Day One of MDTTC Summer Camps
Yesterday was the first day of eleven weeks of non-stop camps, Mon-Fri every week. Since I also coach on weekends, I expect to be coaching every day for over 80 consecutive days. (This includes a "break" where I go to the U.S. Open to coach.) I'm actually feeling rested now at the start; check back with me halfway through. I'll feel like a ping-pong ball after a Zhang Jike-Ma Long counter-looping rally.
I worked mostly with beginners yesterday. Lots of basics work, mostly forehand and backhand. Plenty of games as well, including the ever-popular cup game, where the kids build huge pyramids out of paper cups and then I feed them multiball while they knock them down. There were about 30 players in the camps, mostly juniors, including Nathan Hsu, Tong Tong Gong, Derek Nie, and Crystal Wang. Coaches were myself, Cheng Yinghua, Jack Huang, Jeffrey Zeng Xun, and our new coaches/practice partners Wang Qing Liang and Chen Bo Wen.
Why you need to be aggressive against long serves.
I've been harping with our juniors over being more aggressive against serves that go slightly long. It's so easy to push those balls, but that's exactly what the server wants. If you loop it, the server has to serve shorter, meaning the receiver can rush him, get better angles, and is closer to their target, and so have more control. Even more important, most players lose spin and deception on their serves when forced to serve shorter. The hard part about looping these serves is the ability to quickly recognize they are going slightly long, and the only way to learn that is by practicing, i.e. constantly trying to loop the slightly deep ones, occasionally getting it wrong, until you develop that skill. You can loop serves that go slightly short as well, where the second bounce would be near the edge, by going over the table, especially against sidespin and topspin serves. Players should learn to do that as well, especially on the backhand side where it's easier to go over the table and loop mostly with the wrist.
Spoiled by a Professional Club
Hi everyone, my name is Larry Hodges, and I'm a spoiled table tennis player.
How am I spoiled? Let me count the ways.
I am spoiled because I coach and play at a full-time professional table tennis club, MDTTC.
I am spoiled because there are so many tables in my club (16-18) that I never have to wait for a table.
I am spoiled because I always play in perfect conditions - great lighting, red specialize table tennis flooring, high ceilings, lots of room in all directions.
I am spoiled because there are balls scattered all over the club so I never have to bring in my own.
I am spoiled because I am constantly surrounded by top table tennis players and coaches. Olympians? National Champions? National Team Members? Ho-hum.
I am spoiled because I live in an age where we have sponges that practically loop or counter-hit the ball for us.
(Now for the downside: I can barely play except in perfect conditions. I've learned this the hard way.)
Table Tennis Banned on the set of Big Bang Theory
Table Tennis Nation brings you the story of why ping-pong was banned from the set of the TV show Big Bang Theory - it was causing too many injuries!
On a related note, the reverse has happened with the Baltimore Orioles. They had asked me to come in and coach some of their players, who have been playing table tennis in the clubhouse. They were going to turn it into a TV production for a pre-game show. However, some of the players involved have come down with various non-table tennis related injuries, including one with a wrist problem, and so they have temporarily stopped playing table tennis. They said that they still plan to do this when the players are healthy again.
Four Homemade Table Tennis Robots
Here are videos of home-made table tennis robots.
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