February 16, 2017

Training to Loop Against Backspin
I had a nice session with a ten-year-old on Tuesday, Jackson Beaver, who's about 1300 but will soon be shooting up. He'd been having some trouble looping against backspin - but the reason was somewhat obvious, he stood up too straight when he played. (He's tall for his age.) So we focused on staying down for much of the session. With him, it was somewhat easy - he played basketball a lot, and so I had him "cover me." He'd immediately go to a wider stance, bend his knees, and put his weight forward, which is exactly what you want to do whether you are covering someone in basketball or playing table tennis, as explained in this tip, Your Ready Position - Think Basketball.

Then we did a three-part process to work on his loop against backspin. Throughout it I urged him to make sure at least half his power went into topspin, not just speed. First, we did multiball, where I fed backspin. Once he was in a proper ready position, he was able to generate great force and made many formidable loops. When I thought he was ready, I pulled out my defensive hardbat racket, a very slow, oversized blade that allows me to chop anything back. Then I chopped to his backhand, and he forehand looped over and over - and while I acted like this was completely normal, I was really surprised how quickly he picked this up. He quickly saw and adjusted to the balls having only a little backspin at the start of the rally, then heavy backspin as I chopped his loops back, and was able to loop over and over.

Then we went to serve and attack, where he'd serve backspin, I push to his forehand, he looped, and we played out the point. After all that looping in multiball and against chopping, he was really timed in, and was very consistent with strong loops. One of his best sessions.

And now the funny anecdote. We have a relatively new Chinese practice partner/coach, Wu Jiacheng, who doesn't speak English yet. He's about 2500-2550 or so. I asked the student above (who's Chinese) to ask Wu if he was playing in the tournament. He turned to Wu and said, in perfect English, "Are you playing in the tournament?" After I stopped laughing, I pointed out that Wu didn't speak English, and I wanted him to ask him in Chinese! (Alas, Wu will be very busy coaching this weekend, so can't play.)

$2700 3-Star Butterfly MDTTC February Open
[NOTE - this is a repeat from two days ago. You can enter until 7PM on Friday!]

I'm running the tournament this weekend (Feb. 18-19) at the Maryland Table Tennis Center, in Gaithersburg, MD. I hope to see many of you there! We've expanded our tournaments from last year, going to two days and three star events, doubling the prize money, and going from seven to ten events. Here is our tournament page (with a link to Omnipong where you can enter online), and here is the entry form. The ten events are (on Saturday, with prize money in all events): Open, U2400, U2200, U2000, Over 50, and Under 15, and (on Sunday): U1800, U1500, U1200, and Under 12. The current top seeds are:

  • Ruichau Alex Chen 2716
  • Azeez Jamiu 2639 - from Nigeria, world #370, now playing at the Westchester Club in NY
  • Bowen Chen 2598 (he'll verify tomorrow)
  • Wang Qing Liang 2502

How to Improve Your Consistency
Here's the article and podcast (9:30) from Expert Table Tennis.

5 Tips to Build an Online Presence for Your Table Tennis Club
Here's the article from Pong Universe.

ITTF World Rankings - February
Here's the ITTF video (29 sec), and here are the actual rankings.

AGTTA Host Successful NCTTA Spring Divisional
Here's the story.

The Marker Challenge
Here's the video (52 sec) at the Indian Open. The challenge was to knock the ball off with a serve, without knocking over the tube.

Buy a Ping-Pong Ball Costume!
Here's the page - for only $199, you can be a ping-pong mascot! (Or a baseball or golf ball.)

Ten-Paddle Play?
Here's the picture (with a little help from duct tape).

White Creature vs. Green Creature
Here's the cartoon!

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