March 13, 2017

Tip of the Week
Warm Up the Shots You’ll Be Using.

13.5 Hours of Weekend Coaching
My weekend hours keep going up. This weekend I did five hours on Saturday and 8.5 on Sunday! (Of course, to many full-time coaches, it's just another weekend.) On Mondays I have 3.5 hours, then just two on Tue and Wed. I’m normally off on Thur and Fri. Due to the USATT Teleconference, which is normally scheduled the second Monday every month, I had to cancel one hour for tonight, so being on the Board is costly.

On Sunday we had the tenth and final week of the Beginning/Intermediate Junior Class (90 min, 14 players). The first half was “player’s choice,” where the players go to choose what they needed to work on. Then we did what I always like doing at the end of each ten-week session – lobbing!!! We did a demo and I went over how to smash lobs. Then John Hsu, William Huang, and I each took a court and spent 15 minutes lobbing to the kids, who stayed up until they missed three. Wen Hsu took the youngest beginners and fed them multiball lobs. After an hour of training we did 30 minutes of games. The older players did Brazilian Teams while the younger ones voted unanimously (as they do every week) for the ever-popular “Cup Game,” where they make pyramids of paper cups, then line up and knock them down as I feed multiball.

In the Talent Program (22 advanced juniors, 90 min), we did lots and Lots and LOTS of shadow practice and multiball. Then a lot of serve and attack type drills. I spent a lot of time with one of the kids who was really into developing his spin serves. The night before in a league match he’d pulled off a nice upset, with his new reverse pendulum serve winning him a lot of points.

In the Adult Training session (90 min, 11 players), after the usual drills (FH-FH and BH-BH warm-up, footwork, smashing and looping drills), we did 30 minutes of serve and attack, with the players taking turns, 7.5 min each. The focus was on attacking down the line and recovering. Often players attack down the line and just stand there, leaving a wide angle open. So they practice not only attacking, but following through back into the proper position for the next shot.

USATT Teleconference
Tonight at 7PM we’re having a USATT Teleconference. (I’m one of the nine on the USATT Board.) On the agenda (my wording, not directly from the agenda itself):

  1. Roll Call/Conflict of Interest Statements/Welcome Remarks.
  2. Introduction of Gary Schlager, who joins the USATT Board as one of the two Independent Directors. He has an extensive financial background, which USATT can use. Gary plays at my club (MDTTC) and other Maryland clubs, so I know him well. (He’s been rated over 2000, and has assisted me in local clinics.) He’s a welcome addition. How long will it take us to convert him from this to this?
  3. Rules Committee Proposal. They are proposing the use of service judges, who would be positioned at each end of the court (instead of at the side, where umpires are positioned), so as to better see the serve. They will be used at the recent College Nationals as a test. More on this later.
  4. CEO Report, covering National Team Trials, USA Nationals, Membership, Sponsorship and Fundraising, SimplyComplete, Clubs Update, Tournaments, High Performance/USOC, Junior National Team Trials, and Seamaster & Newco.
  5. Appointment of NewCo (who will be running major table tennis events).
  6. 2017-2019 Committee Appointments.
  7. Closed session (legal update).
  8. Upcoming Board Meeting Schedule
  9. Old and New Business
  10. Adjourn.

Whip Forehand Topspin Table Tennis - Like a Boss!
Here’s the new video (4:07) from Brett Clarke.

New Articles and Videos from Samson Dubina

Table Tennis Training With a Purpose - Make it Count!
Here’s the article from Table Tennis University.

Unreal Drop Shots by Yijun 'Tom' Feng
Here’s the video (44 sec) as the 2015 U.S. National Men’s Champion practices and demonstrates his drop shop against lobs, fed by Cory Eider. Did you think players develop this type of touch by not practicing it?

Rare Footage of Fan Zhendong at Age Ten
Here’s the video (1:16) as the now world #2 played against German star Thomas Keinath as a kid.

Master Stroke Table Tennis Training Device
Here’s the video (1:28) of this new table tennis invention, apparently from Asia. (Who’ll be the first to let me know whether the sub-titles are Chinese, Japanese, or Korean? I have no idea.)  

2017 Italian Junior & Cadet Open: Gold for Rachel!
Here’s the article by Bruce Liu, featuring USA’s Rachel and Joanna Sung.

Personal Invitation to 2017 Spring High Performance Camp
Here’s the article. Camp takes place March 27-29, between the USA National Team Trials (March 23-26) and the Cary Cup (March 30 – April), all at the Triangle TTC in North Carolina.

ITTF Looking for Media Interns for Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships
Here’s the article. “The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) offers media internships for young media professionals to work for the ITTF at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships to be held in Dusseldorf, Germany from Monday 29th May to Monday 5th June.”

ITTF Executive Committee Meets in Dubai
Here’s the article, with a summary of the meeting this past Saturday.

China: Marvelous Twelve
Here’s the ITTF page featuring Chinese news, with coverage of the just completed Chinese Team Trials. Lots of articles, including ones on why Ma Long and Zhang Jike both had to withdraw due to injuries.

NCTTA National Championship is Coming!
Here’s the preview video (3:36).

NYCTTA and Aerobic Table Tennis
Here’s the video (1:51) by Jules Apatini, featuring Coach Ernesto Ebuen. “This video is a collaboration between the Aerobic Sports Dance & Music Exercises Group & NYCTTA. It was created to demonstrate how Table Tennis is an excellent form of Aerobic Progressive Exercises. We will bring you videos like this in the not so distant future.”

Amazing Table Tennis Hand Switch Shot
Here’s the video (37 sec) of this great shot. It turns out she had been practicing the shot for this very circumstance!

Shadow Practice at the Gym
Here’s the video (7 sec) – Think of the fitness benefits if millions of Americans did this?!!!

Ping Pong is Night Out for Tech CEOs Zuckerberg, Houston and Kalanick
Here’s the article and pictures. “The trio of tech CEO pals hit SPiN in San Francisco, part of Susan Sarandon's network of ping pong social clubs, last Friday.”

Meet Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers' Latest Budding Superstar
Here’s the article – but is he a budding baseball or table tennis superstar? “Getting a look last year at the club’s pingpong culture, Bellinger worked on his table tennis game in the offseason, in addition to his attention toward baseball. He even has his own paddle now.”

Funniest TT Player Ever? Timo, Who Else?
Here’s the video (2:57) that compiles some of his funniest real or exhibition points. (He’s the lefty, the former world #1 from Germany.)

The Greatest Football Players “Play” Table Tennis
Here’s the video (59 sec) as these soccer stars (yeah, real football) “play” table tennis, set to music!

Non-Table Tennis - Top Ten Leadoff Options for the Baltimore Orioles
Here’s the article I wrote, now featured on Orioles Hangout. (Yes, baseball.)  It includes a number of inside jokes some might not get. The Orioles are a great power-hitting team, but at the moment don’t have a really good option for leadoff hitter (where on base percentage and speed are important). It’s my 32nd article published there, going back to 2012. Other than table tennis and the Orioles, I don’t really follow sports too closely. (I used to coach Orioles players – one hour each with JJ Hardy and Brady Anderson, and about ten sessions with Darren O’Day. Here’s my blog on my visit to the Orioles Clubhouse in 2013 with four of our players, and here’s video.)

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