February 18, 2014

Adult vs. Junior Classes

Last night was the first session of the new beginning/intermediate class I'm teaching at MDTTC, Mondays from 6:30-8:00PM. (Here's the flyer.) The class is for beginners up to roughly 1500 level. We had eleven in the class, but one apparently dropped out and another had to miss the first session, but emailed that he'd be there next week. John Hsu, an ITTF certified coach, assisted.

There's a huge difference between teaching adults and teaching kids. Adults have more patience, and so you can lecture and demo a lot longer, and they have lots of questions. Do that with kids and you get a lot of impatient kids. Kids rarely ask questions other than ones like "Are you almost done?" or "When's break?" Working with kids is fun, and you can develop top players from them, but teaching adults is often more interesting because you can go more in depth on each topic. There were lots and lots of insightful questions. Let's face it, I could talk two hours non-stop on any table tennis topic, so I have to restrain myself!

We covered four things in the first session. First was the grip. I went over what a neutral grip is and why players should use it while developing their strokes. (I wrote about this in this Tip of the Week, Should You Use a Neutral Grip?) Then I went into proper ready position, as well as the relationship between the two. (I wrote about this in another Tip of the Week, Feet and Grip. A related Tip is Use a Wider Stance.)

Then we went into the forehand drive. John and I demoed it, and then I went over the basics of the shot. Then the players went out on the table and practiced.

The final thing covered was serving and spin. First I went over the rules. Then I showed and explained how to get great spin on a serve. Part of this included using soccer-colored balls so you can see the spin, and having the players toss the ball up and spin it off their racket and catch it so they could work on grazing the ball, making it spin, and controlling the direction of the ball when spinning it. (I explain all this in this blog entry - see second segment.) Then it was off to the tables again to practice.

At the end of the class I demoed some serves, and nobody wanted to go. So I spent an extra ten minutes letting them take turns trying to return my serves while I threw all sorts of variations at them.

Next week we do some more forehand practice, and then cover the backhand drive, side-to-side footwork, and deception on serves.

ITTF Level Three Coaching Course in Trinidad and Tobago

Here's the ITTF article on the course, to be taught by USATT coach Richard McAfee.

Western Open Results

Here they are. (Set dropdown menu for Western Open, held this past weekend in Berkeley, CA.) Here are photos of the winners of each event.

Elite Multiball Training

Here's video (25 sec) of some multiball training at the Lily Yip Center in New Jersey.

Ma Lin's Touch

Here's 16 seconds of Ma Lin alternating dropping balls short and backhand flipping.

Top Ten Shots from the Kuwait Open

Here's the video (4:08) from the Kuwait Open held this past weekend.

Eleven Curious Facts about Zhang Jike

Here they are! (Did you know he was a championships high jumper?)

Ten Reasons You Should Start Playing Table Tennis

Here they are!

Happiness is…

Here's the cartoon.

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