June 13, 2022

Tip of the Week
"Losing Is Not My Enemy. Fear of Losing Is My Enemy."

Weekend Coaching
On Saturday morning we had our roughly quarterly junior program party, at Seneca Creek State Park. Lots of barbecue (hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken) and other food & drink! I brought three frisbees, others brought a soccer ball, football, and a volleyball net & ball, and the kids (and two dogs) spent over two hours in non-stop activity.

Then it was back to work. In the Novice Junior Class, we did an hour of multiball, and then it was time for games! As usual, the most popular is building a wall or pyramid of plastic cups and then taking turns knocking it over as I feed multiball. Here's video (2:19) of the end of the class as the kids destroy "The Pretty Good Wall of Maryland"!

In the other groups we had an end-of-season tournament. (This was the meeting before summer camps begin, other than the Novice group which has one more session next Sunday.) I mostly watched and recorded results, but I also spoke with them between matches. One thing I kept emphasizing was playing aggressive. Most of the players are playing in the MDTTC Open next weekend, and 18 are going to the US Team Trials and/or the US Nationals in late June/early July. So we're getting them ready for those. Some of the players in Group 3 are playing in their first or one of the first tournaments next weekend, so I went over things they needed to know about tournaments – such as not to walk in another player's court while the ball is in play, which happened several times in the session! Also, how to record scores, etiquette, and so on. Next on the todo list for them: Why ratings are the single most important thing in life. :)

With these tournaments coming up, I've been on the players to really practice their serves. One serve some of them are trying to perfect is the fast, down-the-line serve. See video of this below under Butterfly Training Tips, demonstrated by Yu Di. Some players have real problems returning this serve, and if they have to guard against it, they have more problems with other serves. If you don't have this serve, you are handicapped when you play these players. Even against players who don't have major problems with the serve it's still effective to use once or twice a match, both to catch them off guard and so they have to guard against it. (There are three deep serves that I consider the "holy grail" of deep serves that everyone should have – along with variations. The three are the fast down-the-line; fast no-spin at the elbow; and a big breaking serve deep to the backhand that curves away from the receiver.) I also had a private session with Navin Kumar on Sunday, where we also focused on serves, along with smashing and the usual drills. 

US Nationals
As I write this, there are exactly 700 players entered in the US Nationals, with the final deadline in two days, on Wednesday, June 15. It's in Forth Worth, July 2-7. However, before that there is also a week of US Team Trials, also in Fort Worth, June 25-July 1. I'll be coaching at both. We have 13 from our junior program in the Team Trials (which includes the various junior teams) and 18 going to the US Nationals. (At the Nationals, I'm also playing one event, Over 60 Hardbat. I'm the defending champion in both that event and Over 40 Hardbat, but due to scheduling conflicts, I can't defend my title in the latter. I normally use sponge, but play hardbat on the side.)

Last week I noticed that when you sort the players in the US Nationals by club, it actually sorts by state and then club. Since the 18 players in our junior program are from three states (14 MD, 3 VA, 1 PA), they were listed in three different segments. I emailed Craig Krum (founder and owner of Omnipong), and he not only fixed the problem almost immediately, but added a Sort by State button as well. Thanks Craig!

Butterfly Training Tips

51 Coaching Articles from Matt Hetherington
Here they are! (He also has a video page.)

New from Samson Dubina

10 Mistakes Table Tennis Players Repeatedly Make
Here's the video (10:48) from Table Tennis Daily.

New from the Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

New from Taco Backhand

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

New from Barbara Wei/USATT

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly

New from the ITTF

Reflection On The Month Of May
Here's the article by Joanna Sung.

Well Placed Shots from the Best Table Tennis Matches
Here's the video (1:39).

Haruna Ojio vs Lily Zhang | WTT Feeder Westchester Women's Singles Final HIGHLIGHTS
Here's the video (6:16).

Top Plays from World Table Tennis

FINAL | German League 2022
I think these are two matches in a team final, but I'm not sure. If you know better (and have links to any other matches in it if it's a team final), email me!

Christina Kallberg vs Linda Bergstrom | Final | 2022 Swedish National Championships
Here's the video (9:53)

Highlights - Hana Goda vs. Fatimo Bello | Final | 2022 ITTF Africa Cup
Here's the video (5:44).

Meet the Table Tennis Prodigy and Climate Champion Who Has Given Joe Biden Advice
Here's the article from UK Sports.

"...Over to You" Nation Africa Ping Pong
Here's the cartoon – but I'm not sure what it means. Email me if you know!

Stable Tennis?
Here's where you can buy a "I Like to Play Stable Tennis" shirt!

New from Adam Bobrow!

Non-Table Tennis – New SF Story Published
My story, "Four Score and Seven Years of the End of America: A Bibliography," was published by Daily Science Fiction this morning. It's the story of the downfall of America from 1953 to 2040 – told in the form of a bibliography! It has a lot of inside jokes. Most of the names, especially in the second half, are real people.

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