December 7, 2020

Tip of the Week
Should You Stick With Your Best Shot If It Is Missing?

Weekend Coaching
On Sunday, I asked one of our junior players what she wanted to work on, and she wanted to do side-to-side footwork drills. We must be doing something right!!! As usual, we focused on fundamental as I was working with our younger kids. I also set up targets on the table for serve practice and they took great joy in knocking them off - though I kept insisting that they weren't really knocking them off, they were just showing me what it would look like if they were to knock them off, so that if they were to actually knock them off, I'd know what it would look like. Did you get all of that?

They played up-down tables the second half of the session. They would hide the ball to see who served first. If the server scored two in a row, he became the receiver, and the goal was to be the receiver. They would play for about five minutes, and then whoever was receiving at that time moved up, the server moved down. To help work on specific parts of their game, we had them use improvised rules. For example, they might have to serve long to the backhand, or long anywhere, and so on.

Several of the players were hesitating when looping in the games - they'd start out right, but as they started their forward swing, they'd ease up, trying to guide the ball, instead of just letting the shot go, as they do in regular practice. So I worked with several of them on that. I had to keep stressing that this is practice, and if you can't do the shot properly in practice, when will you do it properly? I think they go the message. It only takes doing it right a few times in games to get into the habit of doing it right - at least for kids, who learn fast

USATT Election
The deadline to vote is Sunday, Dec. 13 - so VOTE!!! NOW!!! If you were a USATT member, you should have received the election info by email on Oct. 29, so go check your email box. I wrote about this in my Oct. 26 blog, where I strongly endorsed Khoa Nguyen and Thomas Hu, and also endorsed Will Shortz for Club Rep, though both candidates for that spot were good, the other being Mike Babuin. (Thomas Hu has 47 testimonials on the Thomas Hu for USATT Board of Directions Facebook page. Why not pay it a visit? Yesterday he posted 15 Priorities if he is elected.)

Seriously, if you haven't voted and you are a USATT member, stop what you are doing and vote RIGHT NOW!!! (Hopefully for Khoa, Thomas, and Will.)

USA Table Tennis Suspends All Sanctioned and Approved Activities and Events Through January 15, 2021
Here's the news item. (This went up after the blog went up, but I thought it was important and timely, so I added it afterwards.) It's a disappointing situation, but the suspension is understandable. 

USATT Board Teleconference, Monday, Dec. 7 (TODAY) at 8PM Eastern Time
Here's the USATT Agenda and Notices page, with a link to the info for the meeting, including the agenda. (It currently gives info on how to join the meeting, which uses Uberconference.) All USATT members are welcome to attend. I expect to be there. Here is the current agenda - though other items are sometimes added last-minute.

  • CEO Report
  • Audit Committee Report
  • 2021 Budget
  • Licensing and Sponsorship – Protecting Against Intellectual Property Infringement
  • Board Elections Status Report
  • Board Meeting Schedule for 2021

USATT High Performance Committee
The former chair, Bruce Liu, resigned a while ago, as did member Angela Guan. USATT has now filled the committee again with five members. They are Jimmy Butler, Amy Feng, Wu Yue, Feng Yijun, and Khoa Nguyen. (Here's the USATT Committee listing.) One thing of notice - there is no chair yet. I'm told they will operate without one for now.

In my view, as I wrote about the previous members (with Bruce and Angela instead of Wu and Feng), these members are all individually well qualified. HOWEVER . . . it's almost all athletes, with few coaches. I believe Amy Feng is the only regular coach among the five (though I'm not sure how much she is coaching). The purpose of the HPC is to develop top athletes, and that's exactly the purpose of a top coach - and so there should be more top coaches on the committee. As it is, it's like having 25 sluggers on a baseball team, each of them highly qualified players - and then realizing you have no pitchers. There really should be more of a balance. Of course, it's easier said than done - many of the most qualified high-level coaches might not want to do so as it would be a conflict of interest since they are coaching some of the players the HPC sets the rules for, plus they want to be eligible to coach USA teams, and the HPC chooses those coaches - another conflict of interest. (Alas, I'm not volunteering.)

Covid-19 Outbreak at USATT's T2 Qualification Tournament at ICC Table Tennis Center
Here's a discussion of this at the forum, with 61 comments so far. Apparently at least ten people from the event have come down positive. Yikes!!! As near as I can tell from the video shown there, they did take proper precautions.

How To Footwork & Body Transition
Here's the video from Coach Jishan Liang (1:44)

Developing Hand Speed
Here's the video (2:31) from Coach Ojo Onaolapo.

How to Return Heavy Backspin Serve
Here's the video (15:03) from Ti Long.

Good Serve - Best Table Tennis Serve Placements
Here's the video (10:07) from Prospin95 Table Tennis.

Penhold Serve Tips and Techniques
Here's the video (11:29) from Joey Cochran at Table Tennis Junkie.

New from Samson Dubina

Doubling Down With Short Pips
Here's the article from Coach Jon.

US Open and US Nationals Historical Results
Here is the page,, still under construction, created by Vince Mioduszewski. It currently has all the results for the US Open and US Nationals from 2000-2019. Soon it will have all of them, with US Opens from 1933 to the present, and the Nationals from 1976 to the present (plus a few miscellaneous other ones). These results include all of the events - championships ones for men, women, seniors, and juniors, as well as rating events, hardbat, etc. Vince has been hard at work compiling all these results from old magazines (including a box I sent him, and from others), Tim Boggan's History of US Table Tennis (he bought the complete set of 23 books), and online results for more recent years.

Celebrities Playing Table Tennis
After an eight-year hiatus, I recently did an update to my Celebrities Playing Table Tennis page. There are now 1446 photos of 876 celebrities! New ones added were Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Mookie Betts, Diego Maradona, Mike Trout, and Howie Kendrick. However, at this point I'm only doing occasional updates, and only for really, Really, REALLY famous people!!! (Howie Kendrick is pretty famous, but he only made the list because he's in the picture with Mike Trout.)

Here are two other sites I maintain:

Table Tennis Fan Pages
Here are some table tennis fan pages (alphabetically) for US players. I'm sure there are many more! Email me or comment to me on Facebook and I'll add others to the list. (What's the difference between a "fan page" and a regular Facebook page? It's not entirely clear, but here's an online explanation. Some use regular Facebook pages as fan pages.)

Junior Olympics
Table Tennis was a part of the Junior Olympics from 1982-2013, plus in 2016. For many years starting in 1985 they also held the Junior Nationals in conjunction. This used to be an annual must tournament for serious junior players all over the country. I recently discovered that all of the results (table tennis and other sports) are online! Here's the page. (It brings back a lot of memories for me, since I was the match coach for over 200 gold medalists at the Junior Olympics and Junior Nationals, more than any other table tennis coach.)

Top 10 Men's Points | WTT Macao
Here's the video (3:26). See Hugo's backhand counterloop 26 seconds in!

Wally Green and Spin Table Tennis
Here's the video (5:07) from  WPIX 11 News.

New from Steve Hopkins

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

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

Strange and Interesting Table Tennis Merchandise

Unreal Counter-hit
Here's the video (33 sec, including slo-mo replay). With the lack of masks, social distancing, and the well-deserved shaking of hands, I hope this wasn't a recent video!

ProSpin95 Table Tennis Trick Shots
Here's the video (58 sec)!

Romi Bear & Dami Rabbit "Table Tennis" | Cartoons for Kids
Here's the video (2:16)!

Andy Capp Table Tennis
Here's the cartoon!

Quit Table Tennis
Here's the cartoon! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

Best Ping Pong Shots 2020
Here's the video (8:37) from Pongfinity - these shots are INSANE!!!

Send us your own coaching news!