January 30, 2017

Tip of the Week
How to Play Practice Matches with a Weaker Player.  (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. 30. There is one more to go, and then we can finally celebrate the New Year!)

Last-Second Changes of Direction when Blocking
In the Sunday training session I had them do a basic drill, but with a twist. One player would serve and backhand loop (or forehand loop - I gave them that option) to his partner's backhand (or forehand - another option). The partner would aim the ball crosscourt - but at the last second would change and block down the line. (For advanced players, they had the option of going both ways.)

It's much easier to change directions at the last second on a block (or push) then with any other stroke - and players should take advantage of this. But you can't effectively do in a match what you don't practice, and so this was their chance to practice it. (And so should you.)

On the backhand side, it's a simple matter of pulling the wrist back at the last second and jabbing the ball down the line. On the forehand, you often take the ball a little longer - with the opponent often reacting to when he thinks you are going to contact the ball, and moving to cover the crosscourt. By taking the ball a split second later, and by bringing the wrist back slightly, it's easy to block down the line with the forehand. Many players don't have a down-the-line forehand block, a big hole in their games for savvy opponents, who know where you are next shot will be going.

RIP: USATT Hall of Famer J. Rufford Harrison, May 1930 - Jan. 28, 2017
He died Saturday from complications related to Parkinson's disease. He was 86. Here's his Hall of Fame Profile by Tim Boggan. Here's an article featuring Rufford from the Concord Insider in 2012.

$100,000 World Championships of Ping-Pong
Here's the home page for the event held this weekend in London - for Sandpaper. Here are the results - and guess what? It was won by a Chinese player!!! (Until now the event has been dominated by Europeans.) Here's the news article on the final.

2017 Hopes Info
This is for players who were born in 2005 or 2006, and clubs which hope to host a USATT Hopes Camp.

Over the weekend USATT has put up a number of news articles. Some are duplicates of ones I've had or link to this morning, others are new, but rather than my linking to them one by one, why not browse over them?Table Tennis Coaching Blogs
Here's a feature on table tennis coaching blogs - and TableTennisCoaching.com is in there!

Become a Champion with the Chop Block
Here's the article by Carl Danner featuring 2016 U.S. Open Women's Singles Champion Adriana Diaz.

How to warm-up before a match (if you only have five minutes)
Here's the coaching article from Tom Lodziak.

We’ll Always Have Falkenberg
Here's the article from Coach Jon.

Table Tennis vs Ping Pong
Here's the article from eBATT Sport by Eli Baraty.

Backhand Flip Video
Here's the video (1:45) from Samson Dubina.

Coaching Podcasts by Matthew Pearson at Expert Table Tennis

Fang Bo Forehand Compilation 2017
Here's the video (2:43) of the world #12 from China, who made the final of Men's Singles at the 2015 World Championships by defeating Zhang Jike and Xu Xin.

Amy Wang Narrowly Misses Top 4 Opportunity at World Junior Circuit Finals
Here's the article by Matt Hetherington, featuring USA junior star Amy Wang. (Allen's sister - see below.)

Forrest Gump's got nothing on this teenage ping pong prodigy
Here's the video (2:09) featuring USA junior star Allen Wang. (Amy's brother - see above.)

Insane European Table Tennis Rally
Here's the video (60 sec) between Dimitrij Ovtcharov (GER, world #6) and Liam Pitchford (ENG, world #46).

Tribute to Ma Long - The World Number 1
Here's the video (6:44).

Table Tennis Demonstration Energizes Morning Assembly
Here's the article from the Temple City Tribune, featuring the California TTC from Rosemead, CA.

Julio Jones finally humbled by pingpong that has bonded Falcons' locker room
Here's the article from ESPN.

Epic Ping Pong Fail - Spinning Face Smack
Here's the video (34 sec)!

Buried in Ping-Pong Balls
Here's the picture!

Send us your own coaching news!