January 17, 2022

Tip of the Week
The Most Important Reason for a Match Coach.

Junior Ratings and Rankings
One of my pet peeves is when the junior rankings include non-juniors because of database mistakes. I don't blame USATT or others for this, but I do like to see them fixed up. When I find them, I periodically email USATT to let them know, and they always fix them up. I emailed about a number of new ones on Dec. 27, and I'm sure they'll fix them up soon. But until then, here's what you find if you do an age search - and what sponsors see when considering sponsoring a junior player. (These mistakes often happen when players or tournament directors mistakenly put in the current date for DOB.) 

Let's start by going to the USATT Ratings page, and click on Browse Individual Ratings. Set Citizenship to USA. Set Gender to Male (for now). Set Max Age to 13. The click on Search. I like this listing - it includes Stanley Hsu, Mu Du, Ryan Lin, and Winston Wu (ranked #1, 5, 6, 12), all from my club. But wait . . . what's Hiep Tran (2136) doing at #8? I know him - he's 50 years old and has played USATT tournaments since 1998!!! (So move Winston up to #11, and everyone else below Hiep moves up a spot.) But how far does this go down?

ADDENDUM: USATT has acted on some of these. Hiep Tran and some of the others below no longer appear. 

Let's set Max Age to 12. Hiep is now #4 in the country! (Take him out, and Ryan and Winston are #2 and #5. Patryk Zyworonek turns 13 in February, Charles Shen in April, after which they move up to #1 and #3 - with Winston one point behind Kef Noorani.)

Let's set Max Age to 11. Hiep, it took you five decades, but you are now #1 in the country in Under 11!!! But wait a minute - who is this Wesley Pritchett at #3? He's been playing USATT tournaments since 2012, about the year he supposedly was born!!! (Kef, you are sandwiched by old guys.) So he's not eligible either. Neither is #7, Dmitri Greydinger, who has been playing tournaments since 1995.

Let's set Max Age to 10. Now Hiep, Wesley, and Dmitri are #1, 2, and 4 in the country.

Let's set Max Age to 9. Now Hiep, Wesley, and Dmitri are #1, 2, and 3. #4 is Norman Lehr, whose first rating was 1165 in 2015 when he would have been about two. #5 is Robert Gabay, who has been playing tournaments since 2012. (His first tournament was the 2012 MDTTC October Open, which I ran almost ten years ago.) So the top five boys in the country for Under 9 are all well over age 9.

Let's jump down Max Age at 5. We get five players - Wesley, Dmitri, Norman, Robert, and a new player, Mark Yelavich, who has been playing tournaments since 2010, about seven years before he was apparently born.

Let's do one more test, keeping Max Age at 5. Go back to the top and change Citizenship to Any Country, and set Gender to Any. Click Search. Now we get 21 players, all supposedly under age five, with ratings ranging up to (gulp) 2622!!! (Others have ratings of 2426, 2057, 1952, 1927, and so on.) China may be the best in the world, but USA dominates among four-year-olds!!!

Hopefully USATT will fix these soon.

Weekend Coaching
I somehow injured my foot while walking down stairs a few days ago. So, on Saturday, I was hobbling about, wearing running shoes for support instead of my usual table tennis shoes. I spent most of each session feeding multiball, which was tricky, since in my running shoes I'm an inch taller and it throws off my control built up from 40+ years of feeding multiball. But I adjusted, and did a wide variety of drills with a multitude of kids. And then the snow came, and the Sunday sessions were cancelled.

University of Maryland Fundraising for the Nationals NCTTA Championship
Here's the GoFundMe page. "We are in need of funds to travel to Round-Rock, Austin, Texas during late March-early April 2022 to compete in the NCTTA National Championship."


Aruna Quadri vs Kanak Jha | German League 2022
Here's the video (5:47).

Butterfly Training Tips

New from Samson Dubina

Learn the Basic Forehand Drive Table Tennis Technique
Here's the video (1:44) from Matt Hetherington.

Table Tennis Psychology Guide
Here's the guide from Table Tennis Top.

Push or Flick?
Here's the article and videos from Tom Lodziak.

Force, Friction, and Table Tennis
Here's the video (6:10) from Coach Jon. "Every shot is a combination of force and friction. Getting the right ratio is a key to consistency."

4 Steps with Dimitrij Ovtcharov to Learn the World's Best Tomahawk Serve
Here's the video (4:14).

How to Win Against ANY opponent - Weakness of EVERYONE
Here are the videos from Geoffrey Cheng.

New from the Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

New from Ping Sunday/EmRatThich

VLOG - German Cup Finals 2022
Here's the vlog (5:24) from Timo Boll.

Ask the Coach
Here's the latest questions for PingSkills.

Off-Table Backhand Sidespin Counterloops
Here's the video (9 sec) - why aren't you practicing this?

A Good Group Warmup Exercise?
Here's the video (39 sec).

NCTTA Singles Registration is OPEN!
Here's the info page from the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association.

WTTC Interviews

Princeton Pong January Open Post-Finals Match Interview With Nigerian Team's Ojo Onaolapo
Here's the video (11:41). See also Aditya Sareen and Ojo Onaolapo dominate at Princeton Pong 2022 January Open.

New from Steve Hopkins

New ITTF President Sörling Lays Out Sustainability Vision
Here's the article.


New from Table Tennis Central

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

U.S. Open Highlights with Rachel Wang
Here's the video (1:49). She is a member of the US Under 15 Girls' Team.

Why A Professor Plays Table Tennis
Here's the video (4:34). The video features Dr. Howard Lasnik, a linguistic professor at the University of Maryland, who is asked why he chose table tennis over other sports.

What Ping-Pong Taught Me About Life
Here's the video (12:33) featuring Pico Iyer of England.

Never Give Up - and This Year's Luckiest Shot?
Here's the video (27 sec)!

Can You Succeed in the Table Tennis Challenge?
Here's the video (23 sec) - pie in the face if you miss!

Tongue Pong?
Here's the video (20 sec)!

A Year of a Ping Pong Channel
Here's the video (11:31) from Adam Bobrow!

Non-Table Tennis - Part 2 of Odyssey Interview and Another Science Fiction Story Sale
I was interviewed recently about my science fiction writing by the Odyssey Writing Workshop. I linked to Part 1 last week (which included my "Twenty-Point Short Story Writing System"). Here's Part 2, where I talk about how I came to write a recent story, challenges faced in writing SF, and my biggest weaknesses as an SF writer.

I sold another science fiction story yesterday, "Death Message" to Martian Magazine - where prisoners in a ship use the deadliest form of communication to send a message. It's my 125th short story sale, plus an even 40 resales and four novels. It's also my fifth sale in six weeks, so I'm on a pretty good run. (One strange thing - I'm sometimes asked how much I pay to get these published! It's the other way around - I get paid by magazines for these stories. How much depends on the magazine and the length of the story. Some payments are rather low, but most range from $50 to $500, with my highest payment for a story $1000.)

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