Rowden January 2015

• If you are to be the best there must be variation, speed of movement, the will to fight to the end, flexibility of thought, an enduring sense of adventure and above all a calmness of self.

• Stress is difficult but stress is also good – it gives you determination to fight!
• Miracles occur when players believe.
• People who have been abused need specialist help not just safeguarding policies: it’s exactly the same with the development of young athletes; they don’t need systems but guidance pointing them in the right direction for them as individuals.
• The mastery and understanding of timing must be relevant to the individual’s style of play.
• Each player must be aware of his/her comfort position, relative to the table and also the most auspicious timing and best stroke length to maximize effect.
• Winning is simply a habit and an attitude of mind.
• Motivation and passion matter the most in the long run
• Create an optimal motivational climate that empowers the athlete and matches the player’s personality. Everybody is different and differing personalities react differently to the same situations. This is driven by personal history, temperament and cultural differences.
• ‘Good disagreement’ is vital to progress. Understand why you disagree, the reasons for the other’s point of view and if any of his/her ideas are of value.
• For progress the individual segments/players must be robust, imaginative, flexible and capable of dealing with rapidly changing concepts.
• The way forward is for everyone to be involved in their local community/area but looking outwards. If each area, however small, did this, the benefit to the whole would be immense.
• There is a need for National Bodies not to control and lead, but to gather together the threads of the individual segments, to isolate why some areas are on the path to success and then to assume the role of guiding/advising/aiding. This doesn’t need a vast infrastructure, just one or two individuals who are ‘switched on’.
• A move towards more collective responsibility, even leading from the ‘shop floor’, involves more individuals, leads to new ideas and creativity/innovation. Control and regulation from the top often stifles imagination.
• The road to leadership is beset by many pitfalls, not least of which is the perception of the nature and importance of the position itself!
• Every great leader will ultimately fall from within unless they have the good of their subjects at the centre of their plans.

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