May 21, 2015


That’s what time it is as I write this. (I posted it at 5:22AM; it normally goes up between 9AM and 10AM.) No, I didn’t get up early; I’ve been up all night working on various projects. I’m going to go ahead and post this shortly before going to bed. So what have I been working on tonight?

  • Samson Dubina’s new coaching book. Get ready to mark your calendars: it’s coming soon!
  • This blog, a little shorter than usual as I’m a bit too tired to have deep thoughts right now.
  • Regional Table Tennis Association Sample Bylaws. But I won’t be going public with much of my work on regional associations and related issues until this fall. (I’ll be pretty busy all summer due to our summer camps, which start in a few weeks.)
  • US Open plans. Are you going? C’mon, you have to!!!
  • Top secret discussions regarding the serving rule, which could lead to a better service rule where players don’t hide their serves, leading to peace on earth, the destruction of ISIS, and banana splits for all. I’d explain more but it’s TOP SECRET!!! Shhh.

Arm Problems Non-Problems

Yesterday I did my first private coaching in ten days, due to the arm problems. I blogged yesterday about the new arm brace; it's working great. I was able to do an entire hour without any serious problems. I still can't smash lobs at full power or backhand smash, and I have to go a bit easy on my loops and serves, but overall, it's a miracle. The arm is still injured, and yet I can coach with the arm brace protecting it from further injury. I wonder how many others are out there with arm problems that would be basically fixed by these braces?

The Spirit of Pong

Have you bought a copy yet of The Spirit of Pong, my new table tennis fantasy novel? Yes, you, the one reading this! Well, if you haven’t – and I can see that you haven’t – then march on down to Amazon and buy one!!!

This is my fantasy table tennis novel about an American who goes to China to learn the secrets of table tennis, and ends up training with and learning from the spirits of past greats. It's in two formats, Print and Kindle, both on sale from Amazon. (Here’s my Amazon Page where you can see and buy all of my books.) I've kept the price low - only $6.99 for print, $5.99 for kindle. It’s relatively short, exactly 100 pages. Here's the description from the back cover:

Andy “Shoes” Blue wants to be a table tennis champion, but he’s just another wannabe American. And so he goes to China to learn the secrets of table tennis. He is trained by the mysterious Coach Wang, and begins an odyssey where he learns the secrets of table tennis from the spirits of Ichiro Ogimura (who helped spawn China’s greatness) and Rong Guotuan (China’s first world champion in 1959, whose tragic story Andy must relive), and must face the mysterious “Dragon.” Can he overcome treachery and learn the final secret of table tennis in time to defeat his ultimate nemesis?

Senior Moment

Last night I had my first "senior" moment, at age 55. I used to drink too much Mountain Dew. I finally set a rule that I could only drink one 6.5 oz can per day, other than at movies or when traveling. After coaching yesterday I decided to have my daily Mountain Dew while watching the news. I grabbed one from my pantry to replace the cold one I'd get from the refrigerator. After getting the cold one, I looked around, but couldn't find the one from the pantry. I checked around the refrigerator, the pantry, and everywhere in between. Then I went back to the refrigerator and tried to figure out where it was. That's when I noticed I'd been carrying it in my left hand the entire time. (In my defense, even as I was looking for the missing can my mind was on about twenty other things, mostly involving USATT and MDTTC, with a touch of SFWA.)

Serving Tips

Here’s the new coaching article by Han Xiao.

USATT Insider

Here’s the new issue of USATT Insider, which comes out every Wednesday morning.

Amazing Rally

Here’s the video (46 sec).

Potomac Open

Here are results, photos, and video from the Potomac Open, held this past weekend here in Maryland.

Boston Sports Stars Team Up for Ninko’s Ping Pong Challenge

Here’s the article.

“That Cat is Spooky!”

Here’s the ghostly cartoon.

Send us your own coaching news!

Re: May 21, 2015

If tennis elbow is what you have, the arm band is only a band-aid solution.  It won't permanently fix the problem.  I wore an arm band for 6 months with no improvement.  You should look into doing exercises using the TheraBand FlexBar.  It fixed my tennis elbow problem in about 8 weeks.  YMMV.
  More info can be found here:

The TheraBand FlexBar is inexpensive.  I found the red one on Amazon for under $15.

Larry Hodges's picture

Re: May 21, 2015

I'm also undergoing ultrasound treatment. When I meet with the therapist for that I'm supposed to ask about other exercises to fix the problem. 

Larry Hodges's picture

Re: May 21, 2015

Addendum - since they only cost about $14, I just ordered the TheraBand FlexBar from Amazon.