2014 USATT COY Yang Yu Publishes Research; Looks to Advance US Table Tennis
By Brian Doherty and Roderick Medina
Coach Yang Yu of the Austin Table Tennis Club and recent ICECP was selected as a 2014 recipient of the Coach of the Year for USA Table Tennis. Coach Yu’s award is named after legendary swim coach James E. "Doc" Counsilman who pioneered the use of video recording and other technologies as coaching tools. It recognizes a coach who similarly utilizes sport science and technology in the advancement of their sport. Always looking forward to the next project, Coach Yu hopes to increase the caliber of American table tennis on a wider scale.
The primary research that led to the coaching award was a detailed study of the tools available to players of different rankings. This included an in-depth measurement of such elements as serve placement, third ball attacking, the frequency with which the forehand loop would win a point, and many other measures. The study advocates some methods for the novice player to improve aspects of his game, and for the skilled player to win matches against evenly matched opponents.
Yang also applies ideas from his Masters in Business Administration to analyze and evaluate the club system in the United States. He believes that a healthy club system is the key component to developing new talent on the highest level as well as making table tennis a sport that many more people of varying abilities can enjoy. Having received and analyzed comprehensive survey data from 63 U.S. table tennis clubs, Yang produced a research paper and the first edition of a club handbook which will be available openly this year. He encourages all current and prospective USA Table Tennis club leaders to join the Club Handbook and Table Tennis Enterprise Research (CHATTER) Project group which is another product of his research. He hopes these efforts will encourage a thriving club system in this country.
Both of Coach Yu’s papers have been accepted and presented at the 14th ITTF Sport Science Congress and the 5th World Racquet Sports Congress in Suzhou, China.
Coach Yu plans to continue to explore methods through which to increase knowledge of and enthusiasm for table tennis at all levels of play.