Table Tennis has played a huge part in my life and in many ways I owe my success to the sport
I aspired to become great as a table tennis player and often researched in order to find the best players, coaches and clubs, in my quest to reach my table tennis dreams.
I travelled all over and around London seeking players, clubs and coaches for my personal development. I was willing to go anywhere and pay any price for the best coach, I clearly remember working as a Domino's pizza delivery boy and spending my hard earned cash on TT.
Michelle Gadal came to England after coaching, Jean Philip Gatien (1993 world champion) and I decided I wanted him to coach me. I managed to get his phone number and so called him, begging Michelle to coach me. His answer was a clear no, because he was the national coach and it would be conflict of interest. I offered him £40ph, back in 1997, in today's money it would be approximately £80. For me personally, it was around 12 hours work at Domino's but I was more than willing! Just so I could gain some words of wisdom form a coach who produced a World Champion.
Today I would do it all again as I believe commitment towards your passion is one few people have in today's world.
Six months ago a young man contacted me saying he has been following my coaching blogs, videos and players (I coach) their success. At the time I was focused on providing my academy players my time and external coaching was out of the question.
Nevertheless, this young man was willing to pay my coaching fees and travel 130 miles one way for one hour of my time. I quickly recalled myself as a kid begging Michelle and decided I wouldn't let commitment go unrecognised. The young man explained that he had a friend and they would both commit to the travel and training. I decided to test their commitment by agreeing to a one off session, that one session has become a six months long coaching commitment and only seems to grow in time.
Both these players entered an event after I coached them with mixed results and the response from them was poor initially but they seemed even more determent to achieve. Training continued and I noticed big steps in their games, two weeks ago they entered London Gran Prix where they both came out with around 100 points each. They both had great wins and progressed in their events which was lovely to see.
3 key points: