April 1, 2017

Tip of the Week
Coaching Tournament Matches.

How The Swedes Will Beat the Chinese Again
Ake Waldner visited MDTTC this past Saturday, spending the day watching our
players train. He is the brother of former Swedish superstar Jan-Ove Waldner, and was
recently named Head Coach of the Swedish National Men’s Team. Our players had some
interesting questions, of course. Sweden had battled with China for decades, with such
legendary players as Bengtsson, Persson, Appelgren, and of course Waldner.

First question, of course, was rather straightforward – how could Sweden, USA,
or any other team possibly beat China? I’ve always argued that if we use the same
orthodox techniques that make the Chinese so good, we’ll always be just a pale
likeness, with no chance of matching them.

Ake agreed with me! And it turns out the Swedes are working on new techniques,
practicing things that might allow them to beat the Chinese. Serve, receive, and
rallies – you have to win at all three, Ake said. The Swedish team had bought
into the new concepts, and have spent many countless hours preparing for their
likely showdown with the Chinese at the upcoming World Championships.

First, they’ve developed a revolutionary new serving technique. Ake demonstrated
over and over his ability to serve on the edge. He’d stand in his backhand side,
open his racket, and just tap the ball down the line. The ball would hit the edge and
lurch to the side, unreturnable unless you basically lobbed it up, an easy smash.

As if that weren’t enough, they had also developed new receive techniques,
pushing short balls back with a soft touch so they’d just teeter on the net, and then
roll over, unreturnable. The Chinese rely on these short serves to set up their crazy,
insane attacks. Now they’d be forced to serve long, and the Swedes would easily
loop those serves in for winners.

Finally, Ake showed me what they were doing to win actual rallies. The ITTF
ordained a few years ago that “unintentional” double-hits were now legal, though
of course there’s no way of judging that. The Swedish players had, amazingly,
learned to do double hits off their knuckles – crazy, unreturnable shots!

Anyway, we learned a lot from Ake Waldner during his day-long stay. He even
played a little with our very best juniors, though of course none of them were
ready for this non-stop barrage of edges, net dribbles, and double-hits. Basically,
it was a slaughter! I actually feel sort of sorry for the Chinese now – it’s too
late for them to copy these techniques or learn to play against them.

For what it’s worth, I think these new techniques will ruin the game. Isn’t the
object of the game is to win on real skill, not with silly tricks? Maybe I’m just
old-fashioned, and maybe this is the future of our sport. If it is, then I’m
likely to quit coaching. It just isn’t the same.

4-Star Cary Cup
It was held this past weekend in North Carolina. Here are links and two articles by Barbara Wei.  

Tom's Table Tennis Newsletter
Here’s the new issue, with links to numerous coaching articles.

Forehand Technique for Beginners – Drive and Push
Here’s the article with links to video, from PingPoolShark.

Table Tennis Training: Ma Long Forehand Loop Against Heavy Backspin
Here’s the video (3:36). (Note – I put this up on Friday a few hours after I’d put up the blog, so I’m putting it up again here.)

Backhand Topspin Against Backspin: Ma Long Technique
Here’s the video (2:08).

New York Ignites World Table Tennis Day
Here’s the ITTF article, which features Kanak Jha, Tahl Leibovitz, ITTF President Thomas Weikert, and ITTF Director of Development Leandro Olvech.

Liu Guoliang Speaks Out on Liebherr World Championships Selections
Here’s the ITTF article.

2017 US Hopes Camp at ICC
Here’s the article and links.

College Table Tennis

2017 Butterfly Arnold Table Tennis Challenge - Jishan Liang Interview
Here’s the video (3:01).

Some Great Table Tennis Points
Here’s the highlights video (8:40).

“Table Tennis is playing chess while running a 100 meter Sprint”
Here’s the highlights music video (4:11).

Sidespin Through the Toilet Paper Tube
Here’s the video (25 sec)!

Multiball Gun Pong
Here’s the video (6 sec)!

Danny Williams Gets Hustled by Ping Pong Ringer
Here’s the article and video (1:51).

April Fools’ Jokes
These all came out on Saturday, April 1. Alas, I don’t blog on Saturdays, so I was unable to do an April Fools’ joke myself. April Fools!

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