May 16, 2022

Tip of the Week
Never Decide If You Have to Move.

Table Tennis Timeliness and Weekend Coaching
I was three minutes late for a group session yesterday. Yes, three minutes - and it's only the third time I've been late in the thirty years since we opened MDTTC in 1992. I estimate I've done about 25,000 sessions in that time. So, what happened?

I was sitting in my lounge chair at home reading and about to have lunch, when I suddenly realized the clock on my wall that claimed it was about noon wasn't moving. I glanced at my watch . . . and it was 12:48 PM! And I had a session at 1PM, and I was about a 12-minute drive away! I leaped to my feet, threw things together, and raced for my car. I didn't have time for lunch. At a stop light I texted that I'd be a few minutes late. I walked ran sprinted into the club at 1:03 PM. Since Coach Wang was already leading them in stretching, hardly anybody noticed I was late. But it felt funny rushing into the club and right into a session. I normally arrive 15 minutes early, both so I'm not rushed, so I'm never late, and to set up things as needed (balls, ball nets, changing shoes, etc.).

The two other times I was late? Once I simply had my times off by an hour, and arrived an hour late. The other time there was a car accident, and I was stuck in one spot, with cars ahead, behind, and on both sides, for almost an hour before I was able to get out.

Timeliness is important for coaches. I know of two table tennis coaches who lost their coaching positions because they were late so often.

As to the coaching itself, I had six group sessions this weekend, all junior players, ranging from the weekly novice group to two sessions with the advanced group. I did two sessions primarily as a practice partner/coach, one mostly multiball, and three mostly as a walk-around coach. Some of the things emphasized this weekend were serving lower; keeping the ball to corners in drills (unless the drill is to go to the middle); and focusing on consistency, not ripping the ball.

WTT Feeder Westchester 2022
Here's the World TT Page for the event held at the Westchester TTC in New York, USA, May 11-15, with complete results. I was only there the first day, but it looked like it was run well. It is hopeful that we can attract stronger players to these ITTF Feeder events in the US - the top seed in Men's Singles (and eventual winner) was Chuang Chih-Yuan (TPE, world #25), and the top seed in Women's Singles was Shin Yubin (KOR, also world #25).

For something like this, you'd think there would be all sorts of news items on the USATT news page, but there aren't any, at least on the front page of the news page, going back to April 4. Shouldn't there be news articles promoting this event, as well as reporting the results? (There hasn't been a new news item there since May 6, and before that you have to go back to April. Remember when they used to have daily news there from around the US and the world?)
ADDENDUM: On Thursday night, May 19, three days after I wrote the above, five WTT news items on the WTTs finally went up on the USATT news page - all dated so they appear to have gone up on May 8, 9, 10, 15, and 16. I think they each went up on the ITTF/WTT news page on those dates. Why didn't USATT put these links up on our news page immediately, on the day of publication at WTT, before they became old news? 

Here are two articles from Steve Hopkins on the Butterfly news page:

I went up on the first day with Ryan Lin and his dad. Ryan, 12 and about 2200, was there just for experience. He lost his only match (why is it SE instead of RR?), and we spent the rest of the day watching and doing homework. (I pointed out some of Chuang's techniques in his doubles matches, and others.)

One big nit - when a rule leads to a bad result, change the rule. They have a one-size-fits-all rule where a coach has to pay $300 for coaching accreditation to coach any matches. It doesn't matter if you are there to coach one match on one day, or coach lots of matches all five days! So, if I wanted to coach the US #1 12-year-old in his one match, we'd have had to pay $300 in addition to his $300+ entry fee. It wasn't worth it - $300 will get you 6-7 hours training with a 2600 player - so he played the match without a coach. I had to sit in the stands and watch. His opponent, a Canadian, had a Canadian national coach coaching him - it's cost effective for him to pay $300 since he'll be coaching a number of matches all five days. Seriously, there should be a daily coaching fee. Otherwise, it's like going to a nice restaurant and being told if you want one meal, you have to buy five days' worth of meals. (Plus, couldn't we negotiate some sort of break so USATT certified coaches don't have to pay so much? We already have to pay $75 annual "Pro" membership, an annual $50 coaching fee, pass SafeSport, and a background check. Now I have to play $300 to coach a top junior in his one match, right here in the US?) On the trip up and back, we took a break halfway each time and tossed a frisbee around for 15 minutes. That was fun! It's also becoming a tradition during our long drives to tournaments in NY, NJ, OH, and NC.

USATT Visits the White House
Here's the photo gallery.

Butterfly Training Tips

How to Train a Good Serve
Here's the article by Jeffrey Zeng (one of my fellow coaches at MDTTC).

New from Samson Dubina

Power is the Least Useful Skill at Lower Levels
Here's the article by Tom Lodziak.

New from the Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

New from Ti Long

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

New from Taco Backhand


Quadri Aruna

German League Rematch: Dusseldorf and Saarbrucken Advance to Final
Here's the article by Steve Hopkins.

Daniel González Ascends into the Top 100 World Ranking
Here's the article. The Puerto Rican player currently resides in NYC.

Sportageous Talks to Ecuadorian Pro Table Tennis Player Alberto Mino
Here's the article. "Ecuadorian table tennis player, Alberto Mino, talks about the Tokyo Olympics, being Ecuador #1, and the psychology of table tennis."

Ma Long Plays Insane Table Tennis
Here's the video (2:56).

The TT Point of the Century?
Here's the video (48 sec) of the point between Ma Long and Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

Best Women's Rallies of All Time
Here's the video (12:22)!

Useful Backhands from the Best Matches in the World
Here's the video (4:16).

Unstoppable Shots from the Best Matches in the World
Here's the video (3:00).

Taking Table Tennis to the Next Level
Here's the video (55 sec) from World Table Tennis.

Samuel Walker vs Tom Jarvis | FINAL | 2022 England National Championships
Here's the video (12:16). (Pitchford and Drinkhall did not play.)

Real Tennis Player VS Ping Pong Player
Here's the video (5:25). "Today I [Illya Marchenko] accepted a challenge from Slovakian table tennis player Lubomir Pistej."

Gov't to the Rescue of Table Tennis Team Stranded in Dom Rep
Here's the story from the Jamaica Observer.

Singapore Loses 0-3 to Thailand Ending Streak
Here's the story from Channel News Asia. "Singapore loses 0-3 to Thailand in 31st SEA Games table tennis women's team, ending 9 consecutive gold streak."

Saturday Evening Post Ping-Pong Cartoons
Here they are!

New from Pongfinity!

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