May 9, 2018

Today is "Larry's Gripes" Day!
Everyone should be allowed to air their gripes once a year. Here are mine.

  • Dealing with constant shoulder problems, though they seem to be getting better. I think I'll start an association, Union of Shoulder Recoverers (USA). Let's make USA #1!
  • Dealing with a certain USATT member who has wasted more USATT time and energy than anyone in the past ten years. I've spent 90 hours on this person's issues (others have spent far more), and am doing all I can to get out of the web of intrigue and accusations (and, unfortunately, nonsensical, time-wasting grievance cases) he makes on a semi-regular basis. 
  • Dealing with the daily requests for articles - or more specifically, the ones who don't understand that just because they preface their request by saying, "Larry, you are such a great writer!" doesn't mean I have the time or energy to write an article about anyone or anything that someone asks me to do - and why do I seem to owe this to so many people just because I'm supposed "such a great writer!"? (Okay, I like that last part.) The large majority of my table tennis articles are for my blog, a Tip of the Week, for USATT, Butterfly (my sponsor), my club (MDTTC), and upcoming books or novels. Seriously, when someone asks me to write an article, they are basically saying, "Larry, I want you to write my article because it's more important than the next chapter of your book." Remember, there are a lot of these requests, and only one of me. (USATT, Butterfly, and MDTTC are somewhat exempt from this.
  • Did I mention my shoulder problems?
  • Students who show up late for a class and thereby miss the opening lecture and demo. 
  • Those who have all the answers for USATT and assume no one else has thought of what they believe is the answer, or that it has already been tried in some way, nor are they normally willing to do the work needed to apply the idea, assuming USATT has the manpower to do so. (It doesn't.) Suggestions are great, but first do a little checking on the history of the idea - feel free to email me or someone else with a long table tennis history to see if it's been tried, and if so, how it was tried so you can see if there's perhaps a better way of doing it. Again, keep in mind that USATT has limited resources.
  • Lefty's with good backhands. Really, I never want to play them. They're evil. They have that wide angle into my forehand. Seriously, they are all Sith.
  • Phone calls out of the blue from people I don't know. I prefer email so I can deal with it between tasks, rather than interrupting whatever I'm doing - and I'm almost always doing something. I only give my phone number out to a select few, but somehow people find it. I think there's a TV reality show out there somewhere titled, "Find Larry's Phone Number and Call Him When He's Busy."
  • Parents who believe they know table tennis better than the coach. Fortunately, the great majority do not.
  • People who want me to do their research on things that they could easily Google. 
  • Gosh, I wish those shoulder problems would go away. Did I mention them? (But really, it's getting better.)
  • USA didn't win Men's or Women's Teams at the Worlds again??? Jeez, that's 69 years in a row. (We swept both in 1937 and won Women's Teams in 1949. Ah, the memories from those grand old days back in 1937 when we were #1 . . .)
  • People who read the previous item and literally thought I remember the 1937 Worlds and must be really, really old, like 100 or so.
  • Seriously, you didn't know that lefty's with good backhands are evil? Really, they are! That angle into the forehand, it's so unfair...

4 Mental Tricks: Pre-Match Preparation
Here's the article by Samson Dubina. Learn about the Nandan, Lily, Mike, and Roger Effects! Regarding the Lily Effect, I always seem to play my best when I'm down 8-10. So I'm always imagining that is the score, even at 0-0.

7 Losses in a Row – a Review of My League Season
Here's the article by Tom Lodziak.

Table Tennis Training Videos
Here are a series of training videos. Click on the arrow to see the next one. The commentary is in Chinese but you can learn by watching the technique.

Ping Pong Filipino Prodigy
Here's the video (10:38) from EmRatThich. "Watch 11-year-old table tennis sensation Aljay Villena, the best hope of Philippines for that elusive 1st Olympic gold medal."

Aerobic TT Rocks Halmstad
Here's the article.

Letter from the ITTF CEO
Here's his letter about the Worlds.

Halmoo the World Team Championships Mascot
Here's the moose with:

When Superheroes Use their Powers in Sports
Here's the video (3:18) - guess who plays table tennis? Go to 1:48 in the video to find out!

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