November 20, 2017

Tip of the Week
Three Simple Side-to-Side Drills. You might also want to revisit the article I linked to recently from Expert Table Tennis, 3 Basic Footwork Drills for Intermediate Table Tennis Players, which includes video.

Another Busy Weekend
Here’s a rundown.

  • In the Beginning Junior Class, we had our final session for the year. (We start up again in January.) The 90-minute session was divided into three segments. Segment 1: Player’s choice, where the player chose what he wanted to work with, with the 17 players rotating with the four coaches (plus robot). Segment 2: Smashing against lob. After we gave a demo and explanation of smashing lobs, they went out to the table, and took turns smashing lobs against the coaches, where they stay until they lose five points. Segment 3: The Candy Game! I put a HUGE pile of Jolly Rancher candies at the end of the table, and the kids lined up as I fed multiball, three shots each. Whatever they knocked off the table they got to keep!!! (They were allowed to trade if they preferred another flavor.) At the end I gave each of them two pieces each, so nobody left candyless.
  • In the Advanced “Talent” Junior Training, the kids went through stations. (There are 29 in the program, but divided into groups by level – there were eight in my group, with almost as many coaches/practice partners as kids.) The first time around my station was forehand loop/backhand push. (This was with the younger kids.) I fed backspin side to side as they looped the forehand, and pushed the backhand, with the player not doing the drill standing behind mimicking the shots with shadow-practice. (Don’t worry, they’ll be backhand looping soon.) In the second time around we did backhands – I fed the first ball, then the two would go at it, backhand to backhand. We also kept track of who did the most in a row at each station. I’ve been taking lots of notes on the kids for the last month – this week I write up my evaluations for each player in my group of eight. I hope to get them done today.
  • In the Adult Training Session I was a bit disappointed – due to holidays and other issues, the turnout was the smallest this year – just two! So they got a very intense session. After a series of drills, we did a lot of multiball. Since I’m going to be away many Sundays the rest of the year – North American Teams, U.S. Open, and Christmas in Eugene with family – I’m going to cancel the Sunday sessions until January. I'll email the class and put a note on our web page. 
  • In private coaching, since many local players are preparing for the North American Teams, with those students I’ve cut down on multiball (with plastic training balls) and many rote drills, and instead we’re playing more regular points – serve and attack, receive drills, and regular games (where I sometimes mimic styles, level, or just keep the ball in play).
  • In the ongoing debate about whether nets and edges even out – they don’t, some styles get far more – I add the latest data. During my one-hour session with Joanna (private coaching on Sunday), we kept score on how many nets and edges we each got, and she stomped me, “winning” 11-3, 11-4, 11-2, and led 5-0 when the session ended. I’ve blogged about this a few times, such as Feb. 6, 2012, Feb. 21, 2013 (3rd segment, where opponent got 17 to my zero!), and Dec. 8, 2014.

Seamaster Swedish Open
Here’s the home page for the ITTF event in held in Stockholm, Sweden, Nov. 13-19, with complete results, articles, pictures, and video. Here are some videos:

Wonderkid Tomokazu Harimoto Training at the Swedish Open 2017
Here’s the video (3:25).

Flipping like Fan Zhendong -- Powerful Backhand Banana Flip
Here’s the video (9:21) from Tomorrow Table Tennis.

New Articles and Video from EmRatThich

Table Tennis Timing - Why I Keep Missing the Ball
Here’s the article by Harrie Austin-Jones.

China Remain Number One in Table Tennis - German Coach Rosskopf
Here’s the article from Xinhua News.

Race to the Top
Here’s the ITTF article. “Only two men can enter 2018 as the world number one. Will it be Fan Zhendong or Dimitrij Ovtcharov?”

Sri Lanka Continues March Forward
Here’s the ITTF article by Richard McAfee, course conductor.

History of USATT - Volume XX - Chapter 3
Here’s chapter three of Tim Boggan’s latest volume, which covers 1991-1992. Or you can buy it and previous volumes at

National Youth Table Tennis Association
Here are the results of their first school tournament of the season, with 22 schools.

Paralyzed Seminole High Senior Jenson Van Emburgh Wants to Win Paralympics Gold Medal
Here’s the article and video (1:44) from ABC Action news.

Ask a Pro Anything: Omar Assar
Here’s the video (6:15), with Adam Bobrow.

“Serious” Training for the JOOLA North American Team Championships
Here’s the mini-table video (79 sec) by Tony Murnahan – best part is the Dimitrij “Dima” Ovtcharov impersonation in the middle!

Table Tennis Manga
Here’s the new cartoon. (Click on the pictures to see the next one.) According to Nathan Hsu, who pointed the manga out to me, the protagonist loops like Timo Boll!

Jan-Ove Waldner vs. Timo Boll Exhibition 2017
Here’s the video (10:11). I was going to link to the best points, but there were just too many – Waldner twice does his patented no-look forehand block winner, there’s the Waldner chop lob followed by Boll’s backspin drop shot, there are the opposite hand shots, lots of great lobbing, and an incredible point where Boll is smashing to Waldner’s lob – with two balls at once!

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