Should I start playing again?

Ask the coachCategory: TrainingShould I start playing again?
Luke asked 3 months ago

I started playing table tennis in January for the first time at my local club.
I attended regular on a weekly basis up until May. 
I just didn’t feel like I was getting any better, I only attended the club’s knock sessions and I don’t have a table at home, progression for was slow and I lost every practice match I played.
I have recently started a new job which is physically demanding, as well as parenting a 1 year old, I made the decision to stop attending club so I can get stuck into my new job and focus on other things, I am 31 years old.
I missed the club’s end of season open tournaments and presentation evening recently which made me feel bad because I did enjoy going, I just weren’t very good, they even gave me a bat.
The club would like me to return at my convenience, do you have any advice I can take on board if I decide to return to the club?

1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 3 months ago

I can empathise with your situation. Having a new job and young child is exhausting! It’s understandable that you stopped playing, especially as you felt you weren’t progressing.

If you do decide to return to the club in the future, you should set realistic expectations. For most people, it may take 3-5 years before they really feel that they have reached a decent standard. You can speed this process up by taking a few lessons with a coach (if you have one close to you).

From my experience the best players at any club I have attended have always been those who just keep turning up, week after week, year after year. They gradually improve and become the best in the club. Then new players arrive and look up to them, thinking they possess some extraordinary table tennis skills. The truth is they have just played a lot more table tennis than most other players in the club.

So if you really want to get good at table tennis, you do need to play regularly over a long period of time. You need patience. You need a clear idea about what you are trying to improve. And ideally you need a little advice from a coach or a more advanced player.

This may not fit in with your current lifestyle – new job and kid – or you have other interests you prefer to explore. So you need to think carefully about whether table tennis really is a sport you wish to pursue in the long term. Or maybe you will be content to attend the club occasionally, but knowing you probably won’t improve much. Many players do this and still have great fun playing.