August 1, 2017

He Zhiwen
One of the strange things about being at a club where we have ten full-time coaches, where I’m the only one who’s not Chinese, is often I don’t know what’s going on. Others assume I do since they are all talking about it – but in Chinese!!! So I didn’t know that He Zhiwen was even at our club until he’d been there about a week. I had just finished a long coaching session, and as I was walking to the front of the club I saw this elderly lefty pips-out penholder practicing with one of our top juniors. I stopped to watch because there was something about this player, whose strokes looked like machine guns as he almost mechanically smacked in ball after ball, both blocking and hitting, obviously a great player. So I asked Coach Jack, and he was surprised, thought I knew.

He was the famous Spanish player He Zhiwen, 55 years old, formerly a Chinese National Team member. He has now been at my club (MDTTC) for about three weeks, and I believe will be there another week or so. Last year at the World Veterans Games he won the 50-54 Men's Singles without dropping a single game. He was top ten in the world in the 1980s. In 2012, at the age of 50, he was ranked as high as #59. When he left the ranking list in 2016 at age 54 he was #82. He’s a lefty pips-out penholder. Here’s discussion of him at the forum, with several videos posted of him competing at the Westchester Open this past weekend, where he made the semifinals of Open Singles. Here’s a Best of He Zhiwen video (4:57). Here are more videos of him. (He seems to have two spellings for his name, the other one being He Zhi Wen.)

He is probably the best player his age in the world. At the time he was top 60 in the world at age 50 I believe he was by far the oldest in the top 100, as well as (I think) the only pips-out penholder. He was a bronze medalist in Men’s Doubles at the 1985 Worlds, and 28 years later, a bronze medalist in Men’s Doubles at the 2013 European Championships.

New Videos from EmRatThich

Coaching Kids
Here’s the new video from Samson Dubina (2:22). “When coaching 5-6 year old kids, about 50% of your time should be on fun drills and 50% of your time should be on structured training.” Here’s another video (55 sec) on coaching Intermediate juniors. “For intermediate juniors, you should be doing about 10% fun and 90% serious training. Fun exercises really do enhance dexterity and concentration as well!”

Why Achanta Sharath Kamal Wanted to Quit Table Tennis?
Here’s the article from SportsFlu.

The Epic Table Tennis Journey: Tactical Table Tennis
Here’s the article from Epic Table Tennis. “The story of a 25 year old who foolishly decided to try to get to the Olympics at a sport he had never played before.....”

Dean Johnson Autobiography: How The Years Passed By
Here’s the book review of Hall of Famer Dean Johnson, by Tim Boggan.

Aspire to Thrive – Cross-country Mini Table Tennis Grudge Match
Here’s the video (5:14). “Mixed doubles partners, Amy Karpinski & Tony Murnahan, challenge each other in a cross-country, mini table tennis, grudge match as they make their way from Morrisville, NC to Las Vegas, NV via highway 40 for the 2017 SuperMicro National Table Tennis Championships. Watch as they play on different terrain and battle the outdoors and different forces of nature.”

Ping Pong Coconut Biscuit
Here they are! Unfortunately, they are sold from Malaysia, so they might be expensive to order for most of us.

Bruce Lee Pong
Here’s the picture! (Here's the "infamous" video of Bruce Lee playing table tennis (2:37) with nunchucks - but it's actually an actor pretending to be Lee in a Nokia watch commercia. It's infamous because so many people believe it's real.) 

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