August 9, 2017

Why Waldner Doesn’t Have to Move
Here’s the meme that’s making the rounds on Facebook. (Here’s the non-Facebook version.) “I am standing where the ball comes, that is why I don’t have to move, I can Read the Game,” said the great Jan-Ove Waldner.

Some will misunderstand this, taking it literally. Waldner did have to move, of course, but if you watched him play it often seemed like he wasn’t moving – because he was moving before the opponent hit the ball, and so was already there, waiting. Most players react to the ball as it is coming toward them, or perhaps as the opponent is hitting the ball  - but this is way too late if you want to be a good player. Instead, you develop the habit of watching and reading the opponent, and reacting to where the ball is going the instant the opponent has committed, usually at the start of his forward swing. Here is my Tip on this, React to Opponent’s Swing.

This also helps if you want to develop a strong defense – you have so much more time to react if you are reacting before the opponent hits the ball then if you wait until afterwards. Here’s my Tip that covers this, Brick-Wall Blocking Defense.

Of course, it helps to be light on your feet – which is more technique than physical. I’ve known overweight players who were light on their feet. Here’s my Tip on that, You Can Be Light on Your Feet.

History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 20
We started last Wednesday morning, and it looks like we’ll probably finish up on Friday – so it’ll be ten days of torture fun as Tim and I painstakingly put together the 460 pages, 28 chapters, and 714 graphics covering the events of 1993-1994. Ironically, I had just started my first tenure as USATT Coaching Chair, and my activities are all over this volume. I began my second tenure earlier this year.

Silver for Kumar in Hong Kong Cadet Singles
Here’s the USATT article by Matt Hetherington.

Rio Review: Karlsson Says Get Yourself to the Games
Here’s the ITTF article. “I think that the Olympic Games is the most incredible experience you can have as a table tennis player,” says Kristian Karlsson.

Here are two new articles.

Timo Boll vs. Tomokazu Harimoto
Here’s the video (7:48, with time between points removed) of the veteran Boll (world #7, formerly #1, age 36, from Germany) and the Japanese whiz kid Harimoto (world #20, age 14).

Insane Table Tennis Rally
Here’s the video (70 sec) – I posted this exhibition point between Timo Boll (lefty on left) and Jorgen Persson before, but it’s worth a second look.

Some Table Tennis Physical Training?
Here’s the video (34 sec)!

Sean Woolsey’s Walnut Wood Ping Pong Table
It’s yours for just $9000!

Yeah Ping Pong!
Here’s the humorous video (2:38)!

Ping Pong in the Stone Age
Here’s the cartoon! (Here’s where you can download a high-quality version for $11.)

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