April 18, 2022

Next Blog Will Be Monday, May 9
However, the Tips of the Week will still go up each Monday. I'm going out of town for two weeks, coaching at the ITTF Youth Contender and Hopes Camp in Linz, Austria - see segment below.

Tip of the Week
Keep the Ball to the Extreme Angles in Practice.

ITTF Youth Contender and Hopes Camp in Linz, Austria
I'm off next Monday to Linz, Austria to coach at the ITTF Youth Contender (April 27-29) and Hopes Camp (May 1-5). I'll be coaching Ryan Lin (12, 2155 (was recently over 2200), #1 in US for 12 and Under), who will be playing in Under 13 and Under 15 Boys. Also attending and competing will be three US girls: Mandy Yu (coached by Wei Qi), Tashiya Piyadasa (coached by her dad, Thilina), and Genelia William (traveling with family, might have a local coach her). Also attending will be the top two boys from Puerto Rico, Enrique Rios and Steven Moreno. It'll be a lot of work, but it'll also be a fun reunion of the players (Ryan, Mandy, Tashiya) and their coaches (Me, Wei Qi, Thilina) - we were together at previous Hopes events last year in Cuenca, Ecuador and Amman, Jordon.

HOWEVER . . . there is one serious problem we will face, one that dwarfs all others, an absolute calamity in the making that could lead to international instability, pestilence, famine, and war . . . there is no Dr Pepper in Austria. How Will I Survive???

Weekend Coaching
I coached in four group junior sessions over the weekend. In the Novice group, we focused on fundamentals, as usual, but for the last 15 minutes, I introduced them to a new game we haven't done recently. I put a bottle of water on the table. I told them I have a pet Saint Bernard that slobbers all the time, and that I'd put a pan under his mouth the night before and caught all the slobber, and put it in the bottle. And so the bottle was dog saliva! I explained that they'd rotate in a line, rapid-fire, each getting three shots (wide backhand, middle, wide forehand), and if anyone hit the bottle, I had to drink the dog saliva. I assured them that none of them were good enough to do it, and so I was completely safe. I wasn't; they had delirious fun, I drank lots of it. Yuck!!! (When I have green Gatorade, we play the same game, except it's "squeezed worm juice.")

I was a practice partner for the second strongest group, which ranged from 1200 to 1800. One of the drills started with them serving backspin, I push to their forehand, they loop to my backhand, I block to their backhand, and the rally continues with the usual 2-1 Falkenberg drill: backhand from backhand side; forehand from backhand side; forehand from forehand side; and repeat. But a strange thing happened - over and over, even though they knew I was going to push to the forehand, they started to move to cover their backhand. Why? Because, from years of practice, if I'm going to push to the forehand, I aim my paddle at the backhand side, and only change directions at the last second. It's one of those simple things that maybe 1% of players under 2200 regularly do. At least our kids will grow up getting used to it!

In the other two groups, I mostly fed multiball, though I also did some walking around coaching. (On a side note, I usually coach Navin Kumar on Sundays, but he had to take the day off. See his segment below - he's featured on Parkinson's TV.) 

Larry Hodges Books
It's time for one of my shameless sales plugs for my table tennis books! They are all on both my Larry Hodges Books page here and on my Amazon page. (You might also try out one of my science fiction books, or even my travel book to Europe and Egypt!)

2022 US Nationals Update
Here's the report from Nationals Director Mike Babuin on the 2022 US Nationals, July 2-7 in Fort Worth, TX. Here's the ongoing list of entries, which you can sort by rating, alphabetically, or by event. There are 124 so far as I write this. At the moment, we have 17 of our junior players from MDTTC planning to go, with ten of them also playing in the Junior Team Trials held there the week before. So I'll be coaching there for two weeks.

Navin P. Kumar - ParkinsonTV
Here's the video (8:17) on Facebook, here's the Youtube version. I'm Navin's coach, but during the filming of this I was out of town coaching at the World Hopes in Jordan, so didn't get to make an appearance.

Butterfly Training Tips

New from Samson Dubina

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

New from Table Tennis Philosophy/Coach Jon

New from Taco Backhand
(Just discovered this site - lots more videos.)

New from Drupe Pong
(Just discovered this site.)

Developing Kids in Table Tennis
Here's the video (12:08) from PingSkills.

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

New from Steve Hopkins


War in Ukraine – Stranded in Russia, Table Tennis Player Polina Mikhailova Was Able to Find Her Saint-Quentin Club: "what is happening affects her a lot"
Here's the article from 5aial.com. And speaking of Ukraine, did you know that German superstar table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov (world #7, I think #2 at one time) was actually born in Ukraine? His family moved to Germany shortly after he was born.

Global Table Tennis Balls Market SWOT Analysis, Key Indicators, Forecast 2029 : STIGA, Butterfly, Franklin Sports, KEVENZ, EastPoint Sports
Here's the report from Blooming Prairie Online.

PingPod Coach Tahl Leibovitz
Here's the interview (1:23).

Xianyao He – Tournament Highlights
Here's the video (2:31) of the USA Cadet Team Member.

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

Happy Birthday to the Legendary Vladimir Samsonov!
Here's the video (5:10) of former world #1 Samsonov, who turned 46 yesterday (Apr. 17), who retired just last year.

Monday Motivation with Jean-Philippe Gatien!
Here's the video (33 sec)! Lefty Gatien was the 1993 World Men's Singles Champion.

Dreamer21 Table Tennis Museum
Here's the page with six videos (most 10-15 min) showing his extensive TT collection.

Bryson DeChambeau Returns to PGA Tour, Said He Hurt His Wrist Playing Table Tennis
Here's the article from Yahoo Sports. There were a number of reports on this, but this seemed the best one.

Table Tennis Clocks
Here are some at Amazon.

The Legend of Ping Pong
Here's the throw pillow from Amazon!

Happy Thai New Year with a SPLASH!
Here's the video (29 sec) from Punny Boy. How come my students never do this to me???

Sharath Kamal Achanta Rates YOUR Crazy Table Tennis Shots!
Here's the video (3:22) from the Indian star. And the winner? Kevin Table Tennis (22 sec)!

Ping Pong Game Show, Winner Gets The Sponsorship
Here's the video (13:44) from Adam Bobrow!

Coaching Stereotypes
Here's the video (8:37) from Pongfinity! This is great - I recognize a lot of coaches here!

Send us your own coaching news!