November 30, 2017

Big Tournaments are Like a Month of Training
I’ve pointed this out in past blogs (not recently), and it really is true – if you play in a big tournament, where you are playing intense matches all day long for two or more days, when it’s done it’s like you’ve been training for a month.

The huge tragedy here is that the best time to play a tournament is when you are at your best – which is usually right at the end of the big tournament you just played in. Which is why it’s sometimes best to schedule several tournaments in a row, or at least in close proximity. (This can be taken to an extreme. I once played tournaments nine consecutive weekends. At the end I had my highest rating of my life.)  

Think about it. Imagine yourself the last time you played a tournament (assuming you have), where you played lots of matches. Didn’t you most often play your best near the end, at least until and if you got too tired to play well? Isn’t that the way you want to play at your next tournament?

That type of play doesn’t go instantly go away. When you hit that high level after lots of matches at a tournament, it stays with you for a time. Make sure to play some that week to keep your touch, and guess what? The following weekend, with a proper warm-up, you’ll likely pick up right where you left off the previous weekend, when you were at your best near the end. It doesn’t always work, but it works this way the majority of the time.

A lot of locals played in the North American Teams this past weekend. By the third day many had hit breakthroughs and were playing the best they’d ever played, except of course where exhaustion took over. But the exhaustion goes away soon, while the level of play reached does not. So many of the smart ones are now looking to follow this up at other tournaments, whether local (there’s one at the Washington DC TTC next weekend) or at the U.S. Open in December.

I know some of the kids I coached at the Teams hit major breakthroughs at the tournament. Some started off with losses, then their game came around, and by Sunday everything came together. (The kids never get exhausted. It’s exhausting just watching them run around on the third day.) Others started out well, and only got better. I’ll likely show up at the DC tournament to coach some of them, and try to make sure they continue the breakthroughs they achieved at the Teams.

RIP: Joseph Edgar Newgarden: 1929-2017
Here’s the USATT obit. Here is his USATT Hall of Fame profile.

German Bundesliga League Match Makes History at the North American Teams
Here’s the article - ASV Grünwettersbach defeats Post SV Mühlhausen, 3-1. ASV Grünwettersbach would go on to win the North American Teams as well.

World Junior Championships
They are taking place right now in Riva del Garda, Italy, Nov. 26 – Dec. 3.

Pong Road Episode #5
Here’s the page with all five episodes. I blogged about the first three episodes on August 8. The episodes are “an episodic documentary that follows Rocky Wang along his journey. Get ready to see ping pong that you've never seen it before.”

Losing? Find the Solution...
Here’s the article by Samson Dubina.

Table Tennis Tutorial with Videos by Coach Tom Lodziak
Here’s the page at Sports Flu. Here’s a direct link to Tom’s online video coaching page.

Accidently Visualizing Victory
Here’s the article from Coach Jon.

Ma Long Amazing Serve Training – in Slow Motion – at the 2017 World Cup
Here’s the video (6:20).

VIP Packages at the U.S. Open
Here’s info. It includes early access to the venue on Saturday, Dec. 16; Week-long access to the iPong Player’s Lounge (with unlimited snacks & beverages and VIP viewing area); Four dedicated warm-up/practice tables; a VIP seat to the “Final Table Celebration”; and lockable storage at the playing venue.

USATT Insider
Here’s the new issue that came out yesterday.

Pool, Ping Pong and Frosh Dorm Culture
Here’s the article from the Stanford Daily Grind.

Thanksgiving Pong
Here’s the cartoon, only one week late!

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