May 31, 2018

Coaching and Public Speaking
As noted in segment below, I'm running a 90-minute Serve & Receive Tactics Seminar at MDTTC tonight, 8:00-9:30PM. With 19 players already signed up, we'll likely have well over 20. The flyer lists eight serve and eight receive topics I'll be covering. 

How am I preparing for it? Many years ago I would have practiced like crazy, and put together a one-page outline. And that's how I recommend most coaches do it. However, I've been coaching for four decades, and have written extensively on these topics, including Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers, and putting together an outline for this would be like creating an outline for tying your shoes. I've been over this material so many times that the only outline I might need is what NOT to cover so as to cover everything in about an hour (including interactive demos), leaving the last 30 minutes for table practice. I've always considered tactics, serving, and receiving my strongest coaching strength, and here they are all together.

The game has changed a lot since I started playing in 1976, and like any coach who wishes to be successful, I've closely followed the changes in our sport, in particular how tactics, serve, and receive have changed. Probably the biggest change has been the growing dominance of the backhand banana flip. 

While I did a lot of coaching before we opened MDTTC in 1992, I'd rarely had to give lectures to groups - until then I either did private coaching or assisted in camps. Like many, the idea of giving public speeches was pretty scary. So back in 1992 I quietly signed up for a public speaking class. There I practiced giving talks on the various table tennis fundamentals. I also learned an interesting trick - practice in front of something moving, which simulates having an audience, so I'd practice by lecturing to the dryer as it spun about!!! Years later I'd get a dog, and when I needed practice I'd lecture her, and she seemed quite appreciative as I also gave her snacks.

I do recommend coaches practice giving talks, and if they have difficulty or are really nervous, take a course on public speaking. It really helps.

For the Seminar tonight, I'll use the eight serve and eight receive topics listed as my outline - I could spend the entire hour on each one. I'll try to pace myself - hopefully if I keep looking at my watch they won't think I'm impatient! (I'll probably explain why I'm looking at my watch.)

For those in the seminar who are reading this, be prepared. The first thing I plan to do is ask everyone what is, or what they want to make, strongest part of their game is after serve and receive. Every playing style should have a different answer. I also plan on making it somewhat interactive, sometimes calling up volunteers for demos.

Serve & Receive Tactics Seminar at MDTTC
We now have 19 players signed up for the Serve and Receive Tactics Seminar tonight, 7:00-8:30PM at MDTTC. (Please email me if you would like to attend.) Players so far range in level from advanced beginners to about 2000. Cost is $15 for members, $20 for others, with 100% of the money raised going to the HW Global Junior Program at MDTTC, to pay for our coaches to go to the USA Nationals to coach the 19 MDTTC junior players who are competing. Here's their funding page - we're now at $14,175 raised of the $15,500 needed. All money raised in the seminar will go toward this - I'm not taking any of it.

Maryland State Championships
I'm running them this weekend. I blogged about them yesterday (second segment) - deadline to enter is 7PM tonight, after which there is a late fee, with entries only accepted if there is room. (Some events have already filled up - Under 2100 and Under 1000 - while there are only two spots left in Under 1500, and four in Under 1800.) Here's the Maryland State Championships Preview Video (2:05).

China Open
Here's the ITTF home page for the event, which is taking place right now in Shenzhen, China, through Sunday. Men's and Women's Singles are already into the main draw (final 32). Today's feature match is probably Zhang Jike vs. Tomokazu Harimoto, the Japanese whiz kid.

North American Hopes Challenge
Here's the home page for the event which starts today in Markham, Canada, in Ontario. This is for the best 11- and 12-year-olds in the North American. Players qualified through a series of regional trials. 

Athlete Transformation: Improving Health and Wellness
Here's the article by Matt Hetherington. "I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in 2013 and have struggled with periods of relapse and remission ever since, still managing to remain determined as ever to keep my head down and stay in my chosen sport. Each relapse cost me 3-4 months of time each year between 2013 and 2016 in time spent sick or recovering. These are major setbacks for a training athlete."

World-Class Table Tennis Tactics
Here are two videos from Tomorrow Table Tennis.

  • Video 1 (5:22, from December): "Learn about a super effective tactic in games: banana flip + backhand topspin off the bounce. Clarified important points of Mizutani's serve from the last video."
  • Video 2 (8:06): "Learn about another super effective tactic to deal with players who are good at flips: long serve then pivot counter."

Table Tennis Legend Headlines 2018 Vegas World Veteran Championship Entries
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington.

School is Out, Table Tennis Is for the Genius
Here's the ITTF article by Massimo Costantini. "As in any other skill game, talent has its own importance, the paradox is that the talent can express such great potential and at the same time carry great limitations."

Table Tennis Breakups
Here's the article by Coach Jon.

Olympic Coach Magazine
Here's the May issue, which just came out.

History of USATT – Volume 21 – Chapter 1
Here’s chapter 1 of Tim Boggan's latest volume, which covers 1993-1994. Or you can buy it and previous (and future) volumes at Chapter 1 covers "Potpourri of Interests." Volume 21 is 438 pages with 1667 graphics, and covers all the wild things that happened in 1994-95 - and I'm mentioned a lot! Why not buy a copy - or the entire set at a discount? Tim sells them directly, so when you order them, you get it autographed - order your copy now!

Table Tennis Weighted Workout
Here's the video (27 sec) of some weighted shadow practice. 

Tears of Your Opponents
Want to drink the tears of your opponents? Here's the mug!

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