March 23, 2017

Tips of the Week and Equipment
I’ve been doing them almost every Monday since January, 2011 - in all, 306 of them. I’m still coming up with them, but it’s not as easy as before. Do you have something you’d like me to write about? Here’s your chance - comment below! Serve (my second favorite topic!), receive, strokes, footwork, tactics (my favorite!), training and improving, sports psychology, equipment, tournaments - take your pick!

Tips can cover nearly all aspects of the sport. The only thing I avoid are ones on specific equipment. I’m sponsored by Butterfly, so writing about rival equipment would be a problem. At the same time, if I write strictly about Butterfly equipment, then my writing is a bit biased. So long ago I decided to stay away from discussing specific equipment in the Tips.

The Tips are all online, but in chronological order. If you want to see them organized in logical order, by subject, with a table of contents, then you can read the first 300 of them this way in Tips of the Week and More Tips of the Week.)

While I don’t write about specific equipment in the Tips, I can blog about my own equipment. For the record, I use a Butterfly Timo Boll ALC FL blade, with Tenergy 05 black 2.1 on forehand, Tenergy 25 red 2.1 on backhand. Tenergy 05 is great for looping, and makes it easy for me to loop over and over with power even at age 57. I use Tenergy 25 on the backhand because, while it’s also easy to loop with, it’s great for counter-hitting and blocking. Few world-class players use Tenergy 25 because it’s not designed for players who take a big swing at the ball, as most world-class players do, but for players under 2000, and really well beyond that, unless you loop all-out on the backhand, I’ve always thought Tenergy 25 was the best one.

I blogged about Tenergy 25 and other related issues on Oct. 14, 2015, “Emulating the Equipment of the Top Players.” It starts off, “One of the best and worst habits intermediate players make is copying the equipment of the top players.”

There’s a story behind the Timo Boll ALC blade I use. About five years ago I was coaching 13-year-old Tong Tong Gong at the USA Cadet Team Trials (under 15). He was seeded ninth, with only the top four making the team. I’d tried out his racket, the Timo Boll ALC blade, and kept raving about what a great racket it was. (At the time, I was between sponsors.) Tong Tong pulled off a series of upsets to make the team, and as a reward, he and his dad presented me with his racket. It’s still the one I use - ask me sometime at the club or tournament, and I’ll show it to you - you can still see “Tong Tong” etched into the blade’s throat! Tong Tong went on to make the team again the following year as well, pulling off nine upsets those two years without losing to anyone below him.

Fan Zhendong, Zhou Yu, Xu Chenhao, Wang Hao Training
Here’s the video (7:35).

Interviews - Watch the Interviews with Coaches and Pros
Here’s a selection of six video interviews put together by Samson Dubina.

College TT March Madness Challenge
Here's the info page - “Predict the results of the 2017 TMS College Table Tennis Championships and win fabulous prizes! . . . TMS is offering up a 500 dollar 1st place prize; 2nd place 300 and 3rd place 100. Doublefish is offering its winners a Gross and ½ gross of tournament quality balls!”

New Schools Brighten the College Table Tennis Landscape
Here's the article by Willy Leparulo.

Triangle Table Tennis a Smashing Success
Here's the article from

ITTF President Thomas Weikert attends “SPORT.CITY.BUSINESS. - The Experts Talk” 
Here’s the ITTF article.

World Championships Flashback
Here’s the new ITTF video (39 sec).

Zhang Jike and Liu Guoliang Take on World Champion at Sandpaper Table Tennis!
Here's the article and video (1:23) from Table Tennis Daily.

Power Woman!
Here’s the picture. (Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

Protect Your Face!
Here's video (29 sec) as George Li repeatedly protects his face against the sheer power of Greg Mascialino's attack!

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