November 8, 2021

Tip of the Week
Relentlessly Reliable Receives with Systematic Practice.

Weekend Coaching and Upcoming Schedule
It almost didn't happen. On Thursday I took the Pfizer booster shot. Alas, I was one of the small minority to have a bad reaction to it. I spent much of Thursday night shaking in bed, feeling like I was freezing to death and nauseous. It wasn't helped that the heating in my house had broken down and the temperature dropped to around 50 degrees inside! On Friday, I was still nauseous and could only eat cream of wheat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (But I got the heating problem fixed.) By Saturday I was still a bit weak and slightly nauseous (cream of wheat for breakfast and lunch, then a real meal for dinner), but I managed to coach two group sessions at the club. However, having these symptoms is far better than the alternative - having the real thing!

Saturday was "multiball day" - for both the beginning and advanced junior groups I fed multiball nearly the whole session, with a twist at the end of each session. At the end of the beginning class session, I and other coaches hit live with the students, who took turns, staying up until they missed three shots. At the end of the advanced session, we had the advanced kids feed each other multiball. Yeah, I'm training them to take my place, so I'm no longer needed!!!

For the advanced session on Sunday, I was a practice partner - and this is where I realized those two days in bed from the booster reaction was still affecting me as I struggled to move. But I got better as the session continued. We finished with Brazilian Teams doubles, where doubles teams stayed up until they lost a point or won three in a row. I was with Riley Yang, and we did surprisingly well! I dominated with my serves (not easy in doubles!) and otherwise just kept the ball in play and let Riley do the damage. But I pulled off a nice backhand loop near the end for a winner! (We won't talk about the short serve that I somehow got aced by.)

One nice thing is that several of the kids from the recent Ecuador trip have sent me thank you notes and cards. They have no idea how much they are appreciated!

My upcoming table tennis schedule is packed. Here are the highlights, excluding the normal group sessions.

  • Nov. 13-14: Coaching at the MDTTC Open.
  • Nov. 20-22: Competing at the Classic Hardbat World Championship in Houston. Here's the list of players. I coach two group sessions the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 20, then fly out that night to Houston, compete all day on Sunday, and fly back on Monday morning, Nov. 22, just in time to help prepare our players for the upcoming Teams.
  • Nov. 26-28: Coaching at the JOOLA North American Teams. This will be my 46th consecutive year playing or coaching at the Teams, starting in 1976 and excluding 2020, when it was cancelled due to the pandemic. (I've also been to every US Open and US Nationals starting in 1984, and several before that, including the 1976 US Open.)
  • Dec. 6-15: Coaching Ryan Lin at the ITTF Hopes in Jordan. This is for the best players in the world under age 12 (as of Jan. 1) - though China isn't participating. Other US players going are Mandy Yu (with coach Wei Qi) and Tashiya Piyadasa (coached by father Thilina).
  • Dec. 16-22: Coaching and playing hardbat events at the US Open in Las Vegas. (I'm normally a sponge player, but play hardbat on the side and have won a lot of titles.) I'm only entered in Hardbat Singles (which I've won twice at the Open or Nationals) and Hardbat doubles (which I've won 14 times!). Alas, no hardbat age events at the Open - I've won Over 40 Hardbat six times and am the current National Champion in Over 40 and Over 60 Hardbat. Because of school (especially for those who took off up to two weeks for the recent Hopes, Pan Am Youth, and ITTF Contender tournaments in Ecuador), most of the MDTTC juniors are not attending the US Open. But they are all playing in the Teams (above) and attend the Nationals each year en masse.
  • Dec. 22-26: Family gathering in San Francisco.
  • Dec. 27-Jan. 1: I'm toying with taking off a few days and training as a player, possibly at the Samson Dubina camp in Akron, OH. If so, I'd be going up with Ryan Lin and his dad.

Christmas Table Tennis Book Shopping
It's that time of year again - time to do your Xmas shopping, either for some other table tennis player, or for yourself. (Interesting tidbit - I sell almost as many table tennis books in November and December as the rest of the year combined - lots of Christmas shoppers.) Here are some choices.

=>Books by Larry Hodges

=>Books by Dan Seemiller

=>Books by Samson Dubina

=>Books by Dora Kurimay

=>Books by Tim Boggan

=>Books by Graham Frankel

=>Other Table Tennis Books Published in 2020-2021

USATT Bylaws
In my blog last week, I wrote about USATT Bylaws Problems, focusing on the new Bylaw 7.5 that will allow a majority of the board to appoint another board member, thereby further cementing their majority. If they choose to take advantage of this bylaw, I'm not going to hesitate to call it what it is - a power grab. This one is by far the most problematic one. But my idealist side tells me there's no way they can fail to fix this bylaw - right? Seriously, I'll be impressed by the board member who first stands up and proposes fixing it. (And while I may sound critical below, I do appreciate the time and effort spent on redoing all these bylaws . . . again. We do seem to spend a lot of time doing that.)

Here's the USATT news item about the proposed bylaws (since passed). Here's the actual revisions. Here are a few problems. (And note that while some of these perhaps could be explained, the simple reality is that they have not been publicly explained to my knowledge - and the idea of "never explain," often cited as a leadership principle, doesn't work in a public organization like USATT, or really any other organization or group with thinking, reasoning members.) The document to go over, comparing the changes to the previous version, is 106 pages, so I haven't even come close to examining it line by line. If someone else wants to do a more thorough analysis and puts it online, and it's done thoughtfully, I'll likely link to it.

In 7.10, it says, "At the end of 2020, the Directors were selected in accordance with these Bylaws and all Directors began their four (4) years terms on January 1, 2021." This does not seem to be accurate. Many of the board actually began their terms in 2020, some as early as February, 2020. While some have made the argument that these board members didn't start their term on the "permanent board" until Jan. 1, 2021, that is not true. For example, in the minutes of the June 1, 2020 board meeting, it specifically states that five people had been appointed to the "permanent board" - and three of them are still on it, with terms that started well before Jan. 1, 2021. (The minutes even say that the USOPC required USATT have a permanent Board in place by June 1, 2020.) By putting in the bylaws that their terms began on Jan. 1, 2021, they seem to have increased their four-year terms an extra seven months. I wish they could have simply put in that the initial terms would be slightly longer so as to get to that nice, tidy Jan. 1 date for terms to begin.  

It says, "all Directors began their four (4) years terms on January 1, 2021," but this isn't correct in another way. As I've blogged about a number of times, initially the board did not allow the National Collegiate Director his position on the board, despite it being required by both the USATT bylaws and the USOPC's Ted Stevens Act, until Feb. 22, 2021, and so he did not begin his four-year term on Jan. 1, 2021. Why put something in the bylaws that is factually incorrect? (And this also doesn't change the problem that for nearly a full year before Jan. 1, 2021, USATT had a board that was setting up procedures for the "permanent board," but did not allow the NCTTA rep to be seated and take part in this.)

In 7.13, it says, "Unless otherwise restricted by law, by the articles of incorporation or by these Bylaws, any Director or the entire Board may be removed, with or without cause." It then explains how individual members may be removed. But how would the "entire Board" be removed? It doesn't say who can do this. Twice in the past the USOPC has stepped in and done this, but this doesn't specify they are the ones who can do this.

There is also some confusion about the term "permanent board." For example, in the minutes of the June 1, 2020 board meeting, it refers to the "Appointment of Permanent Board" as taking place by June 1, 2020. While this can be interpreted multiple ways, some believe they appointed themselves as permanent members of the board! However, since they are individually listed as having their terms end on Dec. 31, 2024, they are obviously not permanent. (They simply have longer than four-year terms, since they took office seven months before Jan. 1, 2021.)  

The Perfect Receive Position
Here's the video (1:58) from Timo Boll.

Coaching DURING the Game
Here's the article by Samson Dubina.

Slow Down! You're Playing Too Fast
Here's the article by Tom Lodziak.

New from Ti Long

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

Executing the Short Forehand Push
Here's the video (78 sec) from Bob Chen.

Footwork and Stroke Chemistry
Here's the video (65 sec) from Anav Gupta.

Serve Attack & Random Play
Here's the video (68 sec) from Patryk Zyworonek.

Counter Topspin
Here's the video (49 sec) from eBaTT.

Punny Boy - the Forehand
Here's the video (3:04).

Why Your Next Table Tennis Racket Should Have a Straight Handle
Here's the video (7 min) from Coach Jon.

Reaction and Anticipation Training for Table Tennis
Here's the video (6:25) from Dr. Table Tennis.

How to Train with Multiball Alone
Here's the video (4:23) from Everything Table Tennis.

10th Anniversary Westchester Open
Here's the USATT article by Will Shortz.

New from the National Collegiate TTA

New from Steve Hopkins

Inspiring Conversations with Adam Davis of Salt Lake City TTC
Here's the article from VoyageUta.

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

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

Point of the Day!! Champions League Day 1
Here's the video (36 sec).

Table Tennis Jigsaw Puzzles
Here's what my Google Search found!

The Best Table Tennis Players in the World
Here's the video (20 sec)!

Tears of My Opponents
Here's the must-have table tennis mug!

Funny Serves
Here's the video (7 sec)!

Ping Pong Stereotypes 5
Here's the video (3:19) from Pongfinity!

Send us your own coaching news!