April 15, 2024

Tip of the Week
How to Play Doubles with a Much Stronger or Weaker Player.
(Excerpt from Table Tennis Doubles for Champions by Larry Hodges. April is Doubles Month!)

Weekend Coaching
Had an interesting experience with two of our junior players, both about ten and still relative beginners. They were struggling to even hit three forehands in a row together – their shots just flew all over the table. So I hit with them, taking turns. Immediately they both were able to hit 50 or more in a row, mostly keeping the ball to my forehand corner, no problem. After a time I put them together again, and again they struggled. The problem was their feet weren’t “active,” and so whenever the ball wasn’t exactly where they were standing, they’d reach or lunge after it. So, yes, we spent a bunch of time working on getting their feet more active, including pointing out the obvious, “We do all these footwork drills so you can learn to move to the ball!”

I continued my tradition of having a new name every weekend. This week when they asked my name (since “Coach Larry” is in prison for cheating), I said it was Isserbad. At first they couldn’t figure out what that meant – until I had them call me Coach Isserbad. Say it out loud!

I also had a private session with Navin Kumar. A lot of the focus was on really deadening the ball when blocking against loops, as this allows you to keep the ball on the table over and over. Sometimes he blocks the ball too straight on with the long pips, and so it’s like he’s just hitting with wood – so we’re working on chopping down on the ball, i.e., chop-blocking with the long pips (no sponge). We also worked a lot on smashing. Here are two videos he took:

The Next Hodges Book: Table Tennis Doubles for Champions
My newest book is featured at Butterfly! It also includes links to all ten of my books that Butterfly sells. Their inventory is running low – make them order more! Here are the books of mine that they sell:

  • Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers
  • Table Tennis Doubles for Champions
  • Table Tennis Tips
  • More Table Tennis Tips
  • Still More Table Tennis Tips
  • Yet Still More Table Tennis Tips
  • First Galactic Table Tennis Championships
  • Professional Coaches Table Tennis Handbook
  • The Spirit of Pong
  • Table Tennis Tales and Techniques

National Collegiate Table Tennis Championships
They were held this past weekend, Apr. 12-14, in Eua Claire, Wisconsin. Go to the NCTTA page for lots of coverage!

Kanak Jha
He’s back and he’s winning! Here are some links:

Dan Seemiller’s Top Twelve Table Tennis Moments
Here they are, from Eastern Kentucky Table Tennis.

Major League Table Tennis
Follow the action!

Butterfly Training Tips

New from Pong Space

Talkin' Smash by JOOLA Ep11: The Difficult Task of Handling Pressure in Matches | Vitor Ishiy
Here’s the video (31:17) from Matt Hetherington.

About Rubbers and Why I Don't Talk About my Equipment
Here’s the video (16:48) from Olav Kosolosky, former finalist in Men’s Singles at the Belgium Nationals.

Ma Long and Fan Zhendong and Other Elite Table Tennis Players: Decoding the First Two Balls
Here’s the video (3:35) from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis.

Motivation to Break Guiness World Records
Here’s the video (8:23) from Ti Long.

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

New from Street TT

A Sabbatical of “Anything Besides Table Tennis” Lifted Amy Wang From Her Lowest Point to the Paris Games
Here’s the article from Team USA.

World Ranking Table Tennis
Here’s the new page where they update the world rankings every day.

New from Steve Hopkins

New from USATT

New from ITTF

Tables Tennis?
Here’s the video (16 sec) as they take a lunch break.

Tenis de Mesa from Sevilla
Here’s their Facebook page, which has lots of good table tennis stuff. But what jumped out to me are a series of nice table tennis artworks they’ve been posting. (I’m guessing some is created with AI.) Here are some – if there’s a number in parenthesis, click on images to see others! (When I post to images in Facebook, I normally also link to the non-Facebook version, which you get by right-clicking and releasing on “Open image in new tab.” But there are too many here, so you’ll just have to get a Facebook account! It’s easy and free.)

When the Cat is Away...
Here’s the table tennis cartoon!

Adam vs. Enzo Angles
Here’s the video (13 min) from Adam Bobrow, where takes on the best player from Major League Table Tennis!

Send us your own coaching news!