July 13, 2020

Tip of the Week
Fast, Quick Motions Disguise a No-Spin Serve.

Vacation - No Blog Next Week
Every year in July I drive up to Manchester, New Hampshire for my annual nine-day science fiction writing workshop "vacation." Alas, due to the pandemic, this year's it's all online, so I not only won't be leaving Maryland, I won't even be leaving my house. But I'll be in various workshop meetings every day from morning until night. It doesn't actually start until this Friday (July 17-25), but I'm spending the rest of this week preparing for it, plus getting some writing done.

There will be a Tip of the Week next Monday, July 20, so stop by for that!!! Next blog will be July 27.

The minute I put this blog online, the "vacation" begins!!! If you need a favor, or something quick, or table tennis advice - NO!!!!! I get a dozen or more such emails every day, and I dutifully get back to everyone the day they email me (and spend way, Way, WAY too much time on these things), but I'd like to have these two weeks off, as in really off.

I put "vacation" in quotes because it's a lot of work, these writing workshops. I had to critique something like 20 stories by others, and others critiqued three of mine. Then there are all sorts of classes, exercises, and readings. The nine-day workshop is called "The Never-Ending Odyssey," and is attended and run by graduates of the six-week Odyssey Science Fiction Writing Workshop, of which I'm a 2006 graduate. This will be my eleventh TNEO.

USATT Coaching Excellence Program
Last Thursday I attended another USATT Coaching Committee Zoom meeting, along with others on the committee (Pieke Franssen, Gao Jun, Dave Fuller), along with USATT CEO Virginia Sung and Josh Dyke from headquarters. The focus of the meeting was the new USATT Coaching Excellence Program. The videos, questionnaires, and other materials for Level 1 (Club Coach) is almost ready - it might go up this week. Along with the others, I'd gone over the materials and of course had many comments/suggestions - some felt I had too many! :) A great thanks goes to Dave Fullen, who is doing the bulk of the work in putting this together, along with Virginia Sung, who's also very involved in the project.

One key thing for me was that, since most of the videos demonstrating the technique were of Vladimir Samsonov, we should explain some of the idiosyncrasies of his technique, and not teach it as the specific way it must be done. For example, Samsonov keeps his arm far more bent than most world-class players, nearly 90 degrees, and if we don't explain this, we'll be developing a country full of coaches who teach that as the standard! (Just watch the Chinese - they almost fully extend their arms.) Also, because Samsonov is very tall, some of his techniques are going to be different. Anyway, Dave Fullen and Coaching Chair Pieke Franssen are going over my comments and others and will decide which ones to incorporate.

One big, new thing is that much of the courses will be taught online, using a platform from integrasssports.com, and via videos and Zoom. That would be something new for me! I'm used to doing it at a club. But others seem confident they can do it this way. I know that Pieke, Gao, and Dave all plan on running some of these courses. (I'm willing to help out with technique advice, but I'm probably not going to run the courses myself.)

Interested in a Table Tennis Book?
Here are mine that are currently in print:

Here are some others:

Training with Navin
Here are two more videos Navin Kumar put up of our session this past Saturday.

  • Forehands (21 sec) - He smacked it past me!!!
  • Backhands (18 sec) - Using inverted on the backhand (he normally uses long pips, no sponge)

USATT Board Meeting
The Zoom meeting is tonight, starting at 8PM Eastern Time. Here's the agenda and info on attending. Anyone is allowed to watch and listen in, and you can message the chair if you'd like to speak. I expect to be there - my TT club and local theaters are still closed, so what else is there to do? (My club, MDTTC, is open only for limited coaching, so I'm there just once a week.) Here's the agenda:

  1. CEO Report
  2. Audit Committee Report
  3. Report Regarding USATT Foundation Board of Directors
  4. Report Regarding Proposed Amendments to Bylaws
  5. Nominating and Governance Committee Report Regarding Board of Directors Election Procedures
  6. Technology Committee Report
  7. Ethics and Grievance Committee Report

The Balls n All Show Brings You "A Journey Beyond The Players"
Here's the Facebook Info Page. (More info here.) It's today! Hosted by Ali Pearson, Eli Baraty & Edward John Lynn. It starts at 7:30PM GMT (that's 3:30PM Eastern Time in the US), with an after-show part.

ITTF Announce New Dates of World Team Table Tennis Championships
Here's the article.

Hips Acceleration for Power Forehand Topspin
Here's the video (2:57). Notice the kid's big forehands starting at 2:25!

New from Samson Dubina

How to Beat a Chopper in 4 Simple Steps
Here's the article by Alex Horscroft


New from Steve Hopkins

Thanks Coach
Here's the article by Coach Jon, featuring Samson Dubina.

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

Ma Long Training
Here's the video (12:36).

The Life of an Athlete Under lockdown - Ma Long reveals
Here's the ITTF interview.

June 2020 | Table Tennis Pongcast
Here's the video (19:56).

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

This Is Table Tennis
Here's the video (2 min).

Ukrainian Table Tennis Betting Suspended in New Jersey Over Match-Fixing Concerns
Here's the article.

Roger Federer Playing Table Tennis as a Kid
Here's the video (1:04, but link should take you to the last five seconds where he's playing table tennis). Note the two-handed backhand, which is strange since Federer plays tennis with a one-handed backhand! Here's more video of Federer playing table tennis!

Excavator Pong
Here's the video (24 sec) of 1993 World Men's Singles Champion Jean-Philippe Gatien! (I think the heavy equipment vehicle here is called an excavator - someone comment below if I'm incorrect.)

Kevin Trick Shots
Here's the video (14 sec)! When he posted this on Facebook, here was my response: "Everyone praises Kevin here, but nobody talks about the cup, the roll of tape, or the three ping-pong balls, all of whom fell screaming to their deaths during this atrocity, with the psychopathic bully Kevin laughing at their fate. The bodies of dozens of other ping-pong balls litter the floor; they too paid with their lives. Why, Kevin, Why???"

PingPong Story Trick Shots
Here's Pingpong topspin & Legend trick shot (5:48). For their past trickshot videos, see the PingPong Story page!

H Ping Pong: 2 vs 2
Here's the video (5:25) from Pongfinity!

Table Tennis Smashes Coronavirus
Here's the cartoon! Here are three table tennis coronavirus cartoons I've done. (The new cartoon is eerily similar to the third one below!)

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