November 10, 2017

Call for Nominations - Annual USATT Coach of the Year Awards
Here’s the info page. There are five categories:

Coaches can’t nominate themselves – so why not nominate some deserving coach from your club? See info on each category, linked above. Deadline is Jan. 1, 2018.

Here’s the listing of past winners. Last year’s winners in the five categories were Stefan Feth (pictured on the news item), Tao Wenzhang, Samson Dubina, Joe Ciarrochi, and Gary Fraiman. The Coach of the Year program started in 1996 with just two categories. We’re considering adding more next year – for example, we might separate those who train athletes directly (i.e. act as practice partners as well as coaches) from those who run the training sessions or coach matches in big tournaments. It’s a tricky distinction.

I’m on the Selection Committee as the USATT Coaching Chair. That’s bad – really bad – it means I can’t win this year! (Just kidding.) I’ve won twice before, and had a stretch in the 1990s where I was runner-up for Coach of the Year three years in a row. Others on the Selection Committee are Joerg Bitzigeio, USATT High Performance Director; Carl Danner, Chair, USATT High Performance Committee; and Tara Profitt, Chair, Athletes Advisory Council.

My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard
Here’s the book, with perhaps the best cover of any table tennis book. It’s book #9 in the “Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever” series, published in 2005, and written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver. (Yes, the Henry Winkler who starred as Fonzie in “Happy Days and other movies and TV shows.”) It’s a kid’s book for roughly ages 8-12, but I think I’m going to read it. I thought I had a copy but can’t find it, so I just ordered a copy. Here’s the book description:

Hank thought that getting through summer school to get to the fifth grade would be hard enough, but little did he know that it would get worse! Everyone in the fifth grade is starting to focus on a sport—and they’re really good. Everyone, that is, except Hank. When Papa Pete suggests that Hank take up Ping-Pong, he decides to give it a try but keeps it top secret, as he thinks the other kids will tease him about it not being a "real" sport. Hank is so good that he manages to Ping-Pong his way to the championship! But when he finds out the contest is being held at "Nick the Tick" McKelty’s family bowling alley, will he risk being the laughingstock of the fifth grade?

Seamaster German Open
Here’s the home page for the event. It’s in Magdeburg, GER, Nov. 7-12. Here’s a feature article: Once again lightning strikes, once again Japanese teenagers beat World champions.

New Articles from Samson Dubina

One Year In – Lessons for the Beginning Table Tennis Player
Here’s the article from Epic Table Tennis.

The Birth of Modern Table Tennis?
Here’s the posting and discussion of this at the forum. The argument is made, with video, that Stellan Bengtsson was the player “who did the most to revolutionize table tennis and create the modern game.”

Ionescu Excited for Bundesliga's American Debut
Here’s the USATT article on the German professional league match to take place at the North American Teams. 

Five New ITTF Posts Offered for Forward Thinking Initiatives
Here’s the ITTF news item. Deadline to apply is Nov. 30. The positions are:

  • ITTF Development Manager
  • ITTF High Performance and Development Administrative Specialist
  • ITTF Africa Development Manager
  • ITTF Para Table Tennis Manager
  • ITTF Equipment Manager

The New ITTF Ranking System Explained
Here’s the podcast (30:42) from PingSkills.

Successful Start for Second Part of Sri Lanka Initiative
Here’s the ITTF article featuring Richard McAfee.

Guangdong Steps Up on Home Ground in Shenzhen
Here’s the article from MH Table Tennis (Matt Hetherington). “The Guangdong Team prepared for an epic showdown on November the 4th as they stood before their home crowd against a difficult opposition. Led by Coach and Chinese legend Guo Yuehua along with Chinese National Team member Hao Shuai, the Guangdong team would face off with Shandong Luneng, a team of formidable opposition.”

Reviewing My First USATT Tournament
Here’s the article with link to video (3:16) by José Miguel Montoro.

Chinese Superstar Zhang Jike is Back!
Here’s the video (35 sec) from the German Open.

Two-Table Multiball Training
Here’s the video (28 sec).

Simon GAUZY vs Masataka MORIZONO (Bundesliga 2017/2018)
Here’s the video (4:41).

Krish Avvari in Training
Here’s the video (21 sec) of USA Junior Team Member Krish Avvari training with Coach Dan Liu at ICC. They are working on opening attacks against half-long backspin (i.e. barely off the end). Krish has just returned from an ankle injury that kept him out for nearly a month.

Classic Table Tennis, 1930s-1950s
Here’s the video (6:30), featuring classic hardbat play, set to old-time music.

Alien Table Tennis

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