August 21, 2017

Tip of the Week
Fourth-Ball Backhand Loop Attack. Of course, today’s the day when you should browse through all of my Tips of the Week (497 total) since “Eclipse TT” is just an anagram for “Select Tip”!

Two Common Successful Serving Patterns
In the adult training session last night I pointed out that there are really two main successful serving patterns among most players. At the higher levels, the most common one is half-long toward the middle, often mixing in backhand and no-spin serves, with sidespin and side-top mixed in. By serving half-long, you make it tricky for the receiver to rush or angle you, while also making it difficult for him to attack. (Half-long means the second bounce, given the chance, would bounce just short of the end-line. Some serve it slightly longer, just past the end-line, leading to many awkward loop attempts.)

By serving to the middle it cuts off the extreme angles, and makes it easier to follow up with an attack, especially a forehand attack. When you serve short to a corner, you give the receiver an extreme angle, and so you have a lot more table to potentially cover. For example, if you serve short to the forehand, you have to guard that extreme forehand angle, and so the receiver can take away your forehand attack by simply going down the line – which also means you might have to move to play that backhand since you were guarding that wide forehand. There’s just a lot more table to cover when you serve this way.

However, this doesn’t mean you don’t serve short to the forehand. Many players have trouble with that – and many players also have trouble attacking deep balls with their backhand. This leads to the second common successful serving pattern, where you mix in serves short to the forehand and long to the backhand. It makes the receiver cover a lot of ground, and often leads to many weak or erratic returns. In theory, the short serve to the forehand gives the receiver a wide angle, as noted above, and the deep serve to the backhand gives the receiver a backhand loop opportunity, but in practice it’s not that easy, especially below the highly advanced level. In practice, most short serves to the forehand are returned crosscourt, giving the server a forehand attack. If caught off guard, many deep serves to the backhand are returned relatively softly, giving an easy attack, forehand or backhand.

So learn both of these serving patterns, and use what works. If it doesn’t work against one player, it will likely work against another.

Eclipse Table Tennis
Our training camp today is 10AM-1PM, 3-6PM. The eclipse here in Gaithersburg, Maryland, will start at 1:17PM, reach its peak at 2:42PM, and continue until right at 4PM. One of the kids in the camp is bringing in at least eight sets of eclipse glasses, and others are bringing them as well, so during the afternoon break we’ll have an informal eclipse viewing party in the MDTTC parking lot. (Feel free to join us.) The weather reports are for “partly cloudy,” so hopefully the clouds will cooperate. If not, we’ll just hold ping-pong balls up and block off lights in the club to create our own eclipses. Meanwhile, here are some eclipse table tennis items:

  • Eclipse Table Tennis Set
  • Dark Eclipse Ping Pong Paddle, named for a somewhat obscure superhero. “Before the powers, Dark Eclipse (Nick O’Neil) was a student at Shield City University. While at college, he was majoring in sociology. With the mounting pressure of the real world hitting him all at once, Nick had a difficult time paying bills on time and managing his time effectively. After getting fired from his job as a banker, Nick realized that he had the power to control darkness. By harnessing the darkness around him, Nick became a thief known as Dark Eclipse.”
  • Facial Pong Eclipse?

Returning Shots Hit To Your Playing Elbow
Here’s the article from Table Tennis Spot.

Table Tennis Training Kids of China
Here’s the video (3:37) from EmRatThich. “The coach asked his players to hit the ball fast but consistent. He counted "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...". They train with only 1 ball. He also held a small baton to show the error of the kids.”

Dirk Wagner Profile of a Table Tennis Coach – Part 3
Here’s the video (13:57). Here’s Part 1 (17:09), which I linked to on Aug. 4, and Part 2 (17:40), which I linked to on Aug. 15.

Seamaster Bulgaria Open
Here’s the home page for the tournament held this past weekend, with results, articles, pictures, and video.

USA Juniors Making Headlines Around the World
Here are three articles on their results at the World Hopes in Luxemburg, and at the El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open.

New Articles at SportsFlu

My Project "History of Table Tennis"
Here’s the video (17:04) from EmRatThich. “I love seeing the evolution of the top male and female players in table tennis. That's why I focus on this project "History of table tennis". In this video, you will see some interesting points in the ranking of the best players (top 10) in table tennis.”

2017 Hawkeye Open Videos
Here’s the page. The 4-star tournament was held this past weekend in Iowa City, Iowa. Here are complete results care of Omnipong.

Navin Hitting Forehands
Here’s the video (82 sec) of part of his session with me a few days ago. Navin Kumar is, of course, the Bionic Man, with an artificial heart and Parkinson’s.

Mayweather vs. McGregor
Here’s the article from the Washington Post (you may have to sign in to see it), which includes the following quote: “The greatest ping-pong player in the world isn’t going to beat Roger Federer, and Conor McGregor isn’t going to beat Floyd Mayweather.” In the context, it means the “greatest ping-pong player” isn’t going to beat Federer in tennis. In table tennis, of course, Federer would be lucky to score against Ma Long!!!

Outrageous Placement Skills of Zhang Jike
Here’s the video (60 sec) of Zhang in some sort of game show.

Send us your own coaching news!