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What's Happening at GTTP

11 October 2012

Last week I didn't get much done on the website, since I was involved in doing some coaching at the 2012 Australian Junior Championships being held in Perth.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to look after the U/13 Girl's Team, the members of which were a pleasure to work with, and who really played hard out on the table, finishing with some great results. The girls rounded out the week with a Bronze medal in the U/13 Girl's Teams, a Gold Medal in the U/13 Girl's Doubles, and a Silver Medal in the U/13 Girls Singles, and with two members being listed in the Order of Merit. So a good week was had by all of us, players, parents and coach alike!

Let me just point out that I was not involved in preparing the girls for the championships, so the credit for getting them ready must go to the other coaches who worked with them over the year, their training partners, the parents who ferried them around, and of course the girls themselves. I was lucky enough to swoop in at the last minute and give a little bit of advice, calm a few nerves, and call a couple of time-outs that worked in our favour, all of which made me look much better at coaching than I probably am!

Regardless, it was a fantastic week and very satisfying to see our WA girls playing well under pressure, and even knocking off opponents that looked much stronger on paper. And the coach even gets a medal for the teams event, so my Bronze medal is currently sitting under my computer monitor where I can look at it and be reminded of the fun we had.

Anyway, they were long days, which is why nothing got done on the site last week.

This week I've been spending my time thinking about training programs and where I might fit into the grand scheme of things regards coaching in WA. I had planned to do a little group coaching for anybody serious about improving, but I must admit the taste of success at the National Juniors has got me thinking about dipping my toes back into coaching some of the more dedicated juniors (if they want my help, of course). There are a few discussions that have to occur first to see whether everybody is on the same page, so I won't get ahead of myself just yet.

Tomorrow I head off for the Australian Veteran's Championships in Canberra. I can't say that I've done any real hard training for this tournament, but my form still seems OK so I'll just do my best and see what happens. The main goal is a Gold medal in the O/40 Teams, but this is always a tough ask with plenty of good opposition, especially with the Queenslanders getting the edge on us the last 2 years, but we'll give it another crack this year.

In the individual events, I'd certainly love to win the O/40 Men's Singles after being the runner-up last year, but with so many strong players floating around (including a pretty good one in my opening group), I'm not making any plans just yet. The singles are at the end of a long week of teams matches, so if I get through my opening group, and if I get a good draw after that, and if my form is still good, and if I'm not injured, sick or worn out, then maybe I can get into medal contention. But that's all still a long way away right now.

Anway, there probably won't be much happening with the site until after I come back home on Sunday 21 October. Once I'm back and settled in I'll get back to work.

27 September 2012

I'm in the midst of getting the overview level of Greg's Guide to Table Tennis completed (I've got drafts of each topic overview, but some of them need a fair bit of rewriting). I've published overviews for How To Use this Guide, Welcome to Greg's Table Tennis Guide, Equipment, Spin, Grip Types, Playing Styles, ITTF Laws and Rules, FAQ's, and the Glossary, leaving the Stance, Footwork and Positioning, Training, Competition, Rants etc, and Useful Resources still to be done.

Once that is done, I'll probably complete the Glossary (so that it is easier to link to terms as I write articles). I've got about half of the glossary finished but not yet posted, so that will probably take a few days at least.

Starting Sunday 30 September, I'm helping out with coaching our junior State teams at the 2012 Australian Junior Championships, which will take up most of my days for that week. So I'm not sure whether I'll feel like doing much on the site next week - we'll see how it goes.

25 September 2012

Welcome to the first post of What's Happening at GTTP!

This little area of my website is where I'm going to ramble on about what is happening at GTTP currently, and what my plans for the future are regarding the site. So I guess it will be a little bit of a listing of the new content that I publish, along with a commentary on what I'm thinking about behind the scenes. I really just want to be able to brain dump stuff without worrying about polishing it up or making promises that I can't keep, so bear in mind that I'm likely to have lots of grand plans mentioned here that may or may not ever come to fruition. But the first step is writing them down somewhere, and that place will be here.

Feel free to add your own suggestions or comments in the comment area at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind I'm a one man show who's only doing this for a few hours a day, so I won't be able to implement every great idea.

Anyway, on with the musings...

Following my retirement from the About.com table tennis site, I'm now free to work whenever I like, on whatever I like, however I like. Bliss!

Of course, the downside of such freedom is the problem of deciding what exactly to do next, when you have so many things to choose from.

Without the steady income from About.com, I have to attempt to make this site pay its own way in terms of the time and effort I'll be putting into it. That means selling equipment, selling advertising, or running some form of membership site or online coaching service.

I'm not looking to become a table tennis dealer, so my affiliate account with the folks at Megaspin does the job of selling equipment online quite nicely without much work on my part. I'm open to the idea of selling advertising to Butterfly or Stiga, but my site is not heavily trafficked at the moment, so I'm stuck with the Adsense trickle of income for now.

That just leaves a membership or online coaching service. I quite enjoyed running my own little online coaching program for long pips and antispin in the past, but that fell away as the need to keep up with the About.com schedule kind of wore me down. I'm planning to get back into this again, but I'll probably widen the scope to include table tennis in general, rather than just combination bat play. I'll just merge my long pips and antispin stuff with the more general advice, I think.

Keeping up with people's payments in the coaching program was a bit of a pain, so I'm leaning towards a fairly simple to maintain model, something along the lines as follows:

  • A simple $20 per year PayPal subscription.
  • Members get to ask me questions in the main forum, which I'll answer via article or video. I can probably answer around 2 questions a day via video (videos take more time than you might think!). It's tough to know for sure how many questions I can handle until things get up and running anyway.
  • Members also get access to the video answers to all questions.
  • Non-members can still read the answers to questions, but can't watch the videos or ask questions of their own. That way non-members aren't left out in the cold, but the people who are supporting the site get my time and attention.

I'm not sure whether I'll try to integrate the coaching program articles and videos into Greg's Table Tennis Guide, which you can now see that I've added to the right sidebar of the site. I envision the Table Tennis Guide as being a kind of online enyclopedia regarding table tennis, where you can go to read all about the different aspects of the sport, both beginner and advanced. This doesn't necessarily mesh well with an online coaching program, where the emphasis is usually on taking a beginner step by step through to intermediate and advanced status. It might be better to keep them separate and doing each job well, rather than trying to put them together and ending up with a compromise that doesn't do either task particularly well.

Anyway, that's where I'm at right now. Things are still at the fuzzy stage in my head, and subject to change as I start to work things through, but this is how I'm feeling at the moment. There's lots of work in the years ahead, and I won't get it all done in a month or two, so I'm just going to relax, do a few hours a day, and experiment a bit over the next few months as I start to work out exactly what direction I'm going to take the site. So don't be surprised if I change my mind a few times as I find out what works for me and what doesn't.

OK - that's enough for today. I'll link this up to the front page of the site and call it a day I think. Remember, if you want to leave any comments, feel free to use the comment box below.

 

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