The Mighty Walzer

April 22, 2011

How to practice the loop against backspin

Unless you have a chopper or a coach feeding multiball handy, it's not easy getting practice looping against backspin. You could use a robot, but then you aren't reading the spin off a paddle. You could just do it in games or drills, but then you only get one loop, and then the rally is into topspin.

A good way to practice looping against backspin over and over is to do the loop-chop drill. It's simple: You serve backspin; your partner pushes it back; you loop (forehand or backhand); your partner blocks (not too hard); you chop it back; your partner pushes it back; and you loop, and the cycle repeats. It's best to do it all crosscourt or all down-the line. I demonstrated this drill this morning at our Spring Break Camp (using the backhand loop and backhand chop), and several were trying it out later.

USATT Coaching, Club, and Editorial Committees

It's official! I've been on the USATT Editorial Board for a while; now I'm back on the USATT Coaching and Club Committees. I actually chaired both back in the 1990s. Coaching Chair Richard McAfee and Club Chair Attila Malek recently asked me if I'd joined their committees, and it's been approved by the USATT Board. I'm now listed on these committees in the USATT Committee listing.

On the coaching committee, I'd like to see more recruiting and training of full-time coaches and coaches who want to set up and run junior programs. On the club committee, I'd like to see more coaches and leagues. This is a very short version of what I'd like to see. My focus will be on increasing USATT junior and adult membership through these programs. However, since I'm not chairing either committee, I'm going to first work with the actual chairs and see what direction they want the committees to move in.

Story on Howard Jacobson, author of The Mighty Walzer

The Washington Post ran an article yesterday on Howard Jacobson, the Man Booker Prize winner and table tennis player who wrote the 1999 semi-autobiographical coming-of-age table tennis novel "The Mighty Walzer."

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