Coaching Lines

July 6, 2011

U.S. Open results and defaults

For those who missed it, you can see all of the U.S. Open results, either in summary form or all of the results of a specific event, from preliminary round robins to the single elimination stage.

As many have noticed, there seemed a lot of defaults at this year's Open, and nobody really knows why. Was it because of the new schedule, with the Open ending on Monday, July 4? Regardless of the reason, I think Larry Bavly explained many of the defaults when he wrote the following:

I think there are some players who default due to an injury, but the injury is brought about psychosomatically through the traumatic discovery of a low rated opponent in their draw. Therapy session for these players:
"My shoulder hurts, I can't play." 
"What's your opponent's rating?" 
"1400." 
"Do you realize he will be adjusted to 1900?"
"Hey, my shoulder feels a lot better now."

My best coaching lines at the U.S. Open

Here are some of my more interesting spontaneous coaching lines at the U.S. Open last week.

  • "Make no attempt to stay near the table."
    (Against a kid who played quick but without power.)
  • "She's dropping your short serves short, and looping your long serves. So serve in between."
    (So serve half-long, i.e. with second bounce near endline.)
  • "You have nothing to lose, so just serve and loop everything."
    (So play aggressive and if you play well, you'll do well.)
  • "He's twice your size and looks like a football player, but you're the better athlete."
    (Opponent was slow.)
  • "Lob higher."
    (Against a kid who had trouble with high-bouncing balls.)
  • "Stop ripping winners and spin the ball."
    (Because the rips were missing and so were winners for the opponent.)
  • "Turn off your brain and just attack."
    (If you consciously try to think about your shots, they'll fall apart.)
  • "I'm not throwing in the towel."
    (After making a player who forgot his towel come all the way to the barriers so I could hand it to him.)
  • "Are you sure you want to counterloop that?"
    (Against an opponent who was ripping forehand after forehand.)
  • "He has a great forehand counterloop, but only fishes on this backhand. I'd go to his backhand."
    (The opponent kept backing off the table.)

Upcoming tournaments to aim for

If you're a tournament player, when's your next major tournament? It always helps to have a specific tournament to train and prepare for. Some major upcoming ones:

Yes, cats can play table tennis

Here's proof.

50th Sale (Non-table tennis)

Outside table tennis I write science fiction & fantasy. I just sold my 50th short story, "Running with the Dead" to the Through the Eyes of the Dead II anthology. The story: Ben just wants to try out for the high school track team as a miler. The problem is he's dead, and the captain of the track team, the leader of the Mile Mafia, is the one who murdered him. (I write about 50-50 between science fiction and fantasy.) Here's my complete listing of published articles - 1274 in 120 different publications, including 1173 on table tennis.

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