making it easy

January 10, 2012

My todo list and coaching schedule

After careful calculations, I have concluded that my todo list, single spaced in 12-point Time Roman, would circle the earth three times. And I'm subbing for Coach Jeffrey (in China for almost two months), so my coaching schedule has doubled. And I've got a cold. So if you are one of those people waiting for something from me, it's coming, but it might take longer than usual.

It's also come to my attention that due to my subbing for Jeffrey, for the next two months I'll be coaching SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. My back: R.I.P.  

Lagging rackets

Two players I coached yesterday had a similar problem. (One was a relative beginner, the other relatively advanced, both right-handed.) And they had the same problem on both the forehand and backhand. They let the racket tip lag behind in their strokes, and so their crosscourt forehands and backhands tended to go to the middle. It's important to have the tip lead the stroke as you drive the paddle crisply through the ball. The racket should aim toward where you are aiming well before contact. If the tip lags behind, you lose control as well as power.

Backhand-backhand games

Here's a good practice game I used several times yesterday. Put a box or towel on your side of the table so that the left edge is on the table's middle line, so your forehand side is blocked off. Do the same on the other side. (This is for two righties; lefties should adjust accordingly.) Then play a backhand-to-backhand game where whoever has the ball serves straight topspin, and the rally is all backhand-to-backhand crosscourt. By doing this you'll learn to play strong but steady backhands, to move the ball around on the backhand court, and to play aggressive backhands when you see the chance. Players of different levels can play this game by spotting points - I was giving my students yesterday anywhere from 6-8 points per game, and we had some epic battles.

Forehand step around footwork

Here's a slow motion video (4:56) that demonstrates and explains forehand step around footwork (i.e. forehands from backhand corner).

"Making it Easy"

Here's a two-minute highlight video that shows the rackets used by the best Chinese players in the world, and set to music.

Table tennis goes to the dogs

Two corgis play "doubles" (1:09).

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