October 31, 2022

Tip of the Week
Increase Forearm Snap to Increase Smashing Speed.

US Open Hotel – How to Save Lots of Money
I just saved a thousand dollars. How? I will be going to the US Open, Dec. 16-21 in Ontario, CA. The official tournament hotel is the DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel ‐ Ontario Airport, which is 0.3 miles from the playing hall. It looks like a nice hotel, and if you can afford it, go for it!

I will be at the Open for seven nights, Dec. 15-21. At the Doubletree, after taxes, that came to $1576, or $225/night!!! Sorry, that’s way, Way, WAY too much. But I’ve been to every US Open and US Nationals since 1984 (with my first in 1976), so . . . is my streak coming to an end?

Nope, thanks to www.booking.com. It took me just a few minutes to find a number of  cheap hotels nearby. They are not super-nice hotels like the 4-star DoubleTree, but they are fine for my purposes. I’ve actually used booking.com to find such cheap hotels all over the US and Europe many times, saving hordes of money.

I will be staying at the Ramada by Wyndham Ontario, which is 0.7 miles away. The room will be smaller and there will be fewer housekeepers, but it’s a private room bathroom with free WiFi and a 24-hour desk. (See the list of amenities on the hotel page.) I’ve never had a problem with cleanliness or other issues. Cost there is $596 for seven nights, or $85/night. Total savings . . . $980!!!

[Update: I went by the info on the online entry form, which doesn't have a discount code. That's a rather important piece of info to mistakenly leave out! If you use the link from the USATT US Open page, then the cost, after taxes, is $1268, or $181 a night - still a LOT more than the $596 or $85/night I'm paying at the Ramada.]

Some will argue we should support USATT by using their official hotel. There is an argument for that, and I half expect to get a call from USATT asking me to take the above info down. But nobody owes them an extra $980 out of loyalty. In fact, USATT should be promoting cheaper alternatives – let those who can afford it stay at a really nice hotel, while those who can’t afford $225/night and wouldn’t otherwise attend can now attend, thereby supporting USATT with their entry fees. (Besides coaching, I am playing in four events, so I supported USATT to the tune of $300.) I bet a LOT of players aren’t coming due to the hotel costs.

Other cheap local hotels I found include:

  • Ontario Airport Inn, $595/7 nights ($85/night + tax). 0.8 miles away
  • Folk Inn Ontario Airport, $785/7 nights ($112/night + tax), 0.3 miles away
  • Or browse the list yourself. This will take you to a list of hotels in Ontario, CA, for the dates Dec. 15-22. But you can adjust yourself. To find distance from playing hall, use Googlemaps, where I’ve already put in the playing hall for you, the Ontario Convention Center ‐ Ontario, California. Click on “Directions” and put in the hotel’s address, and it’ll give you the distance.

ADDENDUM - Another option was pointed out to me - stay at an airbnb. I'm not really familiar with them, but it seems another inexpensive option. 

Weekend Coaching and Halloween
As usual, I coached in four junior group sessions. There was a lot of emphasis on ball placement – too many shots were going to the middle backhand or forehand instead of wide angles. What you do in practice you will do in a match!!! As usual, there was a focus on active feet. When players were erratic on a shot, I’d remind them to remember the feel and timing of the ones the ones they do correctly and repeat, while forgetting the ones they messed up on. (If you think about the ones you mess up on, guess what your subconscious will be thinking about and emulating?)

Most will be trick or treating tonight. After the last session, I talked to a small group of kids in the 12-15 age group who wondered if they were too old to go trick or treating. I told them a story from when I was twelve. I was all set to go trick or treating with another kid from the neighborhood, Max, who was also twelve. It was always my favorite holiday! But a fourteen-year-old from across the street made fun of us, said trick or treating was for little kids. Even though I badly wanted to go, I decided I was too old, and though Max tried to convince me and even though I had a costume ready, I didn’t go. That night I cried myself to sleep over missing Halloween – I still can’t believe I let that kid from across the street convince me not to go, and it’s bothered me for many decades that I did so, and missed out on that night. As I told the kids, trick or treating is fun, and do it as long as you can – and if you are worried some will think you are too old, well then wear a mask!!!

Halloween Pong

Blast from the Past: 1982 US Nationals Men’s Singles Final - Dan Seemiller vs. Eric Boggan
Here’s the video (57:52), which was recently uploaded. Note that both use the Seemiller grip.( If you want, you can skip right to 50:11, when Eric is serving up 19-16 and see what happens next. In those days, games were to 21 and you served five times each.) In fact, at the 1983 World Championships, four of the five members of the US Team used that grip – Dan, Eric, plus Ricky Seemiller and Brian Masters. The lone exception was Sean O’Neill.

Here are Dan's three books - get 'em now for Christmas!

The last USATT news item was from Oct. 20, eleven days, and only two items since Oct. 7, 24 days ago. For many years the USATT news page was the place to go for US table tennis news, but no more. I was once co-webmaster for USATT for about a decade, primarily responsible for creating content, and both in those days and for many years after we kept the site updated regularly with lots of news content. Alas, in modern times USATT has switched to a policy of mostly featuring USATT stuff, and ignoring other US table tennis news. (ITTF has a similar policy, but they have a lot more news to report each week.)


WTT Cup Finals
Here’s the home page for the event, held Oct. 27-30 in Xinxiang, China, with complete results, news, and video. Perhaps the most interesting match was Fan Zhendong vs Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the QF (11:26), where the German pulls off the big upset. (Here’s the full version with full commentary, 33:30.) See more coverage from Steve Hopkins below.

ITTF Pan American Championships
Here’s the home page for the event being held in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 31 – Nov. 6. USA Women’s Team is Sarah Jalli, Rachel Sung, Amy Wang and Lily Zhang. USA Men’s Team is Liang Jishan, Sharon Alguetti, Kanak Jha and Nikhil Kumar.

New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly

Backhand Middle Backhand Forehand
Here’s the video (79 sec) with Emily Tan.

New from Ti Long

New from Samson Dubina

Falk Beats Harimoto in the Form of His Life
Here’s the video (1:33) from Taco Backhand. Here’s the full match (22:01) from the 2022 WTT Macao. These are two of the best backhands in the world. Note that Falck has short pips on his forehand – and yet, players stay away from that side when they can to avoid his smash. Makes you wonder why more players don’t try short pips on one side.

New from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

Singapore Sports School – Learning Table Tennis
Here’s the video (2:22).

Just Another Tahl Rally
Here’s the video (26 sec, but it’s replays after the first ten) as Tahl Leibovitz demonstrates some basic attacking techniques.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov Rates YOUR Crazy Table Tennis Shots!
Here’s the video (5:32) as he judges four crazy shots.

New Table Tennis Music Videos

Custom Table Tennis Cartoon Mug
Here's where you can get it!

Wham! Bam! and Pow! Rackets
I kind of want one.

Ping Pong Table Tennis Neon Sign
Here's where you can get it at Amazon!

Keep the Ball in Play for 60 Seconds, Win £100
Here’s the video (10:21) from Pongfinity!

Ping Pong Trick Shots
Here’s the video (40 sec) – a great compilation!

Send us your own coaching news!