2012 JUIC International Junior Championship – Register Now

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The second annual JUIC International Junior Championship is scheduled for September 14 to 16 at ICC Table Tennis Club in Milpitas, CA. The tournament is one of the few events in the U.S. that offers players the chance to compete with internationally ranked juniors. Registration is open now. Come join the fun!

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Table Tennis Ready Position – Lesson 2

Massimo Costantini’s lesson series continues with this second installment. He talks about the importance of anticipation, how to scout your opponent and how a good ready position will protect your weak areas.

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Coaching Tip: Ready Position

What is the proper ready position? It’s the position that’ll allow you to react most rapidly to the opponent’s next shot. It’s extremely important in a sport as fast as table tennis. And yet many players have very poor ready positions. They stand up too straight, their feet are too close together, their weight isn’t on the balls of their feet, and their non-playing arm hangs loosely at their side like a dead snake.

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Coaching Tip: Serving Low

Serving low is one of the most underestimated skills in table tennis. The problem is that while some opponents will attack slightly high serves, more often it simply gives the opponent more leeway for their returns, making both controlled and aggressive serve returns much easier. Players at the beginning and intermediate levels often get away with slightly high serves for a time, especially if they have otherwise good serves (i.e. spinny or deceptive), but inevitably, at some point, they will lose winnable games because of these serves, often without realizing the problem. A low serve forces the opponent hit up on the ball instead of driving the ball forward, making most receives more difficult.

An exercise I sometimes recommend to players is to stand to the side of a match between a very strong player and a much weaker one and see the contrast. You may have to watch several match-ups as there are relatively strong players who don’t serve super low just as there are weaker players whose serves almost skim the net. Watch the world-class players and see not only how low their serves cross the net, but how low the ball bounces on the far side.

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Review of new plastic Table Tennis Ball

Australian Olympian William Henzell received a proto-type of the new plastic table tennis ball at the 2012 World Championships in Dortmund. This excellent video shows his frank and thorough review of his test of the ball. Everyone is curious about the new balls and there are many questions that William addresses such as, “How differently will they play?”, “Will there be less spin?”, “Are they going to be faster or slower?”. Also included in this Paddle Palace blog is a written transcription of his review.

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