May 6, 2024

Tip of the Week
Shadow Practice for Fitness and Improvement.

No Blog on May 13 - Off to South Dakota!
I’m taking a quick vacation to Rapid City, South Dakota (no, I'm not bringing a dog), May 11-14, Sat-Tue, where I’ll see (much of it in a group tour):

I also plan to drive out from the city at night, where it’s very dark, and really see the Milky Way Galaxy for the first time since camping in the Boy Scouts many decades ago. (I’m actually coaching at MDTTC on Saturday morning, then leaving for the airport right after lunch.) This will be my second time in South Dakota – we drove through it on the way to a tournament in North Dakota sometime in the late 1980s when I was at various times the manager, director, and a coach at the USATT Resident Training Program in Colorado Springs. We probably should have taken a detour to see Mount Rushmore and an earlier version of the Crazy Horse Memorial! We might actually have done so – I have a vague memory of seeing it off in the distance, but I’m not sure. I can’t remember who was driving or who else was in the car. (I’ve been to all 50 US states.)

Table Tennis Doubles for Champions
I did a small update to Table Tennis Doubles for Champions. In the original version, chapter 8 was “Secrets from the Pros” while chapter 9 was “Tactical Doubles Stories.” But the latter really goes with the rest of the doubles technique and tactics chapters I’d written. And so I switched the chapters, with “Tactical Doubles Stories” now chapter 8. I also had to change a couple of references to the chapters in the book, including the back cover, and one typo. On the Copyright page you can actually see what version it is – the original version says “v3-7-24” while the updated one is “v5-3-24.”

Here are complete results of the tournament at my club this weekend. Due to the tournament there were no coaching sessions this weekend. Here’s one interesting result – usually it’s up-and-coming, way under-rated juniors who sometimes dominate a rating event, and sometimes win multiple events. But this time it was Eugene Zhang, a senior player, who won both Under 1600 and Under 1900. He did so as a long pips blocker, which made things harder as he was playing against players who play him regularly and so presumably know how to play his different style. Players like Eugene usually do really well out of town against players who are not used to this style. The Zhang’s are a family of TT players, with son James (17, rated 2283) and Stephanie (student at University of Maryland, 2097).  

Third Issue of Table Tennis History is Out!
Here’s the page where you can click on the new May 2024 issue, edited by Steve Grant. Also there are the first two issues, September 2023 and January 2024, plus two other historical issues, plus a link to the book Ping Pong Fever, all by Steve Grant. I’m mentioned in the new issue – you’ll have to go there to find out why!

Major League Table Tennis
Follow the action!

Last week I wrote about the first issue, April 2024, from the International Classic Table Tennis Federation and Steve Claflin, chair of the ICTTF. (Classic here means hardbat, sandpaper, and wood.) Here’s the newsletter signup page so you won’t miss any issues! If you are interested in writing for the newsletter, here’s the info page!

Illegal USATT Chair
It’s now been 455 days (exactly 65 weeks) since USATT elected Richard Char to an illegal third term as chair of the USATT board on Feb. 6, 2023. I’ve twice emailed the board on this. I blogged about it on Feb. 12, 2024 and Feb. 19, 2024. History will not look fondly on this chair and a majority of the current board that has gone along with it, nor the CEO who wrote an email supporting this. Neither will voters in the USATT elections this Fall. (Plus, of course, the CEO shouldn’t be involved in decisions about who chairs the very group she reports to.) I’ve blogged about various USATT issues quite a bit, and will do so again as the elections approach.

Butterfly Training Tips

Mastering the Backhand Chop Block
Here’s the video (1:41) with Yang Xiaoxin from PongSpace.

Simple Tactic When Returning Serves in Doubles
Here’s the article by Tom Lodziak.

New from Ti Long

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

Will Fan Zhendong Get to Play Olympics?
Here’s the video (2:47) from TacoBackhand.

New from Street TT

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

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly
(Here’s the home page for the Saudi Smash, with results, etc.)

New from USATT

New from ITTF

Loa Trying Other Sports
Here’s the video (4:03) from Pingispågarna, where a top table tennis player tries other sports!

Appelgren, Jonyer, Waldner & Other Legends Wildin' In 1983
Here’s the video (3:39) from Table Tennis Media.

Wild Pong
Here’s the kickstarter page for this ping pong card game – but I just like the picture of a giraffe and crocodile playing table tennis!

Wild Ping Pong Clothing
Here’s where you can buy them from Novamodish!

Tenis de Mesa from Sevilla
As usual, there’s lots of new AI table tennis artwork from Tenis de Mesa from Sevilla.

Adam vs. The Youngest Pro
Here’s the video (14:45) from Adam Bobrow!

Send us your own coaching news!