February 1, 2017

Changing Racket Angle When Looping
Here's a question I was asked recently.

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. (Here's an example of a player opening the racket as he snaps his forearm and wrist into the shot in this loop against backspin. Compare the very closed racket angle during the backswing to the slightly more open contact point. The link should take you 57 seconds into this instruction video.)

Busy Day Today
Here's my todo list for today:

  1. This morning's blog.
  2. Class accounting (for the various TT classes I teach).
  3. Book accounting (for the various TT books I've written and sell).
  4. Update webpages (on the first of each month).
  5. Go over proofs of "History of U.S. Table Tennis," Volume 19, with Tim Boggan.
  6. Promote MDTTC February Open (Feb. 18-19), which I'll be running. I plan to print out entry forms to send to local clubs, then post about it here and elsewhere.
  7. Organize text for "More Table Tennis Tips," then print for proofing. Yep, I now have 150 Tips of the Week from 2014-2016 for the sequel to "Table Tennis Tips." Today's main job is to organize the 150 Tips into chapters by topic. "Table Tennis Tips" was divided into ten chapters: Serve, Receive, Strokes, Grip and Stance, Footwork, Tactics, Improving, Sports Psychology, Equipment, and Tournaments.) If I have time tonight I might start playing around with the cover.
  8. Two hours of private coaching tonight.
  9. A bunch of USATT correspondence and possible USATT work.
  10. Call Geico. Somehow there's a big crack in my car's windshield. I have no idea where it came from as I haven't been in any accidents. (Hard-hit ping-pong ball?) I'm told my car insurance might pay for it.

USATT Awards Five Top Honors as Coaches of the Year
Here's the USATT article, with bios, statements, and testimonials. Here's the listing:

  • Olympic Coach of the Year: Stefan Feth (Mountain View, CA)
  • Paralympic Coach of the Year: Gary Fraiman (Clearwater, FL)
  • Mark Nordby Developmental Coach of the Year: Tao Wenzhang (Milpitas, CA)
  • Doc Counsilman Technology Coach of the Year: Samson Dubina (Akron, OH)
  • Volunteer Coach of the Year: Joe Ciarrochi (Akron, OH)

2017 Spring High Performance Training
Here's the USATT info page. It's a three-day USATT training camp to be held between the USA National Team Trials (March 23-26) and the  4-star Butterfly Cary Cup (March 30 - April 2) at the Triangle TTC in North Carolina. I may go down, if I have a top player or junior from my club to coach at the Cary Cup or Team Trials. If so, I may attend the Camp, either as a volunteer coach, or maybe, just maybe . . . as a player!

Samson Dubina Breaks Left Hand
Here's the Facebook picture and discussion. (If you're not on Facebook - Muggles? - you might not be able to see it, but here's the lurid non-Facebook image showing the cracked left ring finger.) As Samson thankfully points out, he's right-handed, so he'll be able to continue to play and coach. He claims he broke it playing volleyball, but I'm suspicious. Here's what I wrote: "C'mon, Samson, I've told you OVER and OVER that punching students for missing is risky. Tasers are much safer."

How to Eat and Drink at a Tournament
Here's the podcast (7:37) by Ben Larcombe

Photos from the Westchester January Open
Here's the gallery.

Young-Star National Team Camp-reaction Test
Here's the video (48 sec) - I want to try this!

Ask A Pro Anything - Joo Saehyuk
Here's the video (7:11) by Adam Bobrow of the best chopper in the world and a Men's Singles Finalist at the 2003 Worlds.

The Table Tennis Wheel
Here are four videos of them in action by Tahl Leibovitz and students, where players spin the wheel to develop their looping technique. I found three places where they are on sale: Ping Pong Depot in Canada ($149.95, I think this includes a speedometer), Table Tennis 11 in Estonia ($80.78), and Contra in Germany (EUR 89.90 or $96.69). If you search around, I believe you can get them with or without the speedometer.

Another Beetle Bailey TT Cartoon
Here it is, found by Marv Anderson. It's dated 6-28, but I don't know the year. I've added it to the listing I put up in my Sept. 28, 2016 blog.

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