General Thoughts and Discussion Regarding Lessons and Instruction
Good coaching is one of, if not THE, quickest way to improve. I feel strongly that this is true for players of every level.
Some thoughts for different players.
New Players: I can’t over-emphasize how much it helps to learn the fundamentals correctly. It is very difficult to unlearn bad habits – even those that are fairly new. It is much worse when they have been ingrained over significant time. Learning a proper grip alone will save you a lot of trouble down the road. A few group (or private)lessons will pay off handsomely by teaching new players to do things correctly and in such a way that you won’t have to later relearn or unlearn them.
Kids: Kids seem to learn things very quickly and easily. I am amazed at how fast kids can pick up the basics. Since they learn so quickly, starting out with proper instruction is super important. They can learn to do things wrong just as quickly as right. Although they are better able to re-learn, even for them, learning to do things correctly from the start is a real time-saver.
Intermediate Players: Many of us play pretty well, but have some significant holes in our games. Figuring our what they are and what to do about them is very difficult to do on your own. This is due to many factors inclucing issues with misunderstanding, self awareness, ego, and a bunch of other “things”. These holes can be technical, tactical, or simply due to lack of practice. Things like grip changes, stance adjustments, timing refinement, or footwork tweaks can really help. Learning to vary spin and placement effectively can also pay dividends. Just doing drills under watchful eyes can often sharpen up your game. Learning a thing or two NOT to do could really make a difference.
Experienced/Better Players: Really the same as above, but your problems will likely be less obvious and your habits (good and bad) more ingrained.
Group Lessons are a regular thing on Saturdays. Our group lessons have become quite popular and a lot of our “once beginner” students have made terrific progress. I strongly recommend checking them out if your schedule permits!
We are holding Beginner through lower intermediate Group lessons on Saturdays starting around 12:45pm. We are averaging groups of about 6 with a fairly even split between kids and adults. Things have been going pretty well and we have a number of regulars. We try to separate players into “fairly similar” level groups. This helps the players and the coaches. We do individual and coach fed multi-ball, work in pairs or small groups, and often work with a robot. Multi-ball training lets me tailor drills “on the fly” for different level player.
Cost is currently “free with entry”, but we are considering imposing a small additional fee (on top or entry) for the group lessons. We are also considering setting up beginner or kid classes that will run for 10 or 12 weeks – for a single fee. Please contact Britt if interested!
Most players at the club – and all the board members are happy to help new players. Anyone wanting help needs only to ask. This casual assistance may be all some players want or need. This help is free, but it is on their terms. Please understand that they might have other obligations or just not feel like coaching occasionally. Please don’t take it personally if they can’t help (for whatever reason) occasionally – they might be working on their games or be looking to play some competitive matches.
Britt Salter is certified as a USATT Regional Coach and as a USATT Level II Coach (Link to Certificates Below). I’ve recently completed the ITTF Level III Class and am working towards completing my practical hours. I love helping folks out and spend quite a bit of time helping beginning, intermediate, and even advanced players. My tutoring ranges from “fairly structured and tailored” to , “pretty general and casual” depending on the player and their interest level. Note that, while this help is willingly given, time constraints and other obligations do limit what can be done. I try to put on at least one Group Lesson every Saturday, and also usually do some coaching on Tuesdays. Mondays and Fridays are tougher, but I’ll help if I can! I charge $25/hour for individual lessons, but also do lots of mini-sessions for free. We currently do not charge for Group lessons, but have been discussing some changes. Britt Salter – Regional Coach Certificate Certificate-ITTF Level 2 Britt Salter
Winfred Addy, our strongest player and excellent coach, is often available for lessons. He is a very good coach who can spot subtle technical flaws and correct them. He is able to help anyone form a beginner to an expert. He is at the club regularly. Let him know you are interested and he’ll be happy to schedule lessons. Prices vary, but expect ~$40-ish per hour.
Dr Jyh-I “G” Lu is another player that spends a lot time training and coaching. Dr. “G” has been a big help (along with Jim) with my group lessons, and has also helped lots of folks fix “things”. Dr “G” can be contacted at the club. He is almost always willing to help, but he has a very unusual schedule and occasionally has other commitments (table tennis ones).
Jim Short is another excellent option for those looking to get some help. When he has time – and his knees allow him to play – he always seems willing to help. Jim is more than capable of teaching all the basics – and plenty of the more advanced stuff too. Jim is also prone to discussions of tactics and “thinking” – consider yourselves warned! Jim can not only tell you some “different” things to do, he can also explain why they are, or might be strong choices. I don’t know what Jim would charge for an “official” lesson.
Tiffany Salter has also been helping quite a bit with coaching. She seems to have a knack for explaining the basics (plus) in a very clear, simple way. She has also been really getting better at helping intermediate (and even some better) players with technical glitches. She is also a fine practice partner who’s solid blocking skills can challenge almost any level.
There are a number of other super-helpful players at the club, but there is one, in particular, who has done way more than their share of coaching and helping. John Gillette has been super nice and super helpful since before I started in the club. He has become the poster child for “helping anyone and everyone” and for “Old Age and Treachery”. There is a LONG list of players he has helped over the years. He rarely does any “official” coaching, but helps everyone he plays or hits with.