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ITTF Coaching Course in Maryland

May 03, 2011, 7:18 p.m. (ET)

The first ever ITTF Level One Coaches Course in the U.S. taught by a U.S. coach took place over two weekends at the Maryland Table Tennis Center in Gaithersburg, Md. Fourteen coaches attended April 16-17 and April 23-24, 2011, six hours per day, to begin the qualification process to become certified as coaches by the International Table Tennis Federation. The course was taught by Larry Hodges, who qualified as an ITTF Course Conductor at the Course held last September at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, taught by Glenn Tepper, Executive Director of Development Programs.

Larry covered material from the ITTF Level 1 Manual step by step, sometimes in the impromptu classroom set up in the back of the club, others times out at the table, where he'd demonstrate both proper and improper technique (challenging coaches to name the problem with the latter), often bringing out attending coaches to demonstrate their techniques. A rough listing of items covered included:

  • ITTF and USATT certification process
  • ITTF coaching program
  • Coaching responsibilities and ethics
  • Generic coaching principles
  • Coaching beginners
  • Coaching in schools
  • Skills circuits
  • Warmup
  • Multiball
  • Grip
  • Ready position
  • Stroking techniques (forehand and backhand drives, looping, blocking, pushing, flipping, lobbing & fishing, smashing lobs, and chopping)
  • Footwork
  • Beginning and advanced serves
  • Receive
  • Training programs
  • Physical training
  • Nutrition
  • Sports science
  • Sports psychology
  • Running junior programs
  • Equipment (especially different rubber surfaces)
  • Tactics against different surfaces, grips, and playing styles
  • Doubles tactics
  • Umpiring and rules
  • Running tournaments

Each Coach had to prepare and present a 5-10 minute demonstration to fellow coaches, on a subject selected by lot. The next step for the Coaches is to achieve five hours supervised coaching (by an ITTF-certified or other approved high-level coach--ten of the 14 coaches did this during the MDTTC Spring Break Camp) and 25 hours unsupervised, and then they will be awarded their ITTF LEVEL 1 Certificate and be registered as Level 1 coaches on the ITTF and USATT websites.

All coaches involved would like to thank USATT Coaching Chair Richard McAfee; ITTF Executive Director of Development Programs Glenn Tepper; USATT and ITTF; Photographer Shaobo "Bob" Zhu; the Maryland Table Tennis Center and MDTTC coaches Cheng Yinghua and Jack Huang; and Jef Savage for presentation equipment usage & operation and this article.

Coaches attending were: Shaobo “Bob” Zhu, (PA); Juan Ly, Regional Level, (FL); John Hsu, (MD); Vahid Mosafari, (MD); Jeff Smart, Regional Level, (MD); Benjamin Arnold, (PA);  Carmencita Alexandrescu, Club Level & Romanian Coach Qualification, (NV); John Olsen, Club Level, (VA); Dan Notestein, Club Level, (VA); Jeff Fuchs, (PA); Larry Hodges (ITTF Instructor), National Level, (MD); Jef Savage, State Level, (PA); David Varkey, (PA); Changping Duan, Club Level, (MD); and Charlene Liu, State Level, (MD)