From drug prices to drones, what’s ahead for business in, The old way of doing business is out after a year of big change for many companies. Turistene ma knipe igjen fordi kommunen kniper inn pa alle utgifter, ogsa det offentlige toalettet pa Hellesylt.
DO-LOFTE: -Her er det offentlige toalettet pa Hellesylt til du har fatt apna det borte i bygda, sier Jorunn Sporstol ved Joker-butikken i bygda, og holder opp ei hvit botte framfor ordforer Jan Ove Tryggestad (Senterpartiet). I tillegg kom et driftsunderskudd pa rundt 50 millioner kroner som gjor at kommunen ma snu hver en stein – og hvert dolokk – for a fa kommunen pa fote igjen. Den okonomiske hestekuren til Stranda har ikke gatt upaaktet hen, men det er stort sett utenfor kommunen. Og nar ordforer Jan Ove Tryggestad er i Hoyesterett kan turistene som gar pa land pa Hellesylt sette seg ubekymret pa skala pa det offentlig toalettet i bygda for a gjore sitt fornodne. Ordforer Tryggestad har bondegarden sin like utenfor sentrum, og derfor er det hos Jorunn han handler.
Da ordforerens varer var betalt grep han tak i Nytt i Uka fra stativet, og snudde seg mot utgangsdora. Second drill was short serve, long push return to backhand, server backhand loops to three spots - wide forehand or backhand, or partner’s elbow.
Third drill was counterlooping - except instead of from forehand corner to forehand corner, it was middle to middle. Fourth drill was server tells receiver two spots he can return the ball to, one short, one long.
For the 5-8PM session, I was back with the lower group, but wasn’t needed as a practice partner, so I was a roving coach. Then, for warm-up, rather than the typical forehand to forehand and backhand to backhand, Sean had them warm up differently. To warm up the backhand, he had players hit about three backhands in a row, then one would go to the middle, and then they’d play out the point.
In the lower group we had eight two-person teams, but because they started later, they each only played two teams. We started the 5-8PM session with Dan Seemiller giving a short lecture on excelling in as many things as you can, reiterating what he’d spoken about yesterday. Fundamentals - you should always be working on these, and will do so the rest of your playing career.
Then it was my turn; he had trouble when I kept varying the spin on my down-the-line fast serves, but gradually improved. Then, after a five-minute break, Lily took four girls for multiball while I took the seven boys plus Katie Chen (about 1900) and ran their drills. And then it was dinner - orange chicken (gone in minutes), beef with broccoli, another chicken dish, some sort of egg and potato dish, fried rice, and lots of watermelon.
Today’s physical training started with everyone jogging half a lap, and then walking the rest of the lap. He said that players shouldn’t worry about losing, that they should play tournaments for experience. Then it was on to the tables - where these were the first three drills, except this time with the ball. After the break we returned for the 5-8PM session, which started with another talk by Sean and Dan.
Dan told the story of how he had shown up at the last Nationals with a legal racket - but because the antispin he uses on one side is rare, the acting referee somehow didn’t see it, and ruled the racket illegal - as well as the backup. On the topic of being prepared, I jumped in and pointed out the importance of practicing your fast, deep serves before a big match.
I feed backspin to backhand, they backhand loop, I give quick topspin to forehand, they forehand loop. I feed two topspins to forehand, they forehand loop, then I feed two topspins to backhand, and they backhand loop or hit. Then Dan switched it to where we hid the ball, and whoever won got to either forehand loop or forehand block. And then it was dinner time, with fried rice, spaghetti, roasted chicken, potatoes, vegetables . Dinner was followed by the almost ritual penhold matches afterwards - many of the kids stay at least 30 minutes late for this. Here’s video (1:45) of me taking the kids out for ice cream - and trying to pay for it with a trillion dollar bill! The physical training this morning was the most grueling yet, though this was partly because of the heat - already into the 80s at 9:30AM.
New players joining us were three local New Jersey juniors; Tina Lin (17, 2354), Stephen Chu (16, 2108), and Sam Rockwell (16, 1854). Next came the best part of the day (for me) as Dan Seemiller and Sean O’Neill gave a 50-minute talk on a number issues, mostly on ball placement and other tactics, and stroke mechanics.
Sean said, “Players think the biggest difference between a weaker player and a top player is the top player rips everything.
Dan spoke about mastering the things you can control, citing three: fitness, dynamic serves, and mental.
Both harped on excelling in as many things as possible - the more weapons you have the better. They spoke more about the free arm and its importance for both balance and adding power to forehand shots by pulling with it. The kids then got a ten-minute break (and pigged out on watermelon, blueberries, and bananas), and then we started the afternoon 12-2 session. Sean called and explained the drills, and pointed out that both players are doing each drill, that if one player is blocking, his feet should constantly be moving. Two drills called by Sean while I was there stressed pushing short - though I’m guessing they did a lot of other drills while I was with the other group.
Serve short, push 4-5 balls short, and then server pushes long, receiver attacks, play out point.
Game drill: server serves until he loses two in a row, then the receiver becomes the server. We also did a forehand drill where one loops five in a row (forehand to forehand), and then free play - and all heck broke loose as the rallies were ferocious. Toward the end of the session I practice with Matthew Lu (12, 2241), and once again we had some nice rallies. Next was dinner - sesame chicken, barbecued ribs, fried and white rice, spaghetti, broccoli, and various fruits.
We had two vans, a 15-passenger one we rented for the day (driven by Sean), and an eight-passenger one (driven by Cory), plus Arcot Naresh and I driving our cars.
The kids were divided into three groups - roughly the 13 and over boys, the 12 and under boys, and the girls. The Sponsorship Talk was given by Sean O’Neill, who, besides coaching at the camp this week, is the USATT Director of Communications and Webmaster. Afterwards we all went to the Dragon Hibachi for dinner, and then came the 2.5 hour return trip. Today was tournament day, with nearly all the kids competing in the New Jersey Chinese Festival Olympic Cup, held at the Lily Yip TTC - the same place we’ve been training at. Richard McAfee, Wang Qing Liang, Cory Eider, and I spent the day watching and coaching the players. One player almost lost to a lower player because over and over his first attack would be to the opponent’s middle forehand or backhand, giving the player an easy counter-attack. Another player went flat-flip crazy, smacking shots all over the place (rarely on the table), and almost lost the match because of it. In this match, the lower-rated player showed great variety and tactics with his serves, while the other mostly used the same simple serve over and over - and the result was almost an upset.
One player showed great anticipation and so was usually in position, but when players were deceptive with last-second changes of direction, especially to the wide forehand, he had trouble - his footwork wasn’t quite strong enough, and his forehand stroke a bit too long. One player has a very nice forehand tomahawk serve - but imagine how good he’d be if he added a reverse forehand tomahawk serve! After the tournament was done, I called a meeting to go over tomorrow’s schedule and events. The service swing starts by building up momentum with the bigger muscles, accelerating just before contact. Against deep serves, you attack - the main question is forehand or backhand, how hard, and placement. It’s 9PM, and the training ended an hour before - and nearly half of the 27 players are still at the club.
Kommunen, som etter valget for tre og et halvt ar siden, dundret inn pa Robek-lista med rekordstor lanegjeld pa vanvittige 890 millioner kroner! Om en driftsenhet bruker opp budsjettene er det ikke lenger slik at vi kan gjore et politisk vedtak for a oke rammene.
I hjemkommunen omtales den beinharde bonden og ordforeren som ”hel ved”, ”dyktig”, ”stodig”, ”ryddig” og ”kjekk kar”. Nytt i Uka var tilfeldigvis med pa en handletur og fikk demonstrert lokalpolitikk i praksis. Det er faktisk slik at det kommer turister hit hele aret, ikke bare om sommeren, sa jeg forstar Jorunn godt. Observing the session was Coach Pieke from the Alameda club in California (and a former National and Olympic coach for Holland), who had flown in to observe for a day - three of his players were here (Kai and Aziz Zarehbin, and Avery Chan).
Partner had to block or sometimes counterloop each ball back to the server’s backhand, who continued to backhand loop.
After some easy jogging and stretching to warm up, Sean asked how many of them did this before every session, and stressed its importance. Each player would hit a forehand from the forehand corner, the move to the middle and hit a forehand from the middle, then move to the backhand and hit a forehand from there. Sean strongly stressed the importance of fighting for every point, and I think the message was received - I saw no giveaways.
Let me close by thanking those responsible for these incredible eleven days (with two more to come after I leave), mostly in alphabetical order.
I started out hitting with Daniel Tran (9, 1801), doing the 2-1 footwork drill (backhand, forehand from backhand side, forehand from forehand side). When I served really fast, but with straight topspin, he’d just smack it in with his backhand.
Then they did four types of plank exercises (on back, stomach, and each side), then pushups, then lay on back with feet slightly off the ground. Many coaches show you what to do, but often they do not give the type of talk needed for players to understand what’s necessary to reach the top. If the goal is to take on the world, then you need players who are ready to take on the world, not ones who are solely focused on beating other USA players. As noted yesterday, Dan’s version of this is player play until any player on any table wins a game to 11, and yells stop, and then whoever is in the lead wins. Sean started by pointing out to the group the opportunities they have that we didn’t have in our day - far more camps, full-time clubs and coaches.
Dan started with a talk and demo of short serves (backspin, no-spin, side-top), stressing low contact, with second bounce on far side near the end-line. This time I had titanic battles again with Lisa as well as Jessica Lin, but managed to finish on the first table, despite losses (and wins!) against both of them. After a quarter mile warm-up run and a number of warm-up exercises, the wind springs began.
This gave us 28 juniors for the day, including five over 2500 and ten over 2300 - and an impressive number of up-and-comers ages 10 to 12 with ratings from 1900 to nearly 2300, plus a pair of nine-year-olds over 1800.
This means making sure your backswing and forward swing are about the same length, and the contact point on your forward swing midway through the forward swing.
Sean spoke about how his coach sent him to Dan Seemiller camps to help develop his technique and get a different perspective.
They cited a Chinese coach who said that the racket speed of most American players was too slow, and considered the poor usage of the free arm and the rest of the body a reason for this. I wasn’t needed as a practice partner this session, and so roved between the two groups, with the upper group upstairs, the lower group downstairs. They started by challenging the players to his as many forehands as possible, and then backhands. The purpose of the drill was to learn to accurately go after the middle, which is a rather small, moving target. At first I was going to take notes and be a roving coach, but something opened up - and I spent most of the session practicing with Sid Naresh, 12, rated 2191.
When it was my turn, he had a lot of trouble at first with my forehand, which is hard to read - I can make it look like I’m going crosscourt, and then go down the line at the last second, and vice versa - but he gradually adjusted. Like the lower group, they were focusing a lot on short push today, and so we did a drill where one served either backspin or no-spin, and the other mostly pushed short - but if they saw the no-spin, they attacked.
Earlier in the camp the front door to the house many of us are staying at jammed, and wouldn’t open. They each spent up to an hour at each of three stations, which I will call the Sponsorship Talk, the Interview Room, and the Table Tennis Studio.
For example, Sean gave the example of Dan Seemiller, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a baseball player - but chose table tennis instead. Sean told the story of how he contacted the makers of Power Bars about his training and dreams of being an Olympian. The players stood in front of a white background with a microphone, and practiced introducing themselves on camera.
The tournament was primarily run by Barry Dattel, with assistance from Lily Yip and Judy Hugh. The opening shot should almost always go to the opponent’s middle (elbow) or wide angles. Near the end he got a bit more consistent, flipping with topspin, especially backhand banana flips, and it was the primary reason he pulled out the match. The only other serve used was what looked like the beginnings of a reverse pendulum serve, but it needed work - it had little spin.
Some didn’t have money, so I treated six kids, while getting two scoops of Rocky Road for myself. First, because the kids are all playing in a tournament tomorrow, they only had one three-hour session instead of the usual 6.5 hours in three sessions.
I had three items I wanted to elaborate on, but when Han finished, I hesitated - and they went out to the tables before I spoke up.
The following is from the lesson plan he created in advance, which I believe we roughly followed. My group focused on a number of drills that started with serves - we wanted to isolate match-type rallies, since they have a tournament the next day. Samson Dubina, Han Xiao, and Wang Qing Liang are all leaving tonight or tomorrow, with Richard McAfee staying until Monday night.
De ga oss ti ar pa a rydde opp, ikke fire ar som er normalt, forteller Jan Ove Tryggestad, mannen som tok pa seg den meget ubehagelige – men helt nodvendige – ryddejobben. Hurtigruten AS nekter a betale avgift for anlop til Geiranger fordi de mener seg fritatt ettersom de ogsa frakter gods. Bade for oss og dem er det prinsippet som teller, noe som har fort til at saken skal opp i Hoyesterett til sommeren. For example, it could be a short push to forehand or long push to backhand, or short push to backhand or long push to middle.
Then they’d continue, with a forehand from the middle, a forehand from the forehand, and so on, with both players moving across the table, hitting forehands from all three spots. Lisa Lin may have been the night’s star, beating three higher-rated players, including one of the Chinese practice partners in a big upset, before losing to another Chinese practice partner, a chopper. Lily Yip ran the 12-2PM session for the lower group, with my assistance, while Dan and Cory were with the upper group. Then we did a drill where we each spent ten minutes serving deep serves into each other’s backhands. Since he liked going to my wide forehand and then step around to counterloop, we again had some vicious counterlooping duels. Blocker has to jump on any loops that land short and block at very wide angles - so loopers needed to drive the ball deep. The other player forehand loops from the middle, then loops or drives from either wing against the random ball to the corner, with all of his shots going to the same side for the blocker. New player always serves.) I told them about one of my greatest memories, from the 1978 Seemiller camp in Pittsburgh, where I was on a six-person team, one game to 51, with our team down 48-33 when I went to the table.
Afterwards, we had five minutes, so I told the two losing teams they would now have their chance for revenge with one game to 11 - but everyone had to play penhold!!! They are putting their all into this effort - not just by themselves, but as perhaps a spark to get it going. For his own students, he said that after every tournament he asks them five questions: How were your techniques, your footwork, your tactics, your mental game, and your hustle. He said that if any of the players here later on have a technical question or video of themselves they want analyzed, send it to the coach and they’ll look at it and get back to you. But right at the start of his match against Lijuan Feng, the head referee showed up, realized they’d made a mistake and that the racket was legal - but since they had already started, it would be illegal to change rackets, even though they had only played about four points. Sean even mentioned it’s helpful to get to know the umpires, even by name - if you do, maybe they’d be less likely to fault you!
Imagine playing some forehand looper who keeps stepping around his backhand to loop your serve with his forehand, leaving his forehand wide open to a fast, down-the-line serve - but you haven’t warmed up the serve, and so you either miss it, do it too slow, or are simply afraid to try! Once again we had an odd number of players - that seemed to be happening a lot - so I hit with Avery Chan.
As I explained to some, you play to win, but the importance here is developing the ability to rally hard for many shots.
On the way back to the house, I once again treated the kids to Slurpees - a habit that’s getting increasingly expensive. We started with 100-yard sprints, six players at a time, with the next group starting as soon as the previous one finished. One hard-working one hurt his leg, but it was minor, and he was back in action that afternoon. But Coach Li Zhenshi said no, it was too late, the player too old to learn proper ball placement.
This also means using your free arm for balance, as well as pulling with it for greater power on forehand shots. Sean’s coach was more of a hitter, while Sean more of a looper, so by going to the Seemiller camps he learned from Dan, who is also a looper. Going into the Nationals Sean was the defending champion, and had beaten Hank in practice over and over.
Throughout the session he harped on players to move their feet and to use their non-playing arm.
Some of the older kids (who were staying at another house) came over and took most of them, which made the younger kids at the house rather unhappy. There were many adventures along the way, in both directions, but we’ll stick to table tennis!
To reiterate, they want the guy with the great attitude, the one who, when he loses, does so graciously, complimenting his opponent for his play, not the one who whines and makes excuses. A woman from Triode Media did the camera work while Peter Scudner coached the kids on their responses.
But he had nice serves and variation, and a nice attack from both sides, though the backhand attack almost always was crosscourt.
Here are some - in the first three, we played actual games, but with the score starting at 8-all. Coming in this Sunday will be three new coaches for the rest of the camp - Dan Seemiller and Sean O’Neill, and Lily Yip - who is already here, of course, since this is the Lily Yip TTC! Dette er maktutovelse med dialog for a komme i mal, sier ordforeren som i 2011 gikk inn i en knallhard valgkamp mot da sittende ordforer Frank Sve (Fremskrittspartiet). After jogging half a lap and walking the rest to loosen up, and some stretching, we did a timed mile. We’re trying to get through to as many players as possible what it really takes to reach the top.
He took a number of mini-videos of players to show them technique problems, from too-big or too-low backswings, overzealous follow-throughs, or backhands following through awkwardly to the side.
Jaden Ly pulled off a 650-point upset - but her rating of 1149 is a joke (over 500 points lower than the next lowest), which was why she was allowed into the camp. Then Jessica Lin (12, 1906) took his place and we each did a serve and loop off backspin drill, playing out point after the loop.
I threw everything at him when I served - fast topspin, breaking sidespin either way, fast and dead, and all sorts of fakes. They also had to focus on balance - no off-balance follow-throughs that left them open on the next shot. None had done this drill before, which I had learned from Stellan Bengtsson - the purpose was to learn to cover and dominate the table from the middle with the forehand, and react to random angled shots.
I was around 1800, and the other team had Perry Schwartzberg (2400+), Joe Rokop (2200+), a 2000 player, and three other players around my level. They started with shadow stroking - side-to-side forehands, in-and-out forehands, and forehand-backhand from the backhand corner. This allows you to put great power on the ball and still remain balanced and recover quickly for the next shot. Then the players went to the tables, one per table, and worked on serves for perhaps 20 minutes. I had some huge battles with Lisa Lin and Estee Ackerman, both of whom have tremendous backhands, but managed to stay at the first table most of the time.
Jessica had a different tactic - she kept hook looping to my wide forehand, and I fell behind quickly. Later I had to run back to the club to get something, and ended up taxiing two groups of the older kids to the house they are staying at - Adam Hugh’s house - a 15 minute walk but a three-minute drive. Good ball placement needs to be learned early or it’s nearly impossible to get right. Examples of things you might excel at include serve, ball placement, power, consistency, footwork, receive, deception, fundamentals, strategy, shot selection, rally ability, blocking, looping, and reading of spin - and that’s just the beginning! If you’re a blocker, then developing the rest of your game, or your good blocking will become a trap, keeping you from developing the rest of your game.
When they met in the Men’s Final, Sean decided to just push and block, which threw Eric off, and Sean won the first two games. Sean then issued a challenge to them to go home and hit 1000 in a row - and promised some sort of prize to whoever did it first. I was a bit leery at first as back home I spent so much time practicing with players under 1800 I wasn’t sure I could still handle 2200-level shots - but guess what? Sean and Lily give us two Olympians - and since about half the kids have put making the Olympics their primary goal, perhaps they’ll get some Olympic stories. Also, the player looked tentative looping against backspin, despite making these shots with ease in practice.
There were some very happy kids, especially since I relaxed curfew, allowing them to have some late-night powwows. We bowled for two hours, and the kids had a great time, and are now relaxed and ready for the tournament.
Cory Eider will stay to the end of the camp (July 24), while I have to leave two days early.
Cory Eider and I both agreed that this is why some players develop such a feel for the ball, by constantly trying new things, just as generations of past players with great control did.
I gave Coach Pieke a ride to his hotel (15 min away), then returned to an empty house - all the kids were still at the club getting video interviewed by Matt Hetherington for USATT. She and her partner in the team competition, Faith Hu (1761 in new ratings, probably 100 points better) were perhaps the most under-rated players in the camp.
One point near the end went on forever, with him looping about 30 balls, and finally ended when he pushed and I made a running forehand clipboard smash!
Then one of our practice partners had to leave, leaving us with an even number again, so I wasn’t needed as a practice partner, so I became a roving coach. I demonstrated the proper way loop and recover quickly - it’s all about proper rotation and balance. I stressed that the receiver should regularly aim one way, push the other - for example, start to push crosscourt deep to the backhand, but at the last second drop the racket tip and angle it to the left, and drop it short to the forehand.
The rule there was new player received, so I got to serve each time I won a point - and I just served and forehand attacked over and over, and won 18 in a row to win 51-48!!! I did pretty well until near the end, when I faced two players with (illegal) hidden serves that I simply couldn’t make good returns on, missing about half of them outright. They then did a quickness drill where everyone (without their rackets), went to the side of a table and had to sidestep quickly from one net post to the other, going around half the table, and then return, over and over as fast as they could for 30 seconds, twice. Avery loves to hook the ball with lots of sidespin, so we had some nice sidespin counterlooping duels.
I was near the front of the line, and was about to get it, but with all eyes on me and the quickly diminishing orange chicken, I didn’t take any and settled on roast chicken and fried rice.
They did about 6-8 at this distance, then continued with 50-yard sprints, and then 40 yards.
You may know off the table where the ball should be placed, but to reflexively do so at the table in a fast rally, and to accurately hit the target? This is one of those simple concepts that so many just don’t understand or take seriously.
He lost his focus, lost two careless points, and next thing he knew he lost the match in five.
When Eric adjusted, Sean went back to attacking, which again threw Eric off his game - and by going back and forth, he won the match and the championship.
He cited how his coach made him do this when he was nine years old, and how Dan Seemiller also had stroking consistency battles at his camps - with former start Jimmy Lane once getting over 5000 in a row.
Examples he cited here were when feet stop moving but arms continue to move, and swinging wildly.
As I objectively (but not subjectively) knew, stronger players have more consistent shots, and so you get into a groove with them.
I did pretty well in these games, beating five players rated from 2180 to about 2250, and losing a tie-breaker with Gal Alguetti. On the way back I treated some of the kids to drinks and snacks at the local convenience store. These kids are elite up-and-coming players who may be looking for sponsors and get interviewed by the media - and now they are a lot more ready than before. When the Power Bar company heard this, they sent him even more, with the idea being they’d hook all these people on Power Bars and sell more of them. Five minutes later I find them in deep discussion as Dan’s demonstrating and explaining it for her.
The next drill was serve short backspin, receiver backhand banana flip, play out point (POP).
Other than a deceptive forehand pendulum side-top serve that looks like backspin (and gets most people), he adjusted to them all. That was the moment when I realized these great players weren’t gods, that if you learned to play properly you could win against them.
During the session we were amazed as three men ran lap after lap during all this, at blazing speeds.
I ended up gathering three together who were just learning reverse pendulum serves and worked with them on that. There was some fun trash-talking during dinner from the older players from the upper group, who had apparently had some titanic matches going on in their own up-down table competition.
We kept pushing them to accelerate as they reach the end, since many would slow down instead.
Finally the 5-8PM session came to an end, I hobbled out, exhausted but happy with my play - and with my opponents’! So players who wish to be sponsored need visibility and salability in order to be marketable. With a topspin flip, where you stroke at least slightly up, you can more easily adjust how much you swing upwards, giving you control over the flip. You have to be able to do in matches what you do in practice, and just let the shot go rather than try to guide it. As to me, after shooting in the triple digits (110!), I’ve made the tough, life-changing decision to give up my professional table tennis career and become a professional bowler. The players will go over in groups, with each group walking to the club 70 minutes before their first match so they have an hour to warm up and prepare. They did a few other drills, and then they played 30 minutes of up-down tables, games to 11. I worked with another on fast, deep serves, with another on depth control of short serves, with another on maximizing spin, and with another on deceptive side-top forehand pendulum serves.
He said that if you adopt the attitude in practice of no free points, it’ll carry over into tournaments. He did a number of drills into my forehand and backhand block, and the rallies were fast and yet neither of us could miss (much). With the sprints in the morning, and a rather vigorous day of training, the kids went to bed without argument! Dan worked with him several times on extending his backswing on his backhand loop for more power, and he practiced this for about 20 minutes into my backhand block.
For his drill, he did a similar serve and attack drill, where he served short, I mostly pushed and sometimes flipped, and he attacked. It was getting late and I had a lot to do, but I agreed to the challenge - and I pulled it out, also in deuce.
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