September 20, 2021

Tip of the Week
A Good Warm-up.

Weekend Coaching
It was a busy three-day weekend for me - it looks like I'll be doing group sessions every week on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. The 51 kids in the Maryland TTC junior program are divided into four groups. I work with Group 1 ("Select," 15 kids from about 1800 to 2350, ages mostly from 11-15) in all three of their weekly sessions; once a week with Group 2 ("Progress"); and with Group 4 ("Novice") in their one weekly session. Other coaches/practice partners include head junior coach Wang Qingliang; Cheng Yinghua; Jack Huang; Lidney Castro; John Hsu; Nathan Hsu; Matt Hetherington; and Greg Mascialiano. For their age, there are some really strong players in Group 1, including the #1, #3, and #5 in 12 and Under, and the top two in 11 and Under. They include (with apologies to those not listed - too many of you!):

  • Stanley Hsu (12, 2330), #1 in 12 and Under, #2 in 13 and Under Boys
  • Ryan Lin (11, 2121), #1 in 11 and Under, #3 in 12 and Under Boys
  • Winston Wu (11, 2027), #2 in 11 and Under, #5 in 12 and Under Boys
  • Riley Yang (10, 1790), #5 in 10 and Under, #7 in 11 and Under Boys
  • Mu Du (13, 2186) #8 in 13 and Under Boys
  • James Zhang (14, 2196), #15 in 14 and Under Boys
  • Ryan Lee (14, 2125), #20 in 14 and Under Boys

With the elite players, my focus is generally on footwork and positioning, placement, consistency, serve, and receive. I spent an inordinate amount of time just watching their feet; a good coach gets to know everyone's footwear. Several players still lean too often instead of moving to the ball, so that's something we're working on. I also worked a lot with players on serving low, a common problem that many never recognize. (Many players, even strong ones, think they serve low enough, but they are not really.) The key isn't just making the ball cross the net low (though that's important); it's also making it bounce low, which isn't quite the same thing. (See link on serving low above.) I demoed this a number of times.

With the novice group, the focus is on fundamentals. It's mostly multiball, often two at a time (a player on each corner, and I rapid feed to both sides); other times one does the multiball and the others line up behind, shadow-practicing (i.e. mimicking the motions of the player doing the multiball, as if they were actually hitting the ball). You'll note from the bulleted list above that, currently, we don't really have many high-ranked girls in our "elite" group. However, at the advanced beginning level, we are packed with up-and-coming girls - it's a wave that's going to hit the tournament world in about two years!!!

US Open
Here's the page for the event, to be held Dec. 17-22 in Las Vegas. The entry form ("Prospective") went up a few days ago, along with a link to Omnipong for entering online. As usual, I'll be there coaching. I've been to every US Open and US Nationals starting in 1984 (and a few before that). I've also been to the US/North American Teams (they changed names in 1998) every year starting in 1976, my first year!

USATT Announces 2021 ITTF Pan Am Youth Championship U13 and U11 Teams
Here's the news item. (This went up after I put up my blog last week, so I added it there late. Hope you enjoy my humorous quip!) Here's the ITTF page on the event, where you can see both the listings of players from each country and the doubles pairings. (Team pairings will likely go up soon - they will be the same as the doubles pairings in most cases, though not all.) I have my flights - I'll be in Ecuador Oct. 14-28. We have a big group - at last count, 16 players, 1 team leader, 4 coaches, and 17 parents. I'll be coaching the Under 13 Boys' Team - Stanley Hsu (2330), Mu Du (2186), He Xianyao (2208), and Krish Gandhi (2268). I'm looking forward to working with all of them!

Support Your Local Table Tennis Coaches and Writers!
This is my periodic note about my books - if you don't buy them, then you can't read them!!! (Well, you could borrow them from someone else who bought them.) Here's where you can find out about all 17 of my books, including 9 on table tennis:

But I'm not the only coach with books. Here are other active USA coaches with table tennis books you should add to your library.

=>Dan Seemiller

=>Samson Dubina

=>Dora Kurimay

=>Richard McAfee: Table Tennis: Steps to Success (the successor to my book of the same title)

=>Tahl Leibovitz: Ping Pong for Fighters

ITTF Pan American Youth Championships (U19 & U15)
Here's the ITTF page for the event that took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sept. 12-18, with complete schedule, draws, results, and articles. USA won a bunch of medals, winning 8 of the 15 events! (Here's the USATT News Item on it, which went up on Thursday, Sept. 23.) Here are some articles

Houston Ready for Successful World Championships
Here's the ITTF news item.

Forehand Loop Sequence
Here's the video (1:57) from Jishan Liang

Ball Placement Secret Tips! and More!
Here's the video (10:59) from Seth Pech. "In this episode of how I practice I talk about Ball Placement and how it can be the difference maker! I also talk about movements and increasing spin on shots."

Precision Placement Multiball Drill
Here's the video (26 sec) from eBaTT. "To elevate your game you must be able to not only place the ball in different location but change location within split seconds."

Serve Like a Pro
Here's the video (3:05) from PingPonged TV, with four tips from Spanish Olympian Maria Xiao.

Short Pips Forehand or Short Pips Backhand
Here's the video (5:03) from Coach Jon.

Parkinson's Symptoms Fighting with Table Tennis
Here's the video (3:37) from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis.

New from Samson Dubina

New from Ti Long

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

New from Steve Hopkins

Ping Pong for Good
Here's the page for this site, "a movement for brain health." (JOOLA just announced a partnership with them - here's their news item.) Their objectives:

  • Making playing ping pong accessible to all, anytime, anywhere, intergenerationally.
  • Ping Pong Therapy in physical therapy offices, rehabilitation centers & assisted living facilities.
  • Ping Pong Fitness activated in schools, gyms & community centers
  • Support Clinical Research to develop more protocols for treatment and widespread adaption

Mastering Your Own Game: Meet Nenad B. of Ping Pong Parkinson
Here's the article. "There’s magic in a spinning [ping pong] ball. It's so addictive. When you're playing, you're completely focused. Nothing else matters."

Here's their news pagevideo page ("World Table Tennis") and home page.

China National Games Table Tennis Commences
Here's the article from Edges and Nets.

New from the Malong Fanmade Channel
Lots of new videos here.

Top 20 Table Tennis Comebacks
Here's the video (29:53) from Table Tennis Report.

Ping Pong Champion and Other Table Tennis Shirts
Here's the page from Teenavi! (I'm toying with getting "Ping-Pong Because Murder is Wrong," but someone will take that the wrong way.)

Crazy French Table Tennis Cartoon
Here it is! I'm told the words on the left are, "It's hard to believe! Even with a robot he is rubbish!!!", and on the left, "Help meeeeeeeee!!!…" (Here's the non-Facebook version.) I love how people are hiding or diving behind tables and barriers, and the person with the umbrella!

Best Ping Pong Game Ever
Here's the video (3:32) - Table Tennis Tic-Tac-Toe from Pongfinity!

Cat Forehands
Here's the video (10 sec) - he's two for two!!! Note the relaxed ready position, how he moves to the ball, and how he does a perfect weight transfer as he rotates into the shot, with a strong follow-through. There's nothing I can teach this cat.

Moment of Victory
Here's the video (14 sec) from the Fremont TTC as one kid knocks off the cup and wins it for the team. Make sure to have the volume turned up! (That's Shashin Shodhan feeding the winning shot.)

Send us your own coaching news!