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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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 13:31
February 10, 2016

USATT Reports – Leagues, Regional Associations, State Championships

My USATT League, Regional Associations, and State Championships Report went to the board in December. (I chair the USATT League Committee and am the Regional Associations Coordinator.) Also online are the minutes of the USATT League Committee Conference Call held on Jan. 16. (You can find these and other committee reports in the USATT Committee Reports Page. Here is a listing of USATT Committees.) Below is the Board Report. If it's boring, skip ahead to the good stuff below! (The formatting below doesn't quite match up with the original - the interface here isn't great.) 


Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 14:51
February 9, 2016

Pong in the Snow
Yes, it's snowing outside again here in Maryland. It looks like we'll get 3-4 inches, but it'd more except it's been in the 40s the last few days and so the ground is above freezing, and so it didn't stick at first. But schools are open (two hours late) even though the snow continues to fall. And so in honor of our latest snowstorm, and with apologies to the Let It Snow song (and the full version sung by Dean Martin)…

Oh the weather outside is frightful, 
But ping-pong is so delightful,
To the ping-pong club we'll go,
Despite the Snow! Despite the Snow! Despite the Snow!  

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
But I've brought some balls for chopping,
At the club we'll play like a pro,
Despite the Snow! Despite the Snow! Despite the Snow!  

When we finish up pong tonight,
And leave behind our playing site,
We'll stop...

Monday, February 8, 2016 - 15:25
February 8, 2016

Tip of the Week
Looping Against Backspin Drills.

Attacking the Middle
Today's blog is really simple – I'm assigning you to watch the final of Day Three between Crystal Wang and Angela Guan. (With apologies to Angela and choppers everywhere, we're about to let a huge cat out of the bag.) Here's the complete video (2hr 23 min), with Crystal vs. Angela starting about 10:30 in, followed by the Day Three men's final between Kanak Jha and Krish Avvari. (You'll have to register to watch it, but it's a simple process. You can watch video of the men's and women's finals for all three days of the USA Olympic Trials at the USATT Olympic Trials Page.)

I wrote about how to play choppers in a Tip of the Week, appropriately titled ...

Friday, February 5, 2016 - 15:30
February 5, 2016

Lawyers, and Coaches Seeking Clubs, and Clubs Seeking Coaches, Oh My!!!
A long time ago, before the explosion of full-time clubs in the U.S., when I was a webmaster for USA Table Tennis, I put together a page for Coaches Seeking Clubs and Clubs Seeking Coaches. At the time there were only a few full-time clubs – less than ten – and there just wasn't much demand for this in either direction. And so it wasn't very active.

But things have changed. Over and over we're finding new full-time clubs looking for full-time coaches to help their club, since most successful full-time clubs are oriented around the coaches, who are the ones who bring in new players to fill up the club. (That's the model that led to the "explosion" noted above.) Most of these coaches are from China, which has about ten zillion top players looking to become professional coaches. (Being a top player doesn't make one a top coach, but the ranks of top coaches tend to come from them. And most top players become at least decent coaches, and with...

Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 14:51
February 4, 2016

U.S. Olympic Trials
They start this morning at 9AM in Greensboro, NC, and continue through Saturday. Here's the home page, which includes the draws (see below), schedule, format, ticket information, playing listing, Live Results, and lots and lots of articles and other stuff. The matches will also be streamed live, with...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 15:29
February 3, 2016

Table Tennis Variations
Getting tired of playing the same table tennis all the time, where you do the same topspin and backspin shots all night long? Here are some variations!

  • Gnip Gnop. In this version, instead of hitting the ball directly over the net, you hit the ball downward, so it bounces on your side first, and then over the net. Here's video.
  • Jungle Pong. You can have many players play this at once – I've seen the kids at our club play with 15 players at once. Basically the rules are you have to let the ball come off the table, and make your return after the ball has hit the floor. You can hit the ball to either side of the table - so the opponent has to be ready to change sides quickly. Since the ball has to bounce off the table and hit the floor, players have time to run it down. If you have more than 15 players, they take turn in order until all 15 have hit one shot, and then start over – but whoever misses is out for that game. It's a rather strange game, but a lot of fun...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 15:24
February 2, 2016

John Miller Match Analysis
I recently did a match analysis of John Miller, a regular in the Adult Training Sessions I run at MDTTC on Sunday nights, 6:30-8:00 PM. He has graciously agreed to let me run it in my blog. (Many of you know him as the Director of the three biggest tournaments in the country – the U.S. Open, the USA Nationals, and the North American Teams.) Here is what I wrote to him.

The match I analyzed was against Dmitriy Buluchevskiy at the Texas Wesleyan tournament, March 22, 2014, Under 1800 round robin match. (Buluchevskiy wins.) I watched it point by point, often replaying points and taking notes. Remember that such an analysis is by its nature critical – the key is to fix the problems.

The strength of your game is that when you are in position, you have very strong loops from both sides, as well as a very strong backhand smash against soft topspin returns of your serve. So setting up these shots with serve and receive is key. Just as important is not...

Monday, February 1, 2016 - 15:05
February 1, 2016

Tip of the Week
Holding Back Against a Weaker Player.

Fifteen Fun Facts about Table Tennis
A few days ago I received an email from Herson Go, who said he would be doing exhibitions and clinics this week in five 45-minute classes at a middles school– about 300 students in all. He said, "I wanted to perk their interest and one of the things I was thinking of is to give them a short one-page list of 'Did you know that Table Tennis...' Any suggestions?" And so the list was born! Here's the list I came up with. Feel free to use this on your club websites or in other ways to promote the sport!

Fifteen Fun Facts about Table Tennis

  1. It is an Olympic Sport.
  2. It is a sport of great speed, spin, and some of the most acrobatic moves in all of sports.
  3. Professional players train 6-8 hours/day, plus another hour of physical training.
  4. Olympic athletes have been measured to have the lowest fat percentage of any sport after distance running.
  5. It is played by players...

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 15:31
January 29, 2016

Next Week is USATT Week (followed by a little "rant" on Illegal Hidden Serves)
I've been otherwise occupied on various things the last two months, but next week I'm planning to focus on USATT stuff. What does this mean? As readers of this blog know, I'm focused on three main issues right now for USATT:

Next week I plan to contact people about these issues, both those who have shown interest (and may or may not now be working to set these up), and others who might. I'm finding the first two especially promising (state championships and team leagues), while the third, regional associations, is proving more problematic. (I wrote...

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 15:28
January 28, 2016

Pete May and a Proposed Police Table Tennis Program for Inner City Kids
At the USA Nationals, Pete May told me about an idea for a new type of table tennis program. Some of you may remember Pete as the guy who ran much of the table tennis activities in Augusta, Georgia, circa the 1980s and 1990s – 4-star tournaments, the Augusta College Table Tennis Program (with scholarships), and other activities. He was also a 2000+ chopper, and he and Dell Sweeris made the final of Over 70 Men's Doubles last year at both the U.S. Open (losing to a team from China in five) and at the USA Nationals. His son, Derek, was a 2550 chopper who played on the U.S. Pan Am Team. Pete's mostly retired from running table tennis activities, and now is a Disc Golf Champion – see Interview with 3x Legends Champ Pete May, and this video (1:51), The greatest thing about disc golf.

Here's his idea. He tells me that local police...