official and photographer Mal Anderson scans most of the photos in advance and sends them to me on a CD. But nearly all of them need fixing up in Photoshop as many are scans directly from magazines or are old, vintage (i.e. poor quality) photos - and that's the first part of my job. And then I do the page layouts, with Tim sitting next to me, jabbing his finger at the screen periodically and screaming, "No, it goes there, you fool!"

He used to type up nearly all the text and then we'd place the photos (including captions and photo credits). But in recent years, to save time, he's had Mal scan the articles directly, and so I often place entire pages in one shot. However, the pages need lots of time-consuming fixing up, plus Tim always has a zillion replacement photos to take the place of those scanned.

As in the past, it'll take 10-14 days to complete the job. (I think this one covers 1991-1992.) We generally work from 7AM to whenever I leave to coach - usually around 4:00 or 5:00 PM. And then, in about six months, we start all over again! (When will I do my blog and other work? Late at night. I won't be sleeping much the next two weeks.)

Calf Injury
It's healing okay, but I'm still limping. I've already had to cancel or get replacements for all private coaching from Saturday through today, and I may have to cancel tomorrow's coaching (Wednesday). On Thursday I only have a one-hour session with a beginning junior, so I may make that one.

Consistent Bat Angle During Swing?
I was asked the following question on the forum here last night:

QUESTION: A lot of coaches tell us to not 'turn' or close your paddle during your forehand forward swing. They say it's a bad habit of creating topspin and causes inconsistencies. However, I've seen J.O. Waldner and Xu Xin doing that a lot.

MY ANSWER: They probably do this mostly against a slow incoming ball - and they have the timing to get away with it. Against a fast incoming ball, you normally don't want to be changing the racket angle as you forward swing. Against a slower ball, you can generate a bit more whip by changing the angle as you forward swing - but the timing is more difficult. I often to this when going for an all-out rip against a backspin. 

He also asked about swinging across the body. Here are the two postings. An extended version of this may turn into a Tip of the Week.

How to Practice Looping Backspin Balls
Here's the new coaching article from Expert Table Tennis.

Elizabeth Gresham 1948 - 2016
Here's the USATT obit on this long-time player and supporter.

Athlete Reminder: 2017 WADA Prohibited List Now in Effect
Here's the article. "USADA would like to remind all athletes that the 2017 WADA Prohibited List went into effect on January 1, 2017." And I was so looking forward to lunching on Clenbuterol, Salmetero, Beta-2 Agonists, and Non-erythropoietic EPO-receptor Agonists.

Starting Where Left Off, Tomakazu Harimoto and Fan Zhendong
Here's the ITTF article.

Table Tennis Stick Figure T-shirt in Many Colors
Here's the new kickstarter project from Steve Worthington.

Ma Long Heavy Spin Forehand Technique Slow Motion 2017
Here's the new video (1:19).

Table Tennis Therapy for Alzheimers
Here's the news story (2:51) from News 13.

The Craziest Ping-Pong Skills
Here's the video (2:40), a compilation of crazy table tennis trick shots. This came out a month ago, but I don't think I posted it.

"Big" and "Little" Table Play
Here's the "Big" video (47 sec), and here's the "Little" video (30 sec). Which is more exciting?

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