MDTTC Newsletter

August 12, 2014


Yesterday we started Week #9 of our ten weeks of summer camps. (I missed last week because I was running a camp in Virginia.) Turnout for some of our camps this summer was lower than normal, but no more - we have 41 players in the camp (40 under age 16), with perhaps our largest contingent ever in the 6-9 age group, about half. (This despite the fact that our top four juniors are all currently training in China - Nathan Hsu, Derek Nie, Roy Ke, and Crystal Wang.) It's also one of our most Asian groups, with only four non-Asian players in the camp. Since we put up 18 tables for training, that means two players on 16 tables and nine others doing multiball on two tables. I spent the whole day feeding multiball, and will be doing that all week, Mon-Fri, 10AM-6PM (with a two-hour lunch break). Raghu Nadmichettu was feeding balls on the other multiball table. 

Here's the camp photo we took yesterday morning. Amazingly, we had two more players join us that afternoon. That's me on the far right. Other coaches in the camp are Cheng Yinghua, Jack Huang, Raghu Nadmichettu, Wang Qing Liang ("Leon") and Chen Bo Wen ("Bowen"). We're actually short-handed, as two of our coaches are currently in China - Chen Ruichao ("Alex") and Zeng Xun ("Jeffrey"). Both are coaching at the club where two of our juniors are training, Nathan and Derek, and should be back soon. 

Most of the emphasis was on forehand play on Day One. Today the emphasis will be on the backhand. (We adjust for advanced players, of course, who do more advanced drills, including many forehand-backhand drills.) As usual, it's amazing the different learning curves for different players. Some pick things up almost as fast as you teach it, others you almost have to hit them over the head to get things through to them. (That's an expression - no kids are hit over the head in the course of our camps!) 

As always, we finished the sessions with games. The more advanced ones played regular games. Others played "King of the Table," while others played the usual target practice games where I feed multiball and they knock over pyramids of cups or hit other objects. As usual, the biggest his is when I put my Gatorade bottle on the table and tell them it's really worm juice - and if they hit it, I have to drink it. They make me drink it. At the end of the day, from 5:30 to 6:00 PM, we did physical training. 

Narrow Defeats but Valuable Experience for North Americans

Here's the ITTF article on the USA and Canadian players preparing for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games. 

Interview with Jan-Ove Waldner

Here's the interview this past weekend from Table Tennis Daily. 

MDTTC Newsletter

The August issue of the Maryland Table Tennis Center Newsletter is out. Here's the archive of past issues.

Ovtcharov's backhand in the China Super League Final

Here's the video (24 sec, including slo-mo replay). 

Junior Training Video

Here's the video (1:42) set to music, apparently from the "Power Table Tennis Academy." Not sure where that is. 

100-Day Countdown to Change in the ITTF's Presidency

Former USATT President Sheri Pittman Cioroslan is doing an article every day during the last 100 days of Adham Sharara's ITTF presidency, counting downwards from 100. Previous ones are linked from the USATT News page, as well as in my past blogs. Eighty-one down, 19 to go!

  • Day 20: Didier Leroy Says It Takes “Real Passion” to Be a Competition Manager
  • Day 21: Cai Zhenhua Commits ATTU to Helping ITTF Achieve P5 Goal

Hyperkinetic Table Tennis Cartoon

Here's the cartoon by David Ziggy Greene. Any suggestions for a caption? (Cartoon comes from the end of this article.)

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October 3, 2013

MDTTC Newsletter

I'm the editor of the monthly Maryland Table Tennis Center Newsletter, cleverly titled the MDTTC News. Yesterday the October issue was emailed to MDTTC members and those on our mailing list. (If you want to be on the list, email me.) Here's the archive of past issues.

Each issue covers a number of topics. The key is to make it interesting, informative, and link it to the club's programs. The last item is key - there's little point in a newsletter that features interesting stuff but doesn't link to programs that the club is trying to create interest in. Below is the table of contents for this issue. (I'm especially looking forward to the new afterschool program where I get to switch from my table tennis hat to my tutoring hat. I can tutor in just about any school subject outside foreign language.) Each issue also has a feature picture at the top. This issue has a group picture from one of our summer camps.  

Does your club have a newsletter? Why or why not? It's a great way to promote the club and its programs!

  • NEW! Afterschool Program
  • Upcoming Butterfly MDTTC October Open (Oct. 26-27)
  • Fall Sales - Passo Butterfly track suits
  • North American Teams - Discount available till October 23rd ONLY
  • Adult Beginning Class
  • Ongoing Programs
    • Junior Classes
    • Group Sessions
    • Private Coaching
    • Leagues
  • Ernie Byles - Saved by Table Tennis
  • Rental Space for Corporate and Private Events
  • MDTTC Web and Facebook Pages
  • Tip of the Month: Real Tactics vs. Parroting Tactics

Arm Problems and Novel Sequel

Arm is hopefully getting better. As noted yesterday, I've had to cancel or get substitutes for all my private coaching sessions since Saturday, including three hours yesterday. I'm still doing group sessions (including one from 6-7PM tonight), and I did do one private session that was all multiball. I'll test out the arm tonight and see how it is. Either way I'm still resting it one more day on Friday, and I'm pretty sure I'll be fine by the weekend.

Meanwhile, having a few days off gave me a lot of time to plan out the sequel to my upcoming novel, "The Giant Face in the Sky," coming Nov. 15. I've now got a rough outline for the sequel, and pages of notes. The first novel was a humorous fantasy that satirized the U.S.-Soviet space race in the 1960s, with sorcerers instead of astronauts, and with main character Neil (Armstrong, though last name is never mentioned) a 13-year-old sorcerer's apprentice, with his sidekick Buzz (Aldrin), essentially a talking, floating meteor. The sequel (also starring Neil, who is now president of the United States and magically disguised as an adult) will satirize the civil rights movement and Vietnam. (It's not easy combining the professions of table tennis coach & writer and science fiction & fantasy writer!)

Table Tennis Training in Korea

Here's video (7:55) of a table tennis camp in Korea. There's no actual table tennis in the video - just physical training to develop the legs. Take a look and remember this is how you should start your day for now on!

Slow Motion Table Tennis

Here's a video (48 sec) showing some great TT play in slow motion. Can you name all four players? (Comment below!)

Ma Long's Slow Spinny Sidespins and Topspins

Here's a video (4:02) showcasing world #1 Ma Long's spinny loops.

KIPP Ping Pong Smackdown Fundraiser

Here's the article and photos. "We raised $625K to provide quality education to students from the Bay Area’s low-income communities." Was this the largest fundraiser in table tennis history?

Spam Applications

I've had an ongoing battle with spam since I opened this site. As time went on it got worse and worse. Originally I let people register automatically. A growing number of spam accounts were created that posted spam in the forum and as comments in the blog, and I spent a lot of time deleting them until it got way out of hand. Starting April 23 this year I had to approve all registrations. When people register they get a note asking that they use a real-sounding name (since most spam uses various types of randomly created jumbles of letters and numbers) and to put something in the bio section that mentions table tennis. This allows me to rapidly go through them and approve only those that sound human and mention table tennis. This morning I broke 5000 spam account applications in the 133 days since April 23 - 5011 as of this moment. That's about 38 per day I've had to handle, one at a time. (Oops, make that 5012, got another one!) Thanks spammers. They should be lined up and smacked with cement-filled ping-pong balls.

Government Shutdown Ping Pong

The talking heads of TV news have christened the government shutdown as ping pong. Don't believe it? Here are the results when you put "Shutdown" and "Ping Pong" into the Google search engine! I think CNN's Wolf Blitzer calls it this about once every five minutes.

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