August 08, 2012

MDTTC Camps Week Seven Day Two

Here's a typical day at an MDTTC camp, morning session, divided into segments based on my most common camp phrases.

  • "Lunch orders!" (We have Chinese food delivered for lunch for $6.)
  • "Everybody out! Schnell, Schnell!!!"
  • "Today's focus will be the _____."
  • "What's the first thing you do?" (That's how I start every lecture. Correct answer is "Get in position!")
  • "Everybody into their groups."
  • "You're on ball pickup."
  • "Number ___, you're up."
  • [Lots of multiball.]
  • "Pick up the balls! Balls in boxes!"
  • "Break!"
  • "Everybody out!!! Schnell, Schnell!!!"
  • [Lots of multiball.]
  • "Pick up the balls! Balls in boxes!"
  • "Who wants to be team captains?" (For Brazilian Teams at the end of the session.)
  • "Lunchtime!"
  • "Who wants to go to 7-11?" (I get stampeded.)

Yesterday's focus (as usual on Tuesdays) was the backhand. This doesn't mean that's all we do; it's just the focus, especially for new players. We personalize it more for more advanced players, though even there we focus a bit on the day's focus. Today we'll be focusing on the forehand loop.

Regarding the backhand, besides the basics, I always point out the various backhand styles. For example, players who keep the racket tip low tend to play their backhand almost like another forehand, with great power, but often less consistent, not as quick, and weaker in the middle, compared to those who hold the racket tip a bit higher. Taller players tend to hold the racket tip lower, but not always.

It's going to be a busy day. My rough schedule for today:

  1. Write blog
  2. MDTTC Camp, 10AM-1PM, including lectures on forehand loop and pushing
  3. Interview and coaching demo for Channel 9 News (see below)
  4. Thirty-minute coaching session during lunch break
  5. Lunch
  6. Take kids to 7-11 (it's become a lunch break camp ritual)
  7. One hour drive into Virginia for a one-hour coaching session I do once a week during the day. (I'm off for the afternoon camp session.)
  8. One-hour coaching session at MDTTC at 6PM
  9. Write letter of recommendation for one of our top players going to college
  10. If there's any energy left, do some of my SF & fantasy writing. I've got this great idea for a story where...

Channel 9 News

This morning Channel 9 New (WUSA) is coming in to do a feature on MDTTC 2016 Paralympic hopeful Timmy La. We've had a lot of media coverage recently, and there's supposed to be a feature on us in the Washington Post in the next few days. (It keeps getting bumped because of Olympics coverage.)

Olympic Coverage

As noted in previous blogs, you can get full Olympic Table Tennis coverage at the ITTF page.

2012 Olympic Table Tennis Pin

Here's where you can see a picture of and buy one. Here are some technical problems I see with this mascot's form. First, he's only got one eye on the ball - it's important to keep both eyes on the ball for better depth perception. Second, it's better to bend the knees than to have them cut off, and don't get me started on his lack of playing shoes. Third, he's holding the racket almost straight up and down on a forehand shot, and so is probably blocking. It'd be better to focus on looping on the forehand side. (In fact, it looks to me like he's doing a forehand block from the backhand corner - how weird!) Fourth, it's important to have a mouth so you can call the score, call timeouts, and argue with umpires. And fifth,  his lack of ears make me wonder if he's listening to me.

There's also a Paralympic logo playing table tennis - here are all the Paralympic mascots. Table tennis is on lower left.

God or Galileo?

We'll let the religious people think this is a picture of God in various activities, including table tennis. Us scientific types know it's really Galileo. Or perhaps Mark Twain.


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