February 10, 2011

Some Penhold Fun Today

First we have the serve of China's Wang Hao's serve in slow motion. He was #1 in the world most of 2008-2009, and is currently #2. Notice the last-second sudden motion, where he can contact the ball with the racket going either way? This is no different than how a shakehander would do this serve. Also note a few back-of-the-racket serves.

Now we move back in time to China's Zhang Xielin aka Chang Shih-lin aka "The Magic Chopper" vs Hiroshi Takahashi of Japan in the 1965 World Men's Team Final in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. This is not something you see every day - a world-class penhold chopper! I've been told he devastated the Europeans, but lost to the Asians, who were more used to choppers and better able to adjust to his sometimes-sidespin chops. (Takahashi won this match, but China wins the final, 5-2.)

Have You Practiced Your Serves or Shadow-Practiced Your Strokes and Footwork Today?

If not, why not?

USATT Club Committee

I've been asked to join the USATT Club Committee, which is chaired by Attila Malek, 1979 U.S. Men's Champion, and now a full-time coach in Huntington Beach, CA. (I'm currently on the USATT Editorial Board, and chaired the USATT Club Committee in the early 1990s.) I accepted. In my email to Attila, I did voice some leeriness, writing that, "Seventeen months ago, at the USATT Strategic Meeting, there was all sorts of talk about the great things they were going to do. Seventeen months later, they are still talking about the great things they are going to do. And I expect that in seventeen months they will still be talking about the great things they will do. The problem is they never seem to get around to actually doing these great things." I really, Really, REALLY hope they can prove me wrong. Perhaps, as a member of the club committee, I can help out.

I also wrote:

"Whether it's USATT or the Club Committee, three things must happen to get anything done: 1) Set specific goals; 2) Create plans to meet those goals; 3) Implement those plans."

"Three things I'd like to see are the 1) recruitment and training of professional coaches and junior coaches for clubs, 2) the creation of a club-based nationwide league, and 3) regional associations."

"Regarding regional associations, we started to do this in the early 1990s with state club directors for 47 states ("Club Catalyst & Creation Program"), and saw clubs increase from 226 to 301, and membership from 5500 to 7500. Then a new administration came in and cancelled those programs. A regional association would run regional leagues (part of the nationwide league), which is where we'd get large membership increases. The clubs or regional association would collect the membership fees and keep a percentage, as is done in much of Europe. (Clubs spring up as the league spreads.) This seems to fit into your plans as well."


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