September 27, 2021

Tip of the Week
Forehand Push for Playing Choppers.

Weekend Coaching
As always, active feet was a priority in the sessions over the weekend. Another emphasis was forehand attacking from all parts of the table. This was fun for me since, during my active playing career, I started off most rallies as an all-out forehand attacker. The key is balance and recovery. So often a player can't get to a ball, and yells, out, "I'm too slow!" No, they weren't too slow - they were off balanced from the previous shot, or didn't recover as part of their follow-through, and so had little chance on the next shot. Another emphasis, repeated from last week, was serving low - I'm really trying to create a club of net-grazing servers.

In an intermediate group session, when they played points, I kept calling out when a player had great ball placement, or when they did not. Many of them are starting to get into their heads that nearly every ball should go to the wide corners or the opponent's elbow. There were two back-to-back points that emphasized this. One player serve and smashed to the opponent's middle forehand, where the other kid was standing and waiting, and counter-hit a winner. Poor placement!!! The very next point the smash went to the middle, and the opponent couldn't even get his racket on it. Great placement!!!

I'm continuing to prepare for 18 days in Cuenca, Ecuador, Oct. 10-28. We had a 95-minute Zoom meeting on Friday on the trip, with 22 participants. (Actually more, since some parents and players shared their link.)

Originally I was only going down from Oct. 14-28. However, it turns out ITTF is running a Hopes (Under 12) camp and tournament, Oct. 11-16. USATT is sending out top rated 11-year-old boy (Ryan Lin, 2121) and girl (Mandy Yu, 2017), and I was asked if I could go down as their coach. I've worked with Ryan for years, starting five years ago when he started in my beginning table tennis class, and coach him regularly at tournaments and group sessions. I didn't really know Mandy or her game, but her parents sent me videos, and I'm now an "expert" on her game! (I took notes.)

Right after the Hopes Camp is the ITTF Pan Am Youth Championships for Under 13 and Under 11, Oct. 18-24. Our 16 players are going down early to practice three days to get used to the 8400 foot altitude, a major concern. So the 16 players, ~18 parents, 4 coaches, and team leader will arrive on Oct. 14. Immediately after that event is the ITTF Youth Contender, Oct. 25-27, where I'll be coaching Stanley Hsu and Mu Du, both from my club. And then I fly home!

Mount Rushmores of Table Tennis
Who are the four best players of all time? I thought about that recently, and realized you really had to divide it into four groups, men and women, hardbat and sponge. After some browsing on the list of World Champions, here's my list. Some of these choices were relatively easy, such as Men's Hardbat. Others were difficult. For example, for Men's Sponge, Zhuang Zedong won Men's Singles three times in a row - but later a number of people came forward and said that Li Furong, runner-up all three times, was ordered to dump. And there are others that could be on that list, such as Zhang Jike, Jiang Jialiang, and Ichiro Ogimura. And it was painful leaving off USA's Ruth Aarons (2-time World Singles Champion) from Women's Hardbat. But to add one of these, you have to take someone off!

  • Men's Sponge: Ma Long, Jan-Ove Waldner, Guo Yue-Hua, Wang Liqin
  • Women's Sponge: Deng Yaping, Wang Nan, Ding Ning, Zhang Yining
  • Men's Hardbat: Viktor Barna, Richard Bergmann, Bohumil Váňa, Johnny Leach
  • Women's Hardbat: Angelica Rozeanu, Mária Mednyánszky, Gizella Farkas, Gertrude Pritzi

Here's the USATT audit report from June 18, 2021. I don't remember seeing this before, but someone posted a link to it this morning at the forum (see 14th post). The report is linked from the USOPC's NGB Audit page - scroll down and click on "NGB Audit Reports," and five reports come up. (The others are USA Archery, Climbing, Field Hockey, and Judo.) USATT normally posts these on the USATT Financial Reports page - if you scroll down, you'll see the audits from 2005-2019. However, they have not posted the reports for 2020 or 2021, even though USOPC has already posted the 2021 audit. Someone had already sent me the link to the report yesterday, but I haven't had a chance to really go over it, but it does look like USATT has some things to fix. If someone puts together a thoughtful analysis of this, I'll probably link to it. Or USATT could post a report on how they are addressing these issues. (The due date for most of the things USOPC is asking for is Oct. 4, Monday.) 

Late Gyuanese Table Tennis Champion George Braithwaite to Be Honored
Here's the article. "The George Braithwaite Table Tennis Court will be unveiled at Capobianco Field, Roosevelt Island during the late sportsman’s Ping Pong Diplomacy Commemoration on Saturday, Oct. 23."

The Around-the-Net Shot Tutorial
Here's the video (9:30) from Adam Bobrow!

New from Samson Dubina

New from Ti Long

New from the Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

5 Bad Mistakes in Reverse Pendulum Serve
Here's the video (7:41) from Eddy Zeile from the Dublin TTC.

How to Lob Like a Pro (in 4 Steps)
Here's the article from Alex Horscroft at Expert Table Tennis. (This went up on Sept. 9, but since the reorganized their page, I somehow missed it.)

Stroke Chemistry & Footwork Drill #2
Here's the video (62 sec) with Gabriel Perez.

New from Edges and Nets
Here's their page. They have ten new articles, covering the Chinese National Games and the WTT Contender in Doha.

A Different Perspective On Table Tennis at Jon’s Table Tennis Training
Here's the video (5:27) from Coach Jon.

Rachel Yang Interview
Here's the video (4:39), interview by Sally Moyland.

Tournament Highlights With Nandan Naresh
Here's the video (2:10).

USA Table Tennis Team Takes Home a Big Medal Haul from 2021 Pan Am Youth Championships
Here's the USATT article.

Table Tennis: A Breaking Method
Here's the new book by Oscar Roitman. (Kindle only - I already ordered my copy!) "Oscar Roitman gives us an approach of a new way of teaching table tennis and throughout this book - which used a very didactical and clear narrative - he describes the teaching process of Table Tennis through up to day pedagogical and methodological tools. The foundation of all these tools are the author's own experiences as a table tennis player and as a coach."

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

New from Steve Hopkins


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

Americans Champs at Pingpong Table, Not So Much Ryder Cup
Here's the article from USA Today - which went up before Team USA won the Ryder Cup over Europe, 19-9. The article is about how the best USA golfers are highly competitive among themselves in table tennis, with many of them bringing their own rackets. Golf/table tennis players in the article include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Daniel Berger.

Party on the Plaza
Here's the picture from the Colorado Gazette. "Bernie, mascot of the Colorado Avalanche, and Miles, mascot of the Denver Broncos, helped kick off the ping pong tournament that was part of Party on the Plaza."

Tongue Pong?
Here's the video (58 sec)!

Ping Pong: Spider-Man vs. Ant-Man
Here's the video (18 sec)! Of course, Ant-Man is no stranger to ping-pong - in the Marvel movie Ant-Man, at 1:33:40, he swats the evil enemy Yellowjacket with a ping-pong paddle!

Non-Table Tennis - Capclave Science Fiction Convention
This next weekend is the Capclave SF Convention in Rockville, MD. As with most years, I'm a panelist, plus I'll be doing a reading at 7PM on Friday night, right after my 6PM panel. Here's my schedule and my Capclave Bio. (See the table tennis quote in my bio!) I'll also be in the mass author signing at 8PM on Saturday night. Saturday is going to be tricky - I'll be in a panel at 11AM for an hour, then drive to MDTTC (25 minutes) to coach from 1-4PM, then back to the convention for a 7PM panel and then the mass signing. (Regarding readings, they have erratic attendance - sometimes there's a roomful, other times nobody shows. The most awkward is when one person shows up!)

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