Table Tennis Coaching in Schools

Written by on January 3, 2018

How important is Table Tennis in Schools?

I think many under value the power of table tennis in schools or any sport for that matter. Minor sports can have greater value for certain individuals but due to commercial undervalue they are overlooked.

Yes, education is very important but it’s not for everyone! If it wasn’t for sport inside schools we would miss many of today’s past great sportsmen and women. I went to a school in Camden Town and there was access to virtually every sport imaginable: football, Gym, basketball, Gymnastics, netball, athletics, swimming, cricket and table tennis.

Table Tennis programme inside schools

Boris Jhonson visits table tennis Programme

 

Realising your passion

Once I realised my passion was table tennis, I utilised the 3 tables permanently set up in a small gym area above the swimming pool. The first few years at the school, I struggled socially and academically but once I started playing table tennis, everything changed for the better. I began to focus more, I was driven, met new friends, developed a sense of belief, my grades began to go up, I had success for the first time and was recognised for it.

Special Teachers

The PE teacher Mr Newman (a legend in my eyes) was a half decent lower level, local league player and he encouraged me to play as often as possible and to believe in my own ability. I went from turning up late to school most days to never being late and not missing any days (the fake “I’m not feeling well mum scenario”) were gone! I would go and practice my serve or play with friends; morning, lunch and after school.

Table tennis is unrecognised in terms of its powers to change and aid a young person’s life.  But a charity (a few years back an organisation today) called Greenhouse Sports noticed the power of table tennis in schools and they invested in the sport around 14 years ago, via a gentleman called Michael DeGeorgio. Greenhouse have 12 maybe more full time table tennis programmes inside schools all over London. The programmes have thousands of kids playing table tennis and some competing at high national level. These programmes have full-time coaches alongside possible assistant coaches, based inside deprived schools. They provide: before, during, lunch and after school coaching sessions, tournaments, access to better equipment and development.

Table Tennis in Schools

Table tennis inside schools gives an opportunity to develop your character regardless of age, or ability. Its a tool hardly utilised and we need to develop a system that allows players to develop inside schools. This system needs to feed the players into a mainstream table tennis club/clubs. I believe we would see huge developments in the sport. More importantly youth of today would progress in terms of their attitudes and behaviours.

Look at football as a sport, most kids play during school and there is often a coaching session or structure. This seen nation wide all over England which leads to clubs and possible professional play.

We need to develop systems that link clubs to schools throughout the nation and provide a coaching service that enables a simple but clear pathway.

Written by Eli Baraty

eBaTT (Eli Baraty Academy of Table Tennis)
Coach Me Table Tennis 
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Comments
  1. Marcus   On   April 3, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    From my personal experience with my own kids ,I can only say this sport saved the life of my daughter.
    I don’t know how she would have developped without tt but it is so impressive to see how she developped from a 7year old hopeless but nice kid struggling with everything you need to learn and understand ,completely disoriented, and quickly demolished by anything not progressing according to plan to what she is now:Not only she has found something she really loves to do .Her dedication has opened a lot of roads outside the sport for her , growing her school abilities way beyond what one could hope for and this alone would justify all the effort as we all learn so much through this sport for life and how to succeed and cope with setbacks and challenges.
    Unfortunatelly in germany many people think of sports compromising scholar achievements , which is complete nonsense.Intensive sports will only do good to the other aspects of life and trach you so many valuable lessons for life.
    TT at schools programmes exist in germany but they ate not very well organised and lack good structured coaching .teaching in germany is much too much frontal ,hearing and understanding based.sports talents usually ate more of the handson ,feeling type of learners so they do not respond well to learn their sport by hearing long monologues of their teachers…I really hope some great coach comes up with the real Mckoy of how to set up a kid properly into tt without moving in circles erasing wrong patterns after allowing carving in those for weeks and months…one of the big challenges in tt is its complexity .without the right plan you will inevitably hit walls and with the wrong approach these walls increase in height and depth eventually driving tje kids away from the sport as success is not coming according to the effort you put in.Easy to blame the kid for lack of talent ;I think it is sad to see so many coaches not realising they don’t have a clue how to achieve and sustain a steep learning curve…there are coaches around who have wjat it takes though in uk and so there is hope a new generation of top players can be grown .Hopefully british schools realise that tt is actually good for the kids school progress and not a distraction which needs to be avoided. Unfortunatelly it seems staring at your smartphone all day long is alreafy accepted reality and sports is deemed too demanding for a kid …crazy and morbide perception …not long ago it was undenated fact a good brain was based on a healthy body..today it ses to be tje norm that kids lack in physical,motoric abilities and suffer from nervous deseases amd a lack of self belief and confidence in their abilities master a real challenge.

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