Aside from the usual sports in which boys here in the United States participate, such as football and softball, I played a lot of table tennis and badminton. My father was a good table tennis player from his days in the U. S. Army. He taught me how to play. I started out using a hard rubber paddle, which was common in the middle 1950s. I used a defensive block-and-kill style similar to my father's. This required a great deal of agility on my part to run down and return some hard shots. I possessed the requisite agility until I suffered a back injury in Judo as a senior in high school. I couldn't play table tennis (or anything else) for some time afterwards. While my back did heal, more or less, I never regained the agility I enjoyed prior to the injury.
When I started playing again, I switched to inverted rubber on my paddle. I adopted a variation on my old block-and-kill style which did not require so much agility. I now counterhit hard drives directly off the table rather than retreating and waiting for them to die down as I had done previously. I played with Sriver S on the forehand side and Sriver L on the backhand. Occasionally I played with Cobra rubber on both sides, but I liked the Sriver better. Much later I switched to TSP 730 black and red. I also tried both Mark V and Panda spin factor, but I could not control incoming spin very well with these two rubbers, so I returned to TSP 730. That rubber had the best combination of control and spin of any I ever used.
I continued to play table tennis regularly up until about 1992. By then all my regular partners had moved away. I've hardly played at all since. I still like to watch good players. Unfortunately, there aren't as many table tennis clubs in Chicago as there used to be, and very few table tennis matches are televised anymore.
I don't recall when I first learned to play badminton. I remember playing a lot with some neighbors as a young child, so perhaps they were the instigators. I haven't played badminton since I was in college.
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Last modified by pib on July 17, 2010.