Table Tennis: District Development Project

Provas Mondal (2001)

MORE COACHING EDUCATION

Over the last few years table tennis has been in decline but perhaps we are now reaching a stage where it has stabilized and is ready for an upsurge.

Unfortunately in many clubs there are not enough coaches of a good enough level to help the players develop and parents and leaders working with the children do not have enough basic education in table tennis. As a result players do not get the right basic grounding and do not develop in the right way from the start. Future progress and quality is then strictly limited and we are developing a generation of players who will never reach their full potential. Talent on its own is rarely enough.

It is really up to the Association and the districts to have more coaching and leader education and to disseminate coaching information more in depth throughout the club system.

MORE BASIC COACHING EDUCATION IS REQUIRED

The basics are important in table tennis, it is not an easy sport to learn and it takes quite a long time to be proficient. But above all if players develop with technical flaws, then their ultimate level of play is limited and they quite simply just never reach their full potential. Hopefully more and better basic coaching education will help to get the right type of training to players who are starting out and will set them on the right road from the outset. It’s also important that from quite an early age players learn to question and to think for themselves, but to do this they must have some framework of knowledge on which they can build and progress.

HIGHER EDUCATION IS NECESSARY

It is equally important once players reach a little higher level, that they have access to advanced coaching and particularly that they have guidance as to ‘direction’. By this we mean how their own individual game should be developed and how they should play so as to be most effective. Each individual player should be encouraged to draw as near as possible to his or her maximum potential and to know not only where he or she is going but also how to get there.

MORE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN THE DISTRICT

Throughout the district we have many differing levels and situations in the clubs. Often even bigger clubs have too large groups and not enough individual attention, while smaller clubs have no or only poor technical input. Motivation can also be a problem at club level where the same players train together all the time and gradually lose interest.

There is too often a spirit of competition between the clubs rather than a willingness to work together to improve table tennis as a whole. This is why any development project is best initiated and supported by the district. If the best players from different clubs in the district train together once a month, then not only will the dissemination of knowledge be improved but also the motivational and unifying aspects will be enhanced. When you have only few coaches it is much more effective to bring the players to one central point, though it doesn’t have to be the same central point every month.

To help to motivate trainers, leaders, parents and young players it would also be useful to hold seminars and lectures on table tennis subjects or to have these available in booklet form or even on the internet. It is always valuable to have exhibitions and demonstration visits from top players or coaches but in the long run nothing is able to replace the labour of steady and regular technical development. It is only regular training, guidance and monitoring which will bring top class results.

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