A guide to FINDING THE BEST TABLE TENNIS COACHING for You!

Written by on March 3, 2018

Its a daunting task finding the best table tennis coach for yourself or your child, especially in England.

Table Tennis Coaching for Kids

Table Tennis coaching for kids begins with nurturing your child’s learning process. Your son or daughter has shown some ability or possibly natural “talent” for the game. The next step would be to get a good coach for further development.

Sportsman of the Year - Coached by Eli Baraty

Miri with Eli Baraty her Table Tennis Coach

 

Finding a good table tennis coach

Finding a good table tennis coach for yourself, son or daughter can be like walking through a desert in search of water.

Here’s a helping guide to finding the best table tennis coaching for you.

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!

121 coaching

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 teacher’s 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)

  1. Can they keep up with the child when training them, or will they get tired and take many breaks?
  2. Will they have the energy to make the session high intensity? If not, then the student usually responds in the same manner.
  3. Does the coach still play competitively? If so be careful, as they may still be fully focused on themselves and just do the coaching for a little extra income and lack desire to make your child great. On the other hand, if they compete occasionally this can be great as they know how it feels to compete and how the game is evolving. This allows them to give advice using recent and personal match experience rather than just from the past.
  4. Physical appearance can also play a huge psychological factor in self-confidence, and the best coaches do have a certain level of confidence.
  5. If the coach demands hard work and discipline, does he or she follow that same principle? If not, your child will notice this immediately and use it as their personal excuse to adopt the same attitude.
Tip 4: Watch the coach in action.

If you are allowed ask a coach when their 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.
Take note:

  1. Was the coach on time? Did the lesson begin on time?
  2. Did the coach have a plan and was he/she able to adapt and change if necessary?
  3. Is the coach creative?
  4. Is the coach engaging? good communication? uplifting, positive?
  5. Most importantly does the coach care? Do they want their students to be the best they can be or is it just a job?

“Coaching is teaching, and some people are suited for it while others are not. In fact, some of the best coaches are those who did not ascend to the sport’s highest level.”

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 guideline. 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 are 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.

Written by Eli Baraty
eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis
Instagram: _elibaraty
Twitter: @elibaraty
FB: Eli Baraty
W:  www.coachmetabletennis.com
E:   elibaraty@hotmail.com
M:  07900401144



Comments
  1. Tony Barrance   On   March 3, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    I have never played table tennis myself but love coaching a group of girls that started at school. I now work with them at our local club and they have worked so hard in qualifying for national finals. I am able to take some of my skulls from when I played pro football and help children to realise you can get back what you put in. But most importantly enjoy yourself whilst you do it. If you have fun you will relax and play better. I have told them for them to take it further they will need to find someone who is able to take their game onto the next level. I have enjoyed working with a great group of girls. I love reading your posts and take on board tips to help them. Cheers mate great read.

    • Eli Baraty   On   April 3, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Tony,
      You’ve done an amazing job getting your girls team into the national school finals.
      Some top coaches inside the sport have not been able to achieve this. It’s credit to you and your passion which has naturally pushed those girls to success.
      Agreed if you wish for them to continue developing the next step would be a coach who is able to develop their technical and tactical awareness.
      Keep up the good work and thank you for the positive feedback.

  2. Marcus   On   April 3, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    I fully agree with all points you made Eli .I went through this process for a good two years now and have come to the conclusion to listen to your kid and watch Coaching sessions as often as possible to have an idea how the Coaching Team interacts with your kid.Against advice from outside I decided to place my kid with several Clubs and coaches each week just to Keep a bit of variety .At the beginnings practising as much as possible in one Club quickly carved in Patterns and led to loss of Focus on both sides .My daughter now has now a staggering 10+coaches she is working with regularly -4 of them are her favorite and this nets around 3hours of Coaching at decent level each week with around 1 hour one on1 if she is lucky.Unfortunatelly she is practising more like 10-12 hours per week so 3 qurters of the time go by more or less uncoached which is quickly detoriating the good things she learned .Maybe other Kids do not drift away this quickly but my personal Feeling is a good Coach is the one who can fingerpoint the main wrongs instantly and correct .Uncorrected Play is not useful and should be replaced by activities that do not harm the good foundations from proper Coaching .
    And this is the biggest issue : you will inevitably be late realising you Need to get more involved to help your kid to realise its potential .most parents will actually never realise and just accept what came out of their Kids aspirations .I think this has to Progress the other way round..top tt coaches need to Scout potential candidates who have the required Level of Talent (coordination ,Feeling,will to succeed ,committment to invest all the hours for years and years)as early as possible and layout a perspective for the development of such a prospect.How many parents are prepared to Support their kid to practise each day and bring them to the Club each day which may be 30miles away -this will quickly wear out parents and families which have not the ambition of their kid …and you don´t want the parents who have more ambitions than their hopefuls either….

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