April 8, 2024

Tip of the Week
Top Ten Things to Remember in Doubles.
(Excerpt from Table Tennis Doubles for Champions by Larry Hodges. April is Doubles Month!)

Weekend Coaching and My Short Stint as Head Tactical Coach for the Chinese National Team
I only coached one group junior session this past weekend (Beginning-Intermediate group) – our other coaches need the hours more than I do! I fed multiball for most of the session, then hit live with players the last 15 minutes or so. At the start we did a group shadow-practicing session, which is a good warmup, where we put the players through a series of stroking and footwork drills. Key things to remind players when they do this:

  • Lively feet;
  • Cover the wide corners when moving side to side;
  • Take a full stroke, with full shoulder turn on forehand;
  • Imagine you are hitting a real ball.

As always, footwork is key to all drills. Active feet are a must. As I said to one player during the session, “Your feet should move like rabbits, not dead hamsters!” Meanwhile, I continued our weekly “What’s your name, Coach?” joke. This weekend I explained that my name was Esargrate, and even spelled it for them. I told them to call me Coach Esargrate. (Say it out loud. They figured it out quickly.)

On a side note, remember how in last week’s April 1 blog I announced that China had hired me as the Head Tactics Coach for the Chinese National Team? Alas, when they picked me up at the airport I explained to them how I planned to convert the entire Chinese Team to the Seemiller grip. I was joking! But they have no sense of humor, and I never made it out of the airport. They put me on the next flight back home, alas. (If you look at the first letter of each line in last week’s blog, what it spells out is purely coincidental.)

Now go and enjoy the eclipse – and see my Butterfly Eclipse cartoon at the end below!

Major League Table Tennis
Follow the action! They have two events left this season, a West Division event in Wichita, KS, Apr. 5-7, and the Championship Weekend at Loyola University, Chicago, IL, Apr. 27-28.

Butterfly Training Tips

New from Pingispågarna

New from Ti Long

New from PongSpace

New from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

The Dark Arts of Serving
Here’s the article by Tom Lodziak.

Roadmap to Learning Forehand Counter from Scratch
Here’s the video (20:43) from Drupe Table Tennis.

New from Ping Sunday/EmRatThich

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions and answers from PingSkills.

New from National Collegiate Table Tennis Association
All articles by Michael Reff.

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly

Post Olympic Trials: A Thank You Note
Here’s the article by Rachel Sung.

Navigating The Role Of An Olympic Alternate
Here’s the article by Sally Moyland.

Coach Mingwei Ju: Shaping Young Talents and Building Community
Here’s the USATT article from Table Tennis America.

New from Table Tennis Media

New from ITTF

Frog Pong

Hypnotizing Ricocheting Ball
Here’s the video (15 sec)!

Someone Said Table Tennis is an Easy Sport
This is what happened to them! (Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

Table Tennis Daily Takes on the Butterfly Legends
Here’s the video (28:09) as they play (with a 3-0 spot) against Michael Maze, Kalinikos Kreanga, Werner Schlager, and Zoran Primorac.

Butterfly Eclipse
Here it is! I didn’t know they made ping-pong balls that big.

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