Watching a film inspired me to play table tennis but entering an unknown domain should and could have destroyed my inspiration!
We all start somewhere and the initial impact can shape the direction we choose to go. Getting hammered by every opponent was not a pleasant experience, we all experience some sort of humiliation by certain individuals for not having good skills and that can be soul destroying. I remember progressing in the sport yet at the time my level was still low and after six month of playing I remember a common theme; I would ask good players to play with me and their response would be sorry "I'm playing x,y and z maybe later! or "your not good enough" "I'm tired" then go off and play with someone else! there were many more excuses and it dawned on me there and then, (if I ever become a top player, I'll play with anyone..)
We all start at the bottom, of course some progress faster than others but in reality our starting point is virtually the same, 'BEGINNER' level. At 18 I was fortunate to inherit a coaching job from one of my original coaches (Gideon Ashison). I soon realised that coaching is much more than just correction of strokes and game development.
Coaching gave me the opportunity to help others in their game but most importantly believe in them, something I wanted as an aspiring young player.
Today I've coached many national and international players simply because:
I have studied and never stop studying Table Tennis
I want to see players I coach regardless of age or level; learn, improve and achieve...
So, if you're really serious about your game, contact me so I can help you develop your table tennis.
FB: Eli Baraty
other TT services: www.ebattsport.com
We fight an endless amount of external forces, when playing a match or competition.
But our biggest enemy is non-other than YOU!
How a game/match sways, sometimes is out of your control and it can change at anytime, due to; tactical change, external distraction of some sort, or that voice inside which questions your ability.
Be aware of any tactical change and adapt to it and try to focus on your breathing to stop any external distraction.
One thing you must never do is question your ability! If you're able to do it in practice, you can replicate it at any given situation.
I watch players lose momentum and at times that slight shift can turn the whole match around from a winning position to a losing one.
Being a massive Roger Federer fan I've learnt that he has one attribute that sets him apart from everyone.
Watching him play over the years I've never seen him question his ability. He went through a 5 year period where he hardly won (some expert's believed his time had come to an end due to age) but he never doubted himself. I also began to doubt his ability to compete at the top and in fact thought it was game over when he had a knee operation and was unable to compete for 6 months.
Then I saw him uploading videos of himself training and expressing his hunger and 'will' to make a come back at 35 years young. Federer won the Australian open and three days ago another tennis title.
Federer, if you watch him play never questions his ability regardless of his opponent, crowd or score board. Due to his inner confidence he has achieved more than any other tennis player in history and is aiming to become no.1 once again.
In Roger's words.. if I'm behind on the the score board, it becomes irrelevant! "while the match is still alive, I can win".
Table Tennis coaching for kids begins with nurturing your child’s learning process
If your son or daughter has shown some ability or dare I say it “talent”, for the game, the next step would be to get a good coach for further development.
Finding a good table tennis coach for your son or daughter can be like walking through a desert looking for water and occasionally you will see a reservoir.
I chose to write this blog in attempt to help players, mum’s and dad’s and even coaches themselves.
Tip 1: Find a club or Academy that has a low player to coach ratio.
There is an abundance of camps, academies, coaches and clubs out there that would all love to have your hard-earned cash. They may even have big names and famous past background playing careers.
However, you need to do your homework and find out if your child will actually be coached by these so called top coaches/players, or is your child in a group of many players overseen by an aspiring young coach who is mentored by a legend but has limited interaction with your child!
Getting a one-on-one lesson if possible it's a great way of advancing your child’s game. Of course the price will depend on the coach which is dependent on location, past and present success. The advantages of a private coach are the same as in a school classroom; the one-to-one ratio ensures the teachers full attention and causes your child to focus on the teacher and their learning, not his/her classmates. Sometimes A two-to-one or three-to-one lesson can be even better, as the players may feed off of one another but beyond that the learning becomes decreased.
Therefore if your child is in a big group constantly their growth in development is reduced unless there is a ratio of max 1-8 players.
Tip 2: Find a self-developing coach.
If you have decided to appoint a coach on a 1-2-1 or small group lessons, you need to discern which coach is the right one for your child.
How to evaluate a good coach? Look at his/her resume and find out where they have coached, who have they coached, have they developed and moulded their coaching style over the years to keep up with the modern game?
DO NOT evaluate a coach form his/her qualification. Why? ‘you ask’ would you take a brain surgeon with the highest marks in England for his PHD and he has only done one surgery? or would you take a surgeon lower level PHD marks with 20 years of experience and 500 successful surgeries under his belt? The answer should be clear..
Qualification gives the fundamentals and in a certain aspect grants permission to do what you do in your field, it does not state your level of coaching ability.
Tip 3: Sometimes what you see is what you think!
By this I mean, does the coach keep him or herself in good condition physically?
Does he or she play regularly?
Why does this matter? well for several reasons: (there are exceptions of course)
Tip 4: Watch the coach in action.
If you are allowed ask a coach when there next training session is on and go have a look, watch them in action. If they have video tutorials on YouTube have a watch and see if you like their coaching style.
Tip 5: Your child’s perspective
Everyone is different and we all respond differently to things, therefore a simple recommendation is to ask your child what they thought of the coach? Often, they know if the coach is right for them.
A good coach in most cases will be able to adapt to that child’s specific needs, character and learning style.
Tip 6: The Past has gone, the future is not here yet, so focus on the present
A club or Academy’s past is irrelevant, it’s a guide but does not determine the present state and the prospect of its future. Therefore, I recommend looking at the history of the coach and his environment and using that as a guide line. But more importantly look at what the coach is saying and doing, are they ambitious are they driven and do they still possess passion?
Simple questions would be:
What’s your goals?
How long do you expect to be at this club?
What drives you?
I hope this has been a useful insight for people looking at getting a coach.
Growing up, I was unaware of how mentally tough I was! I wanted to win and that desire drove me through many hurdles.
My personal desire to win as a player faded due to many reasons (that's another story) but I want to share 3 key elements which I believe can help you win more matches.
1. Talking to yourself:
We all have that voice that pops up saying "you're going to lose this match" "don't bottle it" that's the voice that likes to say negative things and find excuses and reasons for us to lose.
As soon as you hear that voice, over ride it and speak to yourself, internally or externally, repeating positive words and phrases such as; "this is my point" I'm capable of winning this match" etc.
2. Facing the challenge head on:
I often hear and see players given excuses prior and after a match. "I haven't trained this week" "my rubbers are dead" "I've been unwell". The fact of the matter is you have a match regardless, so why not face it head on? If you lose you lost with your specific circumstances and on that occasion it wasn't meant to be! You give yourself a greater chance accepting your so called issues and going into the match with what you have. if you manage to win you did it despite your issues..
It's like being thrown into three different cages with a lion.
Cage 1: You have a gun
Cage 2: You have a knife
Cage 3: Only you stand before the lion
In all three circumstances you have no choice but to fight for survival. If you choose not to fight regardless of cage number, you will lose your life! If you choose to fight in all three cages your chances of survival are increased.
I'll never forget watching one of the all time greats Wang Liqin and he had a special formula which he used to control the tempo of a match.
If he won a point on his serve he would bounce the ball twice on his bat and then serve. If he lost a point he would bounce the ball 4 times!
On the return of serve, he would wipe his hand once on the side of the table and twice if he lost the point.
Now you have some inside secrets to perform regardless of the situation, go out there and perform your magic..
By Eli Baraty
Facebook: @coachmetabletennis by Eli Baraty
I began playing when I saw Forrest Gump and from that day it became a life long journey..