May 1, 2013

Richard McAfee Visits Maryland

Yesterday USATT Hall of Famer, ITTF Trainer, and former USATT Coaching Chair (2009-2013, until USATT term limits forced him out) Richard McAfee, from Denver, CO, visited the Maryland Table Tennis Center. He was in town to do a coaching video with JOOLA USA.

So yesterday afternoon I stopped by JOOLA USA in Rockville, Maryland, which is also headquarters for North American Table Tennis. I hadn't been to their new offices, and so Googled the directions. I followed them exactly - and found myself in a construction site. The paved road had ended and I was driving on a muddy road, worried my tires would sink in and get stuck. I kept driving for 50 yards or so, then stopping and wondering if this right, then driving another bit, and stopping again. I kept wondering, is owner Richard Lee trying to save money by housing everything in half-constructed buildings, with muddy quagmires for streets and parking? Finally I called Richard Lee (president of JOOLA USA and NATT), and discovered the Google directions were off - they had me make a left-hand turn near the end rather than turn right. So I turned back and quickly found the place. I apologized to Richard for even thinking they might have set up offices in the muddy wonderland I'd visited. Unfortunately, my tires and the sides of my car were now all muddy.

The actual place is impressive, with lots of office space, a meeting room, large kitchen area, and a big video room. About a dozen people worked there full-time, each with their own office, some of whom I already knew - Richard and Wendy Lee, Michael Squires, Steven Chan, Rich Heo, and Katherine Wu. Out of the office at the time were Tom Nguyen, Greg Cox, and Mary Palmar. Richard McAfee was working with Rich Heo on the video.

Then I took Richard over to see my club, the Maryland Table Tennis Center. (Richard Lee and Katherine Wu, both of whom developed as players there, joined us shortly afterwards.) We watched as a number of our top juniors trained with coaches/practice partners, and discussed their technique. Then I took Richard M. to dinner at a local Japanese & Korean restaurant. (Teriyaki chicken for me, some sort of shrimp and vegetable dish for Richard.)

When to Call Time-Outs

In my book Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers, there's a section on when to call time-outs. It was a rewritten version of a Tip of the Week I'd written in 2011. Here's the updated version.

2013 U.S. Open Challenge Series

USATT will organize the ITTF Challenge Series/World Tour to be held during the US Open and will include the following events: Women's singles, Men's singles, and U-21 Men's and Women's singles. Players in these events must be entered by USATT. Here's further info.

Why Chinese Players Are #1 in the World

Here's a short article and video (2:28) exploring this topic, which mostly showcases their training techniques, especially physical training. If you want a more extensive look on some of the reasons China dominates, here's an article I wrote with Cheng Yinghua on the subject for the July/August 2005 USA Table Tennis Magazine, "The Secrets of Chinese Table Tennis…and What the Rest of the World Needs to Do to Catch Up.

Exceptional Table Tennis Skills Around A Table!

Here's a Facebook video (36 sec) with two players doing a pretty good exhibition - on a mini-table! I think anyone can see this, even if you are not on Facebook or "friends" with the players, but if you can't, let me know and I'll try to find another version.

Vancouver Canucks Play Pong

Here's a video (2:04) of hockey players Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider playing table tennis in what appears to be the team's clubhouse as they prepare for the NHL playoffs. They're pretty good!

Goofy and Mickey

That's some goofy ping-pong.

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Re: May 1, 2013

Wow, I really enjoyed the video about the chinese dominance in table tennis. I've always wondered how it started and how it was possible, now I know :) And the video was just so enjoyable to watch itself, i mean the scenes etc. Thanks for that ! :D I might talk about it deeper on my table tennis blog soon ;)