April 26, 2011
National Larry's Not Doing Anything Day
After coaching nearly all day (and often night) for ten days in a row (Spring Break Camp, ITTF Seminar, private coaching), I'm declaring today "National Larry's Not Doing Anything Day." I'm spending the day in bed reading. It's a national holiday so schools will be closed, the government will shut down, no postal service, and fire and police departments are all closed - so don't let your house burn down or get robbed today. Sorry for the inconvenience.
During the recent ITTF seminar I was thinking about the lack of multiball training in the U.S. In China, players often take turns feeding multiball to each other. In junior programs, the kids all learn to do this, and every Chinese player feeds multiball like a pro, as do most Europeans. In the ITTF seminar, where we had numerous top coaches, few were proficient at this. It doesn't take long to learn, and it's valuable practice. What's faster, learning to loop against backspin one loop per rally, or someone feeding backspin after backspin to varying parts of the table as you loop them all? Multiball allows you to practice just about any combination of shots rapid fire, so you get far more shot practice per minute than with straight drills. (You should do both, of course.) So why not get a box of balls, and next time you practice take turns with your partner feeding multiball? Maybe start the first session taking turns practicing.
Multiball allows you pinpoint specific problems and work on them with maximum repetition in a given time period. In China, multiball makes up about 1/3 of their training.
Basic multiball technique: Put the box of balls by the net, and pick each ball up and toss it backwards, let it bounce on the table, and stroke the ball at your partner just like any other ball. You'll find feeding basic topspin balls easy, while it takes a little more practice feeding backspin.
Here's a seven-video series by Coach Brian Pace that demonstrates and explains multiball training. Not only will you see excellent multiball training, but you'll see lots of high-level technique. Just watching Brian loop should improve your game 100 rating points!
- Video 1 (5:27)
- Video 2 (2:01)
- Video 3 (2:32)
- Video 4 (3:03)
- Video 5 (2:17)
- Video 6 (2:06)
- Video 7 (1:35)
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