Have you had that feeling; when you play out of your skin and you seem to do no wrong? Or you beat someone you’ve never beaten before or you have just won a tournament? That feeling of joy which is why we play sports. And that joy is why table tennis is a sport, not business.
Unfortunately, like most things, there are a few negative elements! I don’t enjoy delving into the negative. But I feel we must be aware to enable us and provide whats required, for table tennis to flourish, now and in the future.
3 Things Required:
– An open-minded governing body; willing to help, looking to grow and develop. A fair system that understands the player’s needs and caters for it in the best possible way, for all those inside our sport. In my opinion, it’s key to cater to those inside the system first! our players and coaches require more opportunities. If we employ external coaches and send our best players abroad, how can we develop? what inspiration do our players and coaches have from within? We must find a way to make our best players stay and provide the right stepping stones for our coaches, just like the best nations do. France, Germany, Poland, Belgium and other great nations all have top quality home bred coaches.
– Club structure, I’ve said this many times we must create a system which caters for all levels and ages, big centres and surrounding feeder hubs.
– Learn from the best; look at systems that work and implement it our way. We are stuck in an old system (local league diminishing, poor venues for national league, etc and a lack of togetherness in many instances, GP’s disorganised, expensive and very little reward).
We must remember that table tennis is a sport and not a business but big changes are required. If we don’t make them we won’t ever have an efficient system to compete with the very best, continuously. A system that caters for all playing stages is essential alongside continuous support.
This must all come from the top and flow down to the bottom. Having a system that feels like a business is disheartening, especially for people like me and others alike, who truly love our sport.
Written by Eli Baraty