July 19, 2017

Why do you play table tennis? Everyone has a reason, and whether you’ve thought it through or not, it always comes down to goals. Is your goal to have fun? Fitness? To quench your competitive spirit? Improvement? To reach a specific level or win a specific title? To make money?

  • Fun. This should be at least part of everyone’s reason. If it isn’t fun, why not find another sport or activity that is fun for you? The fun could be either from the play itself or from being around your table tennis friends.
  • Fitness. It’s a great way to get in shape, especially if you are training (i.e. doing drills, including lots of footwork drills).
  • Competitive Spirit. This is not to be confused with “fun.” Some people are just very competitive, and need to compete. Playing table tennis for them is like drinking coffee for someone else. They may take coaching to become better, or just to develop a specific technique that they want to use to compete, such as a serve or a loop. They may be driven to beat a specific player or players, with these goals changing as they improve or the players they play changes.
  • General Improvement. Some just like to get better at something, usually with the idea of reaching their potential. If so, then the proper combination of coaching, practice, and match play will lead to this. (Many leave out sports psychology training, systematic receive training, or some other important part, and so never reach their potential.)
  • Specific Level or Title. This could be anything from achieving a 2000 rating to winning the club/county/state/national/world title, perhaps in men’s, women’s, or an age group. Or it could be just becoming the neighborhood champ – though goals often go up after achieving lowly ones like this.
  • To Make Money. Okay, that’s just for us professional coaches and players!

So which of these are important to you? In theory, you could put a percentage on each so it adds up to 100%, but that doesn’t really work. A player may be putting 100% effort into improvement, but still enjoy the sport and also play for fitness and other reasons. Instead, perhaps put a percentage on each for how much each one is important to you. I know that at various times in my 41 years in the sport I’d have put 100% (or close to it) for each of these, though rarely at the same time.

USATT Minutes and Actions
Here’s the USATT Minutes and Actions page, where you can find all the doings of the USATT Board of Directors. The minutes of a number of past meetings were recently posted. (I’m one of the nine on the board.)

Ask the Coach
Questions Answered at PingSkills.

Legends of the Liebherr 2017 World Championships
Here’s the ITTF article and video (90 sec).

WTTC 2017: World Table Tennis Championships
Here’s the new highlights video (3:46), set to music, by EmRatThich.

Ping Pong, Elderly Delighted after Winning
Here’s the article from Sports Flu.

JOOLA Prop Challenge - Table Tennis Tricks Compilation
Here’s the article and video (2:33).

Around the Net Loop
Here’s a repeating gif (5 sec) as India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta takes it around the net.

Chicken Man Playing with a Pot
Here’s the picture!

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Re: July 19, 2017

Reason to play: being addicted to the sport. Particularly, to the sound of the ball bouncing on the table.