A simple understanding of the basics of ping pong is often enough for an intermediate player, or even a beginner, to beat a more skilled opponent. Most recreational players, even good ones, are not aware of how important it is to have the right grip on the paddle, and have the proper footwork, let alone how to get effective spin when hitting the ball.
Getting good spin on the ball is one of the most important parts of developing a good game, but it can be a weakness for players of all levels. It can be used to counter the spin put on the ball by your opponent, and also to set up your next shot. The best players watch the logo on the ball to see how fast it is spinning. The more unclear the logo is, there more spin, and the greater effect it will have on your return. They also watch the direction of the opponent's paddle as they strike the ball. Really advanced players can be very tricky with it, especially on their serve, making a downspin or backspin stroke actually produce topspin.
The best players develop a very compact swing, on both the forehand and backhand strokes. They do this by limiting their follow-through. A shorter swing can also improve a player's accuracy and precision with shot placement.
Addison Green is an amateur ping pong player of considerable skill. He advises newer players not to try smashing the ball every time they have the chance to do so. The key, he says, is to choose your shots wisely, and by smashing the ball all the time you'll wind up hitting a lot of balls into the net, and losing the point.
The Family Business
The father and son business is a time-honored tradition in the United States. Pickup trucks with, say, Smith and Son logos can be seen driving around the streets of most American cities. It's a great way of keeping a business alive and in the family, since the business, along with its trade secrets, can be handed down from generation to generation.
When fathers and sons work together there can be a certain magic or alchemy to the process. Both know each other so well, their strengths and weaknesses, that they can be formidable teams. But most agree that it's important that they not bring their family relationship to work with them. It's unavoidable to a certain extent, of course. But if there are clearly defined roles and boundaries then it can make it a lot easier.
Addison Green is a second-generation plumber who lives and works in Detroit, Michigan. He started out working with this father at Green and Son Plumbing when he was still in high school. When he got a little older he formally apprenticed to his father, and at the same time continued his education by earning a degree in business at Eastern Michigan University. After he graduated he earned his certification as a Journeyman plumber, and a few years after that his certification as a Master plumber. When his father finally decided to retire and move to Florida, he took over the business himself and changed the name to Green Plumbing.
At present, Addison Green is unmarried and content with his bachelor's life. But he says if he ever gets married and has a son, he'll change the name back to Green and Son if his offspring is interested in the business. For that matter, he adds, he wouldn't hesitate to call it Green and Daughter.
Chess has the reputation of being a complex game that only really smart people are any good at. But the reality is that chess is a beneficial game that can actually lead to better brain function in those who play it. They'll enjoy improved memory and cognitive skills, better strategic thinking, and have an improved attention span. All of these benefits can come from playing chess and getting a better understanding of this game of kings.
The human brain is a remarkable organ that is responsible for our mental performance. It is probably the most crucial organ in the human body; if there is no brain function then cells begin to die. The expression "use it or lose it" may apply best to the brain. Giving it a good workout by stimulating it with a game of chess is a lot like what physical activity can do for your heart.
Research has demonstrated that playing chess can actually help minimize the onset of Alzheimer's disease, which has a direct effect on memory loss. Good chess players must have a broad range of strategies kept in mind, any one of which may be useful in any given game. Skilled players have an almost sixth sense about what strategies to employ in the course of their games. This is an illustration of chess's ability to improve the memory.
Addison Green enjoys playing chess and is a founding member of the Detroit Chess Federation. He is also the owner and operating of Green Plumbing, and is a certified Master plumber.