View Full Version : Interview with Peter Karlsson, Swedish National Coach

Matt Hetherington
08-23-2011, 07:21 AM
Please take the time to check out my other content at http://www.matthetherington.blogspot.com including more interviews with players such as William Henzell and Hampus Soderlund which can also be found right here on TTDaily!

See below the interview with Peter Karlsson!

Karlsson Holds Hope for Another Swedish Number 1

It was a great honour for me to secure this interview with one of Sweden's most successful players and renowned coach, Peter Karlsson. I hope you can all take something away from this interview. Thanks Peter!

Full Name: Peter Karlsson

Date Of Birth: 29/05/69

Nation represented: Sweden

Highest Ranking: 4 ( 1994)

Equipment Used/using?

Blade: STAG Peter Karlsson Carbon
BH Rubber: STAG Peter Karlsson Gen2

Peter Karlsson at the 2002 Pro Tour Grand Finals

Your Career

How long have you been playing table tennis for, when and how did you start?
Started at 7 with my brother at home on the kitchen table.

What was the highlight of your table tennis career as a player?

2000: Singles Champion at European Championships
1991: World Champion Doubles
4times World Champion in Teams (-89, -91, -93, -00 )

What is Sweden's philosophy on table tennis, I know you sincerely believe you can produce another world number 1, what does Sweden need to do to achieve this?

We have traditions, knowledge, history and a good system ( which needs to be improved). We dont have BIG number of players. As we only have a small number of players we need extreme personalities with:
1/ Driving force
2/ Ready to work hard
3/ Passion for the sport that makes them do something “extra”.
4/ Players who are ready to invest time and money to improve.

What has changed in Sweden since the era's of Waldner and Appelgren?

Life has changed..... kids today have so many things to choose from. Not only sport, also computer, all different types of games. The number of players in Sweden has gone down a lot in the last 20-25 years. The competition inside the country is not as hard as it used to be. BUT....I still believe we can come back to the top!!!

What do you think makes the Chinese so dominant at the sport currently?

They have: traditions, good system, good history, knowledge and money.
Combine this with a BIG number of players.
The status of table tennis is high in China. Parents are dreaming of having future champions. All these things makes the competition inside the country very hard, this drives the level of the sport up!!

What kind of training programmes are the top Swedish players undergoing presently (ie Par Gerell, Robert Svensson etc)?

I'm not the right man to answer this question...

What do Europe need to increase the standard of their game to compete with Asia in the next 5-10 years?

We need to improve the footwork and also we need to improve physically. I believe we need to spend more hours in the hall.

Who do you think in terms of team events will be the first country to beat China in the future based on their current trends and development of emerging players?

South Korea


Peter winning Gold in the Mens Singles at the 2000 European Championships
Image Courtesy of the Tribune.

Off the Topic Questions

Who’s your favourite sportsperson of all time?

Björn Borg

Favourite food?

French food...

What do you do when you aren't involved with Table Tennis?

Spending time with my family and friends.

Dream Car

Im not a big fan of cars.... but a Porche would be ok!!

Ideal holiday destination?

Thailand with my family

First thing you would do if you won $1million?

Today Im doing things for the non profitable organisation “Peace and Sport”.
I would definately increase my involvement with them if I won that much money.

Peter Karlsson vs Oh Sang Eun 2005 WTTC Quarter Final

Your Team Mates (or coaching students)

Who’s the funniest player in the training hall?
Lin Zhigang , a chinese player who I played with 5 years in Nevers , France.

Who trains the hardest in the training hall?
I have seen so many players who have trained hard. Not fair to mention only one.....

Who has the best nickname?
Appelgren ( Äpplet= The apple)

And Lastly

Would you like to add an inspirational message to readers to help them achieve their goals?

Achieving goals is the end station of a goalsetting, right??

Lets make the journey ( which is very long!!) enjoyable!!!

HAVE FUN AND ENJOY WHAT YOU ARE DOING, this will increase your chances to be succesful.


Peter Karlsson

08-23-2011, 11:10 AM
Great intervju again=)
Its nice to hear som words from the coach and get another side of the game. And not always listen to what the players think=)
More intervjues PLEASE! :)

08-23-2011, 11:36 AM
Ha ! The Real Deal !
Congrats bro Matt, the interview is awesome :D

Matt Hetherington
08-23-2011, 01:40 PM
Thanks Emil and Yosua! Yes I try and get a more rounded perspective to table tennis. One of the next interviews I will be putting up is with Carmencita Alexandrescu a female player, coach, umpire and mother of two daughters who both also play!

08-23-2011, 07:39 PM
Hey Matt, you're doing a swell job. I really enjoyed reading through the interview. Cheers mate...

08-23-2011, 10:49 PM
I remember.. When I visited Sodertalje in Sweden, Me n my colleague were playing TT in one of the Hotel's Gym. The kids in the gym stopped their workout n started watching our game. It seems the youth in Sweden has lost its interest in sports like TT. Many waste time in Gym.. n others focus only on Soccer. This article from a coach is really intensive. Hope to read more from other coaches!

Matt Hetherington
08-23-2011, 10:55 PM
Will see what I can do about more coaches, as I said Rosskopf would be great and perhaps Richard Prause. Considering William is going to be training in WSA in Austria soon I may see if he can help me with that one :)

08-23-2011, 11:04 PM
Fantastic stuff Matt! I like this one! Its true what Persson is saying about young people have so much to choose from now.I also like this

1/ Driving force
2/ Ready to work hard
3/ Passion for the sport that makes them do something “extra”.
4/ Players who are ready to invest time and money to improve.

08-24-2011, 07:26 AM
sunilcse04. What you say about Sweden is so correct. You´re allowed going to the gymwhen you turn 16. And it´s a lot of people doing that. They stop playing their sport and instead go to the gym. It has become like clothes. One summer you´re suppose to be wearing shorts, next summer its knickers or something. THough going to a gym has been on the map for about 5 years now.....

Matt Hetherington
08-24-2011, 12:53 PM
I have contacted Richard Prause to try and secure an interview. Will let you know how that goes :)

08-25-2011, 12:58 AM
sunilcse04. What you say about Sweden is so correct. ...THough going to a gym has been on the map for about 5 years now.....

I visited Sodertalje on an official tour to Astrazeneca. We got only one hotel with TT table- Scandic. I was really happy that the table was in excellent condition. and above all it was all empty both during mornings and evenings! Thats something which I was not expecting in Sweden ! The fitness level of middle age guys seemed to be quite higher than youngsters! Youngsters were crazy about Ice hockey and Soccer. Even the basketball ground was completely empty! We had a gala time playing TT and Basketball..tat too in Sweden's summer of 12-17 degrees.. lol !! Thats something quite cold for an Indian guy! We also earned some female fans while playing on basketball ground !!

08-25-2011, 01:58 PM
I played with peter Karlsson like 3 weeks ago, that was amazing!

08-28-2011, 08:16 PM
it was really a great interview by a great player of all time.........