April 27, 2018

Regional Hopes Camp and Trials
This weekend I'll be coaching at the Hopes Regional Camp at MDTTC (Fri & Sat), and then running the Hopes Regional Trials on Sunday. There's going to be a lot packed into the next few days - we're gonna need a bigger weekend!

This afternoon I'm picking up Coach Pieke Franssen at Dulles Airport at 3:32 PM. He was supposed to come in earlier but his flight was delayed, and so he's on a different flight. It's going to be a tight squeeze as the camp starts at 4:30PM, and the airport is about 45 minutes away without traffic - but we'll be driving during rush hour, which means it could take anywhere from 1-2 hours. We'll see! But Coach Wang Qingliang will run the camp until we arrive.

Coach Pieke is the USATT head coach for the camp. He's from the Alameda TTC in California, and has already run several of the regional Hopes camps. Assistant coaches in the camp will be Wang Qingliang, Jeffrey Zeng Xun, Lidney Castro, Mike Lauro, and myself. Wen Hsu and I are the local organizers. There are 38 kids in the camp, most of them in the 11- to 12-year-old range, but there a number of others who were invited. The depth of the camp for this age group is very strong, with 11 over 1800, 16 over 1700, and 20 over 1600.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday 4:30-6:30: Camp
  • Friday 6:30-7:30: Pizza party
  • Friday 7:30-9:30: Camp
  • Saturday 12-2:30: Camp
  • Saturday 5:30-7:30: Camp
  • Sunday 9:30AM: Hopes Trials begins

I'll be running the Hopes Trials, for boys and girls. To take part in those players are required to be in the camp as well. We also have three rating events, Under 2300, Under 1900, and Under 1500. The rating events are open to anyone under age 16. You can still enter the rating events!

We'll be using 15 tables for the camp. With 38 players, we'll have 22 players on 11 tables, and 16 doing multiball on four tables. On the four multiball tables the coaches will feed fast multiball to two players - lots and Lots and LOTS of footwork! - while the other two pick up balls. I'll be one of the ones doing multiball coaching. I'll be feeding mostly topspin as feeding backspin aggravates my shoulder injury (see segment below), though I can feed backspin as part of a pattern, such as a backspin followed by three quick topspin - it's doing it repetitively that causes the problem. But if it does aggravate my arm - well, some of you might give your right arm to coach at such a camp, and I literally might do so!!! (I'll be careful.)

Coach Pieke put together a very detailed schedule for the camp, which I received this morning and will be going over later today. Hopefully I'll have energy to write all this up on Monday for my blog and as a USATT news item - we'll see!

Shoulder Update
I consulted with the shoulder surgeon yesterday morning. (I blogged about this on Wednesday.) Here are his recommendations, which I plan to follow.

  1. Have a special type of cortisone shot directly into glenohumeral joint. This is a tricky shot, and so I have to make a separate appointment for this in a different office, which should happen sometime next week. Then we see how the shoulder is over the next five days.
  2. If that doesn't work, then he'll do a manipulation under anesthesia. Without anesthesia, it's too painful and the muscles tighten up, making it impossible. This will essentially tear out scar tissue. It sounds scary, but he said it's standard, and he's done it many times. Afterward, he said the arm will still hurt for a time, but will have greatly increased flexibility.
  3. If that doesn't work – and it might be a few weeks before we know – then we have arthroscopic surgery, with a recover time of about two months.

World Championships Start Sunday
The World Team Championships start this Sunday in Halmstad, Sweden, April 29 - May 6. Here's the News Page - they already have 32 articles posted! You should be able to follow the action online with results and video.  

Learning From the Best Table Tennis Coaches
Here's the article by Eli Baraty. "This Weekend, I was privileged to work with some of the best coaches in Europe!"

Ping That Pong
Here's a new table tennis blog I just discovered. It's mostly made up of guides and lists. When you read "The Top 8 Greatest Table Tennis Players of All Time," some of you will be shocked at who's #8!

USATT Insider
Here's the issue that came out on Wednesday.

WAB Club Feature: Princeton Pong
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

Van Inh Le to Represent Australia at the World Veterans Table Tennis Championship
Here's the article. He's the defending Over 70 Men's Singles and Doubles Champion.

Truls is Ready to Take on the World
Here's the video (15 sec). "Based on this epic shot, Truls Moregard is ready for his first ever World Champs." Moregard of Sweden is world #319, but #8 in Under 18. (Did you notice who continues to be #1 in Under 18?)

USATT Video Library
Here it is! Why not spend a weekend going through this? You're gonna need a bigger weekend!

Animated Big-Glasses Boy Serving
Here's the picture! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

The Avengers and Table Tennis
I saw it last night - it was great!

Bears Playing Table Tennis Videos and Teddy Bear Pong
Here's a collection of both!

Send us your own coaching news!