May 11, 2017

Table Tennis Stuff I’ve Learned in the Last Few Days

  1. When faced with a teenager suffering sleep deprivation, a counterlooping duel is the best way to wake him up. Splashing water on the face also helps.
  2. If you encourage a kid to hit a certain number of shots in a row, she’ll probably do it. If you mock her and say she can’t do it, she will do it.
  3. There are few things more fascinating to a kid than hitting with that one orange ball mixed in with a box of white ones. (“Never miss with the orange ball!”)
  4. When a student can’t concentrate, have him stare at a ping-pong ball for five seconds. Works wonders.
  5. Older players can move their feet just as much as younger ones. They just aren’t in the habit of doing so, and don’t do it as fast. (Okay, I already knew this, but just wanted to emphasize it since it came up several times this week.)
  6. Rescheduling a coaching schedule to make up for the varied needs of students is like doing a jigsaw puzzle while trying to bounce a ball up and down on your paddle while on roller skates.
  7. Trying to arrange a trip to the Nationals where you’ll be playing, coaching matches, running seminars, and attending meetings makes a Will Shortz New York Sunday Times crossword puzzle seem like first grade arithmetic.
  8. I can still loop 100 forehands in a row. Did it with a student who was working on his block.
  9. My students still struggle with my fast no-spin serve to their elbow. I have failed as a coach but my playing prospects are promising. (Was that a Chinese scout on the sidelines using a radar gun on my fast serves?)
  10. An average man’s step is about 30 inches, according to my online research. I’m a step slower than I was ten years ago. Assuming the trend continues, I’ve lost about 1/17” to my step this past week. So every 17 weeks I lose an inch. Eventually when I move to my right to cover the wide forehand I’ll be moving to my left.
  11. If I really put my mind to it, prioritize it, and put in the necessary practice time, I can and will learn to pronounce and spell our new High Performance Director’s name, Jörg Bitzigeio.
  12. I’m selling just over four table tennis books per day. (Here’s my Amazon listing.)
  13. There is only one cure for exhaustion, and its name is Mountain Dew.
  14. When you have six consecutive hours of coaching, a Snickers bar halfway through is the single greatest thing in the universe.
  15. If you spend one minute responding to an online posting with false info regarding USATT, you will end up spending an entire day on it. (I almost devoted this morning’s blog to my experiences with this yesterday. . . .)

How to Block Heavy Topspin
Here’s the article and video (5:05) from Tom Lodziak.

Table Tennis the Mind Game
Here’s the article. (The article doesn’t actually have a title, so I gave it one.)

Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast - April 2017
Here’s the video (15:25).

How to Make a Homemade Ping Pong Paddle
Here’s the article and video (3:10) from PingPoolShark.

USATT Insider
Here’s the new issue that came out yesterday.

India Ready for the $450,000 Ultimate Ping Pong Championship This July
Here’s the ITTF article. “Ultimate Ping Pong Championships, an inaugural table tennis league, offering a total prize money of $450,000 (INR 3 Crores) is all set to be played in India from Thursday 13th to Sunday 30th July 2017.”

Mission Accomplished Guinea Bissau Completes Full House
Here’s the ITTF article. “Situated in West Africa, on Saturday 6th May, the Guinea Bissau Table Tennis Federation was founded; a significant date for the small developing country, a significant date for the African Table Tennis Federation but moreover a significant date for the International Table Tennis Federation.”

USA League … Proposal?
Here’s the … info. (I debated whether to link to this, since as written … it’s almost unreadable to … me. You’ll see why.)

Champions League Final – Top Hits
Here’s the video (28 sec).

Brain Pong
Here’s the picture!

Send us your own coaching news!