August 15, 2017

USATT Board Teleconference
Last night we had a USATT Board teleconference. (I’m one of the Nasty/Naughty/Notorious/Nonsensical/Nauseating/Notable/Neighborly/Noble/Nifty/Nicest Nine – you choose the adjective.) It was a relatively short one, starting at 7PM and ending around 8:20PM. Attending were eight board members, plus CEO Gordon Kaye, High Performance Director Jorg Bitzigeio, High Performance Committee Chair Carl Danner, and legal Counsel Dennis Taylor. Here’s a rundown.

  • September In-Person Meeting. This will take place in Washington DC, Sept 9-10. Most of the board that’s not in driving distance already has their flight tickets and hotel reservations. It’s relatively local to me, maybe a 45-minute drive. Note that USATT members are welcome to attend all except for closed sessions, which generally don’t take up much time. (In closed sessions we cover legal and personnel matters.) I’ll publish the agenda for that meeting when it comes up, probably a few days in advance. There’s going to be a lot of discussion on issues such as player and coach selection for U.S. teams, and many reports. I’ll be giving the Coaching Committee report.
  • December Board Meeting. It’ll be held just before the U.S. Open, on Fri-Sat, Dec. 15-16, in Las Vegas.
  • SafeSport Audit/Compliance Update. Compliance has been relatively slow, but it’s picked up a lot recently. My club wasn’t very compliant a week ago, but this past week most of our coaches have taken it. There was a bit of discussion on how to better implement this. I've been pushing for the USOC to create versions of this in other languages, especially (for table tennis) in Chinese. The USOC is aware of the problem, and it's now on their longterm agenda, but it's not likely to happen in the near future, alas. I don't understand how they can consider this so important, and yet not do something as basic as this, considering their huge resources ($300+ million annual budget). My impression is they are more interested in legally covering themselves, by requiring SafeSport, than in actually implementing it, by putting it in multiple languages, since so many top coaches do not speak English as a first language. I hope they prove me wrong. 
  • USATT Events. We had reports and discussions on the following events: 2017 Para Open; 2018 Youth Olympic Games North American Qualification Event; 2017 U.S. Open (Dec. 17-22); ITTF China in North America – training camp; USATT SuperCamp; 2018 World Hopes Week; 2018 World Veterans Championships; and 2018 U.S. National Championships.

Wanted: Female Coach/Practice Partner
Here’s the info page at the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy.

Should You Use Wrist in Forehand Topspin Table Tennis?
Here’s the video (6:46) from EmRatThich.

Match Drills
Here’s the podcast (28:33) from PingSkills.

Dirk Wagner Profile of a Table Tennis Coach – Part 2
Here’s the video (17:40). Here’s Part 1 (17:09), which I linked to on Aug. 4.

Multiball with a Robot and with Attila Malek
Here’s the video (53 sec). Robots can be great practice, but you also need practice against a real person – live or multiball – so you practice reacting to a ball coming off a paddle.

Samsonov (Controlled attacking style) vs Joo Sae-hyuk (defender style)
Here’s the video (10:02, time removed between points) with some commentary.

Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast - July 2017
Here’s the video (9:06).

Table Tennis Therapy
Here’s the video (2:51) from CBS News. “Can playing ping-pong really reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease?”

History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 19 (1991-1992)
Here's chapter twenty-one - 1992 - International Matches - World Championships. Or order your own print copies at, Volumes 1 to 19! (Volume 20 should be out within two weeks.)

Izabel Rather and the Floating Ping-Pong Ball
At the USA Nationals in July I demonstrated my blowing ball trick to Izabel, five-year-old daughter of coach and former U.S. Women’s Champion Jasna Rather. Here are the pictures, taken by Hall of Famer Mal Anderson!

How Many Balls Can You Put in Your Mouth?
Here’s the picture! (Kids, don’t try this unless you have a physician standing by to save you when you start to choke to death.)

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