Homespun Table Tennis Insights

Photo courtesy of Al Mcleod

Every week I make a point to jot down some notes on ideas that might make good topics for the T3 blog. Frequently all my thoughts gel into one topic that is worthy of a few mildly entertaining paragraphs. This week none of that really happened. I’ve got some great topics, but they don’t go together, and some of them aren’t really ready for prime time. Nevertheless, here are a few unpolished insights for your consideration.

  •  Spin it down. When I wrote this I was struck by how many players seem to understand adding spin as always spinning the ball up. If you are frequently looping the ball off the table, you may just have the wrong approach. As best I can tell, most players learn how to loop by first looping low underspin or no-spin balls. Letting the ball drop below the height of the net or the table requires an upward stroke. That same upward stroke will not work if the ball is over the table and/or above the height of the net, regardless of the spin on the ball. You’ll have to spin it down by contacting the ball from the top. If anyone has a better way to explain this, please let me know. 
  •  Defensive players coaching offense – If you are a defensive player who just happens to coach offensive players, there’s no need to get defensive. Choppers and blockers have unique insights that most offensive players have never thought of. It doesn’t hurt to get some input from attackers and skilled loopers. They will see the game differently and are a great resource for coaching offensive players. 
  • Detours – The definition of detour is a “long or roundabout route.” One of the quickest ways to get a new player to look like an experienced player is to get them to stop taking detours with their strokes. There’s no time to take a side trip between strokes. Each stroke should roll directly to the next, in a direct path. Don’t take the scenic route to your hip or go to a rest stop over your head. You don’t have time.
  •  Coaching coaches to coach – Right now the only legitimate certification for coaches in the United States is through USATT or the ITTF. Is there any reason other clubs or entities couldn’t do these types of courses? Thoughts?
  •  Virtual popularity – It’s not the same as actually being popular, but I have suddenly been flooded with virtual friends. Never underestimate the power of a good photograph. Thanks Al Mcleod. Upon changing my Facebook profile picture to one with my paddle and a shirt highlighting my Swedish heritage, I have been overwhelmed with requests for my friendship. I may be being mistaken for a professional European player. So, even though I really don’t play professionally, it’s great to have a professional photographer.         

That’s all the half-baked thoughts for today. Hopefully, I’ve given you something to think about.   

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