2012 Olympic and U.S. Team Trials – My Experience, Part 1 by Roger Dickson

Jena Newgarden
When the entry form for the U.S. Olympic and National Team Trials came out, for once, I didn’t throw it in the trash. Usually the U.S. Team Trials event is part of the U.S. Nationals and working at the Newgy Robo-Pong booth keeps me so busy that performing at my best is difficult. But with the London Games this summer, the Trials would take on a life of its own in Cary, North Carolina on February 8-12! Having played at the Cary Cup quite a number of times, I knew it would be a great opportunity to get a little of the Olympic athlete experience in a great venue!

Joining me in the process was Liliana Kohann. She boldly stated that “If you go, I will too”. Once the entries were confirmed, the training schedule was created. Utilizing the Newgy Table Tennis Training Center for a combination of robot training with the Robo-Pong 2050 and personalized coaching, Liliana and I were training a minimum of two hours per day during the week and a Saturday session lasting four to six hours!

My core drills on the Robo-Pong 2050 consisted of drill #6 (two ping-pong® balls to the backhand followed by two to the forehand) done at the regular designed settings for two cycles of two minutes, then adding to both the speed and frequency for the next cycles. I focused on actively blocking for two cycles of two minutes, then with an active block on the first ball and a loop on the second. This drill is great at improving the recovery time between two strokes while still requiring movement.

My second core drill was a modification of drill # 52 or Falkenburg (two backhand ball locations, followed by a wide forehand ball). Using the Robo-Soft application, I moved the wide forehand closer to the center line. Having had a knee injury, I wanted to build the strength of movement first then gradually go back to the wide setting over the course of the near two months of training.

The third core drill was for serve return, it was a mix of drills #16 and 17. The focus was attacking the under spin, so I would alternate a flip or roll, then a fast, low and deep push.

I always ended my robot session with a random session either drill #26, 27 or 28 to increase my anticipation. My goal was to loop with more spin than speed every time – regardless of the position!

Roger Dickson

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Free Newgy Robo-Pong Training Seminar

Jena Newgarden
FREE Newgy Robo-Pong Training Seminar at the Newgy Table Tennis Center in Gallatin, Tennessee!


Do you want to improve your table tennis game so you can beat your friends or win an upcoming tournament? Thinking about getting the Newgy Robo-Pong to help with this? Or maybe you already have one but don’t know just how much it can do.


Here’s your chance!

Maximize your Newgy Robo-Pong: Learn how to best utilize all the features of your robot to improve your table tennis game!

  • Spin and shot selection, head angle adjustments
  • Oscillation, ball speed and ball frequency
  • Randomization controls
  • Pre-programmed drills
  • Programming your own customized drills
  • Plus, much more!

See how the Robo-Pong can improve your table tennis skills while having fun and getting a workout all at the same time! This seminar will consist of both demonstrations and play/practice with the Robo-Pong and other seminar attendees.

This seminar is FREE to the first 25 people to sign up! Sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 days!


Friday, Oct. 28, 2011:  6-9 pm

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011:  9 am-5 pm

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011:  9 am-12 Noon

First come, first serve basis; Men, women, all ages and all skill levels!

Taught by USATT Certified Coaches Carl Hardin and Roger Dickson


Newgy Table Tennis Training Center

805 Teal Drive, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 USA




To sign-up for this free seminar, email robopong@newgy.com or call 1-800-556-3949 to reserve your spot!

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2010 U.S. Nationals: A Youth Uprising in Vegas by Roger Dickson

Jena Newgarden
With strong coaching programs on both coasts, the young players are gaining ground quickly on the seasoned players! The ICC program and Lily Yip’s Table Tennis Academy (LYTTA) are providing great resources for the young players to quickly gain advanced skills!

In the Men’s, Adam Hugh (LYTTA) took a huge step by defeating Fan Yi Yong – the number two seed and odds on favorite. Multi time Men’s winner David Zhuang was ousted by Barney Reed, National Team Member Han Xiao went out 4-3 to Timothy Wang and Ilija Lupulesku (Lupi) sent defending Champion Michael Landers home 4-0, but was well into the match with the last two games settling at deuce!

In the Semi Finals, it was teens vs. titans as Li faced Lupi and Wang squared up with Hazinski. Somehow both young guys came back from down 3-1 to win 4-3! I don’t know how long it has been since the Men’s finals featured two U.S. born teenagers!

Much to nineteen year old Timothy Wang’s credit, he was able to control the nerves just a little bit better and got the better of seventeen year old Peter Li in straight games to become the second teenager in a row to become U.S. Men’s National Champion!

The Women’s event looked to belong to former World ranked #2 Gao Jun, but due to flu like symptoms she withdrew at the Quarter Final stage. From that point forward the two young ICC stars Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang were on a collision course to the Finals. Being travel partners to several ITTF Junior and Cadet events, Ariel and Lily know each other’s game quite well and it showed in the seven game battle final! When the dust settled, Ariel was left collecting her first U.S. Nationals Women’s crown!

What impressed me was not just the energy the young players showed, but also the strong technical skills and match pressure savvy against much older and trickier players. The growing strength of coaching programs through the U.S. is making our young players solid players for the future.

Roger Dickson

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2010 Millcreek Table Tennis Open in Erie, PA Oct. 23-24 by Roger Dickson

Jena Newgarden
Attending the Millcreek Table Tennis Open is always a fun time for me as I get to see a lot of my old friends from all the clubs in the PA, NY and OH areas that I used to compete with and share this great sport of table tennis! While Newgy Robo-Pong was not a sponsor of the event, I did have a ping-pong table and court set up in the lunch area to do some demonstrations of the features of the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050!

Two of the Elite Training Groups that meets on Monday evenings at the Newgy Table Tennis Training Center decided to make the drive with me and they had a great weekend as well! Swavik was seeded number one in the U-2000’s and won in the final against the number two seed from Canada! Swavik also upset a higher seed to advance out of group in the U-2200 event. But he didn’t stop there, he just kept up the offense until the semi-finals, where he had to face training partner Yev. These guys put on a great show as the commitment to training allowed them to attack and counter attack consistently during the match. Yev won the match but lost the war- he faded in the final as it was his 13th match of the day!

For the three of us, the Millcreek Open was our next to last warm up event before the biggest event of the year for us— the North American Teams in Baltimore, MD! At Millcreek, Swavik and Yev were able to meet and compete against their team mates: Keith & Seth Pech. Those four will be one of two Robo-Pong powered teams this year and there may be a third –an all female team!

For now it is back to the gym for Falkenburg and opening against underspin with the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050, serve and attack drills with Yev and Swavik to prepare for Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

Roger Dickson

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What Age to Start Playing Table Tennis by Roger Dickson

Jena Newgarden
As the head coach at the Newgy Table Tennis Center, I get this question quite often. There really is not a simple answer as the motor skills of all children develop differently. In China they may test motor skills for sports as young as five years old!

Under Age Eight

My general rule of thumb is to introduce some basic racket skills and have a lot of fun for the younger ages. Remember that the attention span is very short with younger players, so short and simple instructions are very important.

Using the Newgy Robo-Pong table tennis robot is actually quite good as the ball can be adjusted to bounce twice in front of the player with good depth and height. Control the racket for the student when you first start until they can maintain the position by themselves to simply block the ball back over the net. This is just basic racket/ball control and will help them gain confidence. If you have a group of kids, using the Pong-Master with your Newgy Robo-Pong will allow them to compete against the machine and each other!

Eight to Ten Years Old

Starting to learn table tennis in this age range, the players will start to be able to do more active programs with footwork and racket position changes very quickly. Some of the first pre-programmed drills on the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050/1050were thought of with this age group in mind. Just add time to the WAIT ADJUSTMENT to give the kids a chance to learn the drills and speed them up to challenge them as them reach an 80% success rate.

Table tennis is a great cross training sport for all sports, so you can’t really start too young or too old!

Roger Dickson

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CCPC Benefit Table Tennis Tournament by Roger Dickson

Jena Newgarden
When Newgy Industries was approached this summer to assist with a fundraising table tennis tournament for the Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center (CCPC) at the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee on Sept. 18, we had no idea how well the event would do. With 75 prepaid entries there were a lot of new faces to the competition! With seven divisions, the players got a lot of play with equal level opponents.

In the Top Ten event, Newgy Table Tennis Training Center regulars- Slawomir (Swavik) Waclawik and Yevgeniy (Yev) Puzyrev played strongly through the groups and semi-finals to meet in the finals. It was a great show of attack and counter attack as the crowd got to see two of the most active players in middle Tennessee put on a great display of table tennis for the crowd! In the end Swavik out powered the speedy Yev 3-1!

With two players advancing from group play, the chances of meeting someone from your round robin would only occur in the finals. In Division A that is exactly what happened when Reth Sati, who plays at Nissan in Smyrna, was able to exact revenge on his only group loss to Newgy regular – Jim Campbell in a hard fought fifth game!

No such drama in the B Division as the two top finishers in group play met in the final. Jeremy Crask pulled the upset of Cody Crook to take the first place trophy home with him!

New faces dominated the C Division as Clint Lambreth battled his way to the final with Stephen Mathew. Clint was unable to overcome the steady pressure attack Stephen brought, but was super happy in receiving his first ever trophy!

The ladies of the First Baptist Church came out in force to field a great group for the Women’s Division! Returning player Liliana Kohann- who trains at the Newgy Table Tennis Training Center, powered her way through the field to meet tennis pro Nichole Despain and her hard rubber racket in the final! With long rallies being held for every point, being able to hit harder shot more consistently won the day for Liliana! Many thanks for all the ladies who came out to play for the first time – we hope to see all of you again next time!

The 8-12 and 13-17 year olds had one name coming in over and over – Geoffrey Mason. He asked to play both age groups and with fair warning of little to no breaks Geoffrey made the Finals of both events! Adrian Kohann went down swinging in the 13-17 final. In the 8-12 final, Joshua Lim came in a little nervous, the 10 year old having lost the last few times to the two years older Geoffrey! With a little coaching from Yev, Joshua pulled the upset to take home the first place trophy!

Many thanks to all the players but a big THANK YOU to John Edd Walker and Jim Campbell. These two went above and beyond to make this a great event for the players and for the CCPC!

Roger Dickson

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ITTF/IPTTC Level 1 Coaching and Course Conductors Seminar by Roger Dickson

Jena Newgarden

I was much honored to be selected to attend the first ITTF/IPTTC Level 1 Coaching Certification and Course Conductors Seminar by the USATT Coaches Committee at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 5-11, 2010. Twenty-three table tennis coaches from all experience levels and regions of the USA came to share, learn and to be humbled by Glenn Tepper – the ITTF Executive Director of Development. Mr. Tepper created the structure for the ITTF coaches program and wrote the book, so we were lucky to be learning from the master! 

One of the unique parts of this class revolved around the large amount of actual practical application time that was spent by the participants working through the skills and drills included in the book. Mr. Tepper wanted us to  wear both the student and coaches hat nearly all the time so we could not only see the WHAT and HOW but the bigger reason WHY we teach the sport of table tennis the way we do and new ways to approach our teaching.

Having combined forces with the ITTF, the Para-Table Tennis portion of the   course included an introduction to the classification system for Para-Athletes and a simulation where the coaches participated as different classes of athletes! It was truly an experience to see the various difficulties that are unique to each class and how important the tactics are! Luckily we had Daniel Rutenburg, the USA National Para coach and Christian Lillieroos, long time USA Para coach and PTT board member, to show us the best way to help these unique and inspiring athletes!

Much to Mr. Teppers’ surprise and delight, all 23 of the participants were able to pass the Level 1 practical and meet the standards to pass the educational section of the program. Now we must fulfill the needed application hours to complete the course.

Roger Dickson


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