Table Tennis Dreams

September 19, 2012

Serve Practice - It Pays Off!

Last week I played a practice match with a local top player. He had trouble with my side-top forehand pendulum and reverse pendulum serves to his forehand, which kept going slightly long, but he kept looping them off. Near the end he finally adjusted and started looping them in. I had to mostly switch to other serves to win - barely.

So this weekend I practiced serves for 15 minutes. The main adjustment for both versions (pendulum and reverse pendulum) was to focus on contacting the ball a bit more to the side, and making sure contact was very low to the table. Then I played the top player again, and this time I was able to keep them short when I wanted. I varied short and slightly long (i.e. "half-long" or "tweeny" serves where second bounce would be barely off the end), and he never adjusted, and I won again, using these serves right to the end. (I also threw in no-spin and backspin serves, but the side-top serves were the mainstay here.)

Willy Mays and Other Table Tennis Dreams

This was a strange one. I dreamed I was an elderly Willy Mays at the plate in a baseball game. (Not sure why it was Willy Mays - I'm an Orioles fan! See segment at end.) They walked me on four pitches, including a brush-back pitch that I had to dive to avoid. So next time up I brought a ping-pong paddle, and began spraying topspin shots over the infielder's heads for hits! (The ball seemed to be a baseball-sized ping-pong ball.) No idea why they kept pitching to me and why I didn't run to first base; I was having a blast smacking shots just over the infielder's reach, and letting the topspin pull the ball down before outfielders could get to it!

Then I suddenly dropped one short - a bunt! I took off for first. The throw was wild, and I ran for second. Right about here is when I noticed that all the infielders were waving ping-pong paddles at me. I continued around the bases, rounding second, third, and slid into home as the catcher slapped a ping-pong paddle down on my foot - but he didn't have the ball, so I was safe. I threw the paddle up in the air, and a bird flew by and grabbed it, and flew off with my paddle in its beak. I yelled at it, and that's when I woke up.

Here are four other blogs where I've described weird table tennis dreams:

  • U.S. Open Table Tennis Dream - involving Tong Tong Gong, Arnold Schwarzenegger, murderous black-clad men with black umbrellas, and playing with an illegal book as a racket.
  • U.S. Olympic Trials Dream - where I'm coaching both sides in a Dan Seemiller-Han Xiao match, involving Citizens United, Diana Gee McGonnell, Randy Seemiller, and lots of people demanding I coach them.
  • Table Tennis Foot Dream - where I'm playing table tennis on a street in the middle of a battle, with bullets and explosions all around, and my foot gets shot off, and I keep trying to jam it back on while still playing.
  • Dan Seemiller Ping-Pong Waiter Dream - where I'm trying to convince our local juniors of the riches they can make at table tennis, then Dan Seemiller shows up as the waiter, and I argue how much money he makes as a waiter because of his table tennis skills. 

Three Days Till the MDTTC September Open!

Have you entered yet? Admit it; don't you dream about how you one day show up at a tournament and beat the best players and win the Open? Well, this could be the one! But if you don't compete, by default you get beat! (Does that make sense? How about, "If you don't show, you can't beat a foe"? Or "If you don't compete, it won't be sweet"?)

Erica Wu and Other White House photos

The link to the Erica Wu picture yesterday with President Obama was inadvertently linked to the picture of Lily Zhang with Obama. Here is the correct picture! And here's a picture of the USA Olympic Table Tennis Team with Malia Obama, and here's Women's Coach Doru Gheorghe with Michelle Obama. (The pictures were taken at the Olympic reception held at the White House on Sept. 14.)

Zhang Jike: Wealthy Bachelor

And here's the article about it!

No-Armed Man Plays Table Tennis

This 24-second video is unbelievable - he holds the paddle in his mouth, and serves by tossing the ball up with his bare foot!

Traffic Light Pong in Germany!

Here's the video (1:22) - yes, you can now play Pong with strangers while waiting for the light to turn green!

Exhibition Trick Serves

Here's a short video from PingSkills (1:19) demonstrating exhibition trick serves. I do these same trick serves when I do exhibitions - they are great fun.

Behind the Back Table Tennis

Try rallying like this - and you have to wear all red!

Non-Table Tennis - Orioles Baseball

I'm an Orioles fan, the only sports team I follow. This year they are in a pennant race, with an 84-64 record and tied for first in the American League East with the Yankees, with 14 games left to play. They also hold a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the Wild Card Race, so they have two ways to make the playoffs. (They just won an incredible 18-inning game last night - down 0-2 in the ninth, they scored two, and finally scored two more in the 18th inning to win! It's their near-record 14th consecutive extra-inning win this season - after losing the first two times, they are now 14-2 in extra innings.)

I'm sort of infamous as Larrytt on the Orioles Hangout forum for my Top Ten Lists (and other humorous listings or stories). When I do one they really like, the Orioles Hangout staff publish it as a feature on their front page. This morning they published my latest, "Top Twelve Things Happening the Last Time the Orioles Had a Winning Season." (The Orioles just had 14 straight losing seasons.) Here are the seven they have published. Note that some might not make sense if you aren't familiar with Orioles baseball. (My personal favorite is the story "The Wonderful World of Os," though many will miss the inside jokes.)

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