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    Posted: 08/15/2019 at 10:21am
There certainly has been a lot going on in USATT recently!
You probably are familiar with the team selection controversy. You may not know that three members recently resigned from the high performance Committee: Sean O’neil, Tahl Leibovitz, and Tara Profit.
We want fair team trials!
Finally, *I heard second hand* the HPD has submitted his resignation. Hooray!
Below is the letter I wrote to the Board and CEO regarding his resignation.
I encourage all of you to contact the board and ask them to listen to the membership, and choose a different direction with the new HPD.

Dave

USATT Board and CEO,
I have recently heard that HPD has offered his resignation. I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I felt he was really taking table tennis in the US in the wrong direction. Since some of you do not know me, I think it appropriate that I tell you something of my background, so you will have some context for my comments.
1 Background
I am not a high level table tennis player, and I have never won any national titles above the intermediate level. However, as the director of the Alameda Table Tennis Center, I have had the privilege to work with a number of very good coaches and high level players. We opened in 2008 and had our first national title at the 2010 US open with Kevin Li in the Boys Under 9. Since that time we have won multiple boys titles, and in the last six years we have had 5 different young players win regional Hopes tournaments. We currently have two players on the national team, and our 7 juniors who attended the 2019 Nationals earned 9 medals. So I think it is safe to say that I have some familiarity with junior development in the USA.
I write this letter in the hope that with the future incoming HPD we can avoid some of the mistakes made in the past.
When we opened Alameda Table Tennis Center in 2008, I did not see USATT as a very strong partner in our goals of player development. However the important thing was that USATT was not doing anything to hinder us. We took in on ourselves to try to provide the highest quality training to our players at the local level, and USATT gave us and other training centers the freedom to do so. As the number of full time training centers like us grew to somewhere around 100, this led to an explosion of junior success.
If I had to pick a moment when the change was becoming apparent, I think Lilly and Arial’s development would be when I saw the tide started to turn. Of course the training centers have now produced so many successful juniors who are medaling internationally that it would be very difficult to name them all.
2 “Super Camps” or “Sucker Camps”
I think the first time I realized our relationship with USATT was changing was in 2016. We lined up one of the most qualified coaches in the US and 2 high level sparing partners for our summer camps. Sometime after this we found out that USATT would be holding two weeks of “super camps” for young players. I thought, “Well this is twice the price, and not as good as what we are doing locally, so nothing to worry about correct?” Wrong. The camps were “mandatory” and could be used as national team selection criteria! Wow! I was so frustrated. We lined up the resources to provide the best for our kids, then lost thousands of dollars as our camp attendance plummeted when out top kids went elsewhere. I was incensed, but kept my mouth shut as I did not want to hurt our kids chances of making the national team.
Not everyone towed the line and kept so quiet. A large Bay Area club chose not to send its players to the “Super Camp” and some of them were not selected for the national team. Next came the lawsuits / threats of lawsuits, and a big blow up. Of course we all know that this situation led to the eventual resignation of the previous HPD. Afterward I was so frustrated to hear the CEO sum up the situation, ”Well the HPD was not a very good communicator.”
What! The problem was not a communication problem, or one trouble making club. The problem was the HPD’s message, “You need to come to self funded camps or you will not be on the national team.”
I don't know the price of all the USATT “Super camps”, but I know the price of the 2018 Florida Spring "National Team" Camp. This one was $1000 per week, or $600 for national team members. Of course that did not include the cost for our players to travel to Florida. Out of the 20 or so attendees I think 2 or 3 were national team members, and no sparing partners were provided. Meanwhile back in Alameda we had a 5 time Olympian running our camp and were charging $300 or $250 for our juniors. As a result, money that could have been spent locally, so that our club can continue to operate, and provide high quality training was flushed down the toilet. This last year, since our top players were compelled to go elsewhere, we had to cancel our spring camp, and our next generation of players had no spring camp. Table tennis is not an easy business in the U.S. As I look at our current finances, I wonder if we will be able to keep our current staff and continue to pay the rent. I know this was of little concern to Joerg, as when I complained of the impact all the camps were having, he replied with, "I don’t think it is right to blame USATT for doing so, as we have not set your business model." Our business model which is: to bring the highest quality training possible to our players. I honestly believe Joerg would have been be happy if all 100 full time training centers closed down and he was in control of one national training center, where he could choose the full team. I really believe he has ZERO respect for what the training centers are doing with our young players. This is truly a shame as those knowledgeable regarding global table tennis understand that almost no one does better that the US with young players.
Don't get me wrong. If USATT wanted to provide a high quality camp to our players for free, I would be foolish to be against it. However, the camps are not better than we provide. They are overpriced and take money away from the clubs that have been developing the players. Alameda has lost 10-20K in camp revenue per year since USATT began running their “super camps”. Players were under pressure to attend the camps, because we no longer had fair and impartial team trials, and some believed that if they were not on Joerg's good side they may not have a future in U.S. table tennis. Let me clarify. I am NOT against USATT running a couple weeks of camps, especially for older, high level players. However, currently when people ask how many weeks of USATT camps are your young players attending? I respond with "Not, how many weeks. How many months."
Look, I deal in certain financial realities. If an entity sells the same product as I do, and my customers are compelled to purchase that competing product, this is not my partner. This is my competitor.
“But all other countries have camps run by their national associations.” NO. NO. NO. Let’s stop with this lie. No country on the planet other than the US has expensive, self funded “national team” camps which then factor into national team selection! NOBODY DOES THIS!
3 Inflexible authoritarian = Round peg-square hole
Joerg comes from a completely different system, and he does not seem to be at all capable of adapting to what we are doing in the US. In the minutes of a recent board meeting Joerg said something like, "USATT does not have even one full time coach..." all the while completely ignoring the fact that the U.S. now has over 100 full time training centers staffed with full time coaches. The reality is that the top training centers in the U.S. are better than the national training centers in all but perhaps the top 10 countries in the world, and many have better coaches than Joerg. In fact a number of years ago when Joerg applied to work at some of them, he was not considered good enough to be hired. In the Bay Area there are probably more than twenty 2600+ sparing partners within 20 miles of each other. How many national training centers do you think have that? Just in California we have coaches like Stellan, Pieke, Stephan, etc. Yet to Joerg it was imperative that he break up the local training groups that are so successful, and sends our 10 and 12 year olds running all across the country to expensive USATT camps and trials.
The US and Germany are quite different regarding table tennis. In the US, some of the larger training centers have a larger annual budget than USATT. The German national association has a huge budget, and since they control the resources it, is only natural that they would exert a high level of control over how that money is spent. From the German articles that I have translated it appears that even in a top down, highly authoritarian centralized system, Joerg was so controlling, and such a bully, that the German national women’s team rejected him, and demanded a different coach!
You cannot have an inflexible, authoritarian fill the role of HPD in the US! This is a role that requires a diplomat to work in cooperation with the clubs, and athletes. Not someone who says, “OK, Now that I am in charge, let me tell people what to do. After all, I know better than you”
In my opinion Joerg is a very charismatic, persuasive individual, until you disagree with him. In all my years I never dealt with another USATT staff member quite like him. I always had the sense that Joerg has the perspective that you are either for him or against him. And if you are against him, you had better look out.
In my estimation Joerg’s time in Germany was closer to a train wreck than a success story. Germany's most successful women of recent years (Petrissa Solja) is a player who Joerg predicted would have no future in international table tennis. In fact she was prepared to leave the country and compete for Austria as her sister had already done. Yes, it was so bad that top German women were leaving the country! Rankings of course are always changing. But I remember one day around 2 years ago (when Kanak was #1) checking the ITTF site for U18 and U15 world ranking for boys and girls and seeing that on EVERY list the U.S. was higher than Germany. I asked myself, "Wait, why is it again that Joerg is supposed to know more than everyone in the U.S. about junior training, and we need to copy Europe?"
4 The strength of US table Tennis is the 100 training centers
Local access to adequate resources is the key to young player development and this is why we have seen the recent explosion of success among young US players. You don’t make a 10 year old into a great 11 year old by having them travel the country competing with the other top 10 years olds. You help a 10 year old become a great 11 year old by providing him daily, local access to the necessary resources. This varies from place to place, but in Alameda we would have the 10 year old play in a group with 12 year olds and 14 year olds and adults etc. The idea that a 10 year old needs to travel all over the country to train and play with other 10 year olds is just silly.
5 The athletes and clubs want fair impartial team trials
This is very simple. In the US we don’t want the HPD, or any committee picking the teams. We don’t think it is right, and find it offensive that individuals would assume to be better at predicting who will be a better athlete in the future. Joerg made some predictions about Petrissa Solja when he was in Germany. I believe he said she was too fat, and would never attain any international success. How accurate were his predictions? Well, after Joerg left, Petrissa went on to medal in the 2016 Olympics, the 2018 world championships, and to win the 2019 European top 16. I have Joola blades in my display case named after this player who had no future in international table tennis.
6 SafeSport – Do we adjust USATT policies according to Safesport, or adjust SafeSport policies according to HPD agenda?
I provide the following quote from USATT Safesport Policies and Procedures version 1, last revised December 30, 2013:
“USA Table Tennis holds a firm recommendation that overnight stays involving minors should be avoided whenever possible.”
This statement does not appear after the December 2017 revision!
It was replaced with the following: “Some USATT participation involves overnight travel for youth to regional and national events.”
Who originated, and authorized this change? Was USATT SafeSport policy modified to facilitate the agenda of the HPD? US parents don’t care what is the norm in Europe. They are NOT comfortable repeatedly sending their young children around the country to participate in USATT camps and trials. Many have not spoken up, because with subjective team selection procedures they were afraid to. One of our parents recounted to me how a young girl on a USATT Europe trip would have likely been killed, or grievously injured, if a parent had not been present to prevent her from stepping in front of a fast moving car on a busy street. Afterward the girl turned to the parent and stated, ”Wow, I think you just saved my life!” What if that parent had not been present?! Just as coaches are good at coaching, parents are good at parenting! Parents should travel with and supervise their children so that the coaches can focus on what they are good at, coaching.
7 We need our young players to stay in the sport.
If we are going to transition from successful juniors, to successful adult players, we need more young players to start, and stay with the sport. This is what has been missing in US table tennis. Ariel and Lilly were both top juniors ranked #2 and #3 in the world. Who became the more successful adult player? The answer is simple. The one who kept playing! Expensive camps and subjective teams selection leaves players feeling bitter and drives them from the sport. Recently I overheard one of our juniors explaining why he was leaving to play in Europe. Among other things, he stated that it was too expensive to train in the US. Yes. After you spend tens of thousands of dollars on national team activities it does get rather expensive!
8 The anger is greater than you think!
Lets stop pretending that only a few trouble makers are unhappy about the agenda of the HPD. For every” trouble maker” who has had the courage to speak up, there are another hundred who held their tongue because they were afraid of what the consequences would be in a system with subjective selection procedures. I kept my own mouth shut for more than two years. I really don’t think the USATT board has any idea just how angry the clubs, athletes, and members are over what the HPD was doing.
The truly sad part is, the division and damage that is currently being done to U.S. table tennis. We have champions like Sean O'Neill resigning from his USATT committee position, protest letters drafted by Olympians, and multiple lawsuits. There has never been this kind of anger and division in USATT before. Ever. Yet some board members seem sit in an ivory tower oblivious to the growing anger of the members.
Organizations that continue to ignore the will of their members normally don't have much of a future. Keep in mind USATT is a fragile organization that already has a difficult time paying its bills, and has collapsed before.
As our national organization continues to expand into the area of the training centers, what is to stop the training centers and athletes from expanding into the area of our national organization? How many training centers and athletes would have to become angry and pull out before there would be a collapse?
We need a new HPD with a different personality and a different vision. Someone who can begin to repair the damage that has been done.
I close with the following summary of some of the key points of my letter:
1. USATT camps and trials do not take place in a vacuum – respect needs to be shown to the clubs when scheduling camps and trials.
2. The USATT HPD need to be a diplomat, not and authoritarian.
3. Our player safety is the highest priority. USATT policies should adjust to SafeSport and not visa versa.
4. The strength of competitive US table tennis is the training centers. If you destroy the training centers you destroy the future.
5. Until the USATT has a budget equivalent to Germany, it is simple foolishness to try to copy the European model. To do so is to invite the collapse of USATT.
6. The athletes and clubs want fair team trials
7. We need to expand the number of new players. We can’t drive young players from the sport.
8. Ignoring membership anger can be very unhealthy for any organization.
Sincerely,
Dave Hanson
Director Alameda Table Tennis Center


Edited by alphapong - 09/21/2019 at 10:08pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/15/2019 at 4:10pm
I agree with everything said above.  As a player, I want to know I at least have some sort of fair chance to make the team through trials.  If the team is just selected and the HPD isn't a fan of you, your coach or your club, why bother to continue playing?  I am also not thrilled with the way the camps were run but that is another conversation for another time.  


Edited by Lightspin - 08/15/2019 at 4:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amateur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/15/2019 at 4:43pm
Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:

I agree with everything said above.  As a player, I want to know I at least have some sort of fair chance to make the team through trials.  If the team is just selected and the HPD isn't a fan of you, your coach or your club, why bother to continue playing?  I am also not thrilled with the way the camps were run but that is another conversation for another time.  

Are you saying that the selection should be based entirely on trials? If yes, just one trials or several? It seems to me that taking into account other factors (world ranking, international and domestic performance, etc.) makes sense, and is standard practice around the world.

The self-funded "mandatory camps" and the bad relationship with many clubs, as described by alphapong, are perhaps the bigger problem. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ndotson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/15/2019 at 4:51pm
Thanks for sharing this Dave. These are important insights.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alphapong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 12:24am
Originally posted by amateur amateur wrote:

Are you saying that the selection should be based entirely on trials? If yes, just one trials or several? It seems to me that taking into account other factors (world ranking, international and domestic performance, etc.) makes sense, and is standard practice around the world.

I think more than one trial makes sense to avoid the scenario of a great player being sick, or having an off day.

The world ranking can be problematic as only those players with enough money to travel internationally can earn points. We know this has created seeding problems in the past. I think once Lily lost in her round robin group to a very highly rated player who had no world ranking, since she was not playing any point earning events.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 12:26am
Originally posted by amateur amateur wrote:

Are you saying that the selection should be based entirely on trials? If yes, just one trials or several? It seems to me that taking into account other factors (world ranking, international and domestic performance, etc.) makes sense, and is standard practice around the world.


I am saying that the selection should be based entirely on trials.  How they are structured is up for debate.  It could be 3 separate 1 day completions like the 2016 trials.  I also wouldn't mind too much a provision that if you are ranked in the top 15 you automatically qualify.  I think anything beyond top 15 is a bit crazy as the current ranking system is very broken and somewhat meaningless.  I think taking into account results is just too arbitrary and could lead to picking favorites.  Also, the HPD can just not allow players to enter international competitions for no reason at all.  How can a player get international experience if they aren't allowed to play?  If a player has a bad day at the trials there is always next year.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Lightspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 12:29am
This is a new letter signed by many past Olympians:

Dear USOPC Officials, USATT Board Members, and High Performance Committee,

We U.S. Table Tennis Olympians would like to show our solidarity in opposition to the new selection process for our National, Pan American, and Olympic Table Tennis Teams. Some of us were born in the United States, where we always had the ability to earn our spot on teams through our results in trials. Some of us were born in countries like China, where the coaches would choose who would be on the National Teams. All of us ended up representing the United States in the Olympics through earning our spots in fair competitive trials, and all of us support this method over the current selection process in place.

We have overwhelmingly decided that we do not want to have coaches or USATT staff decide who makes our National, Pan American, and Olympic Teams. We are strongly recommending that the National/Pan American/Olympic Team selection process be changed back to a trials based system as soon as possible, in time for the selection of the 2020 Olympic Team.

There are three main reasons why we believe a trials-based selection process is a more just and superior system:

A trials for the Olympics is representative of the competition and environment that a player will face in the Olympics-- allowing coaches to pick players or using world ranking to do so is not. The Olympic table tennis champion is not “crowned” by a committee or based on a culmination of highest world ranking, performance, or participation in training camps and tournaments over the past four years. Players are allowed to fight and earn their spot on the podium in the Olympics through competition, and players should be allowed to fight and earn their spot on the U.S. Olympic Table Tennis Team the same way.
The current team selection criteria of World Ranking (which can be improved purely based on the sheer quantity of tournaments you play, not how well you do in them) and participation in multiple non-sponsored training camps across the U.S. is not fair. These criteria are discriminatory against players who do not have the financial means to travel and attend these events and competitions. This is the U.S.-- all players should have equal opportunity to get the chance to represent our country.
A trials would remove all biases and/or perceived biases from the process and provides transparency and objectivity into the selection process.
We have heard the rationale that the old trials system encouraged players to focus on domestic competition and not international competition, and we understand that the new system is trying to “fix” that. But the premise that this is built on is not accurate. Every Olympian who has signed this letter believes that their ultimate goal was never to beat their American competitors-- we all have always had higher visions and hopes to be the best players that we can be and to win in the international scene. Beating American competitors might be a means to an end, but never the end in itself. To think that we would limit ourselves to prioritizing beating our American competitors over becoming the best that we can be would be an insult.

We believe that the new process that has been implemented was a sincere attempt to improve our national team selection process. However, we believe it has failed in its intention. It has alienated and caused a great amount of ill will amongst USA Table Tennis elite athletes. It has created an uneven playing field not representative of the American spirit.

USA Table Tennis athletes should have equal opportunity to go out in competition and earn the right to represent our country internationally. We have offered different ideas that we would accept as a fair system. We also plan on mailing Senator Moran and Blumenthal a copy of this letter, given their recent legislation to empower athletes and advocacy for fair and objective trials.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to a system that will bring back good will and fairness into our national team selection process again. It is not too late to change.

Kind Regards,

USA Table Tennis Olympians

Sean O’ Neill, U.S. Olympic Team 1988, 1992

Diana Gee, U.S. Olympic Team 1988, 1992

Insook Bhushan, U.S. Olympian 1988, 1992

Jimmy Butler, U.S. Olympic Team 1992, 1996

Lily Yip, U.S. Olympic Team 1992, 1996

Amy Feng, U.S. Olympic Team 1996

David Zhuang, U.S. Olympic Team 1996, 2000, 2008

Todd Sweeris, U.S. Olympian 1996, 2000

Khoa Nguyen, U.S. Olympic Team 2000, 2004

Cheng Yinghua, U.S. Olympic Team 2000, 2004

Jasna Rather, U.S. Olympic Team 2000, 2004 (YUG Olympic Team 1988, 1992; Olympic Medalist 1988)

Tawny Banh, U.S. Olympic Team 2000, 2004

Michelle Do Reed, U.S. Olympic Team 2000

Ilija Lupulesku, U.S. Olympic Team 2004 (YUG Olympic Team 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000; Olympic Medalist 1988)

Wang Chen, U.S. Olympic Team 2008

Crystal Huang, U.S. Olympic Team 2008

Ariel Hsing, U.S. Olympic Team 2012

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 8:44am
Hi,

Dave Hanson and the letter from the past USA Table Tennis Olympians are making very important contributions to both the critical discussion on the current state of the USATT elite level/High Performance governance and to the longer term future of the efforts to significantly elevate the USA international standard of play, an elevation that, upon its realization, has highly positive outcomes for all involved in the organized form of the sport in this country, as well as the formidable initiatives at the continental and international levels to appreciably expand the sport of table tennis via an expansion of the sport's commercial dimension in America.

Thanks, 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amateur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 10:40am
Originally posted by DonnOlsen DonnOlsen wrote:

Hi,

Dave Hanson and the letter from the past USA Table Tennis Olympians are making very important contributions to both the critical discussion on the current state of the USATT elite level/High Performance governance and to the longer term future of the efforts to significantly elevate the USA international standard of play, an elevation that, upon its realization, has highly positive outcomes for all involved in the organized form of the sport in this country, as well as the formidable initiatives at the continental and international levels to appreciably expand the sport of table tennis via an expansion of the sport's commercial dimension in America.

Thanks, 

And which kind of selection and qualification system, according to you, would be most conducive to elevating the USA international standard of play?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DonnOlsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 11:27am
Originally posted by amateur amateur wrote:

Originally posted by DonnOlsen DonnOlsen wrote:

Hi,

Dave Hanson and the letter from the past USA Table Tennis Olympians are making very important contributions to both the critical discussion on the current state of the USATT elite level/High Performance governance and to the longer term future of the efforts to significantly elevate the USA international standard of play, an elevation that, upon its realization, has highly positive outcomes for all involved in the organized form of the sport in this country, as well as the formidable initiatives at the continental and international levels to appreciably expand the sport of table tennis via an expansion of the sport's commercial dimension in America.

Thanks, 

And which kind of selection and qualification system, according to you, would be most conducive to elevating the USA international standard of play?

We will benefit the most by following the recommendations of our Olympians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alphapong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 1:59pm
I want to give you an example of the kind of player who we are driving from the sport. 

If you look here: 

you will see that Bryant as a young player went from 0-2287 in around 18 months. As a 16 year old he made the final of the men's 21 and under (Bryant - Yahao QF). In 2014 Bryant was one of the few juniors to among the 16 players who made the North American Grand Tour  Finals. He lost in the quarters to Timothy Wang 11-9, 10-12,6-11,6-11,11-8, 5-11. So this was a young player with quite a lot of potential. His father then forbid him to train, and he has played only sporadically. Now that Bryant has graduated from Davis he has more freedom to train. With very little training over the summer his playing level became quite high, as he is now fully grown and more mature. This last summer he beat 2746 rated Rajko Gommers in a practice match. Am I saying he is 2746 or better than Rajko? No. But, that someone can play at this high level with very little training speaks to quite a lot of potential. People like Bryant do not see that it makes any sense to train hard and try to make the teams, since we do not have fair team trials. He really had very little hope, since he was not a favorite of Joerg, and cannot travel the world playing minor event to try to earn points. 

If we want great adults,  we need our talented young players to stay in the sport. We cannot afford to filter out everyone who is not rich, or a favorite of the HPD. IMO Joerg's past with the German women shows he is not a reliable judge of future performance. If traveling around the world playing ITTF events was the answer for our young players then Wally Green would have become 2900.




Edited by alphapong - 08/16/2019 at 2:05pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 3:11pm
Do you know the reasons why his father made him quit training?  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1dennistt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 4:14pm
Originally posted by alphapong alphapong wrote:

Now that Bryant has graduated from Davis


Without knowing him this is probably the relevant part of the post.  I guess his father saw how things were being run and convinced him to concentrate on getting his degree.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amateur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by 1dennistt 1dennistt wrote:

Originally posted by alphapong alphapong wrote:

Now that Bryant has graduated from Davis


Without knowing him this is probably the relevant part of the post.  I guess his father saw how things were being run and convinced him to concentrate on getting his degree.

That was 5 or 6 years ago - how were things being run then?

In any case, this may not be the best example. What about 16-year olds today, what do they (and their parents) want and need?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alphapong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 4:59pm
Originally posted by 1dennistt 1dennistt wrote:

Without knowing him this is probably the relevant part of the post.  I guess his father saw how things were being run and convinced him to concentrate on getting his degree.

I would rather not discuss the fathers reasons on a public forum. I can say that it had nothing at all to do with USATT.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 5:35pm
Originally posted by alphapong alphapong wrote:

Originally posted by 1dennistt 1dennistt wrote:

Without knowing him this is probably the relevant part of the post.  I guess his father saw how things were being run and convinced him to concentrate on getting his degree.

I would rather not discuss the fathers reasons on a public forum. I can say that it had nothing at all to do with USATT.

Ok.  That gives me the info I was really interested.  If he had specific issues with the way TT was being run that would have been relevant to the topic of this thread.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dina_arif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 9:14pm
Originally posted by 1dennistt 1dennistt wrote:

  I guess his father saw how things were being run 

You mean how things were being run at AlphaPong's club ? or USATT ? Or  both ? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charlie Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2019 at 10:54pm
you guys should get Adham  to fix your association just like he's done to Canada's 😁

Joerg was originally slated to be HPD in Canada...fyi


*sigh*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunkeelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2019 at 4:19am
It's well put but there's too much speculation. One wrong prediction and some speculative translation is not enough to discredit joerg ability. And let's be honest here. You are whining because you are having trouble keeping your business afloat. There's things you can easily 
y do. For example 
1.not banning 6/10 of the top players in sf from your club.
2. Not being friends with the Chinese. Believe it or not a lot of the players you ban, are starting to have kids and when I ask them why not have their kids play tt. They answered "no club nearby". I told them attc is great. Their reply? "the club owner is a jerk" or "I got banned there" or "my friends got banned there".  No club in USA world forbid as many players to attend than your club. The Chinese in the bay are really rich, one lift of their finger and your club Will never be troubled financially. 

 I do want attc to stay afloat it's the only competitive club near me pumping talent so I get to play with good players. So I hope you find ways to keep this business running. 




Edited by hunkeelin - 08/17/2019 at 4:31am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1dennistt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2019 at 10:10am
Originally posted by alphapong alphapong wrote:

Originally posted by 1dennistt 1dennistt wrote:

Without knowing him this is probably the relevant part of the post.  I guess his father saw how things were being run and convinced him to concentrate on getting his degree.

I would rather not discuss the fathers reasons on a public forum. I can say that it had nothing at all to do with USATT.

Sorry, guess I missed the part of your post that this was from 2014, I should learn to read more closely what others write.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote alphapong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2019 at 2:45pm
Originally posted by hunkeelin hunkeelin wrote:

1.not banning 6/10 of the top players in sf from your club.
2. not being friends with the Chinese

OK, Keith I often ignore your trolling, but this time I will respond. We both know that you are the ONLY person who has ever been told they are not welcome to start training in Alameda. We have certain behavior standards here that you do not meet. And you really are living a fantasy if you think you are one of the top players in SFO. 

Let's go back to the real reason you have so much animosity toward Alameda. Years ago after you bragged about your level, and you labeled yourself as the best penhold player in the US.   I called you out and you were busted. On the forums I publicly offered you $200 if you could win an Alameda round robin, and $100 if you could beat our best 11 year old. So a good player could have earned $300 in a  couple hours. This was NOT a bet. It was a straight up public cash offer. You of course declined. The reason being, at that time, you were regularly being beaten in Albany by David Stone and Scott Fry. Players who I think are both great guys. But they both had a playing level at that time around 1200-1600. BTW, congratulations that after all these years of training you broke 2000 at your last tournament. A great accomplishment. But not one that makes you top 10 in S.F.

Think about it. You are not a teenager anymore . You are an adult, and yet your behavior is so bad that it makes you unwelcome at multiple clubs*. How sad. Please grow up! If you move on, I will not need to remind people of the ridiculous things you have done in the past, and what it is that motivates you to say the things you do.

(* OK, I have not spoken to anyone at ICC. But, since you spend the majority of your time bashing ATTC and ICC. I am assuming that you are also not welcome at ICC.  At least I am in good company.)

I close by posting our most recent  group photo. I think this is helpful. As people can use it to evaluate your "not being friends with the Chinese" statement.





Edited by alphapong - 08/17/2019 at 7:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2019 at 4:45pm
personally if the situation is really becoming a pay to play scenario as you describe, I don't see that as whining. I don't know the whole situation.

Perhaps they could argue a camp allows them to evaluate and consider factors like character, sportsmanship, parent over-involvement, whatever. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alphapong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2019 at 5:29pm
This morning's beginner class:


I think it would be much easier to pretend that we ban non-Chinese.


Edited by alphapong - 08/17/2019 at 5:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunkeelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2019 at 9:49pm
I"m not saying you ban chinese, but the chinese community in sf/oakland and the bay in general have a strong opinion about you dave. At first I was embarassed to tell other people that I was unwelcome from your club; but apparently that's not the case. A lot of people feel unwelcome in your club too. The top 6/10 players doesn't include me. All whom have a expression of disgust when I ask "why don't they join attc group training" .

Look, i'm not the one who put up a wall of text whining about not being able to keep the business going. You direct the blame to usatt program. I am just giving you my 2cent, i don't think the problem is usatt that's hurting your business but your attitude. You did a really good job being able to hold your club without a money backer like other club svttc/tta/swan/icc; but i think it's time to put your pride away, do some self reflection and evaluate other options. And no, me and ICC got no beef. I don't play politics. I just play TT and occasionally help forum members like you.

The table tennis scene in america is a small world dave, and I feel you just made yourself just too much enemies. Those enemies could've easily helped you when you face financial trouble like now.


Edited by hunkeelin - 08/17/2019 at 10:17pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alphapong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/23/2019 at 10:02pm
Dear USATT Board Members,

 As I have seen a lot of emails this year regarding USATT High Performance program, but few from parents of young players, I felt compelled to send one more email sharing my decisions as a parent with the USATT board.   I have made these decisions jointly with my daughter Kayla, who recently won the U-12 girls gold at the Nationals.

 1) National Table Tennis Camps  - Kayla will not be participating

 Kayla participated in one mandatory camp in order to compete in the National Hopes competition but the experience was not good.  (see previous Hopes program email below attached for details) If Kayla does decide to train more, we will spend our $ for local camps and coaches.  The local coaches know the details of her strengths and weaknesses and can help her far more than generic training from national camps.  It is also much more satisfying supporting local training centers that care about my daughter.  

 2) Priorities will be academics while balancing her hobbies of table tennis, surfing, music, and art.

 Why would I encourage my daughter to go all in for USA table tennis when I cannot even guarantee she will have a shot at making the Olympics through a fair trial.  The directions USA table tennis seems to going is toward discretionary selection based on buying into the HPD programs such as national camps, far away ITTF tournaments, and training programs in Europe. I would not be surprised in the future if there was not a single spot available for the Olympics in an open trial.

 I have talked to many parents who share my opinions, but for a variety of reasons do not email the USATT board. I have also included my past emails from this year for more details on my reasons if interested.

 Best Regards,

 Daniel Goodwin

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------- PAST EMAILS FROM THIS YEAR BELOW --------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Sent June 6, 2019

 Hopes program

 I would also like to make some points about the Hopes program.  For at least two years, one of the things motivating Kayla was that the Hopes competition . It was something big to shoot for with a big prize of going to World Hopes, but we ended up checking out early before going to the NA camp/competion in Florida after emailing the HPD.

 1) Mandatory Camp before Competition :  Philosophically, I hate the idea of needing to play in a camp (skipping school) just to have the opportunity to play in a competition.  It was not like this in previous years of Hopes.  I believe also it is actually normal for athletes to rest at least 1 day before big competitions.   For Kayla, I  saw her actually putting in an exhausting effort in the Friday before the competition.   Although, she trains less then most other girls, the only way she knows how to train is with passion.  I have already decided she will never train in a camp  just before competition again.

 2) Anti-parent policy:   

It was already stated in the hopes emails that parents would be allowed in the facility but could not coach, but then on introductions the lead Hopes coach made a remark that they "have to allow parents in the facility because of safe sport" but implied this is not what they want.  How offensive to parents who have invested so much in helping their children.   In the Hopes invitation emails, there is always this statement "but we recommend option 1, if it can be realized with consideration of age and travel requirements. We consider it important and beneficial for the group and the camp itself, if the children share rooms and stay together as a group."  Personally, considering the age of 11 and 12 , I believe the kids should be protected by their parents regardless of safe sport status.   My beautiful young daughters will not be sent off without parental supervision to a USA table tennis hotel.   I am actually close with someone who was taken advantage of by a table tennis coach in their 20s when she was about my daughters age.   :(

 3)  Camp was not beneficial:  This was more just an annoyance to me compared to 1) and 2) as I think there are some parents/kids that obviously like and participate in a lot of national camps.   For Kayla though, she had specific weaknesses that needed work but ended up getting worse.   In particular her mechanics on her opening backhand loop had recently deteriorated with need of correcting but got even worse by the end of the camp.  I asked Kayla each day what the coaches said to her and it was very little.  Then during the competition, these same coaches from the camp coached their own students against Kayla and right away tried to make her open with her messed up backhand.  As a parent coach, I usually don't worry about the coaching on the other side but could not help but notice this lame policy of the Hopes national camp coaches turning around and coaching against other players during the competition.   Some of the kids coached against had no coach at all or an inexperienced parent.  Kayla will probably stick to just competitions only now as she complained that they trained longer than the kids in China and said the camp should have been only a couple days.   The camps are nice for hanging out with friends but in the end I believe 40 hours of targeted training for Kayla would have benefited her greatly compared to the camp.  She came home from the National hopes camp demotivated as she kept asking about going surfing rather than training for table tennis.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sent: Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 11:25:45 PM PST

Subject: Opinion on 2020 Olympic Selection procedure

 My daughter made a comment tonight that inspired me to email my opinion on Olympic Selection procedure as suggested by Larry Hodge's blog.

 Tonight at the dinner table I showed my two daughters the USA table tennis Facebook post of when the Olympics came to Atlanta and pointed out that the flooring used is now in our garage.  What my daughters noticed however was the large USA crowd cheering after the point and they said “We need the Olympics to be the in the U.S. again”.   I mentioned that in 2028 it will be in Los Angeles and told my 11 year old daughter she may still be in college.   She said, “Well, I would still try for it”, then sarcastically added “If they still have trials”.   She then asked about the upcoming Hopes competition and I clarified to her that yes, if she wins the regional she will get to go to the National Hopes trials and then if you win again the World Hopes. 

 I think my daughters attitude, speaks to why I believe more spots for the Olympics determined by trials is so important for USA table tennis.   Specifically, Item 1)

 1)  Athlete Motivation 

a.   Open fair competitions is what motivates athletes

Competitive athletes live to compete and win their rewards.  Currently the biggest reward in USA table tennis is to make the Olympic team.   They dream about the moment of triumph in a victorious match to make the Olympics and have a shot to compete for something even bigger.  They simply do not dream of being selected by a committee.  Even the loser in a trial may become more motivated if they feel they were close enough that more hard work could help them realize their dream next time.   USA table tennis should be creating more of these motivational opportunities in competition rather than taking them away with discretionary selection.

b.   Committee selection can demotivate athletes

Athletes may perceive a committee selection as unfair.  If they feel they deserved selection but were passed up, they will likely be resentful of USA table tennis.  The supporters of the athlete may also feel the same way.  It is easy for the mind to wander about possible corruption or the unfair advantage a wealthy athlete has because they can fly around the world to increase their ITTF ranking.  A realistic outcome of this scenario is one less serious table tennis athlete because they chose to prioritize their education over table tennis.

 2)  Trials are an accurate selection method

a.   I believe trials are the best way to see who is most prepared for the Olympics.   The athlete will need to be playing in top form and will need to succeed under pressure, the same conditions needed for success at the Olympics.  If the U.S. actually does have an athlete capable of competing for an Olympic medal, does anyone believe that athlete will fail to secure one of the 3 spots at the trials?  

b.   Committees can also get it wrong

Let us not fool ourselves and think committees will always select the athlete with the most potential.   Just look at the NFL draft where highly paid professional evaluators every year select players that turn out to be millionaire busts.   If accurate committee selection is not a guarantee anyway, why not just put it in the athletes hands to determine the team

 3) Opportunity for the less privileged

Table Tennis is a sport that does require support from parents, but USA table tennis does not need to create policy that even furthers the opportunity for the wealthy.   I believe the 3 items in the Discretionary Selection 2.2 which are not trials or ranking tournaments provide additional advantages to the wealthy who can afford travel for international tournaments as well as national training camps.  Trials can be a great equalizer for athletes that can mostly only afford to train locally.   I do know young athletes in this situation. This is why I believe every athlete should have the opportunity to compete for spots solely based on their table tennis skills at the trials.  

 I do think I have an idea why discretionary selection is being promoted but don’t want to get into speculation.

 Thank You for reading.

 -Daniel Goodwin

(table tennis player, fan, and parent)

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sent June 6, 2019

 To be fair, I do see some positive changes that came from the HPD such as better tournament formats for juniors at the Nationals, US Open, and the junior ranking tournaments.   The HPD also provides a lot of communication in the form of emails, seems very organized with the programs and also provides opportunity for top juniors to train or play overseas. 

 Unfortunately, the discretionary selection policy for the Olympics/Pan Am Games, etc ruins any positive feelings I had towards the program.   I believe the HPDs  policies are used to give himself more power over the athletes to get them to participate in his national programs but ultimately will cause more division and demotivation when players feel slighted.  Some people may like the national camps, which is fine, but I personally have seen that it is the local clubs and coaches here in Northern CA that have produced world class juniors.   It is a reality that the national high performance program currently takes away money from the local programs (national camps, travel, hotels, international tournaments is all less parental money available to spend locally).  I would like to actually see the HPD develop and encourage high level training programs in local areas (perhaps through certification) instead of encouraging training in Europe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liulin04 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/03/2019 at 1:05am
well said Dave.  I just learned about this Joerg guy today and the things that he does with the team selection, and I too would agree with what you said.  I previously read about how the US team member selection is through ranking of some kind, and my initial thought was WTH?  If ranking is the king, than that would not be fair for those players who do not travel to compete.  Team selection should have been taken place through a fair trial where players compete against one another.  And the top champions let's say through 3 days of trial would be the team members.  1 champion through each day of trial.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nonsmoker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/03/2019 at 7:20pm
USA tt-players: "This arrogant HPD is clueless. He should listen to us"
HPD : "These backward hillbilly tt-players are cluless. They should listen to me"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunkeelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/03/2019 at 9:24pm
All i'm hearing is someone whining and crying about his business being drove down the drain, he claims the HPD flex his political power to earn money I assume? Anyone heard of "A thief thinks everyone is stealing from him"? Base on his history if he were to have the same political power as Jorg; he would've done a lot worst; no doubt using it to get his fatten his wallet. The hypocrisy...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/04/2019 at 3:10am
Lots of people were complaining about the HPD for a whole variety of reasons. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunkeelin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/04/2019 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by Lightspin Lightspin wrote:

Lots of people were complaining about the HPD for a whole variety of reasons. 

Yea but this is America. Where hypocrisy is not tolerated. The OP has done worst with his limit amount of politcal power in the bay and there he is complaining. It's like hitler complaining about starlin. (And yes, he is the Hilter in this metaphor, the worst of the two)

To give you a few highlights:

- forbids his players to play in almost all the tournaments in the bay area. 
- notoriously difficult to work with if you want to host a tournament at his place. 
- A complete ass hat. 
- brain wash kids by bad mouthing other clubs 

^ Those are are quote on quote from players from his own club with good relationship with him; it's considered sugarcoated. 


Edited by hunkeelin - 09/04/2019 at 12:30pm
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