August 4, 2011

Grip and Stance

I had a student last night who played his forehand in a nearly backhand position, facing the table. He also held the racket with his index finger almost down the middle, resulting in a floppy, wristy forehand. When I tried to get him to change his grip, his forehand looked like a jellyfish trying to do the wave. When I tried getting him to rotate his shoulders back on the forehand so he could use the whole forehand hitting zone, let's just say that too didn't work. It wasn't until I told him to change the grip and rotate his shoulders back that a little light bulb went off over his head, and suddenly his forehand came alive. We did about 30 minutes of multiball on his forehand, and now he's swinging like a pro. Well, at least in practice. It'll take time to incorporate it into a game.

Feature coaching videos from PingSkills

PingSkills has a number of free coaching videos on just about every subject, conveniently divided into beginner (Bronze), intermediate (Silver) and advanced (Gold) sections. Browse around a bit!

Fred Danner's Ping-Pong Diplomacy book

U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Famer Fred Danner is writing a book about Ping-Pong Diplomacy. With permission from Tim Boggan and master photographer Mal Anderson (both also Hall of Famers), I've been supplying photos from Tim's eleven books (so far!) on U.S. Table Tennis History, including his own book on Ping-Pong Diplomacy. (I've been doing the layouts and photo work on Tim's books - and I'm also a Hall of Famer! Yeah, they'll put anyone in there.) I'll give updates when the books ready to come out.

Back problems

You know you have serious back issues when it wakes you up at 4AM by jabbing a heated fire prong into itself. I know, I know, I need to rest it . . . but I really can't, not until Aug. 20. I've got a two-week training camp starting on Monday, and gee, it's my job! So I'll just grit my teeth and learn to love those loving, fiery jabs. Even now, it's literally killing me. I wonder what a bowl of Ibuprofen in milk, with sugar sprinkled on, for breakfast would be like?

Full-time professional table tennis clubs

Here is a listing of full-time professional table tennis clubs in the U.S., also pasted below. I'm sure I'm missing some - if you know of any, please email me. I'll periodically add updates. The current count is 48.

To me, a full-time professional club (roughly speaking) has a website, at least five or more tables, is open at least six days a week, has professional coaches (preferably at least one full-time), a junior program, and a league. If it's missing one of these but has the others, it might make the cut. For example, if a club is only open five days a week, but has fifty tables and ten professional coaches, leagues, junior programs, etc., that's a full-time professional club in my mind. So for now, there is some subjectivity in the listing.

There are also other models. For example, in Minneapolis/St. Paul, there are a number of playing clubs that, combined, add up to full-time table tennis - but there's no full-time center, so they don't make this particular list. Until a few years ago, this was also the situation in the San Francisco bay area. Now full-time clubs are popping up all over the place there.

There are some clubs that might be on this list but they don't have a website. For example, I'm told that the Spin Garden and Korea Town clubs in Los Angeles would make the list, and another in Chinatown area of Las Vegas - but they don't have websites. In this day and age, a professional table tennis center that does not have a website is a cry to stay hidden. If they don't want to be advertised, so be it. However, if an officer from one of those clubs emails me and asks to be listed, and gives me something I can link to - hopefully a website, otherwise an email address - I'll add them to the list.

Can someone tell me what's the deal with all the full-time clubs (4) in Flushing, NY??? (Population: 176,000.)

I've put a permanent link to the page in the Articles section, under Coaching Resources. And now . . . here's The List!

Table Tennis & More, Phoenix, AZ

Alameda Table Tennis Club, Alameda, CA
Gao Jun Table Tennis Center, El Monte, CA
Gilbert Table Tennis Center, Los Angeles, CA
Grace Lin Table Tennis Center, El Monte, CA
ICC Table Tennis, Milpitas, CA
Los Angeles Table Tennis Association, El Monte, CA
Ping-Pong Dojo, Milpitas, CA
Power Pong, Huntington Beach, CA
San Diego Table Tennis Association, San Diego, CA
Sung Hwan Bae Table Tennis Club, Santa Ana, CA
Topspin Table Tennis/World Champions Table Tennis Academy, San Jose, CA
USA Valley Table Tennis Club, Reseda, CA
Westminster Table Tennis Club, Westminster, CA

Orlando Stars Table Tennis Academy, Orlando, FL
Broward Table Tennis Club, Dania Beach, FL

Yang's Table Tennis Club, Duluth, GA

Chicago Slam Table Tennis Club, Chicago, IL
Table Tennis Chicago, Chicago, IL

Club JOOLA, Rockville, MD
Maryland Table Tennis Center, Gaithersburg, MD

Boston Table Tennis Center, Medford, MA

Las Vegas Table Tennis Club, Las Vegas, NV

Lily Yip Table Tennis Center, Dunellen, NJ
New Jersey Table Tennis Club, Westfield, NJ

Chinese Community Center of Flushing, Flushing, NY
Dynamo Table Tennis Club, Brooklyn, NY
New York International Table Tennis Center, Flushing, NY
New York Table Tennis, Flushing, NY
New York Table Tennis Club, Flushing, NY
New York Table Tennis Federation, New York, NY
Port Washington Table Tennis Club, Port Washington, NY
Spin New York, New York, NY
Wang Chen Table Tennis Club, New York, NY
Westchester Table Tennis Center, Pleasantville, NY

Columbus Table Tennis Club, Columbus, OH

Blitz Pong, Portland, OR
Portland Table Tennis Club, Portland, OR
Willamette Table Tennis Club, Salem, OR

The Table Tennis Centre, Mercersburg, PA
Trolley Car Table Tennis Club, Philadelphia, PA

Rhode Island Table Tennis Club, Manville, RI

Austin Table Tennis Association, Austin, TX
Dallas Table Tennis Club, Dallas, TX
Houston Table Tennis Association, Houston, TX

Northern Virginia Table Tennis Center, Chantilly, VA

Seattle Pacific Table Tennis Club, Bellevue, WA
Washington Table Tennis Center, Bellevue, WA

Spin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

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