October 30, 2017

Tip of the Week
How to Play the Bomber: The Player Who Tries to Blast Every Shot.
[Note – I wrote this as a Tip of the Week in 2010, and put it up as a coaching article once, but somehow it never made its way up as a Tip – so here is an updated version.]

Weekend Coaching, Hip Hurts, and Halloween Costumes
Another busy weekend – and this time a PAINFUL one. (More on that below.) On Sunday, as usual, I had three consecutive 90-minute group sessions.

In the Beginning Junior Class, the day's feature was smashing. They'd spent a lot of time until now on forehands, as well as backhands, footwork, pushing, serving, and so on. So now we had what is probably the most fun session of all for them. Yes, the only thing more fun than smashing is first learning to smash. I went over the basics, did a demo, and then we went into our groups. (Assisting were John Hsu, Martin Jezo, and Greg Mascialino, who was subbing for Coach Wen.) But it wasn't all smashing – we also did side-to-side footwork (as always) and pushing, and then Brazilian Teams and Up-Down Tables at the end.

For the Talent Junior Program (our advanced juniors), we did lots of multiball and other drills. I was working with the younger kids, and we did a lot of shadow practice. We spent much of the session with each coach doing a different segment. For the first half, mine was feeding backspin side to side as they forehand looped. For the second half we worked on pushing.

In the Adult Training Session, after a number of stroking and footwork drills, the focus was on serve and attack, and we spent the last half hour on that.

Now about that PAIN thing. As I blogged last week, I somehow managed to injure my right hip last week. I'm not sure when or how, but when I got up Thursday morning just moving in general was agony. This was on top of the already injured right shoulder and ongoing right knee problems.  (Notice how all three injuries are on the right side? Yeah, I'm right-handed.) The irony is that with all these problems, to most players the first thing they notice is I wear an arm brace, but currently the arm problems are on break with the brace mostly preventive.

But the hip pain was incredible. I can barely move my leg to put on shoes – it's a painful process that just makes it worse. Even feeding multiball was difficult as there's this slight side-to-side weight shift when you feed, and doing that felt like a knife being jiggled about inside me – so I finally began feeding with all my weight on my left leg, which led to a very tired left leg and the threat of a left leg injury. I managed to get through Sunday, and now have two days off from coaching. Hopefully I won't have to miss any coaching days when I start up again on Wednesday, where I have four hours of coaching.

Right about now you are probably screaming at me, "See a doctor!" I might soon. But he'll just prescribe rest and icing. Plus I hate seeing doctors. However, at 57, things aren't as easy physically as they once were.

Meanwhile, I did a survey of our regular juniors on their Halloween costumes. Here's the final listing: Two Ninjas; Darth Vader; Luke Skywalker; Storm Trooper; a Hot Dog; Wizard, Transformer; Batman; Kai from the Lego Ninjago movie; the Queen of Hearts; and a Purple Skittle (part of an ensemble of Skittles). (Note – I'm giving out Snickers, Milky Way, and Skittles on Halloween. Meaning I'll likely have a large supply of leftovers to give out at the club next week.)

2017 Women's World Cup
Here's the home page, with complete results, articles, pictures, and video – the event finished yesterday. Congrats to World Cup Champ Zhu Yuling of China! Don't miss the Day 3 Daily Review (4:51)!

2017 ITTF World Cadet Challenge
It finished this past weekend in Fiji. Here’s the ITTF page with results, articles, pictures, and video.

China in North America ITTF Camp
Here's the article by Sid Naresh

How to Play Like Timo Boll (and beat the best player in the world)
Here's the article by Tom Lodziak.

New Articles and Video from EmRatThich

Tactical Choooing?!? 5 Things to Consider...
Here's the article by Samson Dubina.

Welcome to the League – Learning Match Play
Here's the article from Epic Table Tennis.

Ma Long, Zhang Jike, and Timo Boll Biographies
Here's the Ma Long bio. Zhang and Boll's are linked on the right.

Melton TT Newsletter
Here's their November issue, with a number of interesting articles. Here's their archives of past newsletters.

Table Tennis Club in Wales to Combat Alzheimer's
Here's the funding page from the Cardiff City Community Table Tennis Club in Wales.

Point of the Day
Here's the video (33 sec) between world #1 Ding Ning (far side) and #3 Chen Meng, both of China.

Best of People are Awesome
Here's the video (2:31), but the table tennis is just the first 13 seconds as two players rally with five balls.

Non-Table Tennis - When Parallel Lines Meet (and other stories)
Here's my new science fiction blog, where I write about my new novel coming out tomorrow (When Parallel Lines Meet), two new short stories published, and my story "Captain Exasperation Woman Meets President Trump."

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