Butterfly Online

January 24, 2017

How I Beat Boris Becker, by Andre Agassi
Here's the video (2:40). His secret? He could tell where Boris was serving by how his tongue stuck out of his mouth!

I had a similar coaching experience for many years. A member of the U.S. National Team for many years telegraphed when he was serving long by sticking his tongue out as he was serving! I coached against him many times, and my players did very well against him because of this. The player liked to serve long, and never figured out why some opponents always seemed ready for it.

In table tennis there are similar things you can pick up on, often subtle, if you watch for them. I would estimate that over half of players (including top players) telegraph their long serves by changing their backswing. That's a no-no - you need to use the same backswing for short or long serves. Even if opponents don't consciously pick up on it, they often do so subconsciously, and can tell when you are serving long without being sure how they know. This happens to me all the time - I can tell if someone's serving long but have to think about it to figure out what specifically gives it away.

As a test of how players react to a player's swing before contact, I once experimented on using a reverse pendulum serve motion until after I started the forward swing on the serve, and then switching to my favored pendulum serve motion. The result was astounding - people misread it over and over, and it became one of my serving mainstays.

Podcasts from Expert Table Tennis
Here are two new podcasts by Matthew Pearson

USATT is Seeking Qualified Candidates for an Independent Director Position
Here's the USATT article. Do you have the right stuff?

Mizutani Wins His Ninth All Japan Championship Title
Here's the article.

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, a Special Memory
Here's the ITTF article featuring umpire Mike Meier.

29 Seconds of Multiball to Wake You Up
Here's the video.

Xu Xin When He Was 16 Years Old
Here's the video (17:50) - he's playing 3-time World Men's Singles Champion Wang Liqin!

Table Tennis Superstar Michael Maze & Wally Green 2017
Here's the video (6:59) - when it first comes on, the play seems to be off to the right, but if you put the curser on the video itself, you can drag the image about a full 360 degrees about! When I first saw it, I thought the camera person had simply put the camera off to the side accidentally, and I didn't realize you could actually move the video about with the curser. You can also use the W, A, S, and D keys on the keyboard to rotate these videos.

Andrew Rushton 2017 Ping Pong
Here's the video (70 sec) as he trains for the World Ping-Pong Championships - yes, that's with sandpaper.

Falcons' Ping Pong Battles Are More Important Than You May Think
Here's the article.

Ping-Pong Ball Juggling Robot
Here's the article with links to video and lots of pictures. Here's a less technical article on it, with a link to another video (5:09).

Chinese Man Finishes Voyage in Paper Boat Using His Ping-Pong Paddles
Here's the article and picture from 2008.

Ping-Pong Masters: Now I've Seen Everything!
Here's the video (78 sec). It starts with shovel pong, and goes on from there!

***
Send us your own coaching news!