December 12, 2022

Next Blog on January 2, 2023, But Tips Every Monday
I’ll be out of town the next few weeks at the US Open and for Christmas, so no blogging until after I return. However, the Tip of the Week will still go up every Monday!

Tip of the Week
Should You Use a Super-Fast Racket?

MDTTC Open, Books Sales, and the Novice Class
Here are the results of the MDTTC December Open, care of Omnipong. I usually coach at these tournaments, but this time I spent most of my time . . . selling books! I set up a table and had 18 of my books on sale, both table tennis and science fiction. Here’s a picture! (Table tennis books on the right, science fiction & fantasy on the left. Note that I’m wearing my “Baby Yoda Playing Table Tennis” shirt on Saturday. On Sunday I wore my “Baby Yoda Dressed as Santa Claus with Ping-Pong Paddle” shirt.) I ended up selling 42 books, plus gave a way a bunch. Half the profits will go to the MDTTC junior program. Normally, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers dominates the sales, but most of the locals already have that book. I ended up selling at least one copy of 16 of the 18 books, and three or more of nine of them. (Profits came to about $220, so I'll be donating $110 to the junior program.) 

Speaking of giving away “a bunch,” I’m giving out about 55 of my books for free to those in the MDTTC junior program. The program is divided into four groups; everyone in groups 1-3 will get a free copy of Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers. (Many of them already have the book, so for them, they get their choice of any of my books. Those in group 4, the novice group, will get a copy when they advance to group 3.) It’ll cost me close to $300 for the books plus shipping. Of course, I’ll require them to say, “Larry has the best forehand” or all they get is a crumpled-up ping-pong ball.

Because of the tournament, the only class we had was the Novice class on Sunday at 5PM, where the age range is about 6-8. As usual (drum roll...) the focus was on fundamentals. A key thing here is finding ways to get them to do “drudgery” drills while keeping it fun and interesting. I usually start with standard drills, but when I detect boredom – and kids at that age don’t hide that – I bring out Froggy for target practice, start counting how many shots they make in a row, and do interactive drills. I actually have two “Froggys” – Grampa Froggy, the original that I bought in 2006 (so 16 years old), who is falling apart (missing one leg, most of his toes, and held together by duct tape) and Baby Froggy, the new one I bought summer of 2021. I often put one on the deep forehand side, the other on the deep backhand side, so the kids are forced to hit deep and wide – exactly what we want them to do. At their demand, we finished the session with a short “Simon Says” – except, since I was wearing the Baby Yoda Christmas Table Tennis Shirt (see above), it was “Baby Yoda Says.”

George Braithwaite Major League Table Tennis
Here’s the info page. The league, from the Boston to the Washington DC region, with 3-5 on a team, starts in January, with the final in April. “The purpose of the league is to facilitate individual competitiveness and team spirit of players in various clubs thereby creating more interaction and friendship through team-based table tennis competition. By increasing participation in the Olympic sport of table tennis through the vast number of table tennis players in the United States, Pongpace sets the foundation of making table tennis a major sport in the country.”

USATT Panels at US Open
Here’s the USATT news item, Open Panel Meetings to Be Held at the 2022 US Open. They are running five, plus the USATT General Assembly. (Presumably there will also be a USATT board meeting held in conjunction with the General Assembly, as required by USATT bylaw 15.2.) Below is the panel schedule – much of which conflicts with my own coaching and playing schedule, so not sure how many I’ll be able to attend. One thing that jumps out to me – no coaching panels! Alas. I used to run such clinics at the Open and Nationals. 

  • FRI      7:00-8:00 PM              USATT Foundation: Meet the Members
  • SAT     6:00-7:00 PM              Club Development and Tournament Sanctioning
  • SUN    6:30-7:30 PM              USATT General Assembly
                7:30-8:30 PM              Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • MON   6:30-7:30 PM              Meet and Greet Olympians
                7:30-9:00 PM              High Performance Team

We’ve had similar panels in the past at the Nationals and Open. I still have the flyer for the 2017 Nationals, where we had eight panels – I think that was the last time we had such panels. I taught two of them, “Intermediate and Advanced Serves,” and “How to Set Up a Successful Junior Program.” (The turnout for the serving clinic I taught was huge!) Others were “Tournament Directors Best Practices 101”; “Advanced Return of Serve” (with Stefan Feth); “USATT Umpires Clinic”; “USATT Club Best Practices”; “One-on-One with High Performance Director Jörg Bitzigeio”; and “Omnipong 101” (with Craig Krum).

Holiday Shopping – Buy My Books!
Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays are coming up – time to buy my table tennis books! (But feel free to buy my science fiction ones as well.) Here’s a listing with descriptions for each. Below are direct links to the table tennis books. 

New from Samson Dubina
Make sure to see the Michael Jordan quote.

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich
He’s been busy – see last item!

This Grip Change Which Will Make a Big Difference
Here’s the article from Tom Lodziak.

New from Taco Backhand

Forehand Topspin Wins Worlds and Olympics
Here’s the video (74 sec) with slow-motion of forehand loop, from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis.

New from Ti Long

Butterfly Training Tips - Serve & Attack Forehand Smash
Here’s the video (54 sec) with Tiffany Ke.

Bowmar Sport Tournament Highlights – Darryl Tsao WTT at Lignano
Here’s the video (1:45).

Hungary 2022 WTT Youth Contender
Here’s the article by Sally Moyland.

Videos from Pong Space
Here are recent videos from Pong Space, many featuring defensive star Angela Guan.

Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.

New from TT11TV
28 new videos this past week!

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

New from Steve Hopkins

New from USA Table Tennis

New from ITTF

Table Tennis Hawaiian Shirt
Here’s where you can get one!

Table Tennis Shirts at Amazon
Here’s a selection.

Navy Drops Ping Pong Balls on Army
Here’s the CNN story!

Big Guy vs. Little Guy – Who Will Win?
Here’s the cartoon! (Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

Adam vs. Anastasiia 2
Here’s the video (10:53) from Adam Bobrow!

World's Stickiest Ping Pong Racket and Ping-Pong with a Remote Control Car
Here’s the video (8:35) from Pongfinity!

Send us your own coaching news!