March 21, 2013

Exhibition and Demo

This morning I'm doing a three-hour exhibition and demo (9:30AM-12:30PM) at a local Bar-T. They are devoted to "...after-school childcare, summer day camps, outdoor education, corporate team building and events." My exhibition partner will be Chen Bo Wen ("Bowen") and Chen Jie ("James"), though I'm not sure if both are coming. Also helping out will be John and Wen Hsu, who will set up and run an MDTTC booth to answer questions, give out brochures, etc. I'll be doing most of the talking as we go through one demo after another for three hours. 

Roughly speaking, every 30 minutes or so I'll give a short intro on table tennis, give a demo on the shots, play a "challenge" exhibition match, then take on challenges and answer questions, especially about local table tennis. Then repeat, six times in all.

I've done a zillion of these. As usual, I'll bring my big and mini-rackets; a clipboard; a trick racket where a ball-sized hole has been cut out, with the hole refilled so when my opponent smashes I can push it out and then hold up the racket as if the ball put the hole in it; and a few others. I'll do the 50-foot curving serve from the side; blow the ball over the net, and there'll be lots of lobbing, including while lying on the ground or sitting in a chair. However, the most important aspect is the basic shot-making, where we demonstrate how table tennis can be played.

Want to do an exhibition to promote table tennis? Contact your local schools or other organizations. Many already have tables. Make sure to have something to offer new players - a junior program, or some other coaching program.

The exhibition might be complicated by the muscle pull I suffered in the upper left thigh in the hardbat event at the Cary Cup last Friday. I coached last night, aggravating it slightly, and I'm still limping a bit. But I can still run around the court enough. Most likely I'll just have to avoid any serious matches for about a week.

Here's an article I wrote ten years ago on Exhibition Tricks.

Help Wanted - Three USA Paralympic Coaching Positions

Here's the info for the three openings:

Hugo Hoyama Interview

Here's a video (2:55) of an interview with Brazil coach (and former star) Hugo Hoyama at the Latin American Championships after Brazil swept Men's and Women's Teams. (It's in English.)

Chen Weixing

Here's an article on Chen Weixing going from a Chinese practice partner to a star in the German Leagues.

PaddleYou Celebrity Ping Pong Madness

Who's the best celebrity ping-pong player? You choose. (I'm guessing they got most of their celebrity pictures from my Celebrities Playing Table Tennis Page!)

Unwritten Rules of Table Tennis

Here's a discussion of these unwritten rules at the OOAK Table Tennis Forum. Do you agree with them? Any to add?

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Here's a picture of Arnold playing table tennis with Scott Preiss at the recent Arnold Sports Festival.

Living Room Table Tennis

This picture may be the weirdest "action" table tennis shot I've ever seen.

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June 27, 2011

Gmail problem

This weekend I was hit with a virtual avalanche of spammers on both the Forum and Blog comments. They all came with varied (and apparently random) gmail addresses. I ended up spending many hours personally deleting several hundred postings and blocking (one by one) over one hundred gmail addresses. Finally, rather than put into place more stringent requirements for registration - something I may have to do later on - I simply blocked all gmail accounts.

If you have a gmail account, you probably can't post or comment right now, and probably can't register. If you have an alternate email, please use that. If you only have gmail, please email me and let me know; it would be helpful to know if many real people are affected by this. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Since I'm leaving for the U.S. Open on Wednesday, I'm probably going to have to leave gmail blocked until I return. Then I'll decide if I have to use more stringent registration procedures. (Which I haven't really researched yet.) The last thing I want to do is spend the U.S. Open deleting spam and blocking individual posters all day long.

Speaking of the U.S. Open...

I leave in (checks watch) exactly 46 hours and six minutes. It's in Milwaukee; here's the info page. I'm there primarily to coach, but I'm also entered in three hardbat events: Open Hardbat (I'm two-time champion), Open Hardbat Doubles (I'm ten-time and defending champion from the Nationals), and Over 40 Hardbat (I'm four-time and defending champion from the Nationals). (Note that when I list how many times I've won I'm including both the Open and Nationals.) If there's a conflict between playing hardbat and coaching an important match, I'll have to default and coach - that's my primary purpose there. (I'll mostly be coaching Tong Tong Gong, a member of the USA Cadet team from my club.) I'm normally a sponge player, but I've been playing hardbat on the side for a few decades. I also expect to attend a few USATT meetings.

Complex Versus Simple Tactics

This week's Tip of the Week is on [read headline, duh!].

The Dominating and Limiting Factors in Your Game?

What are the dominating and limiting factors in your game? Too often players only look at what they do well, and forget the latter, the things they don't do well, i.e. the things opponents go after. I remember watching a player with great footwork and a great loop lose a match because he couldn't effectively return the opponent's simply short backspin serve. Over the next week, the player practiced every day, focusing almost exclusively on his strengths, footwork and looping. He never addressed the problem of his weak return of a short backspin serve. 

A player's level is really based on three things. There are the things he does well (i.e. the things you dominate with); the things he doesn't do well (i.e. the limiting factors that hold you back), and everything else (things you don't dominate with but don't hold you back). I generally advise players to practice everything you do in a game, but focus on making the strengths overpowering while removing any weaknesses. At any given level you need to have at least one thing that scares the opponent while not having any glaring weaknesses the opponent can easily play into.

Great exhibition points

Here's a montage of great exhibition points (4:31), to the tune of "Sweet Home Alabama." You can always turn off the sound.

Forehand Pendulum Serve

Here's an interesting two-minute video that shows ten different forehand pendulum serves, both in real time and in slow motion.


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