Tip of the Week
To Hit or to Loop?
This was one of those times where I wished we had a video camera running! I’d recently worked with some of the kids in the Intermediate group on backspin serves. I’d given them a challenge – serve so that the ball came back into the net, the infamous “ghost serve.” It’s a great serving exercise, as it teaches them to finely graze the ball, create great backspin, and control it so that they can do a legal serve. It also perks their interest, one of the most important things when working with younger kids. A key aspect is that they don’t need to serve the ball too low at first – they can learn to do that later. So, what happened?
A girl, about eight, tried and Tried and TRIED, but she couldn’t get the hang of grazing the ball. I showed her how to keep the racket completely open (parallel to the floor) and let the ball fall onto it, even scoop it up (with front of racket higher than the back). And then, suddenly, it all clicked. First, she served a couple that came to a stop over the table. And then, as I was watching, she served one that came back into the net! If only there’d been a camera to record her excitement. In the next five minutes she did it about ten more times – she can do it about 1/4 of the time now.
But that didn’t end it – a boy, about the same age, was also trying to do it, and just as with the girl, it suddenly clicked – and he too served so the ball bounced back into the net. He too was excited. As I explained to them, they now have magic powers – they are Jedi.
Now that they have figured out how to serve with spin, the next step is to learn different types of spins. After that, different spins with the same motion. Eventually they’ll essentially become sorcerers, practitioners of the dark arts of service spin and deception.
I worked with a number of kids in my groups on random drills. Kids are good at mimicking good technique, but reacting to a ball where they don’t know where it’s going is tougher. As I explain to them, there are three keys: ready position; don’t guess, just react; and move to the ball. (This will likely become a Tip of the Week.)
Another drill I did with some of them was a simple forehand-backhand drill, where I put the ball side to side (either live or with multiball), and they just do forehands and backhands. Simple, right? But this is one of the best drills to develop quickness in your attacks, especially with looping. As players advance, they should focus on taking the ball quicker and quicker, often on the rise. When they can do that in this drill, it’s a lot easier doing it in a game. I credit this drill with much of my improvement when I was coming up so long ago. (This will also likely become a Tip of the Week.)
2,200 Published Articles
This week’s Tip of the Week (which is not only self-published here, but will go up later today in the Butterfly news (as with all of my Tips of the Week), is my 2,200th published article. (Here’s the complete listing – I update it on the first each month, so it still has it at 2,196.) I also have an even 20 books. So lots of twos and zeroes! Table tennis dominates the list, 1,927 of them, but there’s also 206 short story sales (science fiction and fantasy), and 63 non-fiction/non table tennis (including nine science articles, seven on writing, and, surprisingly, 33 on the Baltimore Orioles baseball team).
The Larry Hodges Historical Table Tennis Collection
Here’s the updated listing. Note that, with a special thanks to Vince Mioduszewski, I am now only one magazine short of a complete collection of USATT Magazines from 1976 (the year I started) to 2014 (when they stopped printing them). We’ve been trading various old TT magazines, and he recently sent me two of the three I was missing – Nov/Dec 1986 and Apr/May 1988. That leaves:
=>WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE: The May, 1989 Table Tennis Topics<=
Email me if you have a copy!!!
Major League Table Tennis
They had more action this past week. Here are some links.
- Home page
- Current standings
- Reports by Major Ponghead
- Action Packed Week For Major League Table Tennis by Flint Lane
US Women's Table Tennis Team Qualifies for Paris 2024 Olympics
Here’s the USATT article by Barbara Wei.
They are in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 22-Oct. 2. Here is the table tennis page. (Click “Events” to see the results of each event.) Here are Reports. There’s been one HUGE upset – in the quarterfinals of Men’s Teams, Iran upset Japan, 3-0! In match #1, Iran’s Nima Alamian (world #208) upset Tomokazu Harimoto (world #4), 16-14 in the fifth! Then Noshad Alamiyan (world #53) upset Shunsuke Togami (world #41), 11-8 in fifth, and Seyedamirhossein Hodaei (world #130) upset Maharu Yoshimua (world #79), 12-10 in the fifth! Also see Asian Games Update: Alamian and Iran Biggest Story So Far by Steve Hopkins.
Butterfly Training Tips
- Reversed Pendulum Serve (61 sec) with Shashin Shodhan
- Falkenburg (58 sec) with Rogelio Castro
- Backhand Push, Backhand Block (64 sec) with Angel Naranjo
- Counter Loop Technique (2:10) with Darryl Tsao
Who Has Better Technique Ma Long or Fan Zendong?
Here’s the video (3:59) from Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis.
How to Play Longpips Backhand
Here’s the video (1:20) from Angela Guan/PongSpace.
New from Ti Long
- How to return a heavy Backspin serve and correct Backspin serve errors (10:38)
- Ti Long held a summary meeting and awarded certificates to the Indian team (6:45)
- The 3 most special exercises help recover from random attacks faster (8:30)
- 3 levels of Forehand Push when returning serve (11:03)
New from PingSunday/EmRatThich
- Compare shakehand grip vs penhold grip 2023 (6:41)
- Anti-Spin rubber: Professional style or Amateur Style? (35:47)
- Semi-Final | Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan | Asian Championships 2023 (37:43)
- Alexis Lebrun lost easily to weaker player in Pro A (26:58)
- Wang Yidi VS Shi Xunyao | 2023 Asian Championships (12:57)
- Best alternatives for DHS Hurricane 3 rubber (13:32)
- Semi-Final | Germany vs Portugal | European Championships 2023 (4:23)
- Semi-Final | France vs Sweden | European Championships 2023 (7:26)
- How top Chinese players prepare for the physical warm up in table tennis (13:48)
- Final | Germany vs Romania | European Championships 2023 (6:08)
- Final | Germany vs Sweden | European Championships 2023 (6:16)
New from Taco Backhand
- SHORT PIPS LEGEND WINS THE BATTLE OF THE SWEDES (1:10)
- FELIX LEBRUN DESTROYS HIS OPPONENT IN DECIDING GAME FOR FRANCE (1:23)
We Went to the European Championships in Malmö | Interviews | J-O Waldner
Here’s the video (16:38) from Pingispågarna.
I Played Vs Olympic Champion Jan Ove Waldner
Here’s the video (12:30) from Table Tennis Daily.
New from TT11TV
- Best of European Table Tennis Championships 2023 (8:11)
- Bernadette Szocs vs Han Ying | Final 2023 European Team Championships (20:51)
- Shan Xiaona vs Elizabeta Samara | Final 2023 European Team Championships (7:21)
- Timo Boll vs Truls Moregardh | Final 2023 European Team Championships (9:20)
- Kristian Karlsson vs Kay Stumper | Final 2023 European Team Championships (9:15)
- Timo Boll vs Mattias Falck | Final 2023 European Team Championships (12:56)
Ask the Coach
Here are the latest questions from PingSkills.
New from Steve Hopkins/Butterfly
- Asian Games Update: Alamian and Iran Biggest Story So Far
- Latest Rankings: Amy Wang’s Career Best
- WAB Featured Club: Ready to Golf
Talkin' Smash Podcast by JOOLA Ep1: A Newcomer's Introduction to Pro Table Tennis Ryan Willard
Here’s the Podcast (37:44) from Matt Hetherington.
2023 Butterfly September Tournament Recap
Here’s the article by Amy Karpinski
New from ITTF
- Places at Paris 2024 Paralympic Games Reserved in Giza
- 'Win For You,' Theme Song for ITTF World Championships Finals Busan 2024
- Bidding Opens for ITTF World Masters Championships 2026 Amidst Glowing Success of Rome 2024
- Continental Championships: Celebrating Table Tennis Excellence Across the Globe
- Bidding Opens for ITTF World Para Table Tennis Championships 2026
- Champions Return to Defend African Para Titles
Roger Federer Shows Off His Table Tennis Skills | Laver Cup 2023
Here’s the video (24 sec)! Here's my blog from August 12, 2019 - skip to the end and you'll see lots of links of Federer playing table tennis.
- Skeleton playing table-tennis with a ninja Poster, Shirt, or Hoodie.
- Skeleton table tennis shirt 1
- Skeleton table tennis shirt 2
- Skeleton table tennis drawing
- Two skeletons playing table tennis
- Skull paddle
- More skeleton table tennis images
- Fast skeleton playing table tennis gif
I just put up a new blog in my science fiction page.
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