October 2, 2017

Tip of the Week
Top Ten Tactical Serving Mistakes.

US Open Entry Form and Hotel
They are out! Here’s the home page, entry form (pdf – online entry will be out later), and hotel info and for the U.S. Open, Las Vegas, NV, Dec. 17-22. (And yes, I’m aware of the irony of writing about going to Las Vegas right now while the news is all about the shooting in Las Vegas right now.)

This year there are 97 events to choose from. (Note to self: Let’s get them to add three events for a nice even 100!) They include:

  • Rating events from U800 to U2700 (many of them divided into adult and junior categories to solve the problem of under-rated juniors showing up and winning everything);
  • Tiered Super RR (one for U2000, one for Unrated);
  • Rating Doubles events (U4200, U3700, or U3200);
  • Senior events from Over 30 to Over 80;
  • Junior events from Under 9 to Under 21;
  • Eleven Hardbat events – but don’t even think about trying to win Hardbat Singles, Hardbat Doubles, and Over 40 Hardbat – those three events are mine, even though I normally play with sponge);
  • Four Sandpaper events (aren’t you just dying to know what “Liha” sandpaper is?);
  • Four Team events (Adult, Junior, and Under 21 Elite Boys and Girls);
  • Men’s and Women’s Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.

With all these events, you’ll get lots of play, plus you get to spectate, shop (lots of table tennis booths), meet old and new friends, and of course whatever else Las Vegas might have to offer. (I’ve heard rumors.)

This year’s hotel is Harrah’s. After several bad experiences with overcharging at the Westgate (the old hotel from several years ago), which at first appears to be cheaper but isn’t once they start adding on resort and other fees, I’m definitely staying at Harrah’s. It’s located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, and offers “Vegas style and luxury at an affordable rate”! The rates are really cheap for most of the tournament – Sun-Thur just $35/night!!! For the weekend, Fri-Sat, it goes up to $99/night. Here’s the home page for Harrahs, with links to their Casino, Shows, Restaurants, and Things to Do pages. Those who do stay at Harrah’s via USATT receive:

  • Specially discounted room rates;
  • Complimentary monorail passes (5-min trip to playing hall);
  • One free extra event;
  • One free shirt customization (bring your table tennis shirts and for a small fee they’ll put your name, club, state, or whatever else you want on the back!);
  • 50% off week-long player’s lounge pass;
  • Get to mingle with the other players all week long!

I’ll be there along with up to one thousand players (plus coaches, families, guests, staff, officials, and sellers) and if you are not there, we will talk about you. Badly. We might even get Trump to tweet about your badliness. So be there.

Overplaying vs Taking the Risk
Here’s the article from Samson Dubina.

Tactics to Beat a Much Stronger Player
Here’s the article from Tom Lodziak.

How to Get More Spin in Table Tennis
Here’s the article and video (15:32) from EmRatThich: “How to Spin like a Pro.” Here are four other videos from him that came out this weekend.

What to Eat to Improve Performance in Table Tennis
Here’s the article from Pong Boss.

ITTF Level 2 Coaching Course
They are holding one at the New York Indoor Sports Club, Oct. 13-15, and there are still openings. Richard McAfee is running it, assisted by local organizer Sydney Christophe.

USOC Coaching Education Newsletter
Here’s the new issue.

RIP: Kae Rader
Here’s the obituary for Kae Rader, who was USATT’s executive director in the early 1990s.

7 Things That Annoy All Table Tennis Players
Here’s the article.

Lily Zhang Embraces Strong Opposition, Prepares for World Cup Challenge
Here’s the article.

One Year In – The Epic Journey So Far
Here’s the article from Epic Table Tennis.

Capital Area Season Opener
Here’s the music video (1:24), and here’s the Capital Area League’s home page, where you can get results, schedule, teams, and so on. “Great season opener. Lots of action. Lots of socialization. Some awesome shots.”

New York City Table Tennis Academy's 1st Year Anniversary Video
Here’s the video (4:10) – “Thank You ‘Manhattan's Premiere Table Tennis Club.’”

Zhang Yining - The Greatest Female Player in History
Here’s the video (6:48). “Zhang Yining (张怡宁) is a female table tennis player from China. She held the ITTF #1 ranking from 2003 to 2009 and have 4 Olympic gold medals, 10 World Championships, and 4 World Cup wins. That why she is considered the best female player in the history of table tennis.”

Hippo Pong

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