July 30, 2013


Yesterday was Day One of Week Seven of our ten weeks of summer camps. This week we have our smallest turnout, only about 20 players. Originally I was going to work only the mornings, since the turnout is smaller and because I need more time for my writing (both table tennis and fiction), as well as to prepare for upcoming ITTF seminars (one I'm attending, one I'm teaching), and other TT organizing activities. However, there are four beginning younger kids, and I was asked if I could take charge of them. So I'm working with these four in the afternoons. But it means I'm facing a time crunch. I may write more about this later - I've got a todo list that's longer than a "Game of Thrones" novel. (Thing will ease up at the end of August when our camps end and the kids go back to school.) 

One thing that jumped out among these four is that three of them have a lot of head movement when they play forehands. I'm working on minimizing that. Two of them tend to hit forehands with backspin. One has trouble hitting the ball at all. Two can't serve yet. So we've got a busy week ahead of us.

Making things worse is our table tennis robot broke. It shoots balls out erratically all over the place. I've gone to the manufacturer's web page where it explains what might be the problem, but I'm not sure yet which it is, or how to fix it. I'm hoping to turn it over to one of the engineer parents at our club, including a couple of mechanical engineers. Normally when working with four kids I'd have one on the robot, I'd work with one, and the other two would do ball pickup. We'd rotate every few minutes. Now instead I work with one, one does ball pickup, and the other two hit together. They aren't able to do drills yet, so I let the two hitting together play games. Perhaps by the end of the week they might be able to do some forehand to forehand or backhand to backhand among themselves, but right now they can only do this with a coach who can keep the ball to one spot.

Pendulum Serve in Doubles

Here's a video (1:28) from Ping Skills on the forehand pendulum serve in doubles. (Sort of a basics article.)

New Ball and Mixed Doubles System at 2015 Worlds

Here's the article from Tabletennista. "A new ball and a new pairing system for the Mixed Doubles will be implemented in the 2015 World Championships to be held in Suzhou, China." They are replacing the current celluloid ball (which is apparently too flammable) with a new plastic ball. The new pairing system for Mixed Doubles "...will allow Chinese players to pair up with members from other associations."

Top 10 Shots from the First Half of 2013

Here's the video (6:05), which came out yesterday, from the ITTF Youtube Channel.

Hockey Players Play TT for Charity

Here’s an article and two videos (55 sec and 2:08) from Table Tennis Nation on Hockey players playing table tennis to raise funds for concussion and cancer research ("Smashfest"). "Stephane Veilleux of the Minnesota Wild was the eventual winner, but plenty of NHLers were in attendance: Dominic Moore (the event organizer), Logan Couture, Martin St. Louis, Phil Kessel, Joel Ward, and many more and raised over $100,000."

The New Yorker's Table Tennis Cover

Yesterday I linked to a picture of the cover of The New Yorker, which features table tennis. Here's the story behind the cover.

Non-Table Tennis - My Novel and Short Stories

It's official - my humorous fantasy novel "The Giant Face in the Sky" will be coming out Nov. 15 from Class Act Books. I'll blog more about this as the date approaches. Time to start planning the sequel! Here's a short blurb: "The Giant Face in the Sky" is a humorous fantasy retelling of the U.S.-Soviet race to the moon in the '60s, but with sorcerers instead of astronauts. It's Hitchhiker's Guide meets the Space Race." And while we're on the subject of my science fiction & fantasy writing, here's a review that just came out of the anthology "After Death," where the reviewer lists my story ("The Devil's Backbone") as one of the three best!

Ping Ping with Vicious Seeing Eye Dog Paddle and Big Glasses

Can someone tell me what's going on here? The title above is the best description I can come up with!

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April 24, 2012

USATT Minutes of Committee & Task Force Meetings

From the USATT Bylaws, Section 9.10, Minutes of Meetings:

"Each committee and task force shall take minutes of its meetings.  The approved minutes must be published within thirty (30) days of completion of the meeting."

I've pointed this out to the USATT board multiple times over the past few years, via email to the board, at the 2009 Strategic Meeting, at board meetings, and I blogged about this on October 11 last year. [See segment"2009 USATT Strategic Meeting (and Task Force Minutes)."]

Either none of the USATT committees or task forces have met even once over the past five years or so, or they simply aren't following the bylaws, even after the problem was pointed out. (I happen to know that a number of these committees and task forces have met.) Alas, the very board that crowed so much about creating these new bylaws (circa roughly 2007, with updates since) has not followed them. Don't believe me?

Then here's a challenge. FIND ME THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS. First person who can find them by 4:30 PM this afternoon when I leave to coach (and no cheating by someone putting them online today) gets a free copy of any one of my books (see below) and public acknowledgement here. (One exception - I'm fairly certain I remember seeing minutes online of an Officials meeting, but am not sure. But if anyone can find those minutes, no book, but I'll acknowledge your finding in my blog tomorrow.) Here are the USATT minutes for USATT board meetings, and the USATT committee listing. (The committee listing includes task forces, some of which have met over the past few years and since been dissolved, such as the "Grow Membership Through Added Value" task force.) Other than board meetings, there are minutes for a Hall of Fame Committee meeting listed on "December 20, 2011" (they mean 2010) - and they are not actually a USATT committee. 

Note that not all committees meet, especially "advisory" committees. I'm on the USATT Coaching, Club, and Editorial Advisory Committees, but none of them have had a formal meeting since I was appointed. However, others have met to formulate various policy, such as the High Performance Committee, which meets to set policy and schedule for the National Teams, and of course the various Task Forces meet to accomplish their various tasks. (At least I hope they do!)

Books by Larry Hodges

Hey, that's me! Since I mentioned my books above (and it's been a while since I listed them here), here's a listing. Note that Professional Table Tennis Coaches Handbook and Instructor's Guide to Table Tennis (which are really handbooks) are online (free). And this fall I hope to have my new book out, "Table Tennis Tactics: A Thinker's Guide." (I'm doing the final rewriting right now, but other table tennis issues keep intervening.) 

2012 North American Olympic Table Tennis Trials Press Conference

Here's the video of the press conference with all the players from North America who made the Olympics (19:53). Unfortunately, I can barely hear them even at full volume. Maybe others have louder speakers.

Ariel Hsing slideshow

Here are eight photos with captions of U.S. Women's Champ and Olympian teenager Ariel Hsing at the Olympic Trials.

Michael Landers and the Kelloggs Corn Flakes Box

Here's more on Michael Landers on the Kelloggs Corn Flakes box, including a picture of both the front and back.

"As One" movie

Here's a preview of "As One" (1:48), with English subtitles, the story of the joint Korean 1991 World Women's Team Champions

Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings

Here's another article on hockey's Predators vs. Red Wings table tennis "feud."

Adam Bobrow Highlights

Here's two minutes of Adam Bobrow, mostly from movie and TV roles, including three table tennis scenes. (He's not just a comedian and actor - he's rated 2115, and was recently up to 2172.)


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