September 20, 2017

Old Ping-Pong Stuff
My house is loaded with old ping-pong stuff. Here’s a rundown.

  • I have well over 100 collared table tennis shirts in my closet, mostly from Butterfly, the oldest dating back to (gulp!) the late 1970s!!! But I don’t wear the old ones anymore. I have about 40 I use regularly, all from the last five years, all with my name and MDTTC on the back.
  • I still have the Newgy robot I used to lug around for group sessions at various locations in Maryland back in the early 1990s. Alas, it’s still set for 38 mm balls, and hasn’t been used since at least 2000, when the world switched to 40mm balls. I’m not sure what to do with it.
  • I have table tennis rackets on my shelves from the 1980s, and sheets of sponge almost that old.
  • I always keep a chopping blade (with long pips on one side) in my bag so students can practice against chopping. Until a year ago I had the same racket and sponge for this for over 25 years! (It’s at the club, and I forget the type of racket it is but it was a “top” chopping blade circa 1990 or so.) I finally got a new racket and sponge for this. (The new one is a Butterfly Joo Saehyuk blade with Tackiness Chop II 1.9mm black on the forehand, Feint Long II 1.3mm red on the backhand.
  • 244 books on table tennis, going back to 1902.
  • A drawer full of table tennis stickers and pins, with some from the 1970s.
  • Boxes and shelves of old table tennis magazines going back to the 1970s.
  • I have two weighted rackets for shadow stroking. One is a nice wooden one I got in 1994 in Taiwan when I was coached the USA Junior Team at the World Youth Cup Championships. The other is a make-shift one someone made for me by gluing two rackets together – in the late 1970s!  

And now we get to my table tennis racket. I started playing in 1976. From 1976-1979 I used a LOT of rackets and sponges – I kept changing, sometimes breaking them in disgust. I’ve always said that when you start out, you should experiment a lot, trying out the rackets of others at your club until you find something that works. But once you do find something that works, unless your game changes or the technology changes (really changes, which happens perhaps once every ten years), stick to the one that works until it’s practically a part of you. Here’s my history of table tennis rackets since 1979.

  • 1979-1987: Seemiller H Blade, Sriver on both sides.
  • 1987-2008: Butterfly Oberon blade, Selvid on forehand, Sriver on backhand.
  • 2008-2010: JOOLA Fever blade (I forget what sponge).
  • 2010-present: Butterfly Timo Boll ALC, with Tenergy 05 on forehand, Tenergy 25 on backhand (though I’ve been experimenting with 05 on backhand some). Though I have several backups that I often use when coaching, my primary one is still the same one I started with in 2010. It was given to me by Tong Tong Gong as a reward for coaching him to an upset spot on the U.S. National Cadet team. (I was between sponsors at the time.) It’s the very racket he used when he made the team seven years ago, and has his name still carved on it!

Alas, it’s not just table tennis stuff I have that’s old. My car is a 1997 Toyota Corolla that I hope will last me forever (or until they have affordable self-driving cars). My dresser originally belonged to my grandparents, and is at least from the 1950s. And here’s the really scary one with a whole story itself – my wallet is 36 years old! Here’s the story on that. It’s falling apart, but I keep putting on duct tape to keep it together. I’m determined to make it last forever.

Here’s the article from Samson Dubina.

Simplify for Better and Quicker Returns
Here’s the article, with links to video, from Table Tennis Spot.

Butterfly Presents: Footwork Drills, Stefan Feth, Drill No. 9
Here’s the video (75 sec, though it really starts 35 sec in).

Third Ball Attack in Table Tennis
Here’s the article from EmRatThich.

How to Protect Your Table Tennis Racket
Here’s the article from EmRatThich.

USATT Release Tentative Event Schedule for 2017 US Open Championships
Here’s the USATT info page. Hope to see you there!

USATT Establishes Youth Ambassador Council to Promote Grassroots Programs
Here’s the USATT news item, from June 27 – but the deadline is coming up, Oct. 3.

US Team Reflect on Cartagena - 5 Medals and a Wealth of Experience
Here’s the USATT article by Matt Hetherington.

Chinese Superstar Olympians Visit USA to Celebrate 45 Year Anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy
Here’s the USATT article by Matt Hetherington. “Social media was buzzing with life as four legends of Chinese Table Tennis visited the USA as part of a 30 strong delegation to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of China-US Ping Pong Diplomacy. Grand Slam Champion Ding Ning, three time Olympic Silver medalist Wang Hao, 2000 Olympic Doubles Champion Yang Sen and 2-time Olympic Doubles Gold Medalist Qiao Hong were part of the team to attend a trio of special events in America.”

Zhu Yuling Claims Victory in Asia, Qualifies for World Cup
Here’s the article.

Presper Financial Architects Open - Tournament Results, Photos, Videos!
Here’s the article by Samson Dubina.

Table Tennis Tourney Doubles As Mentorship Program
Here’s the article and video (2:11) from CBS Chicago.

World University Games Vlog Part 1
Here’s the video (13:13) from Nathan Hsu, a member of the USA World University Team. (He's been over 2500 and is currently rated 2475.) 

Time to Watch the Austrian Open!
Here’s the home page for the event, in Linz, Austria, Sept. 19-24. Here’s the ITTF promo video (67 sec).

Timo Boll vs Marcos Freitas (ETTC 2017 Final)
Here’s the video (9:28) of the Men’s Singles Final at the European Championships.

This is How Ping-Pong Balls are Made
Here’s the video (1:42).

Top 10 Best Point of China National Game 2017
Here’s the video (4:53).

Table Tennis Has its Dangers
Here’s the video (71 sec) of funny table tennis mishaps!

The Competitive Ping-Pong Player vs. The Competitive Table Tennis Player
Here’s the picture. (Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

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