Meet a Coach: Joey Mayeda

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Ping Pong Past: Joey picked up Ping Pong at the age of 18, when he and his father began frequenting the community center after school where Joey found himself getting schooled in Table Tennis by his dad. Joey’s drive to become more competitive against his father and build his skills resulted in a routine; Joey and his dad would practice a few times a week. Joey eventually signed up for a Ping Pong class at Portland State to further refine his technique where his love for the sport grew.

Despite his skill level, Joey enjoys casual playing atmospheres and is also a regular, like many Pure Pong players, at the Blitz pubs where he has been victorious in countless tournaments. Having taken the ITTF coaching course taught by Christian Lillieroos, Joey is now a certified club coach—coaching all levels of students at Pure Pong in the Pearl, and developing his skills by participating in many of Pure Pong’s tournaments and leagues.

When he puts the paddle down: Outside of Ping Pong, you can find Joey cheering on the Portland Trailblazers, rocking out to Led Zeppelin, eating sushi, and using his left hand predominately. Joey also used to play the clarinet. Have any Table Tennis equipment questions? Joey can help. The Pure Pong coach is a major Table Tennis equipment junkie, and can help you determine what paddle and equipment is right for you, and the best way to get your mitts on it. Joey also assembles and builds customized paddles at Pure Pong!

Meet a Player: Sarit Roy

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When did you start playing Ping Pong and/or Table Tennis?

I played mostly Ping Pong in High School and college a little bit. Then I would say last year, maybe three months ago, I finally discovered this place. I started playing here almost 2-3 times a week.

What about the game resonated with you to stick with it?

I needed a place to work out, lose some weight, and actually have fun doing it. There’s a lot of good guys to play with and I got better, and they were helping me to get better by encouraging me to play. It reminds me of growing up as a kid and playing.

What’s your favorite part about the game?

There is a lot of strategies involved, it’s not just aimlessly hitting the ball, there’s a lot more to it. Different kind of shots, paddles, ways of playing the game, different styles– so that’s one of the main reasons why I like this game. You can go deeper and deeper and it just gets better.

Do you have any special tricks, strategies, or moves?

I play with long pips. My style is a little different. Not many people have that style. It can be effective, depending on what level you’re playing. So I play close to the table with long pips, which actually if I chop, it reverses the spin. I use that as my primary weapon.

What has Pure Pong in the Pearl brought to your game?

More than anything else, it’s a community and subculture. Different guys and different styles trying to get better, hanging out with them, getting to know them, they’re helping you, you’re helping them. Overall, it’s a community for ping pong. The primary reason why I keep coming back here is that the guys are great.

What’s your biggest challenge playing Ping Pong?

People trying to figure out my game and get better, while I’m also working on understanding their styles. I think the biggest challenge is that it requires a lot of hard work and coaching to get better. I love playing matches; I don’t like practice. I think that’s my biggest problem.

Have you inspired any friends or family to play Ping Pong, also?

I recently played a Nationals tournament in Vegas and live-streamed some of my matches on Facebook. I had a whole bunch of friends from India and other parts of the country watch me and become inspired to pick up the sport. I had a blast playing there for almost three days in a row.

Next to Ping Pong, what’s your favorite free time activity?

Food! Portland’s a good city for food. Watching movies, going to the bar, hanging out with friends, just the usual stuff. But this has replaced a lot of useless stuff I would do. This is a lot more meaningful and it obviously helps me be in shape.

Meet a Player: Jeff Sechultz

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When did you start playing Ping Pong and/or Table Tennis?

When I was in college, I couldn’t decide whether table tennis or archery would be easier. I thought ping pong might be easier, but I was very wrong and got addicted.

What about the game resonated with you to stick with it?

The thought process. It’s a game of skill, not just brute force, so you can’t just power your way through something. You have to think, finesse, and to some extent power your way. It’s just more multi-dimensional than soccer, that I used to play, which is more about dialing up and powering through.

Do you have any special tricks, strategies, or moves?

I was in a head-on car crash a couple years ago so I couldn’t do forehand strokes very well. I switched to a novel rubber for forehands and after I recovered, I ended up continuing to use it. I use that to wreak a little havoc with people. That’s my main identity.

What has Pure Pong in the Pearl brought to your game?

This is the best table tennis entertainment in town, so I just had to come.

What’s your biggest challenge playing Ping Pong?

Age. My son and I did a reaction time test with a robot. At .55 seconds my stroke starts breaking down. At .33 seconds, which is as fast as the robot goes, his stroke is still fine. That makes me think that 2/10ths of a second against younger players on a table that’s 9 feet long– I need to do something to counteract their reaction time. I deliberately use equipment that slows down the game. Battling that in terms of reaction time is my biggest challenge. Practicing at Pure Pong in the Pearl helps with that.

Have you inspired any friends or family to play Ping Pong, also?

Ironically, my son, who is playing in China as we speak, fell in love with ping pong in this building. He’s the number 3 player in his age group in the Pacific Northwest and is nationally ranked. He’s in China’s Olympic training program right now.

Next to ping pong, what’s your favorite free time activity?

International travel.

Meet a Coach: Tim Titrud

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When did you start playing Ping Pong and/or Table Tennis?

I started playing ping pong with my family in our garage and basement, but I really started playing Table Tennis more when I was in college. At Clackamas Community College, there was a teacher that was on the US team back in the late 30s, early 40s, and she organized us. That was back in ’79, and then I went to Oregon State University and played there on the Oregon State team. Then, I went to Japan and lived there a couple years and played there.

What about the game resonated with you to stick with it?

It’s kind of an addicting sport that I enjoy. I did a lot of sports growing up, like wrestling, which I found too grueling, but I was relatively good at ping pong so I stuck with it.

What’s your favorite part about the game?

The nice part about the game is that it’s easy to play almost anywhere. A lot of sports, you can’t do that. You can also play at a relatively old age.

Do you have any special tricks, strategies, or moves?

Probably the one shot that gives players a hard time is a slow loop. It’s an older type of shot and people don’t really play that way anymore. Some of my serves give people problems, too.

What’s your biggest challenge playing Ping Pong?

If I play somebody that has a very fast loop, that probably is the type of player that gives me the most problems.

Have you inspired any friends or family to play Ping Pong, also?

Family, no. But I think a think a lot of players here, I didn’t know as friends before, have become friends. They just started playing and got addicted to the sport.

Next to Ping Pong, what’s your favorite free time activity?

Bicycling. I bicycle here from my home, which averages 10 to 15 miles.

Free Coaching from Jeff Mason for Students Starting Oct. 4th!

To get students involved with this relatively new Olympic sport, Pure Pong is offering free coaching  for any student age 6 to 17 years old, interested in giving Table Tennis a shot!  The coaching will be held most Fridays at Pure Pong , see the calendar for precise dates, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students are welcome to attend up to four sessions! All necessary top of the line equipment will be provided. Coach Jeff, a school teacher with over 40 years of coaching experience ranging from beginners to Olympic competitors, will help students learn the fundamentals and beyond in an optimal environment for Table Tennis, at the largest club in the nation! Bring the whole family to get in on the action before or after the coaching for a fun, inexpensive Friday night!

Why Table Tennis is Great for Students: While Table Tennis is a great sport for anyone at any age, the cognitive and physical benefits may be especially rewarding for students. Table Tennis is known throughout the medical and science fields as the “number one brain sport”, and is known to have the capability of enhancing motor functions, strategy functions, and long-term memory functions unlike any other sport. Ping Pong also helps develop focus and concentration, which can be an extremely helpful tool that translates into other areas of life—particularly academics.

The physical benefits of Table Tennis are equally desirable, providing aerobic exercise for both upper and lower muscle groups, while remaining low impact on joints with an immensely low potential for injury. Perhaps the greatest benefit however, is that Table Tennis is FUN! Many Ping Pong players make this game a life-long sport—one that they continue to enjoy well into their elder years, keeping their mind sharp and body mobile.

 Why Play and Learn at Pure Pong in the Pearl? Table Tennis is a highly respected and popular sport around much of the world. Despite this global popularity however, it has only been in very recent years that Table Tennis has begun to incrementally gain a following of serious players in the United States, thanks to clubs opening in urban areas that have positioned Ping Pong as having great potential to be a legitimate fun and competitive sport. This is an exciting time for Table Tennis in America, and Pure Pong is looking to get students involved here in Portland, as the sport evolves around the nation. Pure Pong is happy to have the optimal means to do so as well. As the largest Table Tennis club in the United States with experienced and qualified coaches, Pure Pong offers a Table Tennis experience and opportunity for improvement that is unmatched in the country. All Pure Pong coaches are certified, and all equipment is top of the line to collectively provide a great playing environment. The primary junior coach, Jeff Mason, has over 40 years of coaching experience, is a retired school teacher, and has earned various Table Tennis title accomplishments. Several of Jeff’s students have gone on to play competitively at the world class level—one as an Olympian! Jeff also ran the largest junior development program in the country for five years, and set a national record by developing several beginning players to master level in less than a year. Jeff is excited to have the opportunity to help students in Portland take advantage of this great sport, and with hard work and practice, compete at a national or world class level, or in the very least , learn an incredibly fun and physically beneficial skill. We would love to introduce Table Tennis to anyone who is willing and ready to learn a new and exciting sport that may open doors of opportunity and competitive experiences.

Learn more about Coach Jeff Mason 

Questions? Send us an email at purepong@wcep.com or give us a call 971-570-9625

Forget Lumosity.com, Crossword Puzzles, and Fish Oil Supplements. Play Ping Pong!

Ok, you may want to continue taking the Fish Oil, but according to Doctors, Professors, and other folks who know what they are talking about…

“In ping pong, we have enhanced motor functions, enhanced strategy functions and enhanced long-term memory functions…The game enhances brain function unlike any other sport.” – Professor of neuroscience and psychology, Dr. Wendy Suzuki

Ping Pong is… “The best brain sport. It improves hand-eye coordination. It’s aerobic, uses both upper and lower body and causes you to use many different areas of the brain to function.”- Dr. Daniel Amen, author of “Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance”.

Dr. OZ claims that Ping Pong can help prevent Alzheimer’s, and improve brain function.

These are only a few examples of the wonderful cognitive benefits of Ping Pong! Did you know Table Tennis can also improve productivity in the work place? Check out these articles.

The Largest Ping Pong Club in the Nation now calls Portland Home

?????    A new Ping Pong Club in the Pearl District is Putting Paddles in the Hands of Portlanders!

PORTLAND, ORE.—Ping Pong has recently been popping up around the country in urban locations, and the trendy sport’s popularity continues to grow. Inspired by an ideal venue at Pure Space, a love of Ping Pong, and Susan Sarandon’s Ping Pong clubs, Spin Galactic, located in New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Toronto, owner of West Coast Event Productions (WCEP), Duane Smith, is bringing his self-proclaimed “passion project” to life in the Pearl District of Portland.

“Ninety-nine percent of people I have spoken to have played a game of Ping Pong in their life, even if it was back when they were a kid, and they forget how much fun it is until they pick up a paddle! I want to bring a sense of nostalgia to Portlanders, and give people something that is inexpensive, healthy and fun to do, seven days a week” said Smith of his motive for opening the Ping Pong spot. Smith’s company, WCEP, controls a building called “Pure Space” where the event company frequently hosts large-scale events for hundreds of prominent clients both locally and nationally including Nike, Microsoft, Adidas, Ford Motor Company, and Widmere Beer. With 40 foot ceilings, over 16,500 square-feet of space, and 25 foot glass walls, Pure Space also serves as an optimal venue for Ping Pong and socializing.

As the largest, two-story Ping Pong club in the United States, with 20 plus tables, romantic lighting, music, video, and soon to come full bar and catering, Pure Pong offers an atmosphere and Ping Pong experience unlike any other. At Pure Pong, there is no chasing after runaway balls under the couch or lawn mower, and both “Ping Pong” and “Table Tennis” players coexist in Ping Pong peace.

Pure Pong in the Pearl caters to all levels of players, including Oregon’s 2012 State Champion, Tim Aikey, and Table Tennis Olympian, Sean O’Neill. Not all players however, boast such titles. Most who frequent Pure Pong in the Pearl are considered “Ping Pong” players—players that are seeking victory, though more importantly, a good time. Coined “Table Tennis” Players by Pure Pong, are the more competitive players, that generally take part in Pure Pong’s membership opportunities, as well as League and Tournament play, which is offered on Wednesday and Friday nights. Winners take home prizes, and bragging rights.

With three levels of membership, members reap a range of Ping Pong perks, which will soon include benefits from up and coming expansion plans, as well as retail items. Retail items will include professional quality Ping Pong products, some of which will be supplied by one of the largest Ping Pong retailers in the nation, The Paddle Palace, also located in Portland.

Portlander’s are also taking advantage of Pure Pong for corporate events. Smith loves the diverse range of players that come into Pure Pong. The location and festive environment delivers to all players, as does the management. Smith is eager to accommodate for corporate events, members, the occasional Saturday player, and professionals.

“I like the management at Pure Pong in the Pearl…they are very flexible to the needs of the players and coaches.” said Oregon’s 2012 State Champion, Aikey, who comes to Pure Pong not only as a member, but as a coach, along with Olympian O’Neill, and other professionals in the area for players looking to graduate from “Ping Pong”, to “Table Tennis” players. Programs for student and senior citizen lessons are also underway.

Portland’s excitement about Pure Pong is evident in the success the company has experienced within the first few weeks of opening. With the membership roster filling fast, and curious passerby’s popping in for a game of pong, Portland is soon to be known not only for beer, but for housing the largest Ping Pong spot in the nation.

Pure Pong in the Pearl: Pure Pong in the Pearl is a division of West Coast Event Productions Inc., striving to inspire everyone to take advantage of Ping Pong as a fun, healthful sport, while building camaraderie, developing skills, and igniting a sense of nostalgia.

 

Summer League! Come in, cool off, grab a paddle, and a cold one!

summer league pic  Come in, cool off, and enjoy our AC and cold one during Summer League!  Join us for League Pre Func. Ping Pong tomorrow night to sign up and start practicing at 7 p.m.! The league begins next Wednesday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m. This upcoming summer league is forecasted to be even better than before, you asked and now you shall receive! Pure Pong will host a bar every Wednesday night during league, packed with beer and wine to quench your thirst and refresh your spirit! See new faces and returning players—determined to walk away as champs this round and reap the coveted first place prizes!

Like the season, league rates have changed as recommend by spring participants to make payment options easier for you!

Where’s your hard earned money going when you pay league dues? Back to you! Much of the dues will be returned in prizes for league winners. You worked hard for it, now play hard for it!

Proceeds will also go toward a playoff party to celebrate winners and valiant efforts! Champions will be presented with prizes, and everyone can enjoy cocktails and scrumptious food from eateries in the Pearl that sponsor Pure Pong! Of course some funds will also go toward our terrific tournament director, Tim Titrud, and keeping the lights on, the water running, and someone behind the front desk!

See how much fun we had during spring league, and read about last round’s champs!