Table Tennis has played a huge part in my life and in many ways I owe my success to the sport
2 years ago an 11 year old called Tomokazu Harmioto burst onto the table tennis world stage. Harimoto reached the Men's final at Safir's (Sweden) and stamped his arrival by beating two players ranked inside the top 100 men's ranking.
Since then Harimoto has continued to improve and recently was crowned world Junior Champion aged 13, the youngest junior world champion in history.
Still 13, he has shocked the world once again by defeating fellow team mate Jun Mitzutani current world no.6.
I think it's safe to say Harimoto, is the best 13 year old the world has ever seen.
He reached the quarter final of the Men's World Championships and shows no sign of slowing down.
So what? and how? has such a young teenager achieved what no other has done before?
I'm sure there's millions of factors but I want to point out 3 key things.
Harimoto, has been playing for 11 years which explains (partially his high level). Other factors include both his mum and dad where international level players. He has been training relentlessly for over a decade, few train over two years at a given sport and fewer train 5-6 times a week.
It's clear Harimoto spends 15-20 maybe more hours per week training. He has given up his childhood to become a phenomenon inside the world of table tennis. The question many would ask, and say.. he doesn't have a life!
This is a debate which can only be answered by Harimoto. If he loves what he is doing, then he is living life to the best of his ability. If he is forced to live this kind of lifestyle then yes he has no life. From my point of view he loves every minute, his passion and love is clear to see. It's rare to see someone who clearly plays more than most and still maintain such a high level of joy and passion every time he plays.
At such a young age, few feel genuine fear of losing. The world has not inflicted its true pressures and consequences are limited to none. This enables the mind to relax and all skills are allowed to flow freely.
Only the very best in the world know how to access this freedom of fear and thrive under enormous pressurised situations.
The question is will this change for Harimoto as he ages and will his views on life change? Only time will tell..
Regardless of age, to become great sacrifice is required.
Eli Baraty Table Tennis Coach
I pride myself in coaching anyone and everyone, you have the ability to improve so why not invest in yourself.
FB: Coach Me Table Tennis