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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 1PM, 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

Tip of the Week
Don't Give a Quick Player Too Many Short Balls.

MDTTC Open, Weekend Coaching, and Jordan, Oh My!
It was held this past weekend at the Maryland Table Tennis Center, where I coach. Here are complete results, care of Omnipong. I spent much of Saturday coaching matches, including Stanley Hsu in the semifinals and final of the Open. (I wish I could blog about the tactics used, but alas, that's secret.) Here are the rating results!

I also helped coach the Novice Junior Class on Sunday, 5:30-7:00PM. Lots and lots of multiball!!! Most of it involved on player on ball pickup, one doing multiball, and one shadow-practicing behind him. I also had them do some two-person multiball drills, so two players could do multiball at the same time.

Tip of the Week
Relentlessly Reliable Receives with Systematic Practice.

Weekend Coaching and Upcoming Schedule
It almost didn't happen. On Thursday I took the Pfizer booster shot. Alas, I was one of the small minority to have a bad reaction to it. I spent much of Thursday night shaking in bed, feeling like I was freezing to death and nauseous. It wasn't helped that the heating in my house had broken down and the temperature dropped to around 50 degrees inside! On Friday, I was still nauseous and could only eat cream of wheat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (But I got the heating problem fixed.) By Saturday I was still a bit weak and slightly nauseous (cream of wheat for breakfast and lunch, then a real meal for dinner), but I managed to coach two group sessions at the club. However, having these symptoms is far better than the alternative - having the real thing!

Back from Ecuador
I was coaching in Ecuador for nearly three weeks, and it's been a month since I last blogged. And boy, is there a lot to cover! Here's a quick Table of Contents.

This week's blog will go up on Wednesday, Nov. 3. I just got back from coaching in Ecuador for 19 days (lots to blog about!), and need a couple more days to catch up on other things. 
NOTE - the blog will go up late Wednesday afternoon. I'm working on it, but not only is there a lot to write about, but the heat in my house broke down, and so it's 58 degrees inside and my fingers are freezing!

Next Blog and Tip of the Week on November 1 3
I'll be coaching the US Junior Team in Ecuador Oct. 10-28. See segment below.

Tip of the Week
Ten Table Tennis Quotes for Improvement.

I'm off to Ecuador on Sunday morning - and when I say "morning," I do mean it! I'll be leaving at 3:30 AM for the airport for a 6AM flight to Miami, then transferring to a flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador, arriving at 12:46PM (1:46 PM eastern time). From there we have a 122-mile bus ride to the playing site in Cuenca, Ecuador. Traveling with me will be Ryan Lin and his dad, and Mandy & Abigail Yu and their mom. Guayaquil is 12 feet above sea level; Cuenca is 8400 feet. It'll be a long, uphill ride!!! The 18-day trip can be divided into four segments.

Tip of the Week
Forehand Push for Playing Choppers.

Weekend Coaching
As always, active feet was a priority in the sessions over the weekend. Another emphasis was forehand attacking from all parts of the table. This was fun for me since, during my active playing career, I started off most rallies as an all-out forehand attacker. The key is balance and recovery. So often a player can't get to a ball, and yells, out, "I'm too slow!" No, they weren't too slow - they were off balanced from the previous shot, or didn't recover as part of their follow-through, and so had little chance on the next shot. Another emphasis, repeated from last week, was serving low - I'm really trying to create a club of net-grazing servers.

Tip of the Week
A Good Warm-up.

Weekend Coaching
It was a busy three-day weekend for me - it looks like I'll be doing group sessions every week on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. The 51 kids in the Maryland TTC junior program are divided into four groups. I work with Group 1 ("Select," 15 kids from about 1800 to 2350, ages mostly from 11-15) in all three of their weekly sessions; once a week with Group 2 ("Progress"); and with Group 4 ("Novice") in their one weekly session. Other coaches/practice partners include head junior coach Wang Qingliang; Cheng Yinghua; Jack Huang; Lidney Castro; John Hsu; Nathan Hsu; Matt Hetherington; and Greg Mascialiano. For their age, there are some really strong players in Group 1, including the #1, #3, and #5 in 12 and Under, and the top two in 11 and Under. They include (with apologies to those not listed - too many of you!):

Tip of the Week
A Different Measure for a Match Coach.

Pan American Under 11 and U13 Championships in Ecuador
I'll be going down to Ecuador for two weeks in October as the coach of the US Under 13 Boys' Team. There will be four teams - Under 13 and Under 11 for boys and girls. The other coaches are Qiumars Hedayatian (U11 Boys), Wei Qi (U13 Girls), and Thilina Piyadasa (U11 Girls), with Daniel Rutenberg going as Team Leader, and he fortunately speaks Spanish. Here is the USATT news item, USATT Announces 2021 ITTF Pan Am Youth Championship U13 and U11 Teams. (Hope you enjoy my humorous quip!) There are actually two tournaments, both in Cuenca ("kwen·kuh"), Ecuador.

Tip of the Week
Use Your Strengths, But Test Your Opponent.

MDTTC Open and Westchester Teams and 911 Museum, Oh My!
I had an action packed Labor Day Weekend, which can be neatly divided into three parts. Alas, Part 2 I had to write with my mouth clenched in disgust.

=>PART 1: MDTTC Open. On Saturday, I coached for half a day at the MDTTC Open. Here are the complete results. Perhaps the most interesting match was against a player with the Seemiller grip. The junior player I coached had barely beaten this opponent in a previous match one month before, but armed with better tactics, won easily three straight this time. I'm one of the few coaches left around who coached actively way back when that grip was relatively common. These days, many coaches give very bad advice on how to play this grip, leading to many unnecessary losses. Every player is different, but in general, against this type of player you:

Tip of the Week
How To Play Fast-Attacking Junior Players.

I believe the table tennis singles events are done - and USA won two medals, with Ian Seidenfeld winning a gold and Jenson Emburgh a bronze. Tahl Leibovitz lost 11-9 in the fifth in the quarterfinals. (Semifinalists get medals.) Here's the schedule, with table tennis scheduled for Aug. 25 - Sept. 3. Here's more info on table tennis at the 2020 Paralympics. (It's still considered 2020, just postponed one year.) Below are some links.