May 29, 2018

Tip of the Week
The Balance Between Tactical and Strategic Thinking.

Balticon and Back to Pong
For once, I had pretty much of a non-table tennis weekend. (But I'll get to the table tennis in a minute.) I was a panelist at the Baltimore Science Fiction Convention. Here's my Balticon Bio - note where it says, "He's also a professional table tennis coach, and claims to be the best science fiction writer in USA Table Tennis, and the best table tennis player in SFWA"! (That's Science Fiction Writers of America, which has stringent membership requirements - you have to sell at least three short stories to one of the big "pro" magazines - I've sold 26 - or a novel to one of the big "pro" publishers.)

On Saturday I had a one-hour book signing session - here's a picture. I was on four panels. I moderated "Techniques for Plotting Your Novel,' and was on panels on "Science Fiction & Sports," "When to Tell Instead of Show," and "Turning the Starship of State: Government in SF." In the panel on "Science Fiction & Sport," I talked about how the best athletes in table tennis and other sports develop, and about the "threat" the world faces from China and its 10,000 sports schools, where kids from age 5 on are basically trained full-time in a sport.

On Sunday I snuck away from the convention and back to MDTTC to run the Beginning Junior Class. Most were away because of Memorial Day Weekend so we had a small turnout. We focused on basics. I had planned a backhand-to-backhand competition - who could get the most in a row, as I had done with forehands the previous week - but decided to postpone that until next Sunday when we have more players.

And now it's back to TT. After this morning's blog and Tip of the Week, I'll be writing up player evaluations for the Talent program; the MDTTC June newsletter; arranging an article for Butterfly; preparing for the Serve and Receive Tactics Seminar for this Thursday at MDTTC; fine-tuning a letter about hidden serves to send to ITTF; and preparing for the Maryland State Championships I'm running this weekend. Plus I'll be seeing the shoulder therapist against today at 2PM - still meet with him twice a week. Shoulder is much better, but the key is not to try to come back too soon and re-injure it.

Butterfly Training Tips With Brian Pace: How To Loop Underspin
Here's the article and video (4:17). "The forehand loop is the skill that can trump any other skill because you can loop a block, serve, push, smash, chop, high ball, as well as another loop. The forehand loop from underspin is the number pathway into the point, and it plays a major role in how rallies will play out. I will breakdown the components of looping underspin. The goal is to have a fully developed forehand loop from underspin that transitions you into extended rallies."

13 Stages: Develop a systematic approach to learning a new skill
Here's the article by Samson Dubina.

Wall Touch Drill
Here's the video (74 sec) from Andrew Williams, where the kids have to touch the wall between shots. I've done similar drills, but not this exact, but I will likely try it out.

Quick Thinking on Flicking Drill
Here's the video (76 sec) from Eli Baraty, where the coach uses flash cards! (Flip and flick mean the same thing.) "This exercise helped one of my students sharpen his BH and FH (push/flick) Return of Serve. It made him quickly think and make the correct decision. Previously he would as most of us do (pre-decide) or react to an oncoming server."

Table Tennis Culture
Here's the article by Ely Baraty. "Life has changed more over the last 20 years than it has in the last 2000 years due to technology. But has table tennis culture evolved? Often I look at life and reflect and ponder, is change a good thing?"

New from EmRatThich
He's put up 14 new videos over the weekend.

DHS ITTF Top 10 - 2018 World Team Championships
Here's the ITTF video (6:09).

Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast - April 2018
Here's the video (9:56).

Legends Tour
Here are two videos from Arnaud Scheen from the 2018 Legends Tour

World Teams Championships Part B
Here's the podcast (34:58) from PingSkills. (Here's Part A.) This week includes Joke of the Week, Competition Winners, Tournament Wrap, World Teams Championships Results, Tip and Drill of the Week, Watching the best players and thinking about the future, Backhand From Outside Body, Backhand against Slower Balls, Fitness for Tournaments, and Backing up from the Table.

WAB Club Feature: North Texas Table Tennis Club
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

May "Upside Down" Open Recap
Here's the article on the tournament held at Triangle Table Tennis on May 19.

Grapevine Spring SpinMaster TT Tournament Result & Photos
Here's the article on this Texas tournament held May 20.

ICC Table Tennis Center 10th Annual Gala Serves Up Budding Star Players
Here's the article from India West.

Too Caught Up in Celebrity Life? Multiple Olympic gold medalist Zhang Jike crashes out of the Hong Kong Open
Here's the article from the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

SuperHero Universe Table Tennis Championships
Here's the story! It's posted in reverse order, so Day 1 is at the bottom, so read from the bottom up.

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