#20 – Larry Hodges: Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers

How to introduce Larry Hodges? It’s a tough one. He’s probably the busiest man in table tennis! Larry is a full-time table tennis coach at Maryland Table Tennis Center in the US. He also runs the website TableTennisCoaching.com and writes a daily blog and “tip of the week” every Monday. He is a key figure in USATT, has won national titles as a player, organizes tournaments and is a general promoter and figurehead of the sport of table tennis.

On top of all that, Larry has also written several brilliant table tennis books, including the popular Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers, and it is this book that will be the focus of our conversation in Episode #20 of The Expert Table Tennis Podcast.

Developing a strong tactical game and awareness is a key part of becoming a top table tennis player – but it is so often ignored. Larry is on a mission to “make people think” and encourage all table tennis players to develop the habit of tactical thinking. This episode is jam-packed with tips to help you start working on, or continue improving, your tactics.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Larry first got into table tennis at the age of 16.
  • The level Larry got to as a player.
  • How he first started coaching and why he enjoyed it so much.
  • Why he decided to write Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers.
  • What the snowball effect is and how it can rapidly improve performance.
  • All about four key points from the book.
  • Larry’s top tactical tips for the serve, the return, and rallying.
  • About some of the books Larry has got planned for the future.

Links from this episode:

Thanks for listening!

Thank you so much for joining us. I really hope you enjoyed the show and learned a lot from listening to Larry. It was an absolute pleasure to have him on the show and learn from his years of experience and wisdom.

Do go and check out Larry’s books. Reading table tennis books is a great addition to your typical training and competition schedule. Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers is brilliant, but I can also recommend all of Larry’s other books including Table Tennis: Steps to Success, Table Tennis Tips and The Spirit of Pong. I can’t wait to read the next book Larry brings out too!

Please share the show

It was my goal to reach 5,000+ downloads of the podcast in the month of September. We didn’t quite make it but finished on a very respectable 4,710. I am sure that with five new episodes being released in October, we are sure to smash through the 5,000 mark but in order for that to happen I really need your help.

Please, please, please (if you haven’t already) would you subscribe on iTunes and leave the show an honest iTunes Podcast review. Success on iTunes is key to the long-term popularity and success of the show.

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Next Friday I will be joined on the show by table tennis coach Marc Burman. Marc was actually my first ever table tennis coach back in 1999ish when I first started playing the sport aged nine or ten. It will be great to talk to Marc about what he remembers of me as a ten-year-old and we’ll also be discussing his experiences as a table tennis coach of all levels of player, from beginners to internationals. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ll be back in a week. Enjoy your weekend!