November 15, 2017


  • Revelations of a Ping-Pong Champion. It’s now on sale at $17.95 at Amazon. (It was $24.95 before.) Here’s the back cover blurb:
    “If you are in the sport of table tennis, then you know Danny Seemiller, USA’s greatest modern champion. In ‘Revelations of a Table Tennis Champion,’ the five-time U.S. Men’s Singles Champion takes you through his 50 years in the sport, from the early days of training, the breakthroughs, the agonizing defeats and the great triumphs. You’ll learn why the three-sport star – baseball, basketball, and football – changed his focus to table tennis. You’ll experience his trips around the world, from being marched at gunpoint to achieving his boyhood dream of defeating the Chinese. But playing is only half his story. Danny, a long-time coach first in Pittsburgh and then in South Bend, Indiana, was the U.S. Olympic and World Team Coach for ten years, and was named the USOC Coach of the Year for Table Tennis three times. He served five years as president of USA Table Tennis, ran dozens of major tournaments through the years, and was instrumental in bringing the 2018 World Veterans Games to the United States. He is a member of the USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame, and in 2012 became the youngest recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. This is his story.”
  • Weekend Coaching. I never got around to blogging about it, but it was a busy coaching weekend. In the beginning junior class the focus was backhand attack, especially against backhand. In the advanced junior session (“Talent Program”), we had stations with the players rotating through each, and I had the station in charge of pushing. In the adult training session we did a lot of down-the-line practice, backhand attack, and serve and attack drills. In private coaching, I seem to be working on everyone’s forehand loop these days, plus a lot of service practice.  
  • Injury Update. I had a breakthrough last week. For the first time since July, when I injured my right knee at the USA Nationals, I walked up stairs normally. Since July I’ve been taking them only with my left leg, i.e. step up with left leg, follow with right leg, one step at a time. But I can now put normal weight on the right knee. I still wear a knee brace, but it’s more preventive now. In other good news, my right shoulder is about 80% healed, but it’s still a problem. Currently no arm or back problems, though I still wear an arm brace to protect against re-injury.
  • 2018 MDTTC Tournaments. We’ll have 3-star $2700 tournaments on Feb. 10-11, Apr. 14-15, Aug. 18-19, and Oct. 13-14, plus the 3-star Maryland State Championships on June 2-3. All five were sanctioned long ago. The complication is I keep playing around with the event schedule, since we ran into some scheduling problems in our last tournament with a high turnout in some events. I’ve been puttering around with it for the last month, and think I finally have it figured out.
  • USATT Coaching Committee Report. One of the new USATT policies is all committee chairs are supposed to submit a short report for each in-person USATT board meetings. (I chair the coaching committee.) We had a meeting in September, but with another one at the U.S. Open in December, I have to put together another one. (I may bring up with the board that this is too much, three times a year, and suggest we go back to annual reports.) Since September our main activity was setting up the annual USATT Coach of the Year process. There’s also a lot of discussion on the USATT coaching certification process, and I’ll be meeting with USATT High Performance Director Jorg Bitzigeio at the U.S. Open to go over this, and eventually submitting a plan for discussion to the USATT coaching committee. I've already got a printout of the current process marked up with lots and lots of notes and proposed changes. 

800 Players, $50,000 in Prize Money and 97 Events Highlights 2017 US Open
Here’s the USATT article by Richard Finn. I’ll be there; will you? Entry deadline is this Friday.

Seamaster Swedish Open
Here’s the home page for the ITTF event in Stockholm, Sweden, Nov. 13-19. In Men’s Singles, China has Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin, Lin Gaoyuan, Fang Bo, and Yang An. Japan has Noki Niwa, Kenta Matsudaira, and 14-year-old whiz kid, Tomokazu Harimoto (world #16), heading for a showdown with Xu Xin (world #3 last month, now off the list for non-activity) in the round of 16. Alas, Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Timo Boll are not entered, nor is Simon Gauzy or Vladimir Samsonov – the top European is world #17 Marcos Freitas of Portugal. In Women’s Singles, China has the top three seeds in Ding Ning, Zhu Yuling, and Chen Meng, and Japan the next three, with Kasumi Ishikawa, Miu Hirano, and Mima Ito. (Since I mentioned Ishikawa, here’s a funny picture of her with ITTF Commentator/Voice of Table Tennis Adam Bobrow. Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

America's Ping Pong Prodigy: The 16 Project
Here’s the video (6:55) from Vice Sports, featuring Kanak Jha. “When Kanak Jha was 16, he became the youngest American Olympian participate in the Rio Games. Only a year later, he now is considered the top-ranked US Men’s Ping Pong Player. Looking to take that next step in his development and training, the California native recently moved to Grenzau, Germany. Far away from home and with few distractions from table tennis, Kanak looks to perfect his craft and join the company of the game's elite with his sites set on Tokyo 2020.”

TeamUSA's Final Preparations Begin for World Junior Championships
Here’s the USATT article.

2017 German Open: All Chinese Out with an All-German Final!
Here’s the article and video (5:30, highlights of Fan vs. Ovtcharov) from Shashin Shodhan. “The End of Chinese Dominance?”

Tahl Leibovitz Honored with Queens Ambassador Award
Here’s the article from the Queens Times Ledger.

Coaches Respond, Intense Schedule in Pristina
Here’s the ITTF article by USA Coach Christian Lillieroos.

This Ping Pong Tournament Aims to Raise $175k for Chicago Tech Academy
Here’s the article from Chicago Inno.

Kenta Matsudaira - Mr. Tomahawk (Blocking Magic)
Here’s the video (5:26).

Old-Style Ping-Pong Circa 1900
Here’s the video (40 sec) as two players go at it with old vellum rackets, as used around 1900 but in a modern recreation.

Chat with Adam Bobrow
Here’s the video (9:49) - The Timo point, German Open, Swedish Open... life... whatever.

2017 Kansas City Table Tennis Open Final Highlights
Here’s the video (14:19).

Cartoon Network Ping-Pong
Here’s the picture! I’m not sure who the characters are or where this comes from.

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