August 7, 2017

Tip of the Week
Feet Parallel to Table is Usually a Backhand Stance.

Weekend – Pong Road, and History of U.S. Table Tennis, and Coaching
I had a hyper-busy table tennis weekend. Here’s a rundown.

On Friday I saw Pong Road, which features table tennis player and coach Rocky Wang on the road, at MDTTC (my club), Ashville, NC, and at a tournament in Knoxville, TN. I’ll blog about this later this week. I also managed to see Dark Tower on Saturday night and Game of Thrones on Sunday night. All were excellent, though the critics don’t seem to agree with me on Dark Tower. (I’ve read the five very long Game of Thrones books by George R.R. Martin – who I’ve met - but not the seven Dark Tower novels by Stephen King.)

I’m still working with USATT Historian Tim Boggan on his History of U.S. Table Tennis, Vol. 20, which covers 1993-94. I’ve mentioned several times that I’m doing the page layouts, but that’s really not quite accurate. That’s what I did for most of the volumes, but a few volumes ago Tim changed the way he did them. Before, he’d type up the text from past articles from USATT Magazine and other TT magazines and sources, and find photos to match, and I’d do the layouts from them. Now, to save all the typing, he does it “old school” – he cuts and pastes the articles directly onto sheets of 8.5 x 11 pages, essentially doing the page layouts with scissors and tape. Then he sends them to Mal Anderson, who scans them, and finds hundreds of alternate photos for the ones Tim chose. Mal then sends the scans to me on a CD. My job is to clean up the pages, add the captions and photo attributions, and (most time consuming), make all the changes Tim wants – and he has lots and Lots and LOTS of changes and additions, which aren’t easy since it all has to be done in Photoshop. Net result is it takes about 10-12 days working eight hours a day to get it all done.

In the past we did each page completely before moving to the next. This time we did it a bit differently – we put the pages together at full speed, without doing too many changes and without captions, and so yesterday we “finished” the volume at 460 pages, with 714 graphics. (I manually did a count last night.) But this morning we go back and start fixing up the pages, which will take several days. My guess is we finish on Thursday. I also have to put together a one-page ad for the volume, and update the web page.

My coaching schedule was light this weekend as several of my students are out of town, one is injured, and many of our group sessions are off for the summer, starting up again in September. So I spent much of it working with Tim. I had an interesting “progressive” coaching session with one student where we literally started with the basics at the start and worked our way to advanced random drills by the end – I’ll blog about this later in the week. I also managed to put together a draft of a proposed six-hour coaching seminar for USATT Club Coach certification. Later I’ll finalize it and run it by the rest of the USATT coaching committee.

Stefan Feth: 99% Is Not Good Enough - Messages From Paris
Here’s the video (6 min) from the USA Men’s Coach. “In this series, Messages From Paris, we share some interesting interviews made during The 2013 World Table Tennis Championships, that were held in Paris.”

Basic Forehand Drive
Here’s the video (3 min) by Elizabeta Samara of Romania, world #27 (formerly #13)

Table Tennis Tidbits #5
Here’s the article by Robert Ho, which talks about the expedite rule, with links to video. I linked to his previous four “Tidbits” in my July 31 blog.

Ask the Coach
Questions answered at PingSkills.

Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open
Here’s the home page for the event, Aug. 2-6. USA’s Nikhil Kumar and Michael Tran won Cadet Boys. Nikhil made the final of Cadet Singles, Michael made the quarters.

Here are two new articles there:

Olympics: 2024 in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles
Here’s the blog about this by Shashin Shodhan, where he also talks about his own experiences trying out for the 2000 Olympic team, which he came close to making. Includes a link to video of David Zhuang vs. Tegun Toriola at the 2008 Olympics.

Tomokazu Harimoto Cuts Hand on Table
Here’s the video (8:21) of his match against vs Jun Mizutani at the 2017 T2APAC. Against a ball to his forehand side 29 seconds in he cuts his hand against the corner, and it bleeds pretty badly. Warning – it’s somewhat graphic!

Table Tennis: Skill, Determination and Confidence!
Here’s the video (1:28).

The Best of Zhang Jike
Here’s the video (5:09).

Table Tennis - The Strongest Sport
Here’s the highlights music video (5:09).

Target Practice
Here’s the video (1:28) of Adam Bobrow knocking various targets off the table – an almond, coin, a ball in a tube of tape, a chia seed, and a long-distance serve into a bowl of water (which is my favorite trick!)

Ping-Pong in Space
Here’s the cartoon!

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