May 5, 2017

As soon as I finish this blog I’m off to Ledo’s Pizza where I’ll spend much of the afternoon going over upcoming USATT coaching plans. (I was recently appointed chair of the USATT Coaching Committee.) There are two primary items.

First, I’m working with USATT headquarters to put together several coaching seminars at the upcoming USA Nationals, for both players and coaches. They would likely be held on Sun, Mon, Tue, and/or Wed nights, and range from 60-90 minutes long. Possible clinics we’re mulling over include:

  • Advanced Serve. We’d bring in a top coach and player for this – I already have a duo in mind. (I’d assist.)
  • How to Become a Professional Coach. I’d teach this one.
  • How to Set Up and Run a Junior Program. I’d teach this one. (I’d only teach this one or the one on becoming a professional coach, so have to decide which one.)
  • USATT Club Coach Certification Clinic. I’d run this one.
  • Basics Clinic. I might run this one.

Second, I’m going over the current USATT Coaching Certification Program. I’ve already gone over them, but now I’m going over them very closely for updates I might recommend to the USATT Coaching Committee. For one thing, there’s that silly rule that someone came up with where you have to achieve a specific rating for each level of coaching. There have been some great coaches who were not top players, but based on our criteria, they could only be low-level coaches. What’s important for a coach is his coaching ability, not his playing ability – I thought this would be obvious, but apparently not. (For one-on-one coaching, playing ability makes a difference, but a low level of play doesn’t stop a top coach from running high-level group sessions.) The key point is that top players usually have the opportunity to spend huge amounts of time with top players in training, and so gain much of the necessary experience to become a top coach. It’s harder for lower-rated players to get this experience, but some do, and become top coaches. I know of at least four top coaches who never reached 1400 level, but all spent many years working with top players as they developed, and so gained that experience – but based on our criteria, they can’t even be club coaches, our lowest level. I’ll blog later on about how we’ll change this. (Short version – playing level does indicate a minimum amount of time put into the sport, but if a coach can show he’s been active for a specific number of years, that does the same.)

There’s always a lot going on with USATT. There have been a huge number of emails to the USATT Board (I’m a member) regarding the North American Hopes Trials that were held this past weekend – apparently there were some problems. I keep debating whether I should wade in, but what’s the point? The problems are being taken care of, so I’d just be politicking at this point. Instead, I’ll just watch to make sure the problems are fixed. I’ve coached at past Hopes Trials, including a really well-run North American Hopes Trials at the Westchester Club in 2013, run by Robert Roberts and Will Shortz that could be a model for future ones.

There’s a listing of upcoming ITTF coaching courses below. (Here’s the online listing, which needs some updating – I’ll look into that shortly.) As coaching chair, I have to approve and do some paperwork on each, though headquarters does the bulk of this. There’s a new one being planned in Portland, and I have to send some emails out shortly on that.

On Monday at 7PM we have a USATT Teleconference. I don’t have the agenda yet, but will likely blog about that on Monday and Tuesday. We’ll also finally get the last member of the USATT Coaching Committee approved, and then I can blog about that.

Last week I spent a bunch of time on grandfathering seven new National Coaches. More on that later once the online coaches list is updated.

There’s also lots of MDTTC work (my club). Yesterday I finalized the May Newsletter. (Usually it goes out around the first, but the newsletter publisher is out of the country until tomorrow – May 6 – so it can’t go out until she returns.) I also have to go over with our nine coaches and about a dozen others the USATT/USOC SafeSport Requirements. I am NOT looking forward to that. A kid accidentally broke off the on/off switch for one of our robots, so I had to package that up and send back to Newgy for fixing.

Upcoming ITTF Coaching Courses in the U.S.

USA Nationals – Online Registration
Have you entered the USA Nationals yet? You can now enter online! They will be held July 3-8 in Las Vegas. I will be there; will you? There will be several coaching clinics and other seminars.

My Table Tennis Books
What, you haven’t bought all my table tennis books yet??? What’s wrong with you?

Why Every Table Tennis Player Should Use Multi-ball Training
Here’s the article from Pong Universe. (This is from last year, but I don’t think I posted it.)

Ask the Coach
More questions answered at PingSkills – 16 since yesterday!

Different Strokes for Different Folks
Here’s the new article by Coach Jon.

Ma Long & Xu Xin & Zhang Jike & Wang Hao Training
Here’s the video (15:25).

Billy Ding and the 2017 World University Games
Billy’s on the USA Team to the World University Games, and is trying to raise funds to go. Here’s his funding page. “This summer, I will be representing Team USA and the University of Washington at the 2017 World University Games in Taiwan. While I’m thrilled for this opportunity, it does take a lot financially to make this possible. I’m looking for support for training and my trip to the World University Games. Thanks so much for the support!” Here are the USA Team Members:

  • Men: Yijun Feng, Timothy Wang, Billy Ding, Nathan Hsu, Jason Plog
  • Women: Wu Yue, Lily Zhang, Angela Guan, Erica Wu, Isabel Chu

2017 USA Paralympic Table Tennis Teams

Zagreb Open
The Zagreb Open in Croatia finishes on Saturday. Lots of articles, results, pictures, and video.

China Announces the New Coaches for Top 4 Players
Here’s the article, with link to video. The new coaches:

  • Ma Long - Ma Lin
  • Zhang Jike - Liu Guozheng
  • Fan Zhendong - Wang Hao
  • Xu Xin - Wu Jingping

Battle of the Paddles: Ping-pong players flex their brains and conquer fear in recent tournament
Here’s the article

The Slickest Shot Ever Made
Here’s the video (28 sec) as China’s Fan Zhendong (world #2) pulls off a rolling shot that makes even him and his shocked opponent, France’s Simon Gauzy (world #16), to smile.

World Championships Top Ten Moments - #5-10
Here are links to these five, care of Fremont Table Tennis. I’m not sure if ITTF has done #1-5 yet.

2017 ALN Cup Open Final - Tao Wenzhang vs. Lubomir Pistej
Here’s the video (10:38).

Table Tennis Manager – Online Table Tennis Game
Here’s the online game - “The Multiplayer Online Game for Table Tennis.”

Sizzling Photoshoot of Feng Tianwei, Timo Boll and Others
Here’s the article and photos.

Justin Bieber’s Bizarre List of ‘Demands’ for India Tour Goes Viral
Here’s the article – So what if he (with a 120-person strong entourage) demands 10 luxury sedans, 2 Volvo buses, a Rolls Royce for himself, a Jacuzzi, and will be flying in a PlayStation, IO HAWK, sofa set, washing machine, refrigerator, upholstery, wardrobe cupboard, massage table . . . and a ping pong table. At least he has his priorities straight! Here are some videos of Bieber playing table tennis.

How to CHEAT at Table Tennis
Here’s the article!

True Table Tennis Love?
Here’s the picture! (Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

Skill Level God Mode
Here’s the video (41 sec). (I think I posted this once before, but this seems a new version.)

Table Tennis Battle
Here’s the hilarious video (1:42)!

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