January 5, 2018

Coaching Matters, and Away Mon & Tue
I’ll be away Monday and Tuesday, so next blog will be next Wednesday. I’ll be at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, meeting with USATT and USOC people about setting up a USATT coaching education and certification program. My flight leaves at 6:50AM from Dulles Airport on Monday, so I’ll be leaving for the airport very early. We have a detailed agenda to go over – I’ll likely go over here when I return. It’s actually formulated in the form of questions – 18 of them.

The USOC is in the business of winning medals for the U.S., and part of that business is setting up coaching programs that lead to these medals. They have a lot of experience working with the various sports organizations in doing this, and are willing to support us in this with money and other resources. There was a time when there simply weren’t enough training centers or potential coaches in the U.S. to make this worthwhile for table tennis, but these days we have lots of both. So now we can focus more and more on quality.

Meanwhile, I’m also involved in about a zillion other issues. I’m on the selection committee that’s currently debating the coach of the year awards – we have the nominations, and there are some very tough choices to be made from a number of highly qualified coaches. Picking and choosing among them is perhaps the least favorite part of my volunteer work. The coaching committee is also debating the grandfathering of a top coach, and along with it various requirements in general, such as English skills needed, the value of full-time versus part-time coaches, and the potential problems of being a high-level coach while still competing as a player.

I’m sort of lucky that I hurt my shoulder recently as it’s given me more time to attack that infamous todo list that sits on my desk. Yesterday I was able to finish scanning all the Hall of Fame Inductions program booklets (see segment below), which we’ll put online soon. I also mostly caught up on a huge amount of email that had been piling up. I also did a bunch of planning and preparation for new junior classes starting up this Sunday and on Thursdays, as well as the adult training program which starts up again this Sunday after a one-month break. (I’m still doing group sessions, but had to cancel private coaching due to shoulder injury.)

Other issues for today – ordering trophies for our 2018 tournaments (always a time-consuming, tedious hassle); updating two online info articles; figuring out how to FTP to some of my older table tennis pages (a huge irritation – they discontinued WS_FTP); finalizing the rosters for three upcoming group sessions; some accounting and billing for some of my table tennis books sold; and arm rehab. Tomorrow is set aside to prepare for the USOC meeting so that I’m ready to answer those 18 questions from the agenda. Sunday I’ll be coaching much of the day – three consecutive 90-minute group sessions.

Wanted – the 1989 Hall of Fame Banquet Program Booklet
[NOTE – I ran a version of this yesterday, but thought I’d give it one more try.]
There have been 34 USATT Hall of Fame Induction Banquets, from 1979 to 2017, and 34 Hall of Fame Program Booklets. I’m putting all of them online. But there’s a problem – I’m missing the one from the Ninth Hall of Fame Induction, in 1989, when George Brathwaite and John Read were inducted at the USA Nationals. I’ve checked with George, but he doesn’t have one, and John died years ago. So . . . do any of you have a copy? If so, please contact me or comment below!!!

Do Not Buy Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers!
Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers is so full of lies that the White House has sent a cease and desist order. They do not want you to read this book. Do not under any circumstances buy this book to find out what it is they don't want you to read. In fact, do not buy any of my highly subversive books.

Volunteer at the National College TT Championships
Here’s info on the event held April 18-22 in Round Rock, Texas. They need volunteers for umpiring, scorekeeping, registration, transportation, results processing, venue set-up and takedown, hospitality, information desk, production and announcing, media, video, photography

US Open Ratings
They are up. Memorize them – you will be tested.

Rocky and Pong Road: Episode 06
Here’s the new episode (16:50). You can find the first five episodes at Pong Road. The episodes feature the trials and tribulations of table tennis star Rocky Wang.

Rocky Music
In the 1980s we learned that you train much harder after listening to Rocky music – so why not give it a try?

Rocky Bullwinkle Table Tennis Set
While we’re into Rocky, here’s a Rocky Bullwinkle table tennis set.

In-Out Multiball Training
Here’s the video (25 sec), with a short ball, then a random deep backspin.

Top Table Tennis Mistakes
Here’s the article from Pong Boss.

Bottle Top Pong Challenge
Here’s the video (27 sec) from Eli Baraty.

Top Ten Craziest Shots of 2017
Here’s the video (3:11).

Ping Pong Table Buying Guide
Here’s the article from Table Tennis Spot.

Tom’s Table Tennis Quiz 2017
Here’s the quiz from Coach Tom Lodziak.

The Best Table Tennis Funny Compilation 2015-2017
Here’s the video (23:11)!

North Korea – USA Nuke Pong
Here’s the cartoon!

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Re: January 5, 2018

That article on "Why not many people play defender table tennis" is really poor. I mean, almost unreadable. Looks like machine translation and main purpose seems to be to sell you something through ads on the page.

Very unusual, most of articles you link to are of much higher quality.

Larry Hodges's picture

Re: January 5, 2018

You're right, it's not much of an article. I just took it out.