April 14, 2011
What are your goals?
Some people want to be champions, whether it be basement, school, club, state, country, or world champion. Others want to be the best they can be. Others have a specific level in mind, such as a certain rating. Others want to play the sport properly. Others just want to play for fun. How about you? It's hard to reach a goal without having a goal.
I've had numerous goals. Early on it was to reach a 1500 rating, later 1800, 2000, then 2100, then 2200, etc. I wanted to be the best at my club - took about three years to do that. I wanted to be the best in my state, and I eventually was state champion (at different times) in three states. I wanted to be national champion, and though I didn't do it in Men's Singles with sponge, I was National Collegiate Doubles and Team Champion, and U.S. National and U.S. Open Hardbat Champion! (Also 4-time Over 40 Hardbat and 10-time Hardbat Doubles Champion.)
As the years went by, just playing the sport properly became more of a goal. Early on my best shot was my forehand smash, but I wanted to be a looper with a big forehand loop, like most of the best players in the world, so I learned to be a looper. Even now I'm working on my backhand loop because of the increased importance of the backhand loop in the modern game. (Not to mention the difficulties in covering most of the table with the forehand at age 51.)
But at this point, as a player, guess what's most important? It's a tie between having fun, and just playing well. And there's a rather strong correlation between the two.
Sidney Harman - ping-pong whiz?
On CNN they announced the death of Sidney Harman, "an American businessman active in education, government, industry, and publishing" [from Wikipedia]. What caught my ears was when they finished a sentence by saying he was "a whiz at ping-pong." Anyone know anything about that? I Googled his name and ping-pong, but didn't find anything.
More on table tennis and the brain
Yes, us table tennis players must be pretty smart and coordinated, according to this article. Former football star Terry Bradshaw plays ping-pong to improve his hand/eye coordination, saying, "Well, fans, I’m going out and buying a ping pong table. The doctors say that will help improve my hand/eye coordination." Heck, we can even play ping-pong on a piano!
Humorous (and insulting?) Asian Table Tennis Tutorial
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