April 13, 2012

Planning Day - new programs

Today I'm planning out new programs for MDTTC. It used to be complicated doing this, with limited table space, but with the MDTTC expansion (10,000 square feet, 18 tables, more if we squeeze) we can run multiple programs at the same time. New programs include:

  • An expansion of our beginning junior program to all juniors of all levels, so that they train at the same time, though players are paired with players of roughly equal level. I may invite some advanced players to the program for free, provided they agree to practice 30 of the 90 minutes with beginning or intermediate players. 
  • A new ten-week adult beginning class.
  • An intermediate-advanced training program.
  • A serving seminar (three 30-minute sessions) followed by ongoing serving practice sessions (30 min per week).

Once the programs are set, I'll put together an MDTTC Newsletter to send to all those on our email list, as well as sending releases to local newspapers. (While we hope they'll do coverage, the primary purpose of sending to newspapers is to get in their calendar sections.)

One idea I'm considering is to invite parents of beginning younger kids to come in for a session where we teach them to feed multiball to their kids. They can't really rally with their kids both because the kids are unable to really rally very well yet, and the parents mostly aren't players. But it doesn't take long for even a non-player to learn to feed simple multiball fairly accurately, and then they can do this with their kids.

Or maybe I shouldn't be planning programs on Friday the 13th?

Celebrities Playing Table Tennis

Yesterday I updated the Celebrities Playing Table Tennis page, with 54 new pictures and 21 new celebrities. There are now 1388 pictures of 810 celebrities. (You may notice a bunch of pictures of baseball star Nick Swisher of the Yankees against comedian and Youtube celebrity KevJumba. Here's the hilarious 4:43 video of their challenge match!) New this month:


  • Hu Jintao, president of China (new photo)
  • Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State (new picture)
  • Dave Cameron, British Prime Minister (new photo)
  • Boris Johnson, mayor of London (2 new pictures)
  • Winston Lord, former U.S. Ambassador to China and Assistant Secretary of State
  • Ingo Wolf, former minister of the interior of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) (2 pictures)
  • Kevin Greene, Australian minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Major Events


  • Zac Efron, actor
  • Susan Sarandon, actress (new picture)
  • KevJumba, comedian and Youtube star (9 photos)
  • David Niven, actor (new picture)
  • Andy Lau, Hong Kong actor, singer, and film producer (new picture)
  • Thomas Gottschalk, German talk show host
  • Otto Waalkes, German comedian and actor


  • Justin Bieber, singer (new picture)
  • Cody Simpson, singer
  • Kwon Yuri, singer
  • Chris Martin, singer


  • Tim Tebow, football player (5 new pictures)
  • Martina Navratilova, tennis player
  • Anna Kournikova, tennis player (2 new pictures)
  • Nick Swisher, baseball player (9 photos)
  • Evan Longoria, baseball player
  • Blake Griffin, basketball player (new picture)
  • Martin St. Louis, hockey player
  • Duncan Keith, hockey player
  • Xabi Alonso, Spanish soccer player
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese soccer player
  • Wladimir Klitschko, Ukrainian boxer (new picture)
  • Sebastian Coe, former British middle distance Olympic Gold Medalist and member of parliament (new picture)

Cartoon Characters

  • The Flintstones, cartoon characters (7 pictures of Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble, and Arnold the paperboy)
  • Pink Panther, cartoon character

Wang Liqin to leave Chinese National Team?

Here's an article about it.

Best points from the 2012 World Team Championships

Here's another highlights video of the best points from the 2012 World Team Championships (4:42).

MDTTC Open House

Here's an article by local junior Alan Lang on the recent MDTTC Open House.

On April 7, 2012, the Maryland Table Tennis Center (mdttc.com) hosted an Open house to commemorate its recent renovation and expansion. Over two hundred players and table tennis enthusiasts attended. They were given free merchandise, along with more valuable prizes that were raffled off. They were also given free entry into a three-point tournament (single elimination, all games to three points). Table tennis demonstrations featured several top players, including nationally decorated player Han Xiao (men's singles finalist and men's doubles champion at the 2011 Nationals), MDTTC Coach Jeffrey Zeng Xun (last year's Eastern Open and Cary Cup Open champion), and USATT certified national coach and Hall of Famer Larry Hodges. The demos also included the club’s rising juniors, including Derek Nie, already participating at an international level at age 11 (and a finalist at the USA Nationals last year in 10 and under); U.S. Junior Olympic Under 16 Boys' Champion Nathan Hsu; USA Cadet (under 15) National Team Member Tong Tong Gong; and Crystal Wang, who last year achieved the highest rating of any under 10 player in U.S. history, boys or girls. Larry also gave a 30-minute seminar on serving with spin and deception, and he and John Hsu ran a 90-minute junior program for beginning juniors.

The Open House took place in the newly refurbished complex, which boasts several notable improvements. Most visibly, the club’s size has doubled to accommodate its rising activity. This has allowed for more and larger playing courts and larger spectator areas. Despite these augmentations, occupancy still seems be a problem due to the center’s rising popularity. “Even though we expanded, it’s still crowded,” notes long-time member George Nie, who won the three-point tournament. Other improvements include the relocation and expansion of the club store, higher quality restrooms and shower facilities, and the implementation of Wi-Fi Internet. Furthermore, a special red flooring, the “red carpet,” which offers improved traction and cushioning for players, has been expanded to cover the entire playing area.

With these enhancements, co-proprietor and USATT certified national coach Jack Huang hopes to create an environment that is both welcoming and conducive to serious play, intended especially for the club’s burgeoning junior population. As evidenced by those present at the festivities, the club still caters to a diverse population, including members from a wide array of ethnicities, age groups, and skill levels. Player Mohamed Youns describes this diversity as contributing to a “very enjoyable environment,” citing the pleasure that can be derived from competing against a variety of other players in a low stress setting. All said, the renovations come as a welcome rejuvenation of a table tennis center that furnishes precocious children and world-class table tennis players alike.

For more info on MDTTC (which opened in 1992), see their web page at www.mdttc.com, email them at marylandttc@gmail.com, or give them a call at 301-519-8580.

The Flintstones!

No collection of table tennis pictures is complete without The Flintstones. (This just went up in the Celebrities Playing Table Tennis page - see segment above.) You probably recognize Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble playing (with Dino and Bamm-Bamm watching), but who is the other kid? That's Arnold the paperboy, the one who always outwits Fred. The pictures are from the episode Gloom Groom in season 4 in 1963. Here's the IMDB description: "Fred spends a fine afternoon in the backyard with little Pebbles. Arrive Arnold the News Boy who challenges Fred for a ping-ping game. Afterwards, Arnold offers to take care of Pebbles while Fred takes a nap on his hammock. He dreams that future years won't be good for old Fred, especially when an older Arnold begins to take his place in everything. And to make matters worse, Arnold gets engaged with Pebbles!"


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