January 30, 2023

Tip of the Week
Don’t Fix a Problem You’ve Already Fixed.

Classified Information Found in Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers
The US Government has announced a recall of Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers by Larry Hodges, following an FBI raid on his home where they confiscated dozens of copies. Said FBI Director George Santos, "The book is full of classified information on serving, receiving, and even killing. Nobody is above the law, not even Hodges, and the Forehand Blocking Institute will not rest until we've gone over every tip on how to play long pips."

Said President Biden, "Folks, many of those pages contain classified secrets and other malarky for use only by US table tennis players in their matches with the Red Chinese and the Soviets. If you order a copy, you will be fined 50 rating points.”

Said former President Trump, “BELIEVE ME, if other countries find out, as Larry writes, that tactics isn't about finding complex strategies to defeat an opponent, tactics is about sifting through all the zillions of possible tactics and finding a few simple ones that work, then can America be GREAT again? I mean, this book is the BIGGLIEST book ever, the BEST, and it'll lead to so much winning you'll get sick of it, and did you hear about how the 2020 election was stolen from me and all 63 court cases I lost were by backstabbing, disloyal judges? And don't buy a copy of Loser Larry's Trump Tales, it's full of LIES and other true things about me!" 

Fortunately, there is an alternative book you can buy, "How to Be a Great Table Tennis Player Like Me," by 17-time Men's Singles World Champion and current FBI Director George Santos. He'll be signing copies of the book at the post-Academy Awards party, where he'll be accepting his tenth Academy Award, as Best Actor for his role as the ball in Forrest Gump 2: The Fury of Pong.

Hodges is appealing the recall to the Supreme Court, where he claims everything in the book was declassified by himself when he was USATT Coaching Chair, and that the parts about killing were not secret messages to Russian President Putin on assassination methods. Said Pope George Santos, “Trust unto Larry as you would trust unto me.”  

Weekend Coaching, USATT Magazines, and Ping-Pong in the Cambrian
Fundamentals, Fundamentals, Fundamentals!!! They cannot be overemphasized. If you don’t get the fundamentals down, it’s like pulling a trigger on a gun in a gunfight, and instead of firing, the gun explodes. (I learned that from George Santos.) Other related issues that came up this weekend in the five group junior sessions I coached included; playing practice games the way you want your game to develop; how to play hitters and long pips; and serving low. I’m glad to see many of the players are really playing games the way they train, trying to win with their shots instead of panicking and just pushing and blocking.

Meanwhile, while trying to prepare our players for the future, I’m living in the past. I’m still trying complete my collection of USATT Magazines from 1976 (when I started) to 2014 (when it was discontinued, replaced by USATT Insider. I’m missing five issues – anyone have any of these that I could buy/trade/steal? If so, contact me! They are:

  • July/Aug 1982
  • Nov/Dec 1986
  • Nov/Dec 1987
  • Apr/May 1988
  • May 1989

Some old-timers might remember the seven issues of Timmy's North American World of Table Tennis back in 1983-1984. I have six of them, but am missing issue #2, Sept/Oct 1983. Here’s my entire historical collection of table tennis paraphernalia. (I have some table tennis books that I haven’t added to the online listing yet. I may add them tonight.)

Speaking of the past, as some of you probably know I also write science fiction. I recently finalized a short story (3800 words) titled, “Connoisseur of Cambrian Cooking.” It involves a time traveler who goes back 500 million years, to the Cambrian Explosion. I worked in this line: “The closest she ever came to sports was occasional ping-pong, where she'd mindlessly rally with her grad students while pondering the secrets of time and the universe.”

Ding Ning vs. Tahl Leibovitz. Olympic Gold Medalist VS Paralympic Gold Medalist at the United Nations
Here’s the video (36 sec). Here’s Tahl’s TikTok page, where he has lots of other videos.

Butterfly Training Tips and Ask the Experts

  • Backhand & Pivot (64 sec) with Jinxin Wang
  • Stroke Management and Footwork (80 sec) with Anav Gupta
  • Contact Point When Serving Underspin, by Stefan Feth. The question was, “It’s pretty widely accepted that when serving underspin, more spin is produced by contact with the lower portion of the racket than with the upper portion. Can you explain the rotational differences that occur between these two contact locations? What is making the difference?”

New from Samson Dubina

  • Ohio Elite Training Camps – As noted in a previous blog, I’m going to this camp – as a PLAYER!!! Yes, I’ve decided to get back in shape. The camp is for players rated over 2000. The level of play will be very high – look at the current list of 21 players, with more likely to enter. It’ll be the first time since 1980 that I won’t be among the strongest players in a camp! (I could, of course, train at my own club, but it’s easier in a group, and at my club I’d be either a coach or practice partner in our camps, which are for junior players.)
  • Rehearsal
  • Stroke Considerations

New from Ti Long

How to Play with SHORT PIMPLES
Here’s the video (4:10) from Max Noresson/Pingispågarna.

Defeated by KenSpin and the Power of Unorthodox Play
Here’s the article by Tom Lodziak.

New Chapter, New Experiences
Here’s the article by Joanna Sung

New from PingSkills

New from PingSunday

New from TT11TV
Matches from European Team Championships.

New from TacoBackhand

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


New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly


Ghost Serve
Here’s the video (9 sec) – can you do this? With practice, you can! It’s great ball control and spin practice. I once did 13 in a row, with the ball bouncing back over the net on the first bounce.

Chair Challenge
Here’s the video (24 sec)! I’ve done this trick a number of times in exhibitions, lobbing while sitting in a chair, as well as while sitting or lying on the floor.

Do You Have a King Pong Sticker?
Well, why not? You can also get a King Pong shirt.

Adam vs. Tina
Here’s the video (11:52) – that’s Bobrow vs. Tina Tsai!

5 Hours Ping Pong Challenge
Here’s the video (8:13) from Pongfinity!

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