April 14, 2017

Interview with Larry Hodges – and the Best Tip Ever!
USATT is featuring my interview from yesterday

MDTTC Spring Break Camp Days Four and Five
Here’s the official group picture! Today’s the final day of the camp. Much of yesterday's focus in my group was serve and receive. I confess I still get a kick out of watching a new kid's eyes go wide when I demo the various spin serves. After explaining and demoing the serves, they went out on the tables to practice their serves.

Best part? When we called break, one kid stayed and practiced serves the entire 20 minutes. The highlight? I had introduced the exercise where you try serving a high backspin that bounces back over the net. The kid was very excited when he served his first one! Then he worked on serving it lower, with the goal of getting the ball to bounce back into the net. Soon there was a small collection of balls there.

There was a bit of excitement in the air all day, and for a good reason. In the morning I'd announced that on Friday we would be playing the "Candy Game." At 12:15 PM today (Friday) I'll be putting a huge stack of Jolly Ranchers and Hershey Kisses on the end of a table, and the kids will line up, three shots each, taking turns trying to knock them off as I feed multiball. Anything they knock off, they get to keep! (Trade-ins are allowed, so they can trade what they knock off for different flavors or candy types.) We’ll do this for about 30 minutes. So there was an extra focus on accurate shots yesterday! I think this might be the key to developing a new generation of players to challenge the Chinese.

Today’s focus, in addition to winning lots of candy, will be pushing and smashing – two extremes.

USATT Coaching Committee
I was recently appointed to chair the USATT Coaching Chair, my second tenure. However, I can't really do much until my nominations for the rest of the coaching committee are approved. We have a USATT Board meeting in the Bay Area in California next weekend where they'll vote on this. I'm not going to go public yet with my nominees - I'll announce them after the vote. 

Once they are approved, some things I want to focus on are 1) Recruiting and training professional coaches to set up and run full-time centers and junior programs. 2) Coaching seminars at the Nationals and Open; 3) Updating the USATT coaching certification process; 4) Communicating with our current coaches - in particular, asking them what USATT can do for them, given USATT's limited resources. Any other suggestions? (Addendum, added Sunday morning - I blogged more at length on my plans on March 17.)

Seamaster 2017 ITTF-Asian Championships
Here’s the home page, with results, articles, photos, and video. They are taking place right now in Wuxi, China, April 9-16.

Fan Zhendong Forehand Loop kill Technique
Here’s the video (4:51).

Featured Table Tennis Questions
Here’s the page from PingSkills. (I’m going to start linking to these as they come up.) Here’s a separate video from them, Physical Warm Up (7:38).

Amazing Rally Between Pistej and Storf
Here’s the video (24 sec).

Ping Pong Movie: “I’m Number One”
Here’s the video (8:50). In Vietnamese with English subtitles.

Sofia Polcanova . . . Balancing-on-a-Board Pong?
Here’s the video (11 sec)!

These Guys Are Using PORSCHE GT3 As A Ping Pong Table!
Here’s the video (17 sec)!

Grandma Trick Shots: “Ball is Life!”
Here’s the video (92 sec)!

What Type of Table and Net is This???
Here’s the picture!

Animal Pong
Let's have a little fun today. So . . . what are the best animal table tennis players? And the worst? Let's go to the videos! (Comment below if you have a link to any animals I missed below.) 

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