June 29, 2020

Tip of the Week
Training Down the Line.

USATT Coaching Excellence Program
As a member of the USATT Coaching Committee, I'm helping USATT put together their upcoming Coaching Excellence Program. (Others on the committee are Pieke Franssen, Gao Jun, and Dave Fullen. USATT CEO Virginia Sung and High Performance Director Sean O'Neill are also involved.) Right now they are working on the Club Coaching Certification Program. (There are four levels - club, state, regional, national.) The biggest question is what should be taught at the Club level, which is for coaches for beginners to about 1500. It's easy to say, "They should know this, and this, and this,..." and pretty soon everything is taught at the club coach level, and there's nothing left for the State, Regional, or National level!

Here was my recommendation on what should be taught at this level. In a regular training camp, I figured you could teach all this in a barebones minimum of 12 hours, but really could be 15-20 hours. At the higher levels, you would expand on most of these segments, along with segments on physical training, multiball, and other topics.

  • Rules
  • Grip
  • Ready position
  • Stroking techniques (forehands, backhands, looping, blocking, pushing, flipping, lobbing, chopping)
  • Footwork
  • Spin
  • Serving
  • Receiving
  • Basic styles and tactics

I also toyed with having a segment on equipment, and emailed the coaching committee their thoughts on that. However, that could also be covered in "Basic styles and tactics," where you talk about what equipment each style might use. Note that not everything taught has to be explicitly in the course listing. For example, in teaching the various techniques, the coach would also teach the drills where you learn that technique, and so a separate section on "drills" isn't really needed at this level.

There is also a USATT Coaching Excellence Program video (5:03), which hard-working Dave Fullen put together. I wrote a page of recommendations for this, which I won't go into here.

There are also nine videos (so far) that would be used in conjunction with teaching the class, where Vladimir Samsonov demonstrates the various techniques. Dave Fullen again did an excellent job in putting together text and voiceovers that went with the videos. Alas, being a spoilsport, I wrote three pages of recommendations for updating and improving the text and voiceovers. He will probably smack me with a ping-pong paddle next time he sees me. The basic idea of the new program will be that much of it can be taught online, with much of the courses taught in Zoom. While I gave a lot of input on table tennis specific things for this new program, I'm personally a bit leery of teaching table tennis this way, but perhaps that'll change after I see how others do it.

Weekend Coaching
I'm still only doing one one-hour session per week, with Navin Kumar, Saturdays at 5:30 PM. I've spent most of the last 3.5 months in my lounge chair, so I better start exercising again soon!

  • Video 1 - Forehand Block (39 sec): He's a wall on the backhand with the long pips, but the inverted forehand side needs to be just as strong. The focus here is keeping it simple - as I loop each ball (multiball style), he cuts the ball off quickly, taking very little backswing, and a short forward swing, while giving the ball a solid "jab," with each block going wide to the forehand. A big key here is contacting the ball the same each time, which you can tell by the sound of the contact. If the sound changes, then your contact is changing, and it'll be hard to be consistent. (Before doing this drill I looped some to his block to warm it up.)
  • Video 2 - Nets and Edges (54 sec)! He went net-edge, edge, edge, net, edge, white line!

Liu Guoliang Accepts Position as Chair of WTT Council
Here's the ITTF press release.

US Olympic and Paralympic Council Calls in IOC and IPC to Allow Freedom of Expression
Here's the letter, which calls for IOC Charter Rule 50 to be abolished. "The IOC and IPC cannot continue on the path of punishing or removing athletes who speak up for what they believe in, especially when those beliefs exemplify the goals of Olympism." (Note that the chair of the Council, and the first name on it, is Han Xiao, long-time USA Men's Team Member and four-time US Men's Doubles Champion.)

New from Samson Dubina

Half-Long Loop from Forehand Corner with Jinxin Wang
Here's the article and video (1:46).

How to Ghost Serve Like Patrick Franziska
Here's the video (1:21)

New from Matt Hetherington (MH Table Tennis)


USATT Coaching Excellence Program
Here's the video (5:03). (This is also linked above.)

Ask the Champion Interview Series
Here are the USATT videos!

Summer Splash Challenge Camp Interviews
Here are USATT interviews with the coaches of the upcoming Summer Splash Challenge Camp.

More USATT PongPrudent Interviews

Chinese National Women's Team vs The USA Men's Team - TOP 10
Here's the video (2:52).


The Inappropriate Cho
Here's the USATT article by Mark Thompson, USATT Chief Operating Officer. A culture clash between hockey and table tennis, and "love means never having to say you’re sorry."

The Amazing Table Tennis Summer of 2020
Here's the article from Coach Jon.

New from Steve Hopkins

New from ITTF
Here's their home page and news page.

New from the Malong Fanmade Channel
Lots of new videos here!

Hot Stuff: The Little Devil
Here's the comic book cover from 1979!

Jim Butler vs. Wang Huijing . . . and Oscar
Here's video (4:18) of their latest training match between the Olympians. The video also co-stars Oscar, Wang's dog. Here's the page with links to their other training matches and other videos.

Cat Pong
Here's the video (10 sec) - that's three perfect forehands in a row!

Pingpong Story from the Smallest to the Biggest
Here's the video (5:53)! Here are seven more trickshot videos from Pingpong Story.

New from Pongfinity!

  • Ping Pong Gun Game 3 (10:39) - where they play with 21 different types of sports equipment, from dartboards, skateboards, soccer ball, volleyball, Lacrosse sticks, squash racket, boxing glove, boomerang, hockey stick, yoga mat, bike helmet, darts, a bicycles, and others!
  • Ping Pong Stereotypes 4 (3:11)!

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