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.

Harvest League: Come One, Come All, September 2, 2014!

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League format: Every Tuesday night, starting September 2, is Harvest League Night at Pure Pong! All skill levels are welcome. A format with lots of movement, this is a great chance to hone your skills against a variety of players and have a blast! League consists of 6 groups of players. Players are placed in one of the 6 groups based on their skill level with Group 1 being the highest rated group. Once you are assigned a group, you will play a round robin with other members at your level.  At the end of the night the two players finishing in the top two of your group will be placed one group level higher the following week.  Likewise, if you happen to finish in the bottom two within your group, you will be placed one group level lower the following week with the opportunity to earn your spot back! The ultimate goal is to have the best record within Group 1, meaning you were the best player in the entire league for that given week. An equally important goal is to have fun!!!

League Housekeeping Details:

  • Cost for the league is $45 over 6 weeks which breaks down to only $7.50 per week, and players are welcome to come early at 5:00 p.m. to warm up and continue playing after league matches until closing.  If you cannot commit for the entire 6 weeks, you are also welcome to drop in on any league night and pay a $10 fee to qualify you as a “wildcard player” for the evening.
  • Water, beer, wine, and soft drinks are available every league night. No minimum required, available for your convenience!

Sign up below to reserve your spot, or stop in at the front desk. Players that come in on the first day, September 2, before 6:00 p.m. to warm up and sign up will receive a free beer OR Pure Pong t-shirt!

 

 

Chill Summer League

It may be sizzlin’ outside, but you will want to see what’s cookin’ in the cool, air conditioned breeze at Pure Pong for the next summer Chill League, starting Tuesday, July 22!

What: Table Tennis league for novice through advanced level players (up to 1900 USATT rating).  Players will be placed on a table each league night that is appropriate to their skill level. Each player plays three to five singles matches per night in a round robin format. If you are the “Chillest” player the night (player with the best results), you advance up to the next level table the following week. If you finish at the bottom of the table, you go down a table level the next week. Players will play a lot of matches with many different players in this format. Wild Cards or Walk-ins (players not officially signed up in the league) may also play in the league on any given night. They will pay an additional fee ($10 to play as a drop in and all night!) that registered players don’t pay. These Wild Cards or walk-ins add some zest to the format. This is an opportunity to play a lot of different players, many different styles, and a good range of ratings!

Who:  Open to all novice-intermediate level players (under 1900 USATT level)

When:  Every Tuesday night 7:00 p.m  to 8:30 p.m. starting July 22, continuing on July 29, August 5, 12, 19, 26. There will be a league party on the last day, August 26! Wild Cards or Walk-ins need to make an appearance by 6:45 p.m. to be placed in the round robin for the night.

Where:  Pure Pong in the Pearl at1315 NW Overton, Portland

Sign up at the front desk, fill out the form below, or call 971-570-9625.

League fee for 6 weeks: Pure Pong members- $40; League fee for non-members- $45
League fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to the next league. Wild Cards or Walk-in players competing in the league will be charged $10 per night. Want to join but are going on vacation? Ask us about prorating the fee.

Further information about details, rules, and procedures of the league will be discussed at the beginning of the first league night: Tuesday, July 22, OR, inquire anytime before the league starts 971-570-9625.

Firecracker Summer League! 2014

firecracker leagueWhat: Pure Pong is starting another Table Tennis league for novice through advanced level players (up to 1900 USATT rating).  Players will be placed on a table each league night that is appropriate to their skill level; generally, beginners play beginners, intermediates play intermediates, advanced play advanced. Each player plays three to five singles matches per night in a round robin format. If you are The Firecracker of the Table for the night (player with the best results), you advance up to the next table the following week. If you finish at the bottom of the table, you go down a table level the next week.  Players will play a lot of matches with many different players in this format. Wild Cards or Walk-ins (players not officially signed up in the league) may also play in the league on any given night. They will pay an additional fee that registered players don’t pay. These Wild Cards or walk-ins add some spark to the mix to the Firecracker league format. This is an opportunity to play a lot of different players, many different styles, and a good range of ratings!

Who:  Open to all novice-intermediate level players (under 1900 USATT level)

When:  Every Tuesday night 7:00-8:30 p.m. starting June 10, continuing on June 17, June 24 , July 1, July 8, and July 15.  Wild Cards or Walk-ins need to show up by 6:45 p.m. to be placed in the round robin that night. We will be accepting sign-ups starting Tuesday, June 3.

Where:  Pure Pong in the Pearl 1315 NW Overton, Portland

Sign up at the front desk, fill out the form below, or call 971-570-9625.

League fee for 6 weeks for Pure Pong members: $40; League fee for non-members: $45

League fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to the next league. Wild Cards or Walk-in players competing in the league will be charged $10 per night.

Further information about details, rules, and procedures of the league will be discussed at the beginning of the first league night: Tuesday, June 10, OR, inquire anytime before the league starts. Jeff Mason, U.S. National Table Tennis Coach will assess players’ level for eligibility and give an estimated provisional rating.

Free Veterans and Armed Force with Disabilities Camp

American Flag Ping Pong PaddlePure Pong in the Pearl will be hosting a USA Table Tennis (USATT) camp for disabled Veterans and Armed Forces with disabilities. USATT has been awarded a grant by the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the US Olympic Committee to hold Table Tennis camps in six locations across the nation. The sport has been found to benefit Veterans both mentally and physically. .

Local high-level coaches like Table Tennis Olympic athlete and founding Pure Pong member, Sean O’Neil, will begin the camp with a presentation explaining the benefits of Table Tennis before teaching basic strokes. O’Neil reached out to Pure Pong to host the camp as a club that offers a great environment and provides league, lesson, and open play opportunities participants can take advantage of proceeding the camp occurring June 9, 10, and 11. The camp is free for all Veterans and Armed Forces with disabilities. In addition to providing veterans with the skills to play a healthful sport, the camp also strives to identify players for the National Paralymic Team for players taking a serious interest in the sport beyond recreation.

Learn more about the Veterans and Armed Forces with Disabilities Camp, and how to register:
2014 Table Tennis Veteran Camp