May 21, 2018

Tip of the Week
Develop Power Timing by Slapping.

Weekend Coaching
On Friday I spent 2.5 hours watching the Friday night league at MDTTC, taking notes on our junior players on their games, both for those I coach and to pass on to the other coaches. I'll be doing this more and more as the U.S. Nationals approaches for many of the 17 MDTTC juniors who are going. It was a hodgepodge (that's the third time I've used my namesake word in this blog since it started in 2011) of strengths and weaknesses.

Overall, I was very happy with how they played, though of course they must all strive for constant improvement or I won't be happy! On the weakness side, way too many of them attacked the corners over and over instead of tactically attacking the middle (elbow). One still tends to lean instead of stepping to the ball - I'm recommending he do a lot of shadow practice, jump rope, and Stutter Stepping. (Another was so light on his feet that he stepped even to net balls, handling them with relative ease.) Some were too passive in attacking, which meant they are not getting the attacking practice they need to develop. (One player has really taken this to heart, and is losing games he'd normally win, but he's rapidly developing his attacking game to go along with his already proficient blocking game.) Several tended to go into backhand stances and push too much. A couple had trouble with fishers and lobbers. One doesn't really snap the arm when smashing, just holds it out straight, losing a lot of power and quickness. And so on.

On Saturday we had the Junior League, which is really a combination of playing and coaching. Once again they played doubles, and then singles, both up-down tables. In singles, most of the games were "improvised," such as starting each game with the server always down 8-10, or the rule that the server had to serve and attack in some way unless receiver did something to stop it.

Glenn & Jess O'Dea from the Melton Table Tennis Association in Australia were in town and watched the Saturday session. They took a number of pictures and notes, and plan to write about it in their newsletter. They also gave me a Melton TTA shirt with my name on it - here's the picture with Glenn!

On Sunday in the Beginning Class, after 15 minutes of serve practice, we spent half an hour with a forehand-to-forehand contest. Players rotated about, with each getting several sessions with a coach, where they tried to hit as many forehands in a row as they could. I told them at the start that there's a saying in table tennis that you don't have a forehand or backhand until you've hit 100 in a row with a live partner - and two of them did it!!! Next week we'll do the same thing for the backhand.

In the more advanced Talent Program, we started with serve practice. Next came multiball practice, where each coach was a "station," doing a specific drill with two players, with the players rotating from station to station. One player did the drill, the other stood behind, shadow practicing in unison with the player. (Parents picked up balls.) My drill was to feed short backspin, player forehand flipped, followed by four random topspin balls, then repeat.

Next came up-down-tables with a twist - they players did various stroking and footwork drills, where whoever missed or hit to the wrong spot lost the point. We finished with some physical training and then Brazilian Teams.

Thailand Open
Here's the home page for the event, which took place this past weekend in Bangkok, THA, May 16-20, with results, lots of articles, photos, and video. Men's Singles was won by Xu Ruifeng, who had no world ranking - so it looks like China is only getting stronger! Women's Singles was won by Liu Shiwen, who in the not-always-accurate new ITTF system is world #10, but was #1 or #2 for most of the two years before that system came into place, and probably should still be in the top two. Here are articles on these two winning, from the tournament news page.

New from Samson Dubina

  • 4 Mental Tricks - "Many tournament matches are won or lost based on your mental approach going into the match.  There are 4 simple mental tricks…"
  • Tournament Day Reminders - "8 simple things to think about..."

Videos from 3T Table Tennis Training
Here they are, from Werner Sigmund.

New Videos from EmRatThich

Table Tennis Serving Rules
Here's the article from EmRatThich, with lots of pictures and video.

Roy M. SeGuine: October 31, 1956 - May 10, 2018
Here's the obituary. Roy and I were USATT co-webmasters from 1999-2005, and I believe he continued as one of USATT's webmasters for a few years after that. He was a 2000 level player from Virginia. (I mentioned this in my blog last week, but obit just went up.) 

Can Table Tennis Be a Popular Sport?
Here's the article from Eli Baraty.

Table Tennis Legends Tour
Here's the Facebook gallery - Saive won!!! Here's the Table Tennis Legends home page. But I can't find the actual results anywhere - anyone know where they are?

National Collegiate Table Tennis May Newsletter
Here it is.

Highlights Reel
Here's the video (10:15) of lots of great rallies.

Prince Harry Playing Table Tennis

Alto Pong?
Here's the picture! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

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