November 4, 2019

Tip of the Week
How to Push Extremely Heavy.

Weekend Coaching
In both the Thursday and Sunday Beginning Classes the focus was on footwork - forehand-forehand backhand-backhand, and forehand-backhand side-to-side. We also had a forehand-to-forehand competition - the Sunday winner got 153 in a row.

In the Saturday Junior League (which is half coaching, half matches), we did a lot of doubles practice, and then singles. One of our players spent much of the night working on attacking the opponents' middle, and had great success with it. On Sunday we had a camp tournament. I ran group three, with eight players - and the kids learned the importance of every game and match! There was a three-way tie for first, all 6-1, so it went to games, and each position was then decided by one game. There were also ties for 5-6 and 7-8, broken up by head-to-head.

After several were frustrated with their early matches, I told them the story of Tong Tong Gong. At age 11 or so, he was one of the youngest to make the Final 12 for the National Mini-Cadet Team Trials about ten years ago. (I was coaching his matches.) He was in a group of six, with the top two making the National Team. He was seeded last in the group and played the top seed in the first match. He led 10-8 all three games - and lost all three in deuce! He was inconsolable afterwards, and I pretty much thought it was over - not because of the loss, but because he seemed mentally gone. But then he listened to some music, calmed down - and went out and pulled off four upsets in a row to make the National Team!!!

2018 and 2019 USATT Strategic Meetings
Today is the one-year anniversary of the 2018 USATT Strategic meeting, held Nov. 3-4. I didn't go to it, but I did write a letter to the participants. They came up with the 2019-2024 Strategic Priorities. It was originally called the Strategic Plan, but I was on the board of directions at the time and strongly objected, since there was no actual plan, just a listing of priorities - and so they changed the name.

Anyway, nothing has come of it as of yet, but we'll see. As I argued at the board meeting afterwards, coming up with a bunch of "Priorities" is easy; creating and executing plans to reach them is the hard part. Just as in past such meetings, I thought they should have focused on creating such plans, not just come up with priorities and goals without any plans to reach them. (The counter-argument is that the plans will come later - but why bring all these "experts" together and not take advantage of their expertise in creating the needed plans?) They had a smaller Strategic Meeting a month or so ago, but I haven't yet seen the plan from that one, or know if they are creating plans to reach the Priorities from the year before or starting from scratch - we'll know soon! Here is my blog about the infamous 2009 Strategic meeting and why it, and previous ones, didn't accomplish anything because they always make the same mistakes. Normally they have these meetings about every five years or so.

US Open - Deadline Nov. 15
Here's the home page for the U.S. Open to be held in Ft. Worth, TX, Dec. 17-21. Final deadline to enter is Nov. 15. There are currently 630 entries - here's the listing, which you can sort by Name, Rating, or Event. (I've emailed them requesting that they add listing by Club and State.) This will be my 36th consecutive U.S. Open - I've been to every Open and Nationals since 1984 (and a few before that). I'm not playing, just coaching.

New Articles/Stories by Larry Hodges (hey, that's me!)
I had four very different articles come out this past week.  

Christmas Table Tennis Shopping
Here are some choices for table tennis books for table tennis players, and that most especially includes you!!! (C'mon, help out us starving table tennis writers.) I'll start with some of my own books. (Here is a listing of all 261 books I own on table tennis.)

Want Novels?

Want Biographical?

Want History?

Want to Play Better?

Serving Seminar
Here's the flyer for the Serving Seminar at the Maryland Table Tennis Center by Alex Chen Ruichao, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7-8:30PM. (I'll be assisting.)

ITTF Team World Cup
Here are links for the event taking place Nov. 6-10 in Tokyo.

ITTF World Rankings

Funding for USA Players Training for Olympics
Want to fund an Olympian Hopeful? Here are two funding pages that I know of. Let me know if there are others.

New from EmRatThich

The Business of Table Tennis
Here's the article by Coach Jon.

World Veterans Tour Event Shines in Sunny Florida
Here's the article by Michael Reff.

Ekholm to Bring International Prestige to Fort Worth
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington.

WAB Club Feature: Greater Vancouver Table Tennis Association
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

ITTF Feature Articles

India Close Second Behind China: McAfee
Here's the article featuring Richard McAfee in the Deccan Herald in India. "Hall of Fame table tennis coach Richard McAfee opined that India now has the infrastructure and the talent pool to become one of the top five teams in the world."

History of USATT - Volume 23 - Chapter 14
Here is Chapter 14 of Tim Boggan's History of U.S. Table Tennis, subtitled "Members Speak Up." (Page includes links to previous chapters.) Or you can buy it and previous (and future) volumes at Volume 23 is 491 pages with 1841 graphics, and covers all the wild things that happened in 1997-1999 - and I'm mentioned a lot! Why not buy a copy - or the entire set at a discount? Tim sells them directly, so when you order them, you get it autographed - order your copy now!

Chinese National Women's Team vs The USA Men's Team - TOP 10
Here's the video (2:52).

DHS Top 10 Points | 2019 ITTF German Open
Here's the ITTF video (5:54).

85-Year-Old Table Tennis Player vs. World Number 1
Here's the video (39 sec) as USATT Hall of Famer and 1971 Ping-Pong Diplomacy Team Member George Brathwaite takes on world #1 Xu Xin of China.

Roma Ping Pong Fest: TTX comes to Rome!
Here's the ITTF video (1:21).

Adam in China
Here's the video (10:09), featuring Adam Bobrow.

Crazy Backhand Around Net Sidespins
Here's the video (12 sec) - with multiball!

Amazing Hand Switch Shot
Here's the video (37 sec)!

Eight Racket Smackdown
Here's the video (25 sec)! (Technically there are nine rackets.)

Lola Marsh - Only for a Moment
Here's the table tennis music video (60 sec)! It starts slow but gets better and better with the table tennis antics. 

Xing Xong
Here's the video (6:07) from Pongfinity! (This went up a few hours late, so I might relink it next week.)

Table Tennis Halloween Pong

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