Tip of the Week
Use Quick, Deep Pushes to Set Up Your Attack.
- Today's blog is my 1800th blog, and coincidentally the last of the year. (I used to do them five days a week, Mon-Fri.) This is in addition to 17 books and over 2000 published articles!
- There was no junior group sessions this past weekend - holidays!!! But I did coach Navin Kumar on Saturday. Here are two videos (note how empty the club is due to holidays and pandemic!): Forehands (20 sec, and note how six seconds in I move in and start taking the ball quick off the bounce, to rush Navin) and Loop to Navin's Block (35 sec, and if you listen closely, near the end you can hear me doing my Gollum impression, where I tell myself "I can't do this" and then "Yes I can!", back and forth).
- My quick and really, really bad limerick epitaph for 2020:
The year 2020 for ping-pong,
A year of nonstopping wrong,
Like playing 'gainst long pips,
Or players with wrong grips,
Or a ball smacked in your face by King Kong!
New from USA Table Tennis
You definitely want to see the first video - may they all rest in peace. I knew them all, other than Varner.
- Gone, But Not Forgotten (3:06) - Jack Howard, George Brathwaite, John Tannehill, Gus Kennedy, Billy Varner, Jim Scott, Michael Clarke
- USATT 2020 Review (3:17)
- Coaches Christmas Catch-up (30:59), with Sean O'Neill, Doru Gheorghe, Tahl Leibovitz, Mike Lauro, Larry Hodges. (Go to 11:46 and you can see my new Baby Yoda Table Tennis shirt.)
Fundraiser for Tahl Leibovitz . . . and a Topps Card for Donators!
Here's the page. He's already won gold at the Paralympics, and his going for a repeat!!! Here's the USATT Tahl Leibovitz Bio and his USATT Hall of Fame page. PLUS - here's the added benefit. If you donate, you get a virtual Topps Card!!! Here's mine - I'm a star! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)
Michael Clarke RIP
He passed away from Covid-19 last week, age 73 but still an active player and coach from Baltimore. (Here's a Facebook posting that has his picture - he's in the middle. Here's the non-Facebook version.) He's mentioned and pictured in the USATT Gone, But Not Forgotten video, at the end. Here's an excerpt from my blog from Feb 13, 2017 where he and I did a clinic and exhibition for kids at the Potomac Recreation Center in Maryland:
Then Mike and I did a rather humorous exhibition, which I introduced by saying, "A very bad thing happened today." When the kids all leaned forward to find out about this "bad" thing, I explained that just one hour before, Michael had told me that he could beat me. "He thinks he can beat ME!" I exclaimed over and over. And so it was on - with the loser having to sweep and mop the gym (or so I claimed). As usual I played the bad guy, and so everyone was quickly rooting for him. I'd insist they cheer when I won the point, and boo when he scored, and of course the kids did the reverse. I cheated, tried bribing the scorekeeper, and so on. We did the first table tennis wave in history (for about the 500th time over the years, but don't tell them). I also managed to throw in my 50-foot serve from the side, blew the ball over the net, lots of lobbing, and brought out the big paddle and mini-paddle. As always, I lost, where I was rolling about on the floor lobbing on the last point before Michael finally smashed a winner to win 11-9.
Casting Call for a Sports Drink Commercial - Looking for Ping Pong Experts
Here's the info page on how to apply. They are looking for Ping Pong Experts who are ages 10-13 or 50+ years old, who can be in Los Angeles for one or more shooting dates in January. Deadline to apply is January 8, 2PM Pacific time. The ones chosen will be paid $2500 . . . and you'll be a professional actor!!!
New from Samson Dubina
- Ok With Losing? - An interesting perspective...
- Breathe Man, Breathe! - This applies to YOU!!!!!!!!!!
- Two Aspects of Rallies - NEW Article and Video (27 sec)
- Videos of the Week
8 Types of Hook Serves to Destroy Opponents!
Here's the video (15:27) from Ti Long.
Two-Way Multiball Training
Here's the video (30 sec) from Rahul Shah - a great way for one player to practice loop against backspin, the other counterlooping against an opening loop against backspin.
SPIN: Tips and Tactics to Win at Table Tennis
Here's the video (49:23) from Pingskills, where they interview Tom Lodziak, author of Spin: Tips and Tactics to Win at Table Tennis.
Table Tennis and Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
Here's the article by Licensed Physical Therapist Aldin Soneja.
Covid-19 and Table Tennis: Which Type of Mask Should I Use?
Here's the video (16:16) from the Pong Professor.
The Backhands of Jimmy Butler and Jorgen Persson
Here's the video (9:15) from Jimmy Butler. It starts off with a rally between Butler and Daniel Tran that ends with a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it backhand smash by Butler, and then goes into a tribute to Jorgen Persson's backhand smash. (Persson was the 1991 World Men's Singles Champion.) Watch the reaction of Daniel when Jimmy smashes that backhand!
World #27 Tells Us Her Secret to Play Backhand and Many More Tips
Here's the video (14:28) from Pingponged TV, featuring world #27 Britt Eerland from the Netherlands.
New from the Malong Fanmade Channel
Lots of new videos here!
Best Points of the Decade
Here's the video (37 min) from Table Tennis Destiny.
What Disease Does Ping-Pong Have the Potential to Prevent?
Here's the video (59 sec) - but the guesses by the competitors were also correct!
Table Tennis Talk Podcast | Episode 21
Here's the podcast (52:15) from Joey Cochran. "...we wrap up 2020 with some of the most anticipated tournaments of the year, the ITTF Finals and WTT Macao. This is the first WTT event and gives us a lot to look forward to next year. We also talk about the exciting new virtual reality table tennis game, Eleven table tennis."
New from Steve Hopkins
- Timo Boll’s Champions League Bubble Part 2
- The Year in Review: All the Pong News that’s Fit to rePrint
- Diaz, Zhang Debut with New Team in China
- Borussia Dusseldorf over Liebherr Ochsenhausen in Last TTBL of 2020
Peace on Earth
Here's the article from Coach Jon.
World Team Table Tennis Championships Cancelled After Three Postponements
Here's the article from Inside the Games.
- Best of 2020: Matches of the Year!
- Day One of the Chinese Super League sees the ITTF World Professionals make winning start
- Continued success for ITTF World Professionals team on day two of Chinese Super League
- Eberhard Schöler, yet another landmark, a special celebration
- ITTF reflects on highs and lows of the year. 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships cancelled amidst pandemic
Santa Dimitrij Wishes You a Merry Christmas
Here's the picture from the world #12 (former #1 for two months in 2018)! (Here's the non-Facebook version.) One of your New Year's Resolutions has to be to learn to spell " Dimitrij Ovtcharov," right?
£500 Challenge from the World Champion
Here's the 1946 ad from four-time Men's Singles World Champion Richard Bergmann. (Here's the non-Facebook version.) That's £20,000 in modern money, or about $27,000.
Top 20 of 20
Here's the video (8:09) from Adam Bobrow - 20 mostly hilarious shots as he throws "snakes," lobs, and other shots at opponents.
Insane Table Tennis Cartoon
Here's the video (73 sec).
Funniest Moments 2020
Here's the video 12:37) from Pongfinity!
Funny Japanese Commercial - a Decahanded Player?
Here's the video (15 sec) - in case you ever wondered what it would be like to play with ten hands and paddles.
Ping-Pong Trick Shots
Here's the music video (1:46)!
Kids crazy Ping pong trick shots
Dinosaur Masked Pong
Here's the picture!
Baby Yoda Table Tennis
- Me in my Baby Yoda table tennis shirt (video should take you to 11:46).
- Baby Yoda playing table tennis shirt #1 (one I'm wearing above)
- Baby Yoda playing table tennis shirt #2 (I just ordered this one!)
- Baby Yoda playing table tennis
- Baby Yoda ping-pong paddles
- Baby Yoda Ping-Pong Duel (23 sec)
Send us your own coaching news!