Butterfly Online

TableTennisCoaching.com Home

Welcome to TableTennisCoaching.com, your Worldwide Center for Table Tennis Coaching!

 Photo by Donna Sakai

This is an evolving website and Table Tennis Community. Your suggestions are welcome.

Want a daily injection of Table Tennis? Come read the Larry Hodges Blog! (Entries go up by noon, Mon-Fri; see link on left.) Feel free to comment!

Want to talk Table Tennis? Come join us on the forum. While the focus here is on coaching, the forum is open to any table tennis talk.

Want to Learn? Read the Tip of the Week, study videos, read articles, or find just about any other table tennis coaching site from the menu links. If you know of one, please let us know so we can add it.

Want to Learn more directly? There are two options. See the Video Coaching link for info on having your game analyzed via video. See the Clinics link for info on arranging a clinic in your area, or finding ones that are already scheduled.

If you have any questions, feel free to email, post a note on the forum, or comment on my blog entries.

-Larry Hodges, Director, TableTennisCoaching.com

Member, USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame & USATT Certified National Coach
Professional Coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center

Recent TableTennisCoaching.com blog posts

Monday, December 15, 2014 - 12:59
December 15, 2014

USATT Election

USATT members, don't forget to vote!!! Here's my USATT Election Page. (You have to be at least 18 years old to vote.) I think we have to decide if the main purpose of USA Table Tennis is to develop table tennis in this country, or just maintain the status quo. If you believe as I do that it's to develop table tennis in this country, then I hope you'll vote for me.

If you're at the USA Nationals, stop by the USATT Assembly Tuesday night (7-9PM), where I'll be giving a short speech. Come to the Larry Side, we have cookies!!!

Next Blog

As noted below, I'm out of town at the USA Nationals and then a family Christmas. So the next blog will be after I return, on Monday, December 29.

Tip of the Week

Backhand Footwork. (Some of this is a rewrite from my...




Friday, December 12, 2014 - 15:04
December 12, 2014

USATT Election

USATT members, don't forget to vote!!! Here's my USATT Election Page. (You have to be at least 18 years old to vote.) 

SPUR USATT Growth and Filling Up a Club

How do you SPUR growth in USATT? This has always been one of my favorite acronyms. SPUR, or more properly S.P.U.R. stands for:

  1. Show the sport
  2. Play: get them to play
  3. USATT: get them to join
  4. Rejoin: get them to rejoin

If you do three of these things, you generally won't succeed. (This is for USATT growth; you can replace the USATT part with something else if that's what you are trying to grow.) It's like a chain missing a link. I try to incorporate all four in programs I propose to USATT, or have programs that, working together, do all four.

Many don't understand the...




Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 15:14
December 11, 2014

Table Tennis Professionals of America

I've started work on Table Tennis Professionals of America (TTPA). This would be a USA professional players organization, sort of like ATP in tennis but for U.S. players. The primary goals are a professional circuit in this country within four years, where top players can make a living, as well as an upgraded U.S. Open and Nationals. I've finalized a draft (is that a contradiction?) on its creation, including funding (top priority at the start), plans, and goals, and will meet with some players about it at the Nationals. (I've had some busy messaging sessions the last few nights over this.) I'll go over the plans publicly at some future date, but not at this time. (We will be soliciting an Executive Director - are you interested?) For this program, I need USATT's cooperation, not their funding, which will be a lot easier if I'm on the board. I blogged about this on December 2 and of course it's something I promised to do in both my election mailings and on...




Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 13:53
December 10, 2014

Tuesday Coaching and Neck & Arm Update

I only did an hour of coaching yesterday, but it wasn't easy - both my neck and arm were hurting. However, I don't think I'll have to miss any sessions over it. I have three hours of coaching today. If it does get to be a problem I'll bring in one of our top players/practice partners and they'll do the hitting while I coach. We'll see. (Ultimately, this is I'll have to do. I'm getting slower every year, alas.)

One of the two kids I coached yesterday is an interesting case. He's seven, and not at all serious about playing. He's the definition of a goof-off. I wish I had video of him back in January when he joined our afterschool program with all the desire, focus, and hand-eye coordination of a three-year-old. And now? No, he's not on track to be U.S. champion, but he's really beginning to pick it up. If I can just keep tricking him into learning without his realizing he's learning, next thing you know he'll be old enough to play seriously, and he'll have the foundation needed to reach a high level. He can even loop, in multiball, against either...




Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 14:54
December 9, 2014

Ringers at the Open and Nationals

I've had a few people email me about this problem. At every Open and Nationals most of the rating events are won by "ringers," i.e. players who are way under-rated. Most, though not all, are rapidly-improving juniors. Because of these ringers, some of the fun is taken out of competing in these tournaments. After all, when you play, say, an Under 1500 event, you expect to play players whose level is under 1500, or at least not that far over it. The reality, of course, is that to win a rating event at the Open or Nationals usually you have to play well over the rating cutoff. To have a chance of winning, you probably have to be at least 200-400 points over the rating cutoff of an event. (The lower the event, the more volatility and the more you have to be over the event's cutoff.)

I considered putting this down as one of the issues in my "Other USATT Issues" portion of my USATT Election Page and mailing. But in contrast with the other issues I did put there, there is no easy solution to this. All we can do...




Monday, December 8, 2014 - 15:29
December 8, 2014

Tip of the Week

Keep Your Strokes Simple.

USATT Election

We're five days into the election. If you haven't voted yet, here's my Election Page, and here's the USATT Voting Page. Read over the various programs I will work on, and if you agree we need these things to develop the sport in this country, please vote for me. Equally important, ask others from your club to vote for me. Perhaps print out some of my Election Flyers to distribute!

I've heard some describe my plans as "grandiose," but they are only grandiose if I claimed I could get them all done, say, in my first year. I will do whatever I can to get the process started on all five the first year, and hope to have results to show after two. Four years in and I'll be up for re-election, and if I don't have good...




Friday, December 5, 2014 - 15:15
December 5, 2014

Election Stuff and Other Stuff

If you are sick and tired of reading about USATT and election stuff, jump past the first two items here! However, I think USATT members might be interested in the following USATT vs. USTA comparison.

USATT vs. USTA

I've pointed out for years how, when it comes to promoting and developing their sports, USTA (tennis, 700,000 members) seems to do so many things right, while USATT (8000 members) does not. As I've also pointed out, this is not the norm. Tennis is big in Europe, but in nearly every country there are more paid table tennis memberships than tennis. The U.S. is the big exception here. And yet we're so used to thinking of tennis as "big" and ourselves as "small" that we've come to accept it. But the only reason for this is that tennis does things right, and we don't. Here's a comparison.

Membership Rates

  • Adult Membership fee: USATT $49, USTA $44
  • Junior Membership Rate: USATT $25 (under 18), USTA $20 (under 19)
  • Family Membership...



Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 15:00
December 4, 2014

USATT Election

USATT members on Wednesday received a mass email from my opponent in the election, the incumbent Jim McQueen. I don't know how he received access to the USATT email database for this mailing, but since he had access, USATT agreed it was only fair that I have access as well. They will send out my own email today at 1PM eastern time. It means he got a one-day headstart on this, with who knows how many of the 6000 or so adult members who received it already voting. I believe most of the membership agrees with me on what's needed to develop our sport, and if they read the campaign statements before voting they will side with me. 

Voting began yesterday - if you haven't voted yet, here's the ballot. And here's my Election Page. I need your support, and so do those who want to see the sport developed in this country - please vote!

Below are links to a series of blogs about my plans if elected to the USATT Board.

...



Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 15:49
December 3, 2014

USATT Election

Voting began today - and here's the ballot! Alas, the picture of me in the ballot makes me look like a pixilated monster. For comparison, the same picture I sent them is on my Election Page. I've already emailed asking them to fix it. (I'm told it's a technical issue. Or maybe that's what I really look like?)

If you've been reading my blog or have visited my Election Page then you know where I stand on the issues, and know something of my background. I really need your support - please vote!

Below is Part 6 of my series of blogs about my plans if elected to the USATT Board. Here is my Election Page, and here's the USATT Election Notice. Here's...




Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 15:48
December 2, 2014

USATT Election

Below is Part 5 of my series of blogs about my plans if elected to the USATT Board. Here is my Election Page, and here's the USATT Election Notice. Here's my blogging schedule:

  1. Monday, November 24: Create a Nationwide System of Regional Team Leagues
  2. Tuesday, November 25: Create State Associations
  3. Wednesday, November 26: Create a USATT Coaching Academy to Recruit and Train Professional Coaches
  4. Monday, December 1: Turn U.S. Open and Nationals into Premier Events
  5. Tuesday December 2: Create a Professional Players Association and Professionalize the Sport
  6. Wednesday, December 3:...