Wally Green

September 24, 2014

USATT Coaching Academy

As noted in my blog yesterday, I'm thinking about running for the USATT Board of Directors in the upcoming USATT election. I gave five things I'd focus on, including the following coaching item:

Recruit and train coaches and directors to set up and run full-time centers and junior programs.
The goal is to have a huge number of such training centers with junior programs, leading to both large numbers of junior players and the development of elite juniors, which leads to elite players. When I made a presentation on this to the USATT Board in December, 2006, two board members openly scoffed at the idea, arguing that there wasn't enough interest in the U.S. to support full-time training centers. The rest sat about silently, waiting for the next item on the agenda. In response I resigned my position as USATT Editor and Programs Director. At the time there were about eight full-time centers in the U.S.; now there are about 75. Once a successful model was created, others copied it. USATT could greatly accelerate this process by recruiting and training coaches and directors as other successful sports do. Since USATT already runs clinics for coaches, and since the coaches would be paying for it (as they do in other sports), the system pays for itself.

For several years I've toyed with setting up a Hodges Academy, where I'd recruit and train coaches to become full-time professional coaches, to run junior training programs, and to set up full-time training centers. We already have a proven model for such full-time centers that works - that's why there are 75 such centers in the country, and that's without any serious involvement by USATT or anyone else really helping out. My club, MDTTC, basically pioneered the model 22 years ago, and we have seven full-time coaches. By word of mouth others have adopted similar methods, and so these centers keep popping up all over the country. We have 75 now; why not 500 in ten years? (Seven years ago, how many people dreamed we'd have as many as 75 now? Well . . . I did! Others just laughed.)

The problem is that while I'd get a number of prospective coaches if I opened such a Hodges Academy - and make a bunch of money - I wouldn't get nearly as many as USATT could get, as the official governing body for table tennis in this country. So I think establishing a USATT Coaching Academy would be the very first thing I'd work on if I did get on the USATT Board. (In which case I wouldn't make a bunch of money, since it's a volunteer position. And the other four items on my priorities list would have to wait until my second day in office.) How would I go about this?

First, we'd need to create the curriculum. USATT already teaches ITTF Coaching Courses, but the problem with that is that it teaches how to coach, but not how to be a professional coach. We need a curriculum that also teaches how to find a place to coach, solicit and keep students, set up and run junior training programs, set up and teach classes, how to maximize income, and all the other issues faced by professional coaches. Most of this is already covered in the Professional Table Tennis Coaches Handbook, which I wrote and would make available at cost. One aspect that's not covered that much in the handbook is setting up full-time centers. A manual for that is a must, and would be part of the curriculum. 

Second, we'd need to bring in someone to teach the course. Ideally we'd bring in someone who is already teaching ITTF coaching courses in this country, who can simply add the additional curriculum. (Richard McAfee, are you listening?) This person would also likely be in charge of creating the curriculum for item #1, with my assistance if needed. 

Third, we'd need to find a site or sites to teach the course. They should take place at full-time clubs with successful junior programs and top coaches so the prospective coaches can learn how a successful program works. Ideally we'd use various clubs around the country. We have a number of such clubs now!

Fourth, we'd need to solicit people who wish to become full-time professional coaches, as well as ones who wish to run junior programs. It's not enough to simply put out a notice and hope some people show up. We need to sell the program, very publicly showing and advertising how coaches can make very good money - typically $40 to $50/hour, and more for group sessions, plus various commissions. We need to create a corps of professional coaches, who not only know how to coach, but are actively coaching and running junior programs, with the emphasis on those who wish to do so full-time. The students would pay a fee, just as they do for the ITTF courses, and this would pay for the person running course and other expenses. 

Fifth, we run the program, and the USATT Coaching Academy is born!!! I'll likely be there assisting at the first one - as an unpaid volunteer if I'm on the USATT Board. 

Full-time Table Tennis Centers - Cart Before Horse?

In the forum here I was told I "...continue to put the cart before the horse." Read the posting and my response (which I've updated a few times) and judge for yourself. I really don't get this. To me, this is sort of like having 75 people learn how to loop, while three people who do not receive coaching are unable to do so. Does that mean we can't learn to loop? Oh, and I've coined a new slogan: "If you build it and promote it, they will come."

Tournament Coaching

Here's the new coaching article by Samson Dubina, Ohio #1 and former USA Men's Singles Finalist.

Reading Serves and Medium Long Returns

Here's the coaching video (3:13) by Pierre-Luc Hinse, North American table tennis champion and Canadian Olympian.

Resting Injuries

I've always gone by the general rule that if there's a sharp pain, stop. If it's a steady pain, go easy. However, this is just a generality. Here are some articles on the subject. (Readers, comment below if you have input on this issue, or if you have links to other such articles that you think might be helpful.) 

Portugal Looking to Upset Germany at the TMS 2014 European Team Championships

Here's the ITTF Press Release. The European Team Championships start today in Lisbon, Portugal. Here's the ITTF home page for the event.

Back of Hand Serve

Here's a posting in the Mytabletennis.net forum on serving a ball off the back of the hand. It's perfectly legal. Here's my response. "I have that serve, and have used it twice in tournaments, both times against weaker players. Both times my opponent caught the ball and tried to claim the point. Both times I rolled my eyes and agreed to a let. Both times I should have won the point. (There was no umpire.) I also tried it in practice matches against Crystal Wang and Derek Nie (2350 12- and 13-year-olds), and both unhesitatingly backhand banana flipped winners, then looked at me like I was crazy."

Tribute to Ma Long

Here's the new video (6:31) that features the long-time Chinese superstar.

Rolling-on-Table Shot

Here's video (45 sec, including slow motion replay) of a great "get" by Pierre-Luc Hinse against Xavier Therien back in 2011. 

Adam Bobrow Around-the-Net Backhand Smacks Ball

Here's the video (5 sec).

Here's the Pep Talk of All Pep Talks

Here's the video (2:28) from a high school football player.

Stupid Game Spotlight: Pig Pong

Here's an article about the deadly sport of table tennis, pigs, and the connection. "Today I would like to talk to you about two things. Two things that should have never been brought together, but for some ungodly reason... they were. These two things are Ping-Pong (the game) and Pigs (the farm animal, not cops). Combining a sport (well Ping-Pong is kind of a sport isn't it?) with an animal that is the very personification of "sloth" just doesn't make sense to me."

The New iPhone 6, Wally Green, and Ping Pong!

Here's the video (38 sec).

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September 18, 2014

Ma Long's Backhand

Here's video (47 sec) of the regular backhand topspin drive of China's Ma Long, currently world #3 but #1 for much of 2010-2014. It's pretty basic; that's key in all shots, keeping it simple. What can we learn from him?

  1. He starts with a wide stance to give a stable base for this and other shots. (You can only see this at the start.)
  2. He watches ball intently nearly until contact, but not quite all the way. (See my Tip on this.)
  3. At the start of the stroke he lowers his racket and racket tip below the ball so he can create topspin.
  4. He lowers the racket by both bending at the waist and lowering his arm.
  5. Forward swing starts with waist, then shoulder (note how right shoulder moves forward, left shoulder moves back), then arm (rotating on elbow), then wrist.
  6. Contact is relatively quick off the bounce as the ball rises.
  7. He contacts the ball with an upward and forward motion, sinking the ball into the sponge at an angle and creating topspin.
  8. Follow through is short and in the direction the ball is going. It ends as soon as the racket tip is pointed in direction ball is going, and goes no further.
  9. Quick return to ready position.
  10. Throughout the stroke the non-playing arm is held up as a counterweight to his playing arm to maintain balance.
  11. When the ball is hit slightly to his left, he steps over slightly with his left leg. This happens 41 seconds in, but is obscured by someone walking in front of the camera, but from before and after you can see his left leg has moved over some.
  12. No wasted motion. This is key. 

179.6

Yes, I finally broke the 180 pound barrier this morning. Next stop: 175. Final goal: 170. (Two months ago I weighed 196.)

Active Blocking

Here's the video (4:37) by Canadian Olympia Pierre-Luc Hinse.

Strawberry Flip

I've blogged about the backhand banana flip, and have mentioned the much rarer strawberry flip in passing in past blogs - but I've never had video until now. Here's video of the shot (57 sec), done by a penholder. (A shakehander would do it the same way). The first shot is a banana flip; the second shot (11 seconds in) is the strawberry flip. (He then does two more, and then it is shown in slow motion.) So what is a backhand strawberry flip? It is the opposite of a banana flip, where your racket goes from left to right instead of right to left as with a banana flip (for righties). Many players have learned to sidespin this way, but more as a change-of-pace sidespin. A few players, such as Stefan Feth (and the penholder in the video above), can do a serious drive this way, so that the ball literally jumps away from you if he backhand flips it to your forehand (assuming both are righties).

Nathan Hsu in China

Nathan's been training in China since early July. He's put together a series of videos on the trip, where he talks about his training as well as featuring off-table activities, i.e. life in China. The videos starts with Day 4. (I'm mentioned at 5:27 in the first video.)

Sally Green Prouty, Dec. 23, 1922 - Sept. 7, 2014

Here's the USATT obit of the USATT Hall of Famer and five-time U.S. Open Women's Champion (1940-44).

Minnesota Player and Coach Duo Hope to Challenge the Best at 2014 Butterfly Badger Open

Here's the article by Barbara Wei.

Ping Pong 4 Purpose

The charity event was held at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 4, hosted by Clayton Kershaw, Chris Paul, and other celebrities. Here's video (6:26), and here's an article with lots of photos.

Ariel Hsing Teaches Makeup 101 to Chinese Players

Here's the article!

Buried in Ping-Pong Balls

So who is this buried in balls? Yeah, it's Wally Green!

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May 23, 2014

Table Tennis Tips

My newest table tennis book is now published! Retail price is $14.99, but you can buy it at Amazon for $13.21, or $6.99 for Kindle. (Here's my personal Amazon page, and the Larry Hodges Books page.) Special thanks goes to the four who edited and critiqued the book, leading to many revisions. They are Kyle Angeles, Stephanie Hughes, John Olsen, and Dennis Taylor. (And they get thanked again below!)

Here's the Intro page from the book:

Welcome, fellow table tennis fanatics, to three years of worth of Tips of the Week, compiled in one volume in logical progression.

These Tips are online, available for free to anyone. I put them up every Monday on my website, TableTennisCoaching.com, and this volume contains all of them from January 2011 through December 2013. Feel free to browse them—but do you really want to have to call them up, one by one, in random order as far as content goes? I’ve updated quite a few of them, not to mention a lot of editing. Some had links to specific online videos, so I had to adjust the wording, inviting readers to go to YouTube.com and do basic searches for the appropriate technique.

They range over ten basic topics: Serving, Receiving, Strokes, Grip and Stance, Footwork, Tactics, How to Improve, Sports Psychology, Equipment, and Playing in Tournaments.

There are unavoidable redundancies in this book. They come in two types. First, the content of the Tips often overlap with other Tips. This is unavoidable as many of the Tips cover parallel material. For example, there are two Tips on developing the forehand smash, and while there is overlap between the articles, they cover it in different ways.

And second, I incorporated a number of these Tips in my previous book, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers. This is especially true of the Tips here in the chapters on Tactics and on Sports Psychology. But perhaps a second reading will be the key to really learning and understanding the material?

Finally, I’d like to thank those who proofed the book for me, pointing out numerous problems they found, from typos and grammar mistakes to better wording suggestions. They did an incredible job of making me look good! They are:

  • Kyle Angeles
  • Stephanie Hughes
  • John Olsen
  • Dennis Taylor

USATT Mailing

Over the past week there's been an ongoing discussion among a few USATT board members, tournament directors, coaches, and a few others on creating an Allstar Circuit or Finals for American players. The topic has drifted. When the discussion of how to raise $10,000 for a Finals event came up, I chimed in with the below.

Here’s an easy way for USATT to raise the $10,000 or more for such an Allstar Tour Finals, and increase membership as well. It’s the same recommendation I’ve made multiple times in the past at board meetings and strategic meetings. (Sorry if this takes us slightly off track.) Almost any successful organization knows that one of the most promising ways to get members is to go after past members, which is why we all get so many things in the mail from organizations we were once members of and magazines we once subscribed to. USATT has something like 50,000 past members on its database (not sure of current figure). I believe we do mailings (and now emails) to recently expired ones, but how often do we do mass mailings to ones from farther back?

Have it come as a personal letter from a prominent USATT person, where it explains the benefits of USATT membership. (Alas, having a print magazine was a primary benefit we can no longer use.) If it comes from Dan Seemiller, Jim Butler, or Sean O’Neill, or all three, it’ll get a much better response than if it’s some form letter coming from a USATT official. I’m sure they would put their name on something like this if they knew that the first $10,000 or more in profits would go to an Allstar Series or Final of some sort.

Let’s say there are 50,000 names and addresses on the USATT database, and that the cost of mass printing and bulk mailing is 30 cents each. (Letters sent bulk mail, if bar coded, will cost about 18 cents each, and when you print 50,000 copies, printing per piece is very cheap.) Then the cost of this mailing is about $15,000. Let’s suppose we get a 1% return, at $49 each. That’s 500 members, and nearly $25,000 in income. (Plus more in following years, depending on how many renew.) That’s a $15,000 profit the first year. (Break even is about .6%, or 1 in 160.) If we get a 2% return, that’s 1000 members, income is $49,000, and a $34,000 profit the first year. There are also hidden income in this. New members mean more players playing in tournaments (rating fees), entering the U.S. Open or Nationals, etc.

Yes, there’s increased staff time, but it’s not a huge amount of time to process 500 to 1000 new members. That’s an average of 2-4 per work day. There’s also staff time in putting together the mailing, or we can hire a service for a few hundred dollars.

Sure, there’s risk as we don’t know what the return will be. If we’re too scared to try new things, then we might as well accept that we’re never going anywhere. Except there’s nothing new about this – other organizations do this type of thing all the time, and they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t pay for itself. I still get all sorts of things in the mail from about five past magazines and several organizations, including regular things from USTA. They have 700,000 members, and know how these things pay off.

Also note that when we get these new members, we’ll also get their emails, and so will be able to communicate with them for free in the future.

Wang Liqin Trains Their Younger Players

Here's the story of the all-time great and 3-time Men's Singles World Champion working with the younger Shanghai team members.

Sports Illustrated Paddle Pushers: A 30-Year Climb to Semi-Visibility

Here's the article/graphic from page 22 of the current (May 26) issue of Sports Illustrated. (I had a short article published in Sports Illustrated on June 14, 1999 - "The Chinese Table Tennis Dynasty." I'm also a Sports Illustrated Photographer - I took the picture of Crystal Wang in the April 7, 2014 issue. (See photo credits underneath - I'm famous!)

Jungle Pong

Here's a video (17 sec) of the gang from JOOLA playing "Floor Pong." I don't think they realize that what they are playing is Jungle Pong, a game played by the kids at my club for many years (I'm guessing since the 1990s), passed on from generation to generation. They play it during breaks, especially during camps. The rules are pretty specific. I blogged about this (including the rules) on June 20, 2013 (see third segment).

Flipagram

Here's the music video "Wally Green - a Game Nobody Knows" (15 sec). It links to a program that apparently allows you to create your own table tennis music videos from still pictures.

Followers of the Bouncing Ball - San Antonio

Here's an article in the San Antonio News-Express on the San Antonia TTC in Texas.

Outdoor Table Tennis Near Me

Here are pictures of the outdoor ping-pong table and putting green at Freedom Park near Rosslyn Metro Station in Washington D.C., about 15 miles south of me.

Mini-Mini Table Tennis

Here's the picture. "I really don't think it can get smaller than that."

The Most Colorful Ping-Pong Table in the History of the Universe

Here it is!

Armin van Buuren - Ping Pong

Here's the music video (4:14) - it's hilarious! And it gets better and better as it goes along.

Non-Table Tennis - Baltimore Science Fiction Convention

This weekend I'll be a panelist at Balticon, the annual SF convention in Baltimore. It's actually four days long, Fri-Mon, but I'll only be there all day on Saturday, and possibly part of Sunday. You can find my bio there in the Bio Section. (Here's my science fiction & fantasy page.) There'll be about 600 participants, so while it's a small regional convention for the science fiction world, it's about the size of our U.S. Open (which this year has 596 entries).

I was put on five panels, two on Friday and three on Saturday (I'm moderating one), plus a reading and autograph session on Sunday. However, I had to drop the Friday and Sunday sessions due to coaching conflicts. The three I'm on for Saturday are:

  • Favorite Science Fiction Authors (Sat 10AM-10:50PM) - Moderator
  • Five Books for the Last Town on Earth (Sat 1:00-1:50 PM)
  • Titles Looking for Stories (Sat 4:00-4:50 PM)

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March 13, 2013

No More Blogs Until Monday - Cary Cup

I'll be leaving with Tim Boggan to drive down to the Cary Cup Championships around 4AM or so on Thursday morning, so no more blogs until next Monday. I'm helping with a clinic they are running on Thursday afternoon, then I play the hardbat event Friday morning, then I coach the rest of the way.

Fake Motions on Serves

One of the most under-utilized techniques is fake motions on serves. Most players have their racket move in a straight line from Point A to Point B, and since it doesn't take Ph.D. level geometry to read the spin if the racket goes in a straight line, the serve loses much of its effectiveness. It's like putting a big sign on your head before each serve that tells your opponent what the spin is going to be.

Instead, try two things. First, move your racket through a semi-circular motion so that the spin varies, depending on where the contact point is. At the highest levels players do this motion so fast and in such a short motion that few can even see the changing direction. There's a reason why, for example, a forehand pendulum serve is called a "pendulum" serve - the racket goes through a curving pendulum motion, and you get different spins depending on where on the curving path you contact the ball. Contact it early on the downswing, it's backspin; a split second later, it's side-backspin; a split second later, sidespin; a split second later, side-topspin; a split second later, it's topspin.

You can and should also vary the contact point on your racket to vary the spin, since not all parts of the racket are moving in the same direction at the same time. More importantly, the tip is the fastest moving part, so contact the ball toward the tip for maximum spin, then contact the ball near the handle to get a no-spin serve that looks like spin. If an opponent thinks there's a lot of spin on the serve and there isn't, that's more effective than a spinny serve where the opponent sees the spin.

Second, vary your motion after contact. If you are serving backspin, have a big exaggerated upwards follow-through. If you are serving sidespin or topspin, have a big exaggerated downwards follow-through. This is very easy to learn to do, and so effective, and yet many never bother to do this.

Here's a real example. One of our top local players has a very nice backhand loop, and any serve to his backhand is probably going to get looped - even short ones, since he can go over the table. If I give him a forehand pendulum serve that breaks away from him on his backhand side, he has no problem, and I usually end up picking the ball up at the barriers. But if I instead fake a reverse forehand pendulum serve (so my racket is going in the opposite direction), and then at the last second change directions and instead do a regular pendulum serve that breaks away from him with sidespin, and then pull the racket down the split second after contact to fake backspin - well, he misses over and over (as long as I don't overuse it). It takes practice to fake out a top player, but the practice pays off.

 

Here's a video (1:23) I found after about 30 seconds of searching that demonstrates these motions in slow motion. (Ignore the irritating background sounds.) See how the player's racket goes through a semi-circular motion, and quickly changes directions right after contact?

Preparing for Cary Cup Championships

  • Printed out notes from videotapes and past matches of possible opponents - CHECK.
  • Put together list of reminders for students - CHECK.
  • Packed hardbat racket for the hardbat event on Friday - CHECK.
  • Printed out various manuscripts to edit or proof on the drive to Cary - CHECK.
  • Packed - LATER TODAY.
  • Got enough sleep - NOPE.

International Articles at Table Tennista

Here are four more:

Table Tennis, the Beautiful Game

Here's a new highlights video from ITTF (4:40).

Swedish Song about Stellan Bengtsson and Kjell Johansson?

Here's the video (2:44) - can anyone give us the gist of what's being sung? An online translator translated the description as, "Finally there is the on YouTube! A classic of immense formats! Världsmästarna Kjell Johansson and Stellan Bengtsson shows that they do not only have mastered the racket and pingisbollen."

Wally Green

Here's a video (3:00) on Wally Green at Spin New York.

 

Board Meetings

This is where all companies should meet.

Thief Attempts Armed Robbery with Ping-Pong Paddle

Here's the story! "A WOULD-BE thief brandishing a ping pong paddle found a new opponent when he threatened a service station attendant in an apparent hold-up."

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January 7, 2013

Tip of the Week

Six Great Rallying Tactics.

Can a "2200 Player" Have the Experience to Coach at a High Level?

The question of whether a lower-rated player has the experience to be a top-level coach often comes up. The answer is yes, but rarely. I've seen numerous lower-rated players - some as low as 1100 - who were excellent coaches, even for high-level players. (I've also seen many former world-class players who couldn't coach at all.)

Some believe they can gain the needed experience to coach at the higher levels simply by watching the top players, usually on video. You can learn a lot that way, but if you think you can gain the experience to be a high-level coach just by watching the top players, you are kidding yourself. You not only have to watch them now, but you have to watch them on a regular basis as they develop. The key is not only knowing what they do now, but how they go there.

It also takes a certain type of mindset. If you watch top players play and gain strong opinions on how to coach players to reach that level, you are on the wrong course. You absolutely have to see what they do as they develop, in the playing hall while training and working with their coaches, and learn from this observing. There is no substitute for this. If you want to be a good coach, then find excuses to come watch these practice sessions. Do this for a few dozen sessions and you'll become knowledgeable. Do this for a few years and you have a chance to become a really good coach.

Some think you don't need to see top players developing if they are only going to coach lower-rated players. There's some truth to this - but often coaches who consider themselves good "beginner coaches" are only good for the first few months. For example, more and more players at the higher levels really topspin their backhands, and so if you want to develop a player with a bright future, you have to work toward that goal. Simply teaching them a basic backhand isn't enough. Other "beginner coaches" keep focusing on the basic counter-driving strokes so long that the player never learns higher-level techniques, such as looping over and over from both wings, counterlooping (the basic rallying shot at the higher levels), or advanced serve & receive. The biggest difference between a good "beginner's coach" and a truly great one takes place after the player can hit 100 forehands and 100 backhands. Does the coach keep working only on better and better forehands and backhand drives, or does he move on to more advanced stuff? You still need to focus on the fundamentals - here's my article Develop the Fundamentals - but the fundamentals of high-level play are a bit different than the fundamentals at the lower levels.

So to gain the experience needed to be a high-level coach, you either have to have been a high-level player, or to have spent extensive time with high-level players and coaches, both in training and tournament situations. I'm one of the lucky "2200 players" in that I have spent many years with top players and coaches. Here's my personal background:

  • My regular practice partners my first few years when I started out (at age 16) included future stars Sean O'Neill (5-time USA Men's Singles Champion) and Brian Masters (Pan Am Men's Singles Gold Medalist);
  • I spent four years as manager/director/assistant coach at the Resident Training Program for Table Tennis at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, working with coaches such as Li Zhen Shi, Zhang Li, Hennan Li Ai, and Liguo Ai, where I watched future stars develop such as Sean O'Neill, Jim Butler, Todd Sweeris, Eric Owens, Dhiren Narotam, Brian Pace, Chi-Sun Chui, Diana & Lisa Gee, and many more;
  • I spent two summers as an assistant coach to five-time U.S. Champion and long-time USA Men's Coach Dan Seemiller;
  • I've attended numerous coaching seminars by "elite" coaches - too many to list;
  • I've spent the last 20+ years at the Maryland Table Tennis Center, where I've learned by watching (and coaching) top players and coaches, including Cheng Yinghua, Jack Huang, Xu Huazhang, Gao Jun, Amy Feng, Todd Sweeris, John Onifade, Sean O'Neill, Peter Li, Han Xiao, Sean Lonergan, Jeffrey Zeng Xun, Sunny Li, Brian Pace, and many more. That's five members of the Chinese National Team, ten members of the USA National Team, and a Nigerian National Team Member. Along the way I got to watch and work with many of the top juniors in the U.S. - and personally coached over 200 players to winning gold medals at the Junior Olympics and Junior Nationals.

So yes, it is possible for a "lower-level player" to gain the experience needed to coach at the higher levels - but it is rare that a player at that level gets the opportunity. You can't do it by just watching players at tournaments or on video; you have to watch their training on a regular basis, and learn from it. I've been lucky to have spent decades doing so. 

Today's Todo List

The never-ending list never ceases with its efforts to cease my work on finalizing my new book, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers. All I have left are the covers and a final proofing, which I hoped to do this week, but the todo list grabbed me by the collar and shook me until it got my attention. I have no coaching scheduled today, so this is my "day off," right? Here's my list for today.

  • Tip of the Week
  • Blog
  • Junior Class accounting
  • New MDTTC tournament dates
  • Redo and finalize MDTTC tournament entry form
  • Update and print copies of the new Adult Beginning Class flyer
  • Email updates to junior class parents
  • Check on renewals for sponsorship contracts
  • Take Sheeba (my dog) to Vet at 3PM
  • Laundry
  • Bank
  • Arrange car checkup
  • Find out why Super Shuttle is billing me $38.94 for a trip I cancelled well in advance
  • Read and critique Codex stories (something from my SF writing sideline)
  • Not on todo list, but there's an ongoing discussion about leagues with USATT officials which is also somewhat time-consuming, though I'm sort of pulling back from it because of time constraints.

World Championship of Ping Pong

USA's Ilija Lupulesku made the semifinals of the $100,000 World Championship of Ping Pong - a sandpaper events - held this past weekend in London. "Lupi" pocketed $5000 for his efforts. Winning the event for the second year in a row was Maxim Shmyrev of Russia ($20,000), who defeated Sule Olaleye of Nigeria ($10,000) in the final, apparently 11-9 in the fifth, though the scores seem to show him winning 11-9 in the fourth. (Anyone know the real scores?) Also playing from USA was Ty Hoff and Adoni Maropis. 

USATT Player Bio Questionnaire

Why not take a couple minutes to fill out the USATT Player Bio Questionnaire? It's so USATT's "...web streaming commentators will have additional information in case you are featured on center court!" You never know. And it's fun listing your best titles, ratings, etc.!

How Kids Benefit from Table Tennis

Here's an article by Samson Dubina on the benefits of table tennis for kids.

Ambassador Wally Green

Former "bad boy" now table tennis ambassador Wally Green's been getting a lot of press coverage recently. Here he is on the Steve Harvey Show (3:25), using a blackberry as a racket. His partner is Kazuyuki Yokoyama. When asked how he got into ping-pong, Wally said, "It started, I was in a lot of trouble, a guy saw I was in trouble, I was either going to be in jail or just have a terrible life, and this guy said 'Look, I'm going to help you learn ping-pong, so he paid for me to go to Germany for four months to learn ping-pong.'"

Here he is again at the 4th Annual Ping Pong for Poverty Celebrity Event in Virginia Beach (4:20). Here he says, "I used to be in a gang, doing some bad stuff. The worst thing that happened to me is I got shot twice, got stabbed a couple of times, not to the point of death. There were a lot of fights. I was a bad kid, let's say."

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