March 31, 2017

$2700 3-Star Butterfly MDTTC April Open and Coaching at Tournaments
I'm running the tournament next weekend (April 8-9) 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 and here is the entry form. You can also enter online at Omnipong. 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.

Some of you are playing a tournament this weekend. According to the USATT Tournament Page, there are four this weekend in the U.S.:

  • 4-star Butterfly Cary Cup in Morrisville, NC
  • 3-star DAC April Open in Davison, MI
  • 2-star NYISC April Over 40 Open in College Point, NY
  • 2-star Clearwater Spring Grand Open in Clearwater, FL

For these players, and for others in future tournaments, here is my article, Top Ten Ways to Play Your Best in a Tournament. Hope it helps! (Note – the following weekend there are ten USATT tournaments.)

But one thing that’s not on that list is having a match coach. What does a match coach do? He scouts out future opponents, prepares you for matches (often warming you up himself), gives last-minute tips before you go out to play, studies you and your opponent while you play, and coaches you between games and during timeouts, and (with the new ITTF coaching rule) at any time necessary, except when the ball is actually in play. This will be the topic of Monday’s Tip of the Week, “How to Be a Match Coach.”

How valuable is it having a match coach? It can make a huge difference - there's a reason essentially every top player in the U.S. (and around the world) has a coach at nearly all of their matches. However, to maximize this, the coach needs to be familiar with the player, and the player must have confidence in the coach. The last chapter of my book Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers is about this. Here's an example from my November 29, 2016 blog - start with fourth paragraph under "North American Teams," which starts, "Does coaching make a difference? You better believe it!" A coach also should be able to teach the player to develop the habit of tactical thinking, a habit which will help them lifelong in table tennis and other endeavors as well. 

So if you are one of those happy souls playing in a tournament this weekend, or any future one, consider getting a match coach. Or perhaps arrange with a practice partner to coach each other – often one gets a better perspective by watching on the sidelines than the one actually playing. Often the smartest people don’t see things as well when they are actually playing, and can gain by having an outside observer.

Why I Coach Table Tennis
Here’s the article by Eli Baraty.

Table Tennis Training: Ma Long Forehand Loop Against Heavy Backspin
Here’s the video (3:36). 

2017 Butterfly Cary Cup Championship: Photo, Results & Live Stream
Here’s the Cary Cup Page! Follow the action all weekend from North Carolina from this 4-star tournament with 209 players.

USA Team Trials Videos
They are highlighting some of the best matches there on the USATT News Page, including Amy Wang vs. Rachel Sung, Adar Alguetti vs. Kanak Jha, and Crystal Wang vs. Rachel Yang. Or see the USATT Video Page, which includes the Team Trials and videos from past events.

Yet Another Comeback, on Home Soil Jörgen Persson Ready to Return
Here’s the ITTF article.

Jan Ove Waldner - Documentary
Here’s the video (58:49) – I’m not sure if this is new, but it’s dated March 22, 2017. It’s in Swedish, but you can pretty much follow what’s going on, from childhood on for the one often called the Greatest of All Time.

World Champs Top 10 Moments: Rowe Twins Triumph
Here’s the ITTF video (42 sec).

College Table Tennis: The Pong Potpourri
Here’s the article.

Retirement Community Teaches Ping Pong at Schools
Here’s the video (1:51)

A Little Paralympic Pong
Here’s the video (8 sec) – just another rally.

Curry, Serena Set to Square Off in Epic Ping-Pong Match
Here’s the article and 3 videos! So . . . are you Team Stephen or Team Serena?

Big Paddle, Big Ball?
Here’s the picture! (Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

Ollie and Quentin Table Tennis
Here’s the cartoon!

Send us your own coaching news!