November 3, 2017

Moving and Table Tennis
Once again I’ve run into the interesting fact that some players have better shots when they move, especially when moving to the wide forehand. I blogged about this on Sept. 22, where we discovered that Todd’s shots were much better when he did footwork.

Yesterday I coached a new player, Ron, and it happened again. He was an experienced tennis player but new to table tennis. His forehand was decent, but often a bit cramped, with the racket too close to the body, and the tip often tilted slightly up. We worked on this for a while, and then I noticed something. Whenever I went a little wider to this forehand, he’s reach out and hit a perfect forehand! He’d extend the arm so it wasn’t cramped, and the tip would drop down to where it should be. Often his shot would be very wide to my forehand, which was very obvious because, due to my ongoing shoulder problems, I can’t really extend my arm and so have less reach going that way.

I pointed this out to him, and had him shadow practice that “moving” forehand until he could do it (without the ball) from other parts of the table. Then we went back to hitting, and the stroke was much better.

When my shoulder is healthy, I’ve had the same experience. During my peak years it was very difficult for players to win the point going to my wide forehand as I covered that very well. (I was a bit weaker when they went very wide to my backhand, but that’s another story.) Part of the reason I covered it well was because I’d go into the shot (when hitting or looping) with my shoulders rotated back and arm extended, and so could rotate into the shot, giving the shot power.

Another reason players often have better strokes when moving is that the very act of moving helps them focus on moving into position for the shot. When they don’t have to move much, they tend to just stand there, and reach for the ball on shots where a short step would put them in perfect position.

Belgium Open
Here’s the home page for the event in De Haan, Bel, Oct. 31 – Nov. 4. As of Friday morning, they are into the final 16 in Men’s and Women’s Singles.

U.S. Open Deadline
The final deadline for entering the U.S. Open is Nov. 10, which is next Friday. What are you waiting for??? (Here’s the current list of players and by event. They should easily top 700.)

New York Takes Next Step in Coach Education
Here’s the ITTF article on the ITTF Level 2 course run in New York by Richard McAfee.

ITTF Eyes North American Market
Here’s the ITTF article. “Table tennis could soon be making waves in the biggest sporting market in the world.”

Forehand Loop Advanced Skill Development
Here’s the article, with links to numerous videos, by Brian Pace from Triangle Table Tennis. 

New from EmRatThich
Here are two new articles/videos.

400 Coaching Articles
Here’s the listing of these articles by Samson Dubina.

8 Common Table Tennis Injuries and How to Avoid Them
Here’s the article from Ping Pong Passion.

ITTF Shakes up the Rankings
Here’s the article by Steve Hopkins. (I blogged yesterday about the new world rankings.)

Football vs. Table Tennis – Which Sport is Harder?
Here’s the article from Eli Baraty from Coach Me Table Tennis. Note – what he calls football we in the U.S. for some weird reason call soccer.

Jump Rope & Multi Ball
Here’s the video (1:38) where Larry Bavly test which can be done longer. It’s not really a fair test, however, as his table tennis muscles are far more developed than his jump rope ones, and so of course multiball training is “easier” for him. Plus you can always increase the pace of the multiball and exhaust him far more quickly. (Here’s his description and discussion at

2017 Butterfly Badger Open – Video Interview with Bowen Chen
Here’s the video (2 min) by Barbara Wei. (This was from September, but just went online.)

Arsenal Keeper Petr Cech's Unique Table Tennis Robot Training Workout
Here’s the video (48 sec), and here’s the article on it from ESPNFC. He’s a goalkeeper for the football team Arsenal – yeah, once again that’s soccer to Americans.

Slow Motion Table Tennis! Did You Know How Much Spin There Is?
Here’s the video (1:36) from Scott “ThePingPongMan” Preiss and Keenan Southall.

Ma Long Training at World Cup 2017
Here’s the video (9:08).

Xu Xin - The Cloud Walker Signature Shots
Here’s the video (8:39).

Back from the World Cups. Let's Chat.
Here’s the video (64 min) from Adam Bobrow, the Voice of Table Tennis. (Lots of comments underneath.)

Balding Ping-Pong Boy
Here are the cartoon images. Here’s where you can get the original from Shutterstock.

Zombie Pong

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Re: November 3, 2017

Probably one reason why moving shots are better is because it is possible to redirect the momentum of movement from the body into the arm as the body halts.

Larry Hodges's picture

Re: November 3, 2017

Good point.