October 4, 2017

Corresponding Correspondence
One of the things you learn when you volunteer for an organization like USATT is that when you schedule your time, you have to use what I call the 25% Rule. What does that mean? It means that you spend 25% of your time actually doing “productive” work, and 75% of your time corresponding and answering questions. Some of this is good and reasonable, some of it is not.

I’m on the USATT board of directors and chair the USATT coaching committee. (These are both unpaid volunteer positions.) I’ve spent much of the last week just emailing with people, mostly answering questions and discussing issues. It’s a huge but necessary time allotment. The problem is that not all the time spent on this is what I would call “necessary.” There is a famous saying that you spend something like 90% of your time on 10% of the people you are working for. In USATT, I’d say you spend 95% of your time on 1%. It’s been really true this past week.

Of course you also have to divide the 1% into those who deserve responses (many of them well-meaning, thoughtful individuals who really contribute to our sport), and those who are rude and/or irrational and only get cursory responses. We have plenty of those. (If I were a paid employee, I’d probably have to have a longer leash for these people, but as a volunteer, the leash is rather short for abusive and/or time-wasting people.)

There are some issues that are important, and yet I have little interest in getting involved in myself. For example, USATT’s had to spend an inordinate amount of time on SafeSport, the program imposed on us by USOC. I’ve been involved a few times, and have corresponded about it and advised on some issues, but mostly I’m leaving that to the USATT office staff and USATT lawyer. They probably spend 25% of their time dealing with SafeSport issues and 75% dealing with those complaining they aren’t dealing with SafeSport issues that they are, in fact, actually dealing with, except of course when they are responding to those who say they aren’t responding to those SafeSport issues. (You may have to reread that last sentence a couple of times – I had fun writing it.) Just yesterday I spent some time parsing the wording of past reports and board minutes to advise on an issue pertaining to this, but I hope to leave that to others.

I’ve spent a lot of time envisioning how USATT should set up a revamped coaching education and certification system, and have had a lot of great correspondence about this. My main frustration there is that I value the emails I receive from many people on this, but don’t always have time to give long responses. Hopefully they understand that – and believe me, I read and think about every email I receive. (Here’s my email.)

Christmas Table Tennis Camps
I’m going to put together a listing of all the Christmas table tennis camps in the U.S. that I can find, and then post it, sometime next week. They need to have an online info page I can link to. If you know of such a camp or are running one, and would like it to be listed, email me. (I already have links to camps at MDTTC, Samson Dubina Megacamp, and Lily Yip TTC.) (And by the way, I don’t care if you call it a Christmas Camp, a Hanukkah Camp, a Holiday Camp, or a Pongatious Ping-Pong Paradise Party.)

How to Play Table Tennis
Here’s the page from Tom Lodziak.

Plastic Balls
Here’s the video (11:34) from Table Tennis 11. “Watch Ferenc Karsai, one of Europe's most famous table tennis coaches, explain how the introduction of plastic balls has changed the sport, and what other changes we may witness in the future.”

Prohibited List
Here’s the ITTF article on substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. (And yes, table tennis has had one athlete banned for steroids abuse – the same athlete twice, in 2002 and 2008.) Here’s the more extensive article and listing by WADA. Fortunately neither chocolate nor Mountain Dew are on the listings, so I’m okay. But read some of the banned substances out loud and try not to giggle. (Actually, reading the ingredients list for Mountain Dew sounds almost as bad.) Here’s a short listing of some of the prohibited substances – read them aloud. Fibroblast, Hepatocyte, Mechano, Vascular-Endothelial, vascularisation, Fenoterol, Formoterol, Higenamine, Indacaterol, Olodaterol, Procaterol, Reproterol, Salbutamol, Salmeterol, Terbutaline, Vilanterol, Salbutamol, 4-Androstene-3,6,17 trione (6-oxo), Aminoglutethimide, Anastrozole, Androsta-1,4,6-triene-3,17-dione (androstatrienedione), Androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione (arimistane), Exemestane, Formestane, Letrozole, Testolactone.

USATT and ICC Set to Host ITTF North America "China in North America" Camp
Here’s the USATT article.

Paddle Palace, Well Established but New Venture
Here’s the ITTF article on the ITTF Level 1 course held there by Christian Lillieroos.

Jenson Van Emburgh Takes More Medals on his Paralympic Journey
Here’s the USATT article on this top USA wheelchair player by Tina Hyunh.

A Table Tennis Life - Willy Leparulo
Here’s the USATT article by Richard Finn.

Early vs Delayed Rehabilitation After Acute Muscle Injury
Here’s the ITTF Education article.

Dramatic Table Tennis Poses
Here’s the photo gallery with six pictures – it’s from Facebook, but hopefully non-Facebook users can still see it. Click on the picture to see the next picture.

Cat Head Pong?
Here’s the repeating gif image!

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