The Game of Thrones

March 29, 2013

Spring Break Camp

Yesterday was Day Four of our Spring Break Camp, which finishes today. My main lecture was on the backhand attack, which covered both the backhand drive and especially the loop, against backspin and topspin. This time I had Roy Ke (age 13, rated 2209) as my hitting/demo partner. His backhand loop has improved dramatically over the last few months.

The first highlight of the day was an amazing shot by a beginning junior girl, age around nine, who had just started playing on Monday. I was feeding multiball to her while she practiced her backhand, and she kept saying "Faster! Faster! Faster!" Finally, as a joke, I fed her three balls at once. They arrived at her very close together, and, unbelievably, she stroked and returned all three with one shot!

The second "highlight" of the day was an accident where, right at the end of the morning session, one nine-year-old player got too close to another who was hitting forehands, and got hit in the face, just above the right eye. It left a severe wound which bled pretty badly for a time. His father came in, but for the moment they didn't think he needed to see a doctor about it. We were worried he might need stitches. We have a pretty safe record at MDTTC, and I can't remember anything like this happening in our 21 years, though of course there have been occasional cases of players accidentally hitting others when they get too close. The injured player sat out the first half of the afternoon session, but joined in the second half. I'm always harping with the players to stand back when others are hitting, but now I will redouble that effort. Up until age 12 or so, kids seem to have no awareness that they are standing in someone's way in table tennis.

Fourteen of us walked to 7-11 after lunch. I picked up some ice for the injured player to hold against the injury. The others mostly got Slurpees and various candies. The manager gave me a free hot chocolate, and gave out free mini-Reeses to the players. We're sort of regulars there.

Today I'll be lecturing about pushing and footwork (and probably some on serves), and trying to do more live play with the new players (who have been doing mostly multiball and robot play). I'll both hit with them (or have other practice partners hit with them), or have them try to do drills among themselves, which often isn't pretty when beginners first try it.

Table Tennista

Here are three more articles from them on the World Team Cup. (Here's the ITTF home page for the event, with results, articles, pictures, and video.)

Interview with Kong Linghui

Here's a video interview (4:36) with the Chinese Women's Coach and former star player. It's in English through a translator.

Help Wanted in Table Tennis

Want a job in table tennis as an "Entry Level Account Executive"? Here's a help wanted notice from JOOLA USA!

The Wanted

Here's an article from Table Tennis Nation on the British band The Wanted, and their new mansion with a ping-pong table.

Non-Table Tennis - Sunday Night Fantasy Heaven

We have the season finale of The Walking Dead (on AMC locally at 9PM and repeated at 11PM, with "The Talking Dead" in between, where cast and crew members talk about the show and show clips for an hour), and then the season premiere of "Game of Thrones" (on HBO locally at 9PM, and replayed at 10PM and 11PM). So it's nerd heaven for some of us. (Each of these shows are one hour.) I plan on watching The Walking Dead at 9PM, then The Talking Dead at 10PM, and then Game of Thrones at 11PM. After that, the rest of my life will seem gray and drab by comparison.

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