November 22, 2013

What I Did Yesterday

Normally I coach from 6-8PM on Thursdays, but the ten-week 6-7PM class I teach ended last week and doesn't restart until January, and my 7-8PM person was out of town. So what did I do on my "day off"?

  • I mostly finalized the USATT Hall of Fame Banquet Program Booklet, which I sent to the HoF Committee to proof. It'll go online at the USATT web page at some point, as well as the printed version for those at the banquet. This year's inductees are Todd Sweeris and Terese Terranova, with Yvonne Kronlage getting the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • I updated my book Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers. I'd found a few typos, as had Jeff Smart, and Mark Dekeyser found a zillion or so, so I inputted all the corrections to both the print and kindle versions and uploaded both. The new versions are online now. Other than the typos (and adding a few words in the Choppers chapter to emphasize even more the importance of attacking the middle) there were no other changes. (If you have a copy of the book, look at the title page and a couple lines under my name, just after the copyright 2013 notice, it has a "v" followed by a date. That's the version number. So the new version is v11-21-13. If you don't have a copy of the book . . . buy one!!!
  • I prepared for the testing aspect for our Junior Progress Reports in our Beginning/Intermediate Junior Classes, which I teach. This weekend we'll be testing the kids on various TT skills, from ball-bouncing and rules questions (for the younger kids) to looping and counter-looping for the older and more advanced ones. This is the first time we've done this.
  • I set up the new computer I got from John Olsen and copied over all my files. Today I'm going to make the big transition from my current one to that one.
  • I responded to about a dozen emails asking table tennis questions, mostly coaching related.
  • I had a battle with, where they sell Dragon Speaking Naturally software. I decided to give it a try and ordered it last Friday morning. I paid extra to have it one-day UPS expressed, but it still hadn't arrived six days later. So I gave them a call. They explained that even though I'd paid extra for express shipping that didn't mean they'd ship it any sooner - just that it would ship faster once they got around to actually shipping it. They also admitted it still hadn't been shipped yet. They said it should go out "soon," and promised to send me a tracking number "within three business days." I wonder if Dragon Speaking Naturally software could translate what my thoughts were at this point?
  • I sent out 29 review copies of my novel Sorcerers in Space to possible reviewers. 15 were hard copies mailed at the post office, 14 were PDFs emailed.
  • The cover of Sorcerers in Space features a sorcerer's apprentice, but his lips are rather bright red and some thought it looked like he was wearing lipstick. So yesterday I opened the cover in Photoshop and slightly desaturated and lightened the lips, and sent the new version to the publisher. The new version should be up soon.
  • Got news that I'm now one of the 15 novels and 14 authors featured on the Science Fiction Writers of America website. (See box on lower right.) It's a rotating thing so you might have to hit reload a few times before I come up, both with my picture as an author on top, and the cover of "Sorcerers in Space" on the bottom. Or just click on the "More Member Authors" or "More Titles by Members" links and I come up with the others.
  • Since I had no coaching last night, I watched "Big Bang Theory" on TV, and then saw the new Hunger Games movie.
  • Oh, and I wrote my morning blog!

USATT Tips of the Day

USATT has been putting up as "Tips of the Day" the 171 Tips of the Week I wrote for them from 1999-2003 as "Dr. Ping-Pong." Here are the Tips they put up this past week. (Click on link for complete tip.) There are actually ten this time - I think the ones from Nov. 12-14 weren't up yet last Friday (Nov. 15) when I last put these up.

Nov 21, 2013 Tip of the Day - Improving a Level
What does it mean to move up a level in table tennis? I’d define two players to be on different levels if it would be a major upset if one defeated the other.
Nov 20, 2013 Tip of the Day - The Backhand Sidespin Push
You’re out of position, and your about to do a backhand chop to stay in the point.
Nov 19, 2013 Tip of the Day - The No-Spin Backhand Chop
You’re out of position, and your about to do a backhand chop to stay in the point.
Nov 18, 2013 Tip of the Day - The Quick Backhand Topspin Receive
One of the more effective ways to receive backspin serves to the backhand is with a right-off-the-bounce backhand topspin flip.

Nov 17, 2013 Tip of the Day - Playing With Everyday Objects
What could be more impressive than beating your non-table tennis friends and relatives very badly in table tennis? Beating them with ordinary household objects?

Nov 16, 2013 Tip of the Day - The Pre-Match Calm-Down
To play table tennis effectively, you need to have a calm, clear mind. How often have you actually played a tournament where you entered every match with a calm, clear mind?

Nov 15, 2013 Tip of the Day - Play the Middle Against Tall Players; Wide Angles Against Short Players
A tall player’s forehand and backhand shots are farther apart than a short player’s. So he is weaker in the middle area, where he has to decide whether to hit a forehand or backhand.

Nov 14, 2013 Tip of the Day - Play Against Conventional Wisdom
Conventional wisdom is usually correct that’s why it’s conventional. The problem is that if everyone follows conventional wisdom, opponents get used to it, and so become strong against what should give them trouble.

Nov 13, 2013 Tip of the Day - Playing Choppers
There is nothing more infuriating than losing to a patient chopper who lets you beat yourself with your own errors.
Nov 12, 2013 Tip of the Day - How to Play Against Hardbat
Let’s start out by realizing that if your opponent is using hardbat, and you are using sponge, you have an advantage. If it weren’t so, most players would be using hardbat!  

Positioning to Return a Smash

Here's the video from PingSkills (2:52).

22 Awesome Table Tennis Stamps

Here they are!

World Cadet Challenge

Here's a video (3:40) from the ITTF on " Table Tennis Future Stars - World Cadet Challenge | Faster Higher Stronger."

Top Ten Points

Here's a Top Ten Points video (6:11) from last year that I don't think I posted.

Outdoor Table Tennis

Here's a video documentary "Ralliers" (2:10) about outdoor table tennis in London.

Ma Long and Ball Collision

Here's a video (18 sec) showing Ma Long about to get smacked by a ball. Did it hit him in the face or did he manage to block it in time?

Ping-Pong Topiary Sculpture

Here it is, from China (of course)!

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Larry Hodges's picture

Re: November 22, 2013

I might not set up the new computer today after all, or do much of anything else (at least until tonight, when I'll be coaching). I've got a massive headache, which was the reason the blog was a little late today.