August 10, 2020

Tip of the Week
Two Tips to Increase Forehand Looping Power.

Larry Hodges Interview
Here's my interview (40:53) at Kevin Table Tennis! You may know Kevin Nguyen (from Portland, OR) for his table tennis trick shots that I often link to, and he's also among the best of his age in the country, rated 2062 at age 12. Hope you enjoy some of the funny stories I tell! (Take it in two sittings, perhaps, but once you get started, I bet you won't stop!)

Off to the Ohio Mega Camp!
I've basically been sitting at home for five months now, coaching only one hour a week. I've been getting more and more out of shape, and I'm bored to death. So a few days ago I made the decision to do something about it. The camps at my club are canceled due to the pandemic - and if they weren't, I'd probably be coaching at them rather than playing.

So I'm off to spend a week at Samson Dubina's August 10-14 Mega Camp! I'm going as half player, half practice partner - half the sessions I'll be hitting with players roughly my level, half with weaker players. I'll be doing footwork drills like everyone else. Due to my age (ten, plus or minus 50) and recent inactivity, I may have to ease myself into it. That mostly means that, for the first few days, I'll probably do regular forehands during footwork drills. When I feel ready, I'll start looping in those drills, which is more physical. (It used to be so much easier.)

On Sunday morning I drove up to Akron, Ohio. However, before reaching it, I veered off and went up to Lake Erie, where I walked the beaches for half an hour, and waded into it for a few minutes. I'd been to the other four Great Lakes - Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario - and now I've been to all five. Then I drove back down to Akron and checked into the Red Roof Inn, 1.5 miles from the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy. Training begins 10AM on Monday morning. Schedule is 10AM-12:30PM, 2:00-4:30PM, Mon-Fri. Then I'll probably drive back on Saturday. (I say "probably" because, who knows, if I'm not completely worn out - and I will be - I could stay for Week 3!) I'm posting this on Sunday night, with much of it put together at the Red Roof Inn in Akron. 

Ask the Champion with Jan-Ove Waldner
Here's the USATT info page. You can join them and watch it live on Monday, Aug. 10, at 4PM Eastern Time. (This was originally scheduled for last Tuesday, but had to be postponed.) Here's an excerpt from my book, Table Tennis Tales & Techniques - this really happened! I told Waldner the story at the 2001 World Championships in Japan. (I go into this more in the interview above with Kevin.)

At the 1985 U.S. Open in Miami, Jan-Ove Waldner and I both wore the same Stiga track suit ... the same Stiga shoes ... we had the same color and style hair ... he and I were the same height ... you get the idea.  As I walked through the arena, people kept asking me for my autograph.  At first, I said I wasn't Waldner, but what the heck?  I began using my best accent voice, "Yah, I om Jan-Ove Waldner, top player from Sveden. You want my autograph?"  I signed 12 autographs as Waldner.

USATT Board of Directors Teleconference
They have a meeting on Monday at 8PM Eastern Time. USATT members are welcome to listen in, and ask questions via the chat feature. As I write this, the agenda for the meeting is not up, but it usually goes up before the meeting. (Here's the USATT Agenda and Notices page.)

USATT Continues Thursday Night Live
Here's the info page! It's every Thursday at 9PM Eastern Time.

Saturday Coaching
I did a one-hour session with Navin Kumar on Saturday night. Here are two short videos.

Coaches Who Do Video Coaching
Here's an updated list. (Coaches - email me if I should put you on the list.)

  • LearnPong, with Kai Zhang, Brad Robbins, Chase Bockoven, Vlad Farcas, Andrew Williams, Christian Stelting, Bjorn Stelting, and Alfred Dela Pena.
  • Samson Dubina (OH), USATT Certified National Coach and multiple Coach-of-the-Year awards, and 2009 US Men's Singles Finalist. See his web page (scroll to the bottom of the products page).
  • Cory Eider (NJ), former USATT High Performance Director and 2013 US Men's Singles finalist, 2014 Men's Doubles Champion.  
  • Pieke Franssen (CA), USATT Certified National Coach and chair of the USATT Coaching Committee. See his USATT about page
  • Matt Hetherington (NJ), member of New Zealand National Team, now coaching in the US, ITTF Level 2 coach. See also his web page.
  • Judy Hugh (NJ), former member of US National Team. See her USATT about page
  • Christian Lillieroos (CA), ITTF Level 3 coach. See his web page.
  • Sean O'Neill (OR), five-time US Men's Singles Champion and two-time Olympian, USATT Certified National Coach, and current USATT High Performance Director. See his USATT about page
  • Tim Wang (CO), three-time US Men's Singles Champion. See his USATT about page

New from Samson Dubina

Three Table Tennis Serves Every Player Should Master
Here's the article by Alex Horscroft at Expert Table Tennis.

Tiago Apolonia Backhand Multiball Session
Here's the video (47 sec) of the world #55 (highest ranking #13) from Portugal.

How to Read Spin
Here's the video (2:50) from Perfect Ping Pong.

New from Steve Hopkins

Why Choppers Have More Fun
Here's the article by Coach Jon.

New Videos from USATT

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

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

PING! The Story of One Man's Love of Table Tennis
Here's the article about the book by Graham Frankel. I reviewed his book in my July 27 blog (see fourth segment).

Backhand Loop Around the Net, Between the Four Supplement, and Smacking a Ping-Pong Ball
Here's the video (9 sec) by Matt Hetherington!

My Best Round-the-Net Shots (Insane Swerve)
Here's the video (54 sec).

Dude Perfect (and Adam Bobrow): Ping Pong Trick Shots
Here's the videos (6:58 and 11:17)! (With Steve Hopkins.)

Ping Pong... But After Each Point the Racket Gets smaller
Here's the video (6:12) from Pongfinity! (This went up on Monday night.)

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